New Fabric Collection and Magazine Feature!

Greetings to you from a sweltering September day in Southern California! I have no air conditioning in my house and it's been a particularly hot summer here. Despite that, it's been a wonderful few months filled with a good mix of work and play. I hope you all had a nice summer too! I wanted to share my new fabric collection, Wild Wonder, which is available for preview on the Clothworks website and will be coming to quilt shops starting this winter. You can click here to see the entire collection. I also have a Wild Wonder Daily Planner and Monthly Planner available in my Etsy shop!

©Anne Was Here 2014

I also got some great news this week that my debut fabric collection, Lady Bug Blooms was featured in the October 2015 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine! Clothworks wrote a bit about it on their blog, if you'd like to read about it you can here.

APQ Anne Was Here

My Greeting Card Line with Studio Oh!

I've just added my new greeting card line with Studio Oh! to my shop. These are some fun alternatives to your standard greeting card. They are super high quality textured paper with either foil embellishments or embossing. Each card comes with an envelope and envelope seal. Hope you love them! You can get them here. xo


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2015 Surtex & National Stationery Show Recap

Even though I decided to exhibit at the Licensing Expo instead of at Surtex this year, I was lucky enough to be able to attend Surtex 2015 which is co-located with the National Stationery Show and ICFF (furniture design show). Before attending, I worried about the costs involved and whether it would be worth it to my business. Coming from Los Angeles it's an expensive trip. I knew it would be a blast to see my design friends and also very inspiring, but wanted to make sure that it was a smart investment for me. IT WAS. I am excited to come back next year, hopefully as an exhibitor. The main reasons I think it was worthwhile to attend are, INSPIRATION, TREND SPOTTING and NETWORKING. Surtex




I try my best to be inspired in a more general than specific way. There is a fine line between being inspired by someone or something and imitating or copying. I was inspired at these shows by the creativity of my peers. It lights a fire in me to be better and more creative in my own work. Instead of being inspired to imitate, I want to be inspired by others success in being original and going down their own path. While I wish I could share more of what inspired me with you, taking pictures of booths and/or products is not allowed on the show floor without the designer's permission (understandably!). I did find this awesome blog post that has compiled some inspiring NSS booths, with permission, from instagram posts. Click here for part 1 and here for part 2.  I'll also be mentioning many of the Surtex designers and artists who's work I found inspiring and include links so you can check out their websites. Many of them will post photos of their own booths so you can see them that way. The Louie Awards (for cards) and the Best New Products exhibit, were open to the public so these are snapshots of some of those inspiring designs. Click on the images to link to the designer websites.












For the record, this sympathy card by Anemone made me cry. Crazy dog lady.






Visible Artist's Hand

This one has been strong for the last few years but continues to gain momentum. There was a lot that was hand painted, hand crafted and work that was evocative of the artists spirit. August Wren's gorgeous paintings are a perfect example of this.

©August Wren 2015

3 Dimensional Elements

I noticed a lot of art and products with something extra to give it more dimension. I saw art that used collage and mixed media, stationery with new and interesting embellishments, and on booths a lot of paper cut and folded flowers like these from One Canoe Two.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.27.25 PM

Modern Takes on Maps

Vintage maps have been around in design but I saw a lot of designers doing there own modern take on maps, whether illustrated or done more graphically. This was exciting for me because I am amidst a huge map project that I can't tell you about just yet but will share once I can!

Faceted Geometrics

This trend was especially strong at ICFF in home decor. I think that means we will be seeing more of it incorporated in the art shown at Surtex next year.


Combining Old and New

Ephemera and the vintage look is always present in design, but I am noticing a trend of making it fresh by contrasting it with something very new. I saw cards with vintage etchings paired with contemporary slang and ephemera collaged with bold and graphic florals.

Black & White

There is something striking about the simplicity of an all black and white design, and these were evident throughout the shows. Often times translated through artists brushstrokes, like this one from Ashley Goldberg.

©Ashley Goldberg

Fashion Illustration

I first noticed the increasing popularity of fashion illustrators on Instagram. There also seemed to be more artists at Surtex promoting their fashion illustrations than last year, and this trend was also seen at NSS. I'm digging the fresh take that some artists are bringing to the table like this one from Monica Lee.

©Monica Lee

Pin-Up Ladies & Bathing Beauties

I saw a lot of illustrations depicting vintage, full figured ladies. Some were pin up girls and others were bathing beauties like these for Windham Fabrics by Mirdinara.



Sweet treats continue to be a popular subject matter for art. I saw Ice Cream, Popsicles, Lollipops and Donuts, which was pure torture on the floor. Here's some ice cream from Kristin Nohe!

©Kristin Nohe

All Indigo

This gorgeous trend is rampant in home decor with hand dyed textiles on furnishings and vintage ceramic tiles in blue. It was also seen throughout Surtex.

Houses & Buildings

Quirky and whimsical illustrations of houses and buildings were spotted throughout the shows.

Beyond the Butterfly: Insects

Butterflies will always be a staple in design, but I'm seeing more and more insects creeping in (pun intended). Artists who find a way to make them beautiful instead of creepy are rocking this trend.

New Metallics: Rose Gold & Copper

Every friend of mine engaged in the last year has a rose gold ring, so I should have seen it coming. While gold is still prevalent, rose gold and copper gave a fresh look to home decor at ICFF.


Dogs and cats were everywhere at Surtex and NSS and I even saw some incorporated into home decor at ICFF. Good for me because pets are my favorite thing to illustrate! Here is a dapper dachshund from one of my collections.



Attending Surtex and NSS is an amazing networking opportunity. I was able to meet face to face with many of my friends, colleagues and clients for the first time and also make exciting new connections. Being friends with other artists and designers may not seem very important for your business, but from personal experience I can tell you it has been INVALUABLE to me. I have learned more from my friends in this industry than I have from any class. They also offer a means of support and feedback in a business where many of us are quite isolated working from home. Here are some of the amazingly talented artists I am lucky enough to know!

Emma Schonenberg makes amazingly intricate patterns and I got to visit with her in her agent, Brenda Manley's booth.


On Monday evening after the show there is a free happy hour for Surtex exhibitors and attendees. It was so great getting to visit with these ladies I have become great friends with over the last two years! From left, Ohn Mar Win, Victoria Johnson, Claire Lordon, Jo Chambers, Me and that's Rachael Schafer in front.


Ohn Mar Win is a fabulous artist with a flare for food illustration. Check her out, she's amazing.


Nicole Tamarin is a new friend who I got to meet in person for the first time. I hung out with her in her booth and got to see her in action. She is so professional and knowledgeable about her business! I should also mention that all of her beautiful work is hand painted in unbelievable detail. I heard a client tell her that she is a "diamond in the rough" at Surtex.


Just look how cute the ladies from Happy Happy Collective are! I met Emily Balsley last year at Surtex and got to meet Jill Howarth and Tammie Bennett for the first time this year. I've been following them all on social media for a few years and am such a fan of each of them. They are a super creative bunch and had photo props at their booth! Don't ask me why I'm crouching for no reason in this photo.


I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my dear friend, Victoria Johnson. She is such an inspiration to me. I mean, just look at her booth - it is INCREDIBLE. She was nice enough to let me share this snapshot of it. She is represented by the fabulous Jennifer Nelson of Jennifer Nelson Artists who I also had the pleasure to meet in person for the first time.



A few other artists I was excited to meet, but didn't get a picture with were Elizabeth Olwen, Monika Forsberg, Kathy Weller, Tracy Mattocks, Hilli Kushnir and Este Macleod. Be sure to check out their amazing work.

I was also able to meet with some of my existing clients and potential new ones. Here are some samples of my work that I received from the lovely people at Design Design. These cards all have such cute embellishments from glitter to embossing and the last one even glows in the dark!









I had the pleasure of meeting with the wonderful people at Studio Oh! / Orange Circle Studio and got to see my work on display in their booth. I have a new line of cards out with them and they even put my art on the cover of their Christmas catalog! I also met Becca Cahan, who has various products with them including a new line of cards as well. Hers are the ones in the row second from the top. She's great! I've got more exciting stuff coming out with them soon which I will share once I can.

The lights are intense in the booths at NSS! Good for cards, not great for my face.












An unexpected but welcomed contact I made was a lawyer for Copyright Armor who helps protect artists' intellectual property while saving them time and money! Um, where do I sign up?? We talked about my recent copyright issues and I'm hopeful that they can help me.

In summary both shows were fantastic and I highly recommend attending or exhibiting if you are an artist who is ready. Can't wait for next year!

I hope this recap was interesting and insightful to you! Please let me know what you think, I'd love to hear your comments about the show.



Vegas Baby! | The Licensing Expo 2015 | Part 1

LicensingExpoAnnouncementFull_AnneWasHere I'm excited to announce that I will be exhibiting at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas on June 9, 10 and 11! If you are an art buyer or licensee and you are attending the show, I'd love to hear from you so we can schedule a time to meet.

I had been planning to exhibit at Surtex in 2015, but in December I made the decision to have my debut exhibition at the Licensing Expo instead. While I felt comfortable in my knowledge of Surtex from walking it last year, talking with former exhibitors and seeing all of the great photos and tips on artist's blogs, the Licensing Expo has been much more elusive to me. This show is quite different than Surtex. While Surtex exhibitors are comprised of artists and agents, that is only a tiny part of the Licensing Expo which is also showcases brands, characters, entertainment and fashion labels. Searching for blog posts about artists' experience at the Licensing Expo yields meager results. For this reason, I've decided to photograph and blog about my experience preparing for the show, exhibiting at the show, and reflecting on the results so that next year it might be a bit easier on a first timer! You can follow me on Instagram (@annewashereandthere) for pictures and check back here for more in depth info.

Because I am exhibiting in a tiny launchpad booth, I've decided to focus my trade show branding on what I do best: PETS! While I do design everything from florals to geos, my booth is going to be dog and cat crazy.

I've been busy gathering as many samples of my work on products for the show. Here are some of the things I'll be bringing along.

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Unfortunately I will not be able to bring my assistant (my dog) with me to help lure people into my booth! I will be giving out some buttons to licensees that are almost as cute as she is. I got these from Pure Buttons who did a great job!


And here is a tiny sneak peak of my banners! I was so happy with how they turned out, can you tell? I got them from Smart Press, whose customer service was great and the quality and color of the banners turned out just perfect!


Next week I'm headed off to Surtex and though I'm not exhibiting there this year I'll report back here with a recap and some trend spotting!



Directions Notebooks for Studio Oh!

This is a notebook set that I licensed to Studio Oh! They make really great products and I am so proud to be working with them. They support/work with many talented independent artists including, Katie Daisy and Helen Dardik. Be sure to check them out! ©Anne Was Here

Photoshop Tutorial: Changing an Object's Color and Applying Pattern

New tutorial on my YouTube Channel on how to change an object's color in Photoshop using Gradient Maps. It also shows how to change an object to white and apply pattern. Please subscribe to my channel and like my videos if you enjoy them! This will support me in creating more. Thanks so much! Click here for the video. ©Anne Was Here

Valentine's Day Stationery

I stopped in Homegoods today and was excited to find several of my Valentine's Day designs that I did last year for Molly & Rex. They may also be available at TJ Maxx and Marshalls for a limited time. ©Molly & Rex | Designed by Anne Was Here

My First Fabric Collection!

This is something that has been in the works for quite some time but I've had nothing to show for it until now. I am over the moon excited to tell you that I have my first fabric collection, Lady Bug Blooms, available through the fabulous Clothworks! You can see the entire collection online here! The collection will be available starting this summer. I would love to see any creative projects that are completed with it, so please share them with me any quilters and sewers out there! I've got a couple  more collections in the works so stay tuned for more. ©Anne Was Here 2013


Custom Pet Illustrations

I have always been an animal lover and as a child literally dreamed of having a dog. Growing up my family moved around A LOT and it didn't make sense for us to have one. In 2012, as a married adult, I finally got my first pup, Midji. I am now officially a "dog person." Getting Midji unleashed a passion in me that I didn't even know I had. I create art with a lot of different subject matters, but I keep gravitating back to pets and more specifically, dogs. When I opened my society6 shop back in 2013 I didn't intend for it to become a dog art shop. But of all my art I put up there, the dog art is what sold. I think it's because I love drawing dogs so much and that shines through in my art. Due to the success of my doggy themed art, I get a lot of requests to do custom pet illustrations, which I love to do! I wanted to share a few recent projects. If you are interested in a custom pet portrait, email me for details! PS - Even though I am a "dog person," I love cats too!


Who Inspires Me

My friend and fellow designer, Mary Tanana, asked if I would be a part of a blog hop all about people who inspire creativity. I was thrilled to be chosen as someone who inspires her! You can read her blog post here. Mary Tanana is a designer who is inspired by many things; art, photography, gardening, landscapes and nature. She approaches her work with a boho, edgy flair. She’s had a life-long love affair with anything patterned, and after a long and successful career as as award winning jewelry designer, she has once again embraced her first love of surface pattern design. Mary originally studied fashion illustration, and has adapted her fascination with textures and patterns into a unique design style. Her style is influenced by the diverse art and architecture she observed while traveling and living overseas. She currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island, also known as the “Creative Capital”. A very appropriate city for a very special designer.

I met Mary in an online class I took last fall called, Make Art That Sells, taught by Lilla Rogers. I have stayed in touch with several of the artists from that class and we have become great art friends. A few of us join in on weekly skype calls with artists from around the world and talk about art, business and life in general. It's something I look forward to every week! Mary is not only a talented designer but she is also a caring friend with a hilarious sense of humor!

Below are a few of her magical designs! You can see more at her website,

EarthPrint(above images ©Mary Tanana)

Mary asked me to answer the following three questions as a part of the blog hop.

1. What are you currently working on?

I just finished building out my first fabric collection and sent it off to the manufacturer! That was a great learning experience. It was based on my Lady Bug Blooms collection pictured below. Moving forward I am working on building a solid portfolio of collections so that I can have my debut exhibition at Surtex 2015!


2. Why do you create what you do?

It makes me happy to create and I hope putting my designs on products can make other people happy too! :) It's fun and exciting to be in a profession where you can create something that the world has never seen before. An original piece of art is like a fingerprint, no two are exactly alike. CourageLion_AnneWasHere

3. How does your creative process work?

I like the thrill of a creative brief and having a problem to solve. I usually start out in my sketchbook doodling and brainstorming. Sometimes I move on to painting or I'll scan my sketches and bring them into Photoshop. Next I rearrange the sketches or paintings in Photoshop until I'm happy with the composition. Sometimes I'll start with a color palette pulled from something that inspires me and try to stick to it. Often it changes as I'm working on a design. To finish it off, I add details and textures.


But enough about me! Let's talk about some more people who inspire me!

Dari Design Studio

Dariela and Dariana are two sisters, originally from Venezuela, who form the dynamic duo behind Dari Design Studio. Their impressive roster of talents include graphic design, teaching online tutorials, blogging and art licensing. And they do an amazing job at all of these things - wow!

I first met Dariana when I started working as an in-house designer at Punch Studio, a stationery and paper goods manufacturer. She was the first person to ever tell me about art licensing! We have  both moved on from Punch Studio, but continue to stay in touch and meet up at monthly Art Circle meetings that we share with other Los Angeles based creatives.

Dari Design Studio inspires me with how they have diversified their business to get the most out of their range of talents. They also have a unique portfolio of art which is created through their two differing creative styles that compliment one another. Check out some of thier work below and visit to see more!



SpringDay_Collection(above images ©Dari Design Studio)

Victoria Johnson Design

Victoria is an English artist who studied fashion/textile design, worked 12 years as a print designer and co-founded a textile and greeting card design studio based in London and New York. She now lives in Rome, Italy and has a successful career in commissioned and licensed art. You can find her art on products on the shelves in many big name stores, and they are sure to put a smile on your face!

Along with Mary Tanana, I also met Victoria in Lilla Rogers's Make Art That Sells class last fall. As one of the more experienced members of our community, Victoria quickly became an invaluable source of knowledge and advice for many of the artists in the class. She is so generous with her wisdom and the first to offer a word of advice to anyone who needs it. Many of us have urged her to start charging for it! If she ever offers an online course, I will certainly share the info on my blog. It would be worth every penny. Victoria is also one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure of knowing. I have learned so much from her and feel blessed to have her as my art friend!

In addition to the delightful images below, you can check out more of Victoria's work on her website at





(above images ©Victoria Johnson)

I've asked Dari Design Studio and Victoria Johnson to also write a blog entry about who inspires them, so keep an eye on their blogs for a future post!

Let's Make Something

I am so lucky to have so many creative friends. One of the best of them is Lisa, who is a graphic designer AND photographer. She is equally talented at both and it's not fair, I know. Check out her awesome creations at Last time we got together we said, "Let's make something!" So we went to Color Me Mine and hand painted some plates. Below are the before and after pics. Lisa's is the floral and mine is the goofy horse. It was fun but it also made me realize how talented traditional artists are. I am almost entirely digital these days and control Z (undo) has become my best friend. You can't control Z a hand painting. All you fine artists out there are amazing!ColorMeMine


I won first place in my first ever entry in a Spoonflower contest and I'm over the moon! My design is available for purchase on fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap & more! Thanks to everyone who voted for my design, your support and encouragement mean so much to me. XOWinnersCircle designChallenge TopTen