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Surtex 2017 Previews: Part 2!

may 19, 2017

We’re so excited that Surtex is coming around again! For those of you who are new to the Surtex excitement, it’s the only show in North America solely devoted to selling and licensing original art and design for all types of products.

Each year we bring you a series of Surtex previous / sneak peeks into the collections of those who are exhibiting, and we are extremely proud that many of “The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design” e-course students have and continue to feature at the show.

As well our our very talented ABSPD students, our very own Rachael Taylor will be exhibiting at the show and has been sharing sneak peeks of her work in progress via Instagram and the Rachael Taylor blog.

We are delighted to share Part 2 in our Surtex Previews on the Make it in Design blog! Today we are previewing the talented designers:


Esther Shavon (Booth 2724)

  • How have you been preparing for the show?

I have prepared for the show with a combination of postcard direct mailings, and email to attendees through the connect portal. I also did a ton of pre-show research talking to past attendees, reading informative articles and blogs and belonging to Facebook groups.

  • About the designer…

Esther Shavon is a self taught fine art photographer and surface designer. Esther has spent 17 years in the healthcare profession but always nurtured her creative side. During the last 10 years Esther explored the country as a traveling physical therapist and healthcare consultant. Gradually she began taking photographs of her experiences. Intrigued by the myriad of shapes and patterns noted organically made within the natural environment, Esther Shavon became engrossed in macro photography and mixed media including drawing, collage and digital painting. Esther is currently the Founder and Creative Director of her surface design studio, E’FLOMAE, Contemporary Designs Inspired by Nature. Organic material make up a vast majority of source material, and are often thematic building blocks for artistic motivation. She gravitates to found naturalistic patterns and shapes. Texture also plays a dynamic role and Esther is constantly exploring how to integrate her inspiration from texture and organic elements in various styles and upcoming trends.

  • About the studio…

The name E’FLOMAE pays homage to my two grandmothers: Florence and Earlie Mae. The name gave me a chance to combine all three of our names in a spirit of connection and inspiration. E for Esther and Earlie, Flo for Florence, and Mae for Earlie Mae.

  • Which ABSPD course(s) have you taken if you’re a graduate?

Module 1: Designing Your Way!


Lizzie Clark (Booth 3041)

  • How have you been preparing for the show?

Banners, and tear sheets, and give aways – oh, my! It’s been a 10 month process. From getting my portfolio sorted, to planning the booth, to printing some of the giveaways. I’m encouraged that a week out from leaving for the show, it’s all come together with a sense of eager anticipation, and only a bit of drama.

  • About the designer…

The weekend of January 30, 2016. That’s when I found what I’d been looking for, for years—an online pattern class called Pattern Camp, led by seasoned pattern designer and artist, Jessica Swift. By the end of that weekend I was gob smacked and haven’t looked back. February 1, 2016, I started creating a pattern portfolio. May 17, 2016, I was on a train to NYC to walk Surtex to see what I could see. The beautiful art overwhelmed me, and I was star struck and humbled by interactions with generous, supportive and encouraging artists—Jos Proust of Four Corners Art Collective, Pam Convery-Hamilton, Marian Nixon, and Amy L. Frazer—to name drop a few. The next day, more resolved than ever to be at Surtex in 2017, I threw myself into creating more art, researching booth ideas and planning how to make it happen. I credit Jennifer Nelson’s Prep Talks, a new-found local artist friend—Susanne Kasielke—and my accountability partner—Shannon McNab—with providing the support and encouragement that got me here.

Inspired by nature, exploring patterns that are representational and abstract, drives my daily creative practice. Experiencing my patterns adding beauty to functional everyday items—wallpaper, pillows, aprons, upholstery, bedding—brings me joy. My palette leans toward bold, rich colors—whether a kitchen theme, holiday project or something from the garden.

  • Which ABSPD course(s) have you taken if you’re a graduate?

Summer School (2016)


Shannon McNab (Booth 3037)

  • How have you been preparing for the show?

I’m a bit of an organizer nut, so I have several checklists and weekly to-do lists that keep me on task. Also, I’m very thankful to have an accountability partner, Lizzie Clark, who’ll be showing at Surtex for the first time too. We have regular Skype chats to share our progress and discuss any issues that arise. It’s been wonderful to have someone to share this experience with; I feel it would be much more overwhelming to go it alone.

  • About the designer…
I’m a graphic designer turned surface designer living in San Francisco, CA. As a lifelong scrapbooker and crafter, my fondness for anything handmade heavily influences my playful design aesthetic.
My love affair with surface design started in graduate school. While working towards a degree in graphic design, I took a textile design class on a whim. That one decision totally altered my focus as a designer and I’ve been obsessed with patterns ever since!
  • Are you doing any other shows in 2017?
Right now, I don’t have any plans to. Because it’s my very first trade show, I’m waiting to see how Surtex goes before I make a commitment to participate in any other shows this year.
  • Which ABSPD course(s) have you taken if you’re a graduate?

Module 3: Monetising Your Designs and Ultimate Portfolio Builder!


Best of luck at Surtex

and thank you for your submissions!

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1 Comment

  1. Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this post. It was inspiring.
    Keep on posting!

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