News - New Products?

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Currently I sell hand printed note cards at local shows only. I am wondering if I should be adding these to my online offering?! Is this something you'd like to see?

I'd love to offer a wider variety of my pattern designs. Block/screen printing multiple colors is always not practical hence these new patterns would be digitally printed. There is a greater upfront investment on my end (which I am totally on board with) however I question if there is enough interest to go down that road...I'd love to hear your comments!

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News - August Screen Saver Collection

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Where did the month go?! As July is winding down, there is still time to enjoy another month of clear blue skies and beach time!

This new pattern is from my travel collection- Geometric designs were everywhere both in Spain and Morocco and were commonly featured on walls, sidewalks, table tops...pretty much everywhere! Follow the links below for your FREE screen saver collection which will include a desktop calendar as well as a smart phone background. 

Click HERE to download the desktop calendar

Click HERE to download the smart phone background

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News - Feature in Little U!

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Did you know I have a feature/mention in the new publication by UPPERCASE magazine. It’s an adorable book filled with a variety of maker stories called Little U.

There are loads of beautiful images to accompany each story. The publisher describes it as an “occasional magazine for the young at heart” My story can be found in the readers section where I share a fond memory from my childhood as it relates to a favorite art supply- in my case crayons!

Little U is not just for kids - it explores making, designing, illustrating and living creatively with children. Highlighted throughout the pages are various illustrated books, surface pattern design, clothing and product design for young folk, as well as arts/crafts inspired by and/or made for children.
 

News - July Screen Saver Collection

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Woot! Woot! Here's to summer time fun and what's more fun than bananas! Fun Fact - Did you know bananas float in water? Yup so do apples and watermelons.

This new pattern is from my travel collection- the courtyard where we stayed in Morocco was filled with fruit trees, including a banana tree! Every month I will publish a FREE screen saver collection which will include a desktop calendar as well as a smart phone background. 

Click HERE to download the desktop calendar

Click HERE to download the smart phone background

Want to know what else has been happening? Below is a quick snapshot of the past month

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If you'd like to follow along and learn more about of what I have working on you can check out my feed on Instagram. You can follow Sarah B. HERE and Makers Tableau HERE

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News - June Screen Saver Collection

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Hello June! May was a busy month as I have been playing "catch up" after being away for so long. I've been super busy working behind the scenes with my partner getting our new business venture - Makers Tableau - off the ground. We have lots in store for you and will be rolling out new products, workshops and our show schedule over the coming months.

I'm excited to share a few patterns from a new collection inspired by my recent trip. Every month I will publish a FREE screen saver collection which will include a desktop calendar as well as a smart phone background. 

Click HERE to download the desktop calendar

Click HERE to download the smart phone background

Here's a peek into what's been happening the past month

If you'd like to follow along and learn more about of what we have been doing check us out on Instagram. You can follow Sarah B. HERE and Makers Tableau HERE

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News - Interview in Boston Voyager magazine

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Hey there...I was recently featured on Boston Voyager magazine. The editorial staff had reached out to me 5-6 weeks ago after finding me on Instagram (Yay!) They sent a list of questions regarding my background, my current art practice and business "Sarah B."  

Here's the link to the article or you can read the entire interview below. I hope you enjoy!


Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Bertochi.

Sarah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been creative, but it was not something I explored very much or even recognized in myself until much later in life. My journey to where I am today did not follow a traditional path. I did not go to art school. In fact, it never occurred to me that you could actually have a career making art. I come from a family of intellectuals, so it was just expected that I would go on to college and have a “business” career, which I did.

I enjoyed a long, successful outside sales career for almost 30 years. In that time, I worked quite a bit with architects and designers. I loved the tremendous energy and creative ideas which resulted from those interactions. It was for a very long time very satisfying work. At some point, however, I realized I wanted to “get my hand dirty” so to speak. I was no longer happy just watching others be creative, I needed to be the creative one.

I went back to school while working full-time and completed a graphic design program. It took about 2 years to finish school and at that point, I decided to retire from my sales career. I initially explored finding clients by doing more traditional branding/marketing projects. But honestly, I found the work boring and it felt too much like “work”. Around this time I discovered surface pattern design totally by accident. I took a Skillshare class by Bonnie Christine and loved it.

I knew almost immediately that I had discovered something which made me truly happy. So, began my journey in pattern design. I have been diligently working away on my pattern portfolio and have a list of dream clients who I am slowly but surely reaching out to in the hopes of one day landing a deal. I have had some measure of success but it’s a long, slow process. Every day, I learn something new and as long as it continues to make me smile I’ll keep plugging away at it.

Has it been a smooth road?
I took a leap of faith and have no regrets. I was very fortunate to have had a successful career that put me in a good position financially. I just felt that the timing was right. I now realize that I should have left my sales career 5 years prior, but I was too afraid. It took awhile to convince myself it was the right choice.

Now that I have been at it, I still have moments of doubt and wonder “how will I do this?” I do not question my decision to become an artist but rather question what to do next. “I do not know what I am doing” and “someone is going to find me out” are conversations I have with myself all the time.

My biggest challenges by far have been getting noticed and finding the right audience for my work. Sometimes it feels like I am swimming against the tide… there are so many talented artists. I just have to remind myself that their style is not my style and eventually I will find that special client who loves what I do. I’m patient, and since I am not working against a deadline, I will continue to prospect and reach out to art directors and buyers.

It’s super important to “find your tribe”. I know it sounds cliche, but a supportive community is huge. You cannot do it alone. I am very lucky to have a great team of loyal family and friends. They have supported my work and when I’ve needed it, have made introductions on my behalf that opened doors to new work.

Keep learning. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my skill set. I take as many classes as I can and read whatever I can get a hold of that will help move my work forward.

Find a mentor. This should be someone that is willing to share what they know and help push and motivate you. I was very fortunate to have connected with fellow surface pattern designer, Nicole Tamarin. She provided invaluable insight when I was just getting started and was a sounding board for many of the questions I had.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Sarah B. story. Tell us more about the business.
My art practice is divided into two slightly overlapping fields, I am a printmaker and I am a surface pattern designer.

As a printmaker, I block or screen print my designs, mostly on a fabric which I then cut and sew into small accessories, bags and table linens. I sell these products online or at local shows/fairs around New England.

As a pattern designer, I create original surface designs that are sold or licensed to larger brands. Those patterns are applied to a host of different products such as wallpaper, gift wrap, fabric, stationary and small gifts.

For both practices, my process initially starts out the same way. I begin with an overall theme I want to explore and do some research online about the subject matter. I then like to take my own photographs, or if that is not possible, find images which I can reference for inspiration. I love using Pinterest for this. While I will sketch out some rough ideas in pencil, most of my actual pattern work is done digitally. I work mostly in Illustrator and occasionally in Photoshop. I recently purchased an iPad Pro and I am loving what it has done for my workflow. It’s a huge time saver.

If I am not creating a pattern to license, but rather it is something I want to block or screen print, I will not work digitally at all. I work out the pattern repeat manually by test printing on paper. Only after I have worked out all the nuances of the design will I then print on fabric.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I have not experienced any barriers to my own growth as an artist because I am female. In fact, I find it to be just the opposite. The vast majority of other makers I meet at various shows and fairs are women like myself who have decided to be their own boss. I have found great support among the many small women business owners in my circle. Each wants to help support the other, not only is it the right thing to do but it helps us all as a community. When women stand together we are as a whole that much stronger.

Contact Info:

News - You Can Find Me Here....

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Here are a few schedule updates for the summer show season

May 20 SOWA, Boston, MA
June 9 the Profound Vintage Market, Lancaster, MA
June 10 the Profound Vintage Market, Lancaster, MA
July 8  New England Open Market, Central Flea, Cambridge, MA
July 22  SOWA, Boston, MA
August 26 New England Open Market, Central Flea, Cambridge, MA

Thank you so much for supporting my work! Hope to see you at a show - pop on over to my booth to say "Hi!"