An artists’ co-op

Field Trip is a New York-based pattern and illustration event that brings artists and clients together in a fun and informal way each year. Here, surface pattern designer Elizabeth Olwen tells us more about the event she co-founded and takes part in.

“Field Trip was started three years ago by myself and a small, diverse group of other established and talented artists. Since then, we have seen our little seed of an idea grow, and this year it finally feels like it is in full bloom. I can really sense the interest in the event increasing and it’s something I’m so proud to be a part of.

Our reason for starting this event was to offer something different from the trade show norms. We wanted to show our work in a more curated and intimate setting, where artists and clients could relax and really enjoy the experience of engaging with one another. It was an immediate hit and has led to lots of exciting collaborations with leading retailers.

This year’s edition takes place on Monday, May 21 in a beautiful, light-filled loft, just a stone’s throw from the Javits Center, which is hosting other Design Week events. Our setting and informal vibe—where our guests can browse through new artwork and discuss possible projects while enjoying cocktails, nibbles and music—is a far cry from the ‘typical’ trade show setting of fluorescent lights, concrete floors and recycled air. I love that the environment makes it feel like you’re just socializing and meeting people who are as interested in art and illustration as much as you are.

What I think makes Field Trip extra special is that it was conceived by artists and is entirely organized by the artists participating. We are all entrepreneurs in our own right and, as the idea was ours, we feel we are the best people to bring it to life. The collaboration between us is something that I truly treasure. As mostly solo artists, that connection is so special.

I’m really excited for this year’s show, which as well as myself, includes the following artists:  Ampersand Design StudioBikini Sous La PluieCarolyn SuzukiKelly VenturaNotteneSuzy UltmanJillian PhillipsSara Boccaccini MeadowsVictoria Johnson and Monika Forsberg. It’s a trade-only event, and attendance is by invitation only. If you would like to find out more about Field Trip, you can do so via our website. And if you are an Art Director, Buyer, or potential collaborator interested in attending, please request an invite here.