In about a week, I’ll be sharing what I know about creating color charts and schematics in Adobe Illustrator at TNNA in Columbus, OH. While it feels odd preparing a class without sticks and string in my hands, it’s also been exciting since I love playing with software too!
Twice a year, needle arts professionals gather to learn, network and transact business at trade shows sponsored by The National Needlearts Association (TNNA). Store owners meet with companies selling yarn, canvases, bags, books, magazines, tools, and myriad other products, placing orders for their shops. Classes on both technique and business topics help attendees up their game, both in services to their customers and the very way they run their business.
And everywhere, in classrooms, hallways, show floor aisles, and hotel lobbies, there is the opportunity to “network.” To talk to others in this crazy industry, sharing problems, solutions, and ideas. To broaden our horizons, see other perspectives, and make connections with other people, both like and unlike ourselves.
As an instructor/designer/editor/jack-of-all-trades, my profile is not typical of most attendees. Most folks’ business is substantially different from my own. But every time I go, every time I gather my pennies for the airfare and hotel, I remind myself how that investment has paid off: skills added directly through classes taken; borrowed business methods, adapted to my situation; connections, for immediate or future work, both as contractor and contractee; and last but not least, an intangible awareness of the industry gained merely by being around so many others in it. I can’t get that from my home office!
If you’re a needle arts professional, or someone whose business caters to the industry, I’d highly recommend a) attending a show and b) becoming a member. If your business doesn’t fall into the retail or wholesale category, consider becoming an affiliate member. My affiliate membership more than pays for itself, eventually if not immediately!
If you’re going to TNNA, there’s still room in both classes, though you’ll have to register on-site. There’s homework for both classes: just enough to get you familiar with the basics of the program.
Links to homework