When I was asked back to be a judge for the NYIGF "Blogger's Choice Awards" it was time to get my brave on. In 3 short hours I needed to scan the over 200 booths in Accent on Design, get to know the artist and then appear on video. I was looking for the little guy -- the starving artist. In a sea of flashy well designed booths and products, you would think it would be hard to find the new guy. In my opinion the new guy is usually easier to find. The new guy usually has a smile on their face, a sparkle in their eye and well a story to tell. Not just an elevator pitch, a real story. A story of how they got there and where they want to go. So when I walked into the American Design Club booth at the NYIGF I knew I had found the real deal. A bunch of storytellers. I spent some time in the booth getting to know the artists and knew that I had found my nomination. What made it harder is I found a bunch of real deals. I chose three artists to interview from the American Design Club.
My first interview was with Steph Mantis. What caught my eye with Steph's work was the intricate details of the animals butts and the humor in her art. She also just happen to grow up in New England.
Ian Collings jumped right in on this interview. He definitely knew how to give the camera love and had a passion for his work. I felt connected to Ian and his partner Gregory Buntain's art work because it struck a cord with my inner youth and memories of girl scout camp.
Emily Rothschild got my vote for "Blogger's Choice Award". I initially was draw in by her colorful key pendants but as her story unfolded the USB Locket got my attention. I thought how useful, thoughtful, and cool. To top it off, I later received the nicest thank you note from Emily.
I was glad I got to highlight three new artists. What I really wanted to do was pick the entire booth and encourage them to continue to invent, craft, create interesting and thoughtful works and never tire of telling their story.
This was my second time being a judge at the New York International Gift Fair's "Blogger's Choice Awards." To see what I chose last year, you can check out this post.