the Happy Happy Art Collective

After all taking the Make Art That Sells e-course in 2013, the ladies of Happy Happy Art Collective decided to form a group to support their common artistic goals and promote their work. 

Happy Happy members Lauren Minco and Tammie Bennett are busy making preparations, and are on their way to SURTEX, while Denise HolmesEmily BalsleyJill HowarthPauline Grayson have been taking on exciting jobs and new clients. 

art by Tammie Bennett

art by Tammie Bennett


Lauren has some excellent advice on her blog about preparing one’s portfolio for the big event:

"If you're doing Surtex, you definitely need enough art to actually show. Unlike other markets such as editorial and publishing, you don't just have examples of your work to show clients as examples of your skill…you make art beforehand that a company looks at and says "that would make a great XYZ! We'll take it!". Sure, there are still jobs in the industry that artists are commissioned for, but much of your work is made beforehand and is then available to license as you show your portfolio. 

Because of this, some people have hundreds and hundreds of pieces (sometimes even more!) depending how long they've been in the game. There are a lot of opinions about how many pieces or collections of art a newbie should have. I have enough work, but not as much as some of my peers do. However, I know that each piece is solid and nothing is filler. So even if an art director comes up and only has time to see a few pages out of my portfolio, I know they are gonna see my best work.” 

A few members of Happy Happy were featured in UPPERCASE’s Surface Pattern Design Guide. You can see pattern submissions by Emily, Pauline, Jill and Tammie in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

Victoria Weiss of Butterpop Studio


Victoria Weiss is the founder of Butterpop Studio, an illustration, graphic design and web design shop based in New York. "I graduated from Parsons with a Communication Design degree, although my last 15 years has been mostly in animation, licensing, graphic and web design. I’ve lived in Hong Kong for some years as well and now freelancing from my house in Virginia Beach,” says Victoria. 

"I grew up in NYC and I spent many days in newsstands and bookshops just going through magazines in the mid nineties. Things have changed so much. Its hard to find ones with great content and treated with great care. UPPERCASE is beautiful."

Victoria’s on her way to SURTEX this year for the first time, and will be at booth 726.

"My portfolio is set up in a way for art directors to be able to use many icons to develop patterns for their collections. I’m aiming for wall art, stationery, gift, home decor and fabric companies this year. Also craft markets like scrapbooking.”

Be sure to check out Victoria’s website and stop by her booth at SURTEX! 

watercolour and florals by Nicole Tamarin

Nicole Tamarin works in watercolour and is drawn to classic themes and imagery, anything from florals to children’s to the everyday. She loves details and little extras, and tries to deliver a consistent level of polish to all of her work. She launched her business at SURTEX in 2012 and is excited to return for her third show this spring.

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide here

a dapper zebra and an odd flamingo

Paper & Cloth is a design studio in the UK with a strong focus on illustrational talent. "There has been the odd flamingo running crazy in the studio,” they write about their promo piece. "We are loving all the gorgeous painterly, inky trends we are seeing… Check out the dapper zebra. Inky and yet somewhat debonair don't you think?"

every day is a party with Emily Isabella's newest collection

Emily Isabella is a designer and illustrator whose work can be seen on products at TargetBirch Fabric, and Tigerprint, just to name a few. Birch Fabric has just announced Emily’s newest fabric collection called Everyday Party. “The Everyday Party collection was designed around the philosophy of creating tiny celebrations from life’s ordinary moments,” says Emily. 

Take a look at Everyday Party, and see what sewing projects it will inspire! 

a SURTEX lookbook by Nottene

Nottene is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a focus on textiles and illustration. In case you were wondering, Nottene, pronounced "huh-ten-nuh", means nuts in Norwegian. The studio is led by Kimberly Ellen Hall. With a Master’s in textiles from Central Saint Martins, Kimberly has worked from here to there in publishing, fashion and art. She has designed for Coach, Hussein Chalayan, the Village Voice, Peter Jensen, the Denver Art Museum and others. 

Nottene has designed a lookbook in preparation for SURTEX. Keep your eyes peeled for Nottene at booth 454! 

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide here



traveling from afar: Kat Kalindi Cameron

Kat Kalindi Cameron is a freelance creative and pattern designer from Australia. She will be travelling all the way from the Gold Coast, to New York to attend SURTEX for the first time. Kat’s path to SURTEX has been long not only in miles, but also in time. "I first heard about this trade show years ago when I worked in fashion. Then I had kids. Now I still have those kids, but they are old enough to handle Gran looking after them for longer now."

"While this may seem like no big feat for some, for me, it has been a challenge I have been wanting to take for on 7 years — and only this year, I have managed to take the leap and orchestrate work, family, life around my dreams and invest in MY future,” says Kat. 

Kat has been posting about her trip preparations on her blog. "I am heading over with my art collective friends there are 8 of us from all over the world who have joined together to make this trip happen. It’s a very expensive trip, coming from Australia to NY. Lots of logistics to consider: flights, accommodation, travel, shipping of booth banners, costs involved in the show! OH MY! BUT it’s an investment in my future and my art."

Be sure to take a look at Kat’s website, and if you’re heading to SURTEX, pop by booth 726 to see her and the work of the Forest Foundry Collective (many of whom are featured in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide). 

strawberries, bacon and jam by Holly Maguire


Holly Maguire is an illustrator based in Bristol, UK, with a big passion for surface pattern and textiles. Her work tends to include detailed yet playful and bright imagery made using gouache, and pen and ink. Holly really enjoys being able to apply her work to homeward, clothing and functional items. Her patterns are inspired by vintage design, packaging, fashion and popular culture. They often feature elements of nature and food, as well as everyday objects. 

Be sure to take a look at Molly’s Etsy page to purchase her cheerful patterns on prints and cards. 

hola from Macrina Busato

Macrina Busato likes to work with by hand and explore the beauty of images from other periods, to make them say new things in new contexts while keeping a warm nostalgia. Her work is a mix of handmade drawings, ephemera, typography and calligraphy. Macrina is a cultural anthropologist who 15 years ago went progressively into graphs and surface design. Her studio in Madrid sometimes looks more like a library, full of antique science and technical books, old magazines and engravings. 

Macrina is attending SURTEX, and will be showing off some of her new work at booth 317. 

Zoe Ingram at SURTEX 2014

Zoe Ingram is a surface designer and illustrator with an honours degree in printed textile design. Her work has been described as design with a twist, lush, colourful, elegant, playful and organic. Zoe loves colour and often uses hand lettering, layering and textures in her work. Her clients include Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Midwest-CBK, Quarry Books, American Greetings and IKEA. Zoe won an international talent search and is now represented by Lilla Rogers Studio. 

If you would like to know more about surface pattern design, you can download the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide from here

Dinara Mirtalipova's Book of Patterns

Dinara Mirtalipova is a Uzbek girl and a self-taught illustrator and pattern designer. She seeks inspiration in fairy tales, folklore, native songs and traditional ornaments. With a love of travel and adventure, Dinara found herself in snowy Ohio, where she lives with her husband and their daughter. Her best inspirations come at night. She closes her eyes and immediately patterns flourish in front of her. She keeps a sketchbook on her night table to catch these ideas before they disappear. 


In preparation for SURTEX 2014, Dinara printed a book of illustrations and patterns. She has also printed a small book dedicated to her surface pattern designs called Book of Patterns. Be sure to visit Dinara’s website and take a look at all of her beautiful design work!

Kate Austin Designs

Kate Austin is an artist and designer from Toronto, Canada. She makes surface patterns for textiles, paper and beyond. She works in bright, saturated colours to create bold graphic designs, often inspired by nature and the seasons. Kate is always taking photographs and she draws every day in one of the many sketchbooks she carries with her. Her work has been featured in a wading pool and on cushions, bags and skirts. She also designed an entire hotel room! To see more of Kate's work, take a look at Kate's blog

She was featured in our Surface Pattern Design Guide, and you can find her at booth 1035 at SURTEX 2014.

Nadia Hassan's orange and teal studio

photos by Dana Dillehunt

photos by Dana Dillehunt

Nadia Hassan is a colour enthusiast with a passion for patterns. She delights in applying them to any surface that will sit still, from fabric to phone covers to entire city streets! It’s said that variety is the spice of life, and Nadia’s designs are a celebration of this old adage–she enjoys experimenting with style and motifs, while developing fun, fresh colourways is the common thread and the driving force behind her work. 


Nadia was recently the Featured Artist on The Salty Platypus blog. You can see more images of her gorgeous orange and teal studio here

UPPERCASE subscribers can all look forward to a special and personal article written by Nadia to be published in the summer issue out in July.


SURTEX 2014: Elizabeth Olwen

SURTEX is the only business-to-business marketplace where art buyers and licensees from around the world converge to discover unique, cutting edge surface designs, original art, and design resources. Held in New York from May 18-20, artists and designers will set up trade booths with the hopes of making new contacts, learning about the latest trends in art and surface design, and meeting buyers who are seriously interested in buying or licensing their artwork. 

Since many of UPPERCASE's artists who submitted their work to the Surface Pattern Design Guide are either walking the show or setting up a booth, we are featuring some of those hard-working, amazing designers who are adding some finishing touches to their plans, and making their way to New York for the largest industry event in surface pattern design. 

Designer Elizabeth Olwen was featured in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide, and you can read a bit about her experience preparing for SURTEX. 

"When I decided to do SURTEX, I tried to gather as much information as I possibly could. I read blogs, bought e-books, listened in on SURTEX webinars and spent way too many hours on LinkedIn, then put all of that information through a filter and started to design my whole presentation. My career has been in graphic design up to this point. I've spent years designing brands and presentations for other businesses, so it was such a rewarding experience to put that kind of effort into my own business. I was challenged to create things that I'd never done before: I designed a trade booth, a press kit and a promo video. I had fabrics printed, made a lookbook and put ads in publications. I decided that if I was going to do it, I had to dive in headfirst. When it was all set up, it was thrilling to see the whole package." 

Elizabeth Olwen shares her SURTEX story in the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide in issue #21. You can read the entire article in the free download of the Guide by clicking here.

Take a look at Elizabeth's promo video and lookbook for SURTEX 2014.