I’ve just returned from a four state tour in the USA, visiting and carrying out live art events at some of my key retail stockists in New York State, Philadelphia, Illinois and Wisconsin. My journey first took me to upstate New York and the astoundingly beautiful campus of Cornell University. With the golden leaves of Fall, it shone. I created art based on my best selling gift and homeware ranges, celebrating campus culture as well as the iconic landmarks of Cornell and nearby Ithaca.
A pitstop in Syracuse University enabled me to catch up with the team that I collaborate with to create the art that champions the big “S”. It’s wonderful to walk around a city or campus for the first time and see the buildings and landmarks that I have previously drawn and only seen online. I love the dark blue and orange colourway of Syracuse … a joy to draw!
Onwards to Chicago, to meet with the wonderful team at my licensee Neil Enterprises and tour their factory. We have collaborated on over 350 artworks, which they have turned into best-selling souvenirs at universities, colleges and resorts across America, enabling students to deepen their connection with their alma mater.
A drive to Madison took me to another live art event at the University of Wisconsin, where I discovered the local delicacy of cheese curds and met lots of super fans of my work, who received a signed print as a gift with purchase.
Finally, a flight and stopover in Philadelphia and onwards and upwards to Hershey’s Chocolate World. Not only did I create a live art, detailing many of the activities and sights at the most visited tourist attraction in America, but I got to take part in several, including making my own chocolate bar :-)
What really landed however, was something that I hadn't quite understood when I first drew my artwork of Hershey’s: the generosity and legacy of its founder, Milton Hershey. Despite several previous business failures, he persisted as an entrepreneur and succeeded in creating one of the world’s most successful confectionary brands. Unable to have children, together with his wife, he donated all of his fortune to create an independent care and educational system based in Hershey. His legacy has provided a good school education a home and scholarships for two thousand children every year, taking them out of poverty and abuse. I have therefore made Mr Milton Hershey, the focus of my live art, celebrating his achievement not just as an entrepreneur who overcame adversity, but more importantly, as the inspiring philanthropist he became.
Next live art tour ... California - January 2023 :-)