Tuesday, 17 September 2013

What I learnt on my trip to the Autumn Fair at the NEC

Sounds like a title for a piece of school home work, but my trip to the Autumn Fair at the NEC was really useful, and gave lots of new ideas about how to go forwards with my designs for future cards. The fair was huge, and really exciting to see so many new and inspiring designs and meet some people who have been in the industry for a while, all of whom were lovely and gave me some great tips.

I took along one of each of my cards and was armed with smaller sample packs to give to people if they wished. I felt prepared, but what I love to do is draw, and am not necessarily so good at selling, it doesn't come very naturally to me, so I was quite nervous to begin with. The show is a trade show, so people go there to sell to shops, one day I would love my own stand,but this time I just went along to see what I could find out about the card industry.

One of the main things that I learnt is that it's good to have collections of card designs that all link, I do have collections (see a couple of examples below) but I think I need to do some with more designs, more like 10 in a collection rather than 3 or 4.

Spring and Summer Flowers collection

Bike card collection

So I think I will be working on adding to these ones to make bigger collections, then I guess shops have more choice which is always a good thing!

I have also started working on a new collection of cards featuring a girl and a white horse and their adventures together, these are the first 2 (first one complete, 2nd one work in progress) so watch this space for when they are printed as cards.

I also learnt about licensing and getting an agent. 

Licensing is when you license your designs and get a royalty on any cards sold or a flat fee for the license for the design. 

Getting an agent would mean some one who sells your designs to shops for you, I met some lovely people who were there with their beautiful cards on display, and then agents would come and speak to them about taking on their designs. 

So I got lots of contacts and am making my way through emailing them all. 

Ideally I think I would love to have a pitch at one of these fairs some day, and see what comes of it. I know that my cards sell as they are going well in the shops they are in, I just need to keep on going with it all. I do love it, and it all fits in well with looking after my children, and hopefully it inspires them, they both seem to love drawing too .

Another good thing that came of it all, was that once I got over the nerves of chatting to the first few people about my designs, it wasn't so scary after all. I even was really enjoying by the end of the day!

If you would like to see my designs, you can do so here and if you would like any more information please leave a comment below, or email me at sarah@sarahlovellart.co.uk .

Thanks for having a read xx


  1. Sarah you must keep at it! Your cards are so beautiful and like you said, are already selling well so you have the perfect base to build on. Maybe getting an agent would be the perfect solution as it then leaves you to the creative part.
    You will get that stand one day, no doubt about it. xxx