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326. No Fee: Ordinary Guru Project Contest

guru

In the international bestseller, And Then I Met Margaret, real estate entrepreneur  and founder of Mind Adventure, Inc. Rob White recounts 21 stories of personal transformation brought about by his encounters with everyday, ordinary, unassuming gurus who crossed his path over seven decades of living. These stories chronicle how “everyday, ordinary gurus” surround us and come into our lives when we need them most. The overwhelming response from readers who were eager to share their own stories and personal shift of perspective for “guru spotting” inspired Rob to found the “Ordinary Guru Project.” Now Rob invites you to share your own story of personal transformation with a chance to win $5,000 and become a published author in a book tentatively titled The Ordinary Guru Project.

We’re looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, cartoons, and poems about ordinary gurus. Ordinary gurus teach us what we  need to know in order to expand our view of ourselves and the world. These gurus aren’t just people— they can also be anything in nature that offers you an insight or life-lesson, perhaps a pet, a wild animal, or even a tree that helps you see yourself or life differently.

Whomever/whatever the ordinary guru, your story must embody a personal experience. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 1,200 words, and can be as short as a few sentences. Your story must be an original creation. It can detail a recent encounter or it may be related to an ordinary guru from your past. Additionally, we will need a 50-100 word bio. If your entry is selected for inclusion in The Ordinary Guru Project, your bio will be positioned directly after your story, so as to allow for maximize exposure of your blog, website, or previous publications and works.

We welcome and look forward to reading your tales of transformation!

PRIZES:

  • First Prize: $5,000
  • Second Prize: $2,500
  • Third Prize: $1,500.

SUBMISSION FEE: There is NO fee to enter.

TIMING: The contest will run from 12:00 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) on April 1, 2014 to 11:59 p.m. ET on August 31, 2014.

JUDGING: The contest will be judged by the team members of Mind Adventure, Inc.  Winners and finalists will be announced on or about October 1, 2014. All contest entrants who enter will be notified by email of the judges’ decisions, which are final. (See the Official Rules for details of judging and other aspects of the contest.)

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Authenticity & believability (33.3%)
  • Relevance to theme (33.3%)
  • Heartfelt feeling (33.3%)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE CONTEST!

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Competition, Contest, earn money, opportunity, Places to sumit, Win, writing Tagged: No fee Writing Contest, The Ordinary Guru Project

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327. Sunday Sketching -

Been SO busy... blogging has kind of fallen off the to-do list.

Here, however is today's sketching in the teeny purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....

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328. PRINTSOURCE 2014 - flyers

Tomorrow sees the opening of the Printsource trade show in New York when many top studios and designers will offer their latest portfolio prints to buyers. A few flyers for the show came into P&P so here are some names to look put for if you are attending the show. Starting with Paper & Cloth in booth A5 and as you can see below they have some fabulous new designs to showcase. Below : Jane

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329. Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

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330. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Open In 1st; Sequel Announced

Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" opened with an estimated $65 million in the United States.

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331. Comic: Writer Wish

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332. Sammy Davis Jr - The Candy Man (1972)

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333. Five Things I Learned From Doing NaNoWriMo

It’s been nine months since I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and wrote 50,000 words of a novel in under a month. It’s one thing to bask in the manic euphoria of pounding out 50,000 words like an intense sprint around a track. But it’s completely different thing to step back and look at what you’ve written and see if it’s worth anything. Yes, I braved reading my NaNoWriMo draft, and I’ve even begun to draft revisions. But what I’ve discovered in the post-NaNo-creation glow is pretty surprising…

First draft button

1) My First Draft Isn’t Shitty

First off, I’m not a fan of the term shitty first drafts. Yes, it was created to help us deal with our need for perfection in the first draft, but I also think it creates a cycle of negativity. The idea of telling ourselves our drafts are shitty, only reinforces the negative feelings we already fear about our work. Sure, a first draft may not be publishable, but honestly, I never think they’re shitty. However, if there was any instance where my theories on shitty first drafts would be overturned it would be NaNoWriMo … after all, I pumped out this draft in 2 ½ weeks. Only…

My NaNoWriMo Draft isn’t shitty!

Sure, it’s not polished gold, but there are so many important discoveries in it, explorations that led to new plot points, beautiful lines, sassy sections of dialogue, and even entire scenes that are good. Not scenes that are okay… but good!

My point is: we should trust our first drafts more. Trust the joy and the positive energy that can come from freeing yourself up and writing quickly. Trust the fact that you do know what you’re doing and your writing is better than you think it is!

female-empowerment2) Revisions are Empowering

Okay, so my first draft isn’t complete crap, but there’s still plenty of work to do. The second great discovery about writing a quick first draft is that when you approach revisions you immediately know what to do to make the book better. Revisions don’t become nail-biting, hair-pulling, exercises in frustration. Instead, revision become empowering!

For me, it can be the despair, the sense that I don’t know what to do, that makes writing so hard. But revising this novel has been invigorating and fun. There’s power and purpose in sitting down with raw material and knowing exactly what to do to shape it. It helps me to see how much I already know about crafting good stories, and that I’m able to do it with intention.  

old chronometer3) It Doesn’t Take as Long as I Think to Write a Novel

Looking back at my NaNoWriMo time sheets, I’ve discovered that I spent an average of 1½ hours writing per day. Yes, there were a few days where I put in 3 to 4 hours in a sitting. But mostly it was 1 ½ hours a day. As I’ve moved on to revision, I’ve also put in an average of 1 1/2 hours per day. By keeping a time sheet I’ve started to see how much I can accomplish in a short amount of time. In fact, I haven’t even put in a full month’s worth of work into this novel yet!

One of our big struggles with writing is finding the time to get it done. But I’ve been floored to discover how much I can accomplish with only 1 ½ hours a day! I bet most of you could find 1 or 2 hours in your day to write.

no_plan_road_sign4) Scenes That Went Nowhere…

Not every section of my NaNoWriMo draft works. But, I discoverd a pattern to the pages that fell flat or went nowhere. These scenes were searching for direction, and without it they floundered.

In my pre-planning stages I outlined and created scene-cards for the scenes I knew existed. I did, however, leave a few blank. I made the excuse that I’d figure it out later, while writing. It turns out that every scene I promised to figure out later on, didn’t go anywhere. Sometimes I’d know the general action of a scene, but the things that really killed my momentum were not knowing what my character wanted in the scene, or what his or her emotional change would be. All the scenes with a clear character goal and emotional change came alive on the page. Perhaps this is the through line I needed to guide me while writing really fast.

blinders5) Everything You Think You Know is Wrong! Or… Don’t Put On Writing Blinders.

I was certain that NaNoWriMo was going to be a huge failure. I had some snobby ideas about how a novel should be written. I was certain those participating in NaNoWriMo were wasting their time. But boy was I wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

I don’t think I will write every novel in my future this way. But I do think it will be a great way to write some of them. But man, if I’d stayed in my stuffy singular way of looking at things, I would have never discovered this amazing tool and these important lessons.

So get out there and try new things with your writing. Try things you’re certain will not work. Allow yourself to fail. We never know what will work until we put it into practice and give it a whirl.

What Did You Learn from NaNoWriMo?

Did anyone else participate in NaNoWriMo this year? Have you re-read your work? Started revisions? What discoveries have you made?


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334. Blade Runner VK Test on Leon

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335. Five Things I Learned From Doing NaNoWriMo

It’s been nine months since I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and wrote 50,000 words of a novel in under a month. It’s one thing to bask in the manic euphoria of pounding out 50,000 words like an intense sprint around a track. But it’s completely different thing to step back and look at what you’ve written and see if it’s worth anything. Yes, I braved reading my NaNoWriMo draft, and I’ve even begun to draft revisions. But what I’ve discovered in the post-NaNo-creation glow is pretty surprising…

First draft button

1) My First Draft Isn’t Shitty

First off, I’m not a fan of the term shitty first drafts. Yes, it was created to help us deal with our need for perfection in the first draft, but I also think it creates a cycle of negativity. The idea of telling ourselves our drafts are shitty, only reinforces the negative feelings we already fear about our work. Sure, a first draft may not be publishable, but honestly, I never think they’re shitty. However, if there was any instance where my theories on shitty first drafts would be overturned it would be NaNoWriMo … after all, I pumped out this draft in 2 ½ weeks. Only…

My NaNoWriMo Draft isn’t shitty!

Sure, it’s not polished gold, but there are so many important discoveries in it, explorations that led to new plot points, beautiful lines, sassy sections of dialogue, and even entire scenes that are good. Not scenes that are okay… but good!

My point is: we should trust our first drafts more. Trust the joy and the positive energy that can come from freeing yourself up and writing quickly. Trust the fact that you do know what you’re doing and your writing is better than you think it is!

female-empowerment2) Revisions are Empowering

Okay, so my first draft isn’t complete crap, but there’s still plenty of work to do. The second great discovery about writing a quick first draft is that when you approach revisions you immediately know what to do to make the book better. Revisions don’t become nail-biting, hair-pulling, exercises in frustration. Instead, revision become empowering!

For me, it can be the despair, the sense that I don’t know what to do, that makes writing so hard. But revising this novel has been invigorating and fun. There’s power and purpose in sitting down with raw material and knowing exactly what to do to shape it. It helps me to see how much I already know about crafting good stories, and that I’m able to do it with intention.  

old chronometer3) It Doesn’t Take as Long as I Think to Write a Novel

Looking back at my NaNoWriMo time sheets, I’ve discovered that I spent an average of 1½ hours writing per day. Yes, there were a few days where I put in 3 to 4 hours in a sitting. But mostly it was 1 ½ hours a day. As I’ve moved on to revision, I’ve also put in an average of 1 1/2 hours per day. By keeping a time sheet I’ve started to see how much I can accomplish in a short amount of time. In fact, I haven’t even put in a full month’s worth of work into this novel yet!

One of our big struggles with writing is finding the time to get it done. But I’ve been floored to discover how much I can accomplish with only 1 ½ hours a day! I bet most of you could find 1 or 2 hours in your day to write.

no_plan_road_sign4) Scenes That Went Nowhere…

Not every section of my NaNoWriMo draft works. But, I discoverd a pattern to the pages that fell flat or went nowhere. These scenes were searching for direction, and without it they floundered.

In my pre-planning stages I outlined and created scene-cards for the scenes I knew existed. I did, however, leave a few blank. I made the excuse that I’d figure it out later, while writing. It turns out that every scene I promised to figure out later on, didn’t go anywhere. Sometimes I’d know the general action of a scene, but the things that really killed my momentum were not knowing what my character wanted in the scene, or what his or her emotional change would be. All the scenes with a clear character goal and emotional change came alive on the page. Perhaps this is the through line I needed to guide me while writing really fast.

blinders5) Everything You Think You Know is Wrong! Or… Don’t Put On Writing Blinders.

I was certain that NaNoWriMo was going to be a huge failure. I had some snobby ideas about how a novel should be written. I was certain those participating in NaNoWriMo were wasting their time. But boy was I wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

I don’t think I will write every novel in my future this way. But I do think it will be a great way to write some of them. But man, if I’d stayed in my stuffy singular way of looking at things, I would have never discovered this amazing tool and these important lessons.

So get out there and try new things with your writing. Try things you’re certain will not work. Allow yourself to fail. We never know what will work until we put it into practice and give it a whirl.

What Did You Learn from NaNoWriMo?

Did anyone else participate in NaNoWriMo this year? Have you re-read your work? Started revisions? What discoveries have you made?


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336. Comment on Promo Postcard 101- making your piece a Pin-up! by mollyidle

Hi Tomas,
I recommend sending cards quarterly. But I have never tried sending promo cards via email, unless the publisher specifically asks for electronic sample submissions, so I can't speak to the difference/numbers of responses in email vs. print.

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337. A is for Articles

Here is your Monday dose of P is for Pirate—available in bookstores everywhere by Eve Bunting from Sleeping Bear Press.

The Articles were the pirates’ ethical guidelines which set out rules for behavior & working conditions aboard ship. New crew members signed them before becoming part of the ship’s company. Did you know that the pirate captain was elected—and could be voted out if he didn’t meet the crew’s expectations?

Pirates who couldn’t read or write made an X at the bottom of the contract and a clerk would write next to it, “John Manders (or whatever the sailor’s name was), his mark.”

sketch color sketch Painting in progress… IMGP1532 IMGP1533 IMGP1610 IMGP1611 IMGP1612 IMGP1613 IMGP1614 IMGP1615 IMGP1616 IMGP1617 IMGP1618

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338. Leaving Harborview on Monday...



I'm leaving Harborview Medical Hospital (aka Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane) on Monday after I go to court.  THe psycho theRAPISTS here seem to think i need to be classified as a less prestrictive outpatient.  Little do they know that I AM AN INNOCENT MAN with NO ARREST RECORD and no history of assaults or theft.  I know i know...I'm lucky not to be in King County Jail again. I am also lucky to have been seeing a reknowned psychologist for the last three years (John Whitehead) who specialises in helping people with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (a very misunderstood condition).  I'm very happy to have him as a friend because I HAVE BEEN ABUSED by my BIRTH PARENTS and PSYCHO-RAPISTS ALL MY FUCKING LIFE (INCLUDING THE SEATTLE POPO).  In less than 24 hours I will be a FREE BITCH and I WILL HAVE NO GUILT. FLY FLY FLY...FLY FLY FLY...FLY FLY FLY.
Since I have little friends in the neighborhood I will probably throw myself a party.

PARTY SUPPLIES INCLUDE:

KOMBUCHA
CAMEL CIGARETTES
BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE JOINTS
HOT DOGS
SLURPEE
i WANT TO WATCH MALTESE FALCON,  GODFATHER PT II, and more movies i cant think of.

UPDATES WILL BE POSTED TOMORROW:...AS NEEDED but for tonight I want to keep my SUPERGENIUS BRAIN SUPERCOOOL AS A CUCUMBER. STEADY AS A ROCK. ALso I have one NURSE who definitely qualifies as having Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy.




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339. there is a riot going on


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340. A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963

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341. Embracing Discomfort: True rewards are only met when you’ve been pushed

Running is all about dealing with discomfort. It teaches us that we are capable of handling more discomfort than we think and it always increases our tolerance for pain discomfort.

Running strengthens us and skews our perception of just what is uncomfortable.
running motivation art
A non-runner complains about a stomach ache, a runner doesn’t start complaining until they are projectile vomiting. But the reason that runner’s complaining is probably because it’s in the middle of a long run and they NEED to keep that gel/drink down because they need the energy, not because it hurts. ;)

Pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is the only way to keep growing as a person, as an athlete, as a runner. In FORCING yourself to push, you’re setting yourself up to achieve more. The beautiful thing is that whether you wind up hitting XXX goal or not (if there’s not the danger of failing then you’re not setting high enough goals!) you’ll no doubt have improved in some way. You’ll have made progress.

The journey to progress is just as important as the end results.

Now I said it was a beautiful thing, fancy that, discomfort being beautiful. It may yield beauty but living through it is hard, painful, grueling at times.

Discomfort tests us. But when you open yourself UP to that feeling of discomfort you’ll discover that it DOES get easier. And you’ll be inching your threshold to withstand discomfort ever forward.

Running teaches us so much about life, and one of the strongest lessons is that, yes, we are much more resilient and tough than our minds want us to believe.

running motivational art
It’s a coping mechanism, our brains don’t really like feeling uncomfortable. So we have to just trick it, PUSH, and force it to keep going.

Pushing yourself to step outside your comfort level in running can be achieve in a myriad of ways outside of hard workouts. Test your range and set your sights on a short and fast 5k instead of a marathon. Improve your flexibility and REALLY start stretching, build your neuromuscular system to be more responsive and reactive with drills. All of the above may leave you feeling awkward, out of place, frustrated even…but that’s good. Stick with it and eventually things will get less uncomfortable.

You’ll wind up getting faster and becoming a more balance, performance-driven runner.

Apply that to life. Learn a new skill, be prepared to feel like a total idiot at first and BE OKAY with it. A runner’s natural tendency is to want to be the best, but you have to start somewhere. Be CONFIDENT enough to accept you very well may suck, and be SECURE enough to ask for help. Ask others to teach you. Then learn.

Finally, life and running will test you in ways you didn’t actively seek out. You’ll be pushED rather than be the one pushing. That’s scarier because you feel out of control on top of it. But you know what, discomfort is discomfort and the same rules apply.

Know that you are stronger than you are wont to believe. Embrace the discomfort and keep moving forward. You will survive, progress will come.

And at the end of the day you have the peace of mind in knowing, “I can handle it, I’m a runner for crying out loud!”

I challenge you: How will you step out of your comfort level?

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342. Simon & Schuster's Behind the Book video series

S&S has created an interesting series of videos called Behind the Book, of editors discussing the books they've worked on, because...

"Apart from the author, nobody knows a book as well as its editor, and our Behind the Book videos will share with readers some of the inside information and in-house perspective on a book's path to publication," Ellie Hirschhorn, executive v-p, chief digital officer of S&S, said.
     They're short glimpses behind the scenes - fascinating! I especially liked:
Behind the Book: Lynn Cullen's Mrs. Poe
Behind the Book: The Summer Wind - an actual discussion between the author and editor
     You may also want to check out the video commentaries by the authors, such as Terra Elan McVoy on IN DEEP (which I'll be featuring soon).

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343. Sammy Davis Jr. - The Candy Man (1972)

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344. quick life sketch

​soft pastel - 40x60 cm aprox​

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345. Voight Kampf Test

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346. Typographer & Font Designer Drew Melton

Ok, I’ll save you the spiel about how deeply I’ve fallen in love with typography and lettering, as that should be fairly obvious by now. Drew Melton‘s work essentially speaks for itself. His deeply expressive fonts and lettering demonstrate the importance of hand-drawing into the design process. Even in the sharpest, finalized versions of his work, you’ll a spontaneity that’s unmistakably fun and energetic.

Drew is an L.A.-based graphic designer and typographer who’s worked with clients like McCann, Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Penguin Books. He’s had quite the interesting journey to success in the lettering realm, some of which is marked by serious self-reflection and the ability to remain humble.

One of the things that hurled him into the design spotlight was his Phraseology project, started with a few other designers and developers in 2011. Very similar to Erik Marinovich’sFriends of Type blog, Phraseology offers the public a chance to submit any word or phrase to be designed by members of the team. Soon enough, Drew was being commissioned for some big-time typography work by notable clients.

Unfortunately, with that exciting attention also came some consequences. As much as I admire Drew’s hand at lettering, I might be even more enamored with his grace and honesty about his past mistakes.

In January 2013, Drew bravely posted a public apology on his blog to several typographic designers, including Jessica Hische, Jon Contino, Dana Tanamachi, and Darren Booth, for drawing inspiration from their styles in ways that were not entirely “okay.” He spoke openly about his guilt and sadness at realizing that his creative process had been built too closely upon the examples of his heroes, and that his heroes were now upset with him.

The topic of creative originality is probably one of the most sensitive. It’s something that is constantly under debate and argued by strong opinions. I’m a strong believer that nothing is purely unique, especially in this day and age. It’s the nature of craft and evolution to build upon an existing idea. But in an age when visual information is so widely accessible, when an illustrator or designer can essentially educate themselves by opening their web browser–it’s up to the creative to draw the line between inspiration and imitation.

It’s a testament to Drew’s work ethic and passion for the art of typography that he was still able to gain success after this admission. Even while he struggled to define his style in the beginnings of his career, it’s clear that he’s succeeded.

Drew is now focusing on font development in addition to personal design and typography. Some of my favorite fonts of his are LastraHandsome, and Magnifique.

I highly recommend Drew’s interview with the Australian Graphic Supply Company (a previous Art Crush feature), as well as his feature (along with this wife, stylist and co-creative Kelsey Zahn) on Rverie. Follow along with Drew here:

Website Blog Twitter Dribbble

 

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347. "Watercolor in the Wild" releases today



Today is the release of my new instructional video called "Watercolor in the Wild." (link to watch on YouTube.)

Dan Dos Santos just reviewed the DVD on the blog "Muddy Colors." He says: "Gurney is an experienced teacher and you can really see that come through here. He is thoughtful and informative, while being very brief and succinct. It's a great companion to his previous DVD 'How I Paint Dinosaurs'."

You can get the video as an HD download or a DVD at the following locations:

HD mp4 download for credit card customers 
$15.00. Available from Gumroad at Gum.com/watercolor

HD mp4 download for Paypal customers 
$14.99. Available from Sellfy at sellfy.com/p/Pvxb/ or use this button: buy

DVD (NTSC, region 1 coded) 
It contains an exclusive slide show of additional sketchbook pages. It's available direct from the manufacturer Kunaki at this link.  
$28.80 today only, priced 10% off its normal price of $32.00, and shipped anywhere in the world for less than $5.00 additional.

Timing: Watercolor in Wild Download
00:00 Intro and Materials
10:12 Basic Techniques and Procedures
15:55 Greenhouse
21:23 Tortoise
26:43 Miniature Horse
40:46 Carriage House
49:52 Civil War Portrait
55:03 Churchyard
Throughout the week, I'll share sample clips totalling about 1/4 of the content.

Tomorrow on the blog, I'll share a detailed survey of 'Watercolor in the Wild' Materials.

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348. Sammy Davis Jnr The Candy Man

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349. TEXTILES - victoria & abigail

Friends Abi & Vicky are two long time friends who have opened an online store called Victoria & Abigail specialising in home wares, accessories , and stationery from small independent designers. They work with a number of textile designers from South Africa including Indigi (above & below), illustrator and designer Jesse Breytenbach and Skinny LaMinx aka Heather Moore, who is well known to most

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350. DESIGNERS - studio kelkka

Studio Kelkka are a Finnish print & surface design group who will be exhibiting at PrintSource in New York for the first time tomorrow. Their  Scandinavian fresh, beautiful and fun designs have spread all around the world through numerous international companies such as Ikea. For their first appearance in NYC they will present a new collection that "Springs from the strong presence of Nordic

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