Monday, May 27, 2013

New York Freakin' City

I just returned from an epic journey.
(Sort of long but totally entertaining)

I re-fell in love with humanity in a place known for its rude and asshole-ish people. I will tell you what, not a one single bad apple fell across my path. Well, maybe a few, but I was so filled up with
sapp-tastically stuuupid love that I hardly noticed.


I went to the National Stationery Show for the second time.
(P.S. I misspelled the word Stationery on my mailer. Freakin classic.)

 This year was different than last in a few major ways. The first was that I decided after a hilarious conversation with my pal Amos Paul Kennedy Jr, that I was NOT going to try to keep up with the proverbial "Johnson's" this year. It is out of my league ($$ wise) and totally NOT my style. I decided that I gave exactly zero shits if anyone blogged about the beauty of my booth design and how a family of seven could comfortably live there. I am not into tissue paper flowers, I get nauseated if I am surrounded my pastel for too long and I am a dirty, inky, down to earth printer.
Don't look at my floor (jackass) look at MY CARDS!

This first picture illustrates my booth in its packaged form. Two checked bags equalling 87.5 pounds. Ah-freakin-mazing. 

Setting up took us literally under 2 hours, like way under 2 hours. It looked legit and it was about showcasing the cards, which it did wonderfully.  You may recall from my last blog, the brilliance of Brother Marty, well this time his wife (my sis-in-law) Jill, was a large part of this brilliance. They took an idea I had and turned it into collapsable metal card hangers for which I would use magnets to hang the cards! I don't need no stickin walls! They were perfect! 

The next thing I wanted to make perfectly god damned clear was that I am a freakin letterpress printer. People have it in their heads that the definition of letterpress is smashing the shit out of a polymer plate so that the indent can be seen from 15 feet away. I ain't gunna lie, it looks cool, but just because my shit did not look like every other printer there people would ask me, "oh, this is lovely, do you ever think about letterpress printing it?" I would have to count to 10 to stop myself from lunging at them and attempting to shake some sense into them. 
 I asked a great and talented friend from Steve Diamond Elements, who is a wonderful photograher, to take some badass pictures of the shop, my presses, and my handset type, that may help folks understand.

 Then I had the help of another local business rock star, Kevin, from  44 Sign Company. He took the super sexy pictures of old schooldom and printed them out nice and huge on canvas!

Oh yeah, the other cool ass thing I decided to do was to bring a linoleum block and actually, gasp!, carve it there right before the peoples eyes!!! How insane am I? It worked like a charm. People were curious and I am going to print them and send them out as Thank Yous!

I hung out with so many GD wonderful people: Bench Pressed, Pepper Press, Rick Griffith, Kelp Designs, HappyCactus Press, Letter C Design, Fisk & Fern, Bald Guy Designs and I reconnected with my wicked awesome pals from Salty Dog, Blackbird Press, Pistacio Press, Old Tom FooleryStudio On Fire, Power & Light Press, Pixies & Porcupines, Wild Ink Press, Igloo Letterpress. I learned a lot from these people as I will continue to do. 
One of the best things was seeing store buyers that ordered last year, strong clients relationships and wonderful feedback are key. They came back, which means my cards are good sellers!

Katherine takin an order, she became quite the professional there. Really gained some confidence interacting with buyers! It was great to see!

This young chap thought we were very "special" and he had many words of encouragement for us. He was not even at the NSS, he was at a different show. How could he resist chattin' up us trouble makers? I do believe he was maybe in for coppin' a feel, but what the hell. This picture is precious. 

Tattly had a booth of their kickass fake tattoos. I of course could not pass up the opportunity to sport this little number, since I am the master of putzing and my friends call my sense of time "Bruno Time", which I get and I am working on it dammit. 

My BFF Paul came with this year, he has been doing shows since he was like 14. He was an absolute asset, and somehow made the entire show seamless. Also brought the best sandwiches from the greatest Italians on 8th Avenue, I believe I was so enthralled with my sandwich I may have said something along the lines of... "this sandwich is so good I would not stop eating it if there was dog shit on it". 

 Who knows why I say such things, I did however discover that in NYC, I (normally a social anomaly) had an overwhelmingly warm sense of home. A "free to be me" sorta thing. Like I did not have to be more or less ME, people really liked me being just being natural me. You have to know me to know what that means but it was truly wonderful, and being back in Minnesota "Nice" (bullshit by the by), I miss that. 


In conclusion, the show was slow but really good. I learned a lot and made many more great connections and friends. I had an incredible time with Katherine and Paul and would not have changed a single thing, with the exception I should have invented and worn cottonball shoes (my feet are covered in blisters from all the walking) and I wish Katherine would have caught me slappin that dudes ass on the subway on her phone. Other than that, it is bittersweet being home (mostly bitter) cause the weather sucks so badly I cannot even stand it. I missed my presses and Callie my pooch, and family yatta yatta,  and have a TON of tremendous material to get down on paper STAT.  
Thanks again NYC, see you soon.
Cookie by Barb Hildebrand at Cookies By Design