Denise Bosler Explains SURTEX

…manufacturers were actively seeking work. Many exhibiting illustrators made deals on the spot.”

Dinosuar Lunchbox for Frecklebox, art by Denise Bosler

Why illustrators should know SURTEX

Every May, hundreds of art directors descend upon New York City’s Jacob J. Javits Convention Center to seek out new talent and new artwork to help their business and products to remain competitive in the market. SURTEX gives illustrators a chance to promote their work to these top manufacturers from around the world. Now in its 24th year, SURTEX is the only show in North America that is solely devoted to selling and licensing original art.

Illustrators who make deals from SURTEX contacts can find their art appearing on anything from giftware, gift bags, wrapping paper, greeting cards and canvas wall art to backpacks, ceramics, bedding, toys, wallpaper and textiles.

In 2010, close to 300 illustrators displayed work that ranged from traditional to contemporary and everything in between. In terms of the industry attitude, manufacturers were overwhelmingly positive and actively seeking work. Many exhibiting illustrators made deals on the spot—an unusual occurrence in these economic times.

Denise Bosler's "Monster" gift bag for Garven, LLC

Of the many commercial opportunities available for illustrators, licensing is one that provides the unique ability to use, reuse and profit repeatedly from artwork. Illustrators typically earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a one-time use image to thousands of dollars from a lucrative royalty deal. The best part about licensing is that the illustrator still maintains the copyright to the artwork and maintains the right to license the work again and again to other manufacturers.

For more info on SURTEX and art licensing visit

-Denise Bosler

Denise Bosler, Professor of Communication Design at Kutztown University, is a licensed illustrator. Her work appears on gift bags, gift wrap, tins, plush, wall decals, lunchboxes, school supplies, stickers and Valentine cards. Visit her website to see more examples of her licensed artwork.

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