The Warriors
by Rebecca Slaton

I know about calamity. And from my Facebook feed and other social media, many of you do as well. There seems to be many in our little artist community battling a serious illness or dealing with the loss of a loved one from family members to beloved pets. I’ve read your messages about business struggles. While I appreciate the prayer emoji, I long to see more of the smiley faces.  We must be due for better news. Doesn’t hardship have an expiration date?  

Then the heavens opened and flooded the lives of our friends. My heart is over whelmed with the suffering of all so my story is for anyone trying to make it out of a storm-the rising waters or the ones of misfortune.  But I must tell you that I have a special affection for the finishers in Houston. You see, The Bayou City Artisans are tied in the most generous way possible to the time I thought I’d lost everything. So this one is especially for you.

I’m a talker. And a loud one. The only time I didn’t know what to say was when the doctor told me that Bruce had 7 months to live. I didn’t say anything to him and I didn’t say anything to Bruce either.  You see, to find his tumor, they put in a tiny camera with a pincer, guiding it between his ribs and taking a piece of his lung right below his heart. He was seriously ill and I, well, I was numb. As he lay in the ICU that night something woke him up. Bruce told me he saw a faceless figure dressed in black sitting near his bed. This visitor scared him so much that he closed his eyes, hoping it would go away. When he finally opened his eyes because he felt me leaning into him. I whispered, “stay” And the figure was gone.  Now I was not there but he will not be shaken in this story. It’s when he choose optimism and I decided instead of yelling, I would learn to whisper. 

You start to realize that your life will not be the same after a tragedy but you will rebuild it. The first word you learn to whisper is “believe” whether it’s in yourself or others.  When you are tired and want to give up, “Fight” comes in handy.  “Courage” for all the times you need to be strong for someone else and “Hope” as you need to be strong for yourself. 

Our friend Anna gave me a bracelet that says “No-one Fight Alone” and this is true. Friends organized. They helped us adjust in the early treatment days and to prepare our home for sale.  People made donations- most from friends in the decorative arts community. One of the largest was from the Bayou City Artisans.  As I folded the note I was filled with gratitude and I whispered “Thank-you.”

Fate whispered to the warrior, 

“You can not withstand the storm.” 

And the Warrior whispered back, 

“I am the storm.”

Against the odds, we faced our adversity and made it 3 years. And now you, who are waiting for the water to recede, are the Warrior and our community is the army standing beside you. You are brave, strong and talented. You will not be beaten by this event because you will fight back. And when you are ready you will ask for our help. And we will whisper, “Yes.” 

Top 10 Favorite Things in My Career as a Decorative Artist
by Diane Williams

If I had to make a list of the top 10 favorite things in my career as a decorative artist, going to High Point Market ranks up at the top.  The High Point Furniture Market is held twice a year, in April and October and I am thrilled to be going this October in conjunction with our 2017 IDAL conference. I’m even more excited to introduce Market to those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to attend.  You are in for an “I can’t fit any more ideas in my head & I’m a tad bit overwhelmed” kind of experience.  Bring your best walking shoes, ever so stylish of course because you will be among 75,000 other design professionals. Bring your imagination and a notebook. I find myself jotting down so many notes about the ideas that pop into my head as I roam the isles of the showrooms knowing I won’t remember half of the ideas because there is something even more fantastic around the next corner. I always return home inspired, happy, and hungry for what’s to come in the world of interior design.

Take a few minutes to pre-register for your Market pass. You can register in person but the line may be long and you may forget a key item needed to register. I just don’t want you to miss a minute of Market because you are waiting in line.

There are 2 types of Market passes to choose from. You can register as a Buyer/Designer or an Industry Partner.  There is also an International Buyer/Designer designation for those of you traveling from a bit farther away.  Here is the link:

As a Buyer/Designer, you have the opportunity to take advantage of ‘to the trade pricing’.  Different showrooms have different opening order price points. An Industry Partner is more of a trade partner designation.  You may register as either one, the Buyer/Designer pass requires more credentials to obtain.

Here is what you need to know to decide which pass is best for you and to pre-register:

Industry Partner
Individuals who are in the furnishings and design trade, including factoring companies, manufacturers not exhibiting in High Point, trade association execs, advertising/marketing/public relations, consultants, companies providing services to High Point Market exhibitors, suppliers of fabric, springs, foam, furniture finishes, etc.

To pre-register, email on company letterhead a brief description of your business and reason for attending to Also include business cards for each attendee. To register on-site, please present your business card and identification upon arrival.

Buyers & Designers
To register as a buyer, you will need:

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Certificate and/or State Sales & Use Tax Certificate. Retail Business License or ASID, IDS, IIDA or AIA membership card accepted in lieu of tax documents. (For EIN information call 800.829.4933 or go to

Copy of business card for each attendee

Copy of current driver’s license or State Identification Card for each attendee

Click here to get started: and don’t forget about the member’s forum on the IDAL website to ask any questions.  

Here is a short  video put together by the High Point Market Authority that gives an overview of how the High Point Market works and how to get around.

I’m excited to experience High Point Market and IDAL 2017 with all of you!

What I Want to be When I Grow Up
Things I Learned from my Brother
(And a few from my sister, too)
by Aaron Wade Bailey

I crossed paths several times with Andy Wright, the man who would eventually become my brother-in-law, long before my sister did. During the late 90s to early 2000s, he was a make-up artist at Universal Studios in Orlando, where I was a performer, and we were a part of many of the same productions. More work acquaintances than friends at first (I seem to recall thinking he was a little weird), our relationship changed abruptly in 2003. After spending a year in Japan working at the Universal park in Osaka, I returned to Orlando to learn that the weirdo makeup artist was marrying my sister.

Since then I have come to love and appreciate Andy as much as I would if we were blood, and I constantly tell him that I want to be like him when I grow up. It's my attempt at expressing in a humorous way the level of admiration I have for how he has developed as a person in general, and as an artist and businessman, specifically. At first glance, a special effects makeup artist and a decorative artist don't have too much in common other than the “artist” bit of the title, but watching Andy grow his business from a small operation in a tiny garage to a nationally-respected brand inspires me, and his example is one I hope to follow.

It's one thing to see a success story in a movie, but it's another to watch a family member totally kick life in the butt. Here are a few of the things Andy does that allows him to kick so hard.

1. Find what you would do for free and do it. Money will follow.
I realize it sounds corny and cliché, and we've all heard it a million different times from songs, quotes, and signs you can buy at Kohl's, but it is absolutely true. Andy graduated with a degree in graphic design, but after seeing some examples of special effects makeup that a friend of his had done, he knew immediately that was what he wanted to do with his life. He eats, sleeps, and breathes makeup and art. I firmly believe that passion is the root of every bit of his success.

2. Be versatile.
This is something that really applies to decorative art. Just like Andy can do various types of makeup and create a myriad of molds and sculpts, I have found my business thrives on versatility. I like to bill Bailey Decorative Artists as a one-stop shop, and in fact, much of the work we get is through referrals from other artists who have requests that fall outside of their areas of expertise. Follow Andy's example and learn many disciplines.

3. Don't know something? Ask someone.
Andy is always researching new techniques and reading up on what other industry leaders are up to. He attends countless conventions, and keeps in contact with many other artists all over the globe. But what makes him awesome? He knows a lot—more than most—but his ego doesn't preclude him from admitting when he is lost. And when he has a problem, Andy does something remarkable. He asks for help. Simple, yes, but not always easy.

4. Know something someone else doesn't? Help them.
I've noticed a weird phenomena in decorative art, something Andy has run into in his line of work as well. Some people simply don't want to share their knowledge. Whether it's a certain technique or a specific product, there are a number of artists who guard the things they've learned (I assume out of fear of competition), and are reluctant to delve out nuggets of wisdom. Andy's philosophy is much like mine, and that of my mother and business partner: share. There is enough work out there for all of us, and that karma (if you believe in such a thing) can only come back around and reward you down the line.

5. Surround yourself with good people.
Andy was smart enough to find and hang on to my sister (who is literally the best person I have ever known), but he was also smart enough to know his company;s success hinged on hiring people just as passionate as he is. His shop is full of truly incredible people. As for me, my wife is my biggest fan. My mother and I work together well because our skill sets compliment each other. Andy taught me that the people around you are crucial to your success.

6. Keep trying new approaches.
Andy just recently traveled to a convention in Colorado, and rather than pack up the normal amount of prosthetics and whatnot, he opted to take mostly vacuum-form masks and see how it went. It went well. But bottom line is, he is not afraid of trying new things.

7. Establish a brand, promote it, and stick to it.
Andy began and built a very recognizable brand, specializing in (mostly) horror genre makeup and accessories. He wears his Morphstore T-shirts everywhere and, among folks in the industry, his logo is immediately familiar.

8. Know when to break the rules and re-brand.
Andy then realized that—although the horror genre was the bulk of his work—people were beginning to assume that was all he did. So, he began using his original LLC, Makeup and Creative Arts, so that he could stress other aspects of his business that catered to fantasy, science fiction, and other genres.

9. Don't sweat it, whatever “it” may be.
Upon returning from their aforementioned convention in Colorado, Andy and my sister found that their hot water heater had sprung a leak and half of their house was flooded. When I called my sister to research this article, I expressed my regret for their situation. She didn't hesitate before saying, “Oh, it's no big deal. We don't live in Texas. Those people have it way worse. You have to keep it all in perspective.” Like I said, best person ever.

Andy, my sister, my mother and father, and most of all my wife, along with countless others continue to inspire me...and that's the one thing with which I'd like to leave you.

Find someone, or a group of someones, who inspire and support you. Maybe those folks will be waiting for you in Greensboro at the upcoming IDAL convention, or maybe they already live under your roof. They may be a former rival, friend, or even your own children. But if you're working hard, and working inspired by and for others, you are already a success.

Keep grinding.

IDAL Conference Heads to Greensboro, N.C.

All are welcome to IDAL 2107 Convention! It all begins Oct. 17 through 22 at the Grandover Resort & Spa in the Greensboro-High Point metro area. Are you ready for hands-on learning, business growth planning, fun competitions, and networking? There’s an extra bonus: High Point Furniture Market, which is the largest home furnishings trade event in the world, will be back to back with IDAL 2017 offering all sorts of potential for decorative artisans and industry partners. 

Understanding trends can only benefit your business as clients see your efforts to keep them in the know, and our starting point of High Point Market delivers just that. Afterward, take your fresh ideas to the trowel or brush and create new and exciting samples for your portfolio.

Workshops full of gorgeous samples, product knowledge and business savvy, including Using Texture in New Ways; Glass Bead Bonanza; Chroma Karma; Verre Eglomise; V-Mask Foils & Vinyl Stencils; Creating Faux Marble; Wood Graining; Rustic and Reclaimed; Glitz, Glam & Glitter; Chinese Fakeout; NovaColor; Recipes for Success; How to Stencil Fabric Successfully; Niche Marketing; Alternative Revenue Streams for a Mature Market; and more are set up for you. Some are even FREE!

A highlight this year will be the “Designer Challenge” with cash prizes offered at the end. The contest will put artisans into teams that will use their combined skills to create the vision of their team leader, you guessed it, a designer! 

Rik Lazenby, your current IDAL president reports. “Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned our Vendor EXPO, Live Demonstrations, Philanthropic activities, Annual General Meeting, Cocktail Party, Silent Auction and other special fun events...”

The Expo area will be bustling with activities: Play with Products, Live Painting for Charity, Fauxto Booth, to name a few. After our “newbie” meetup we will be having a Game Night where the competition will be fierce! Please check out the daily schedule to see the full lineup.

If you haven’t registered, go to, where a complete listing of workshops, instructors, a schedule of events, and a “key” to your future success is waiting. In addition, you can follow IDAL on Facebook for up-to-date information on the convention and our members.

Let’s go!

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