Archive for September, 2018

Inspire & Spook With DecoArt Outdoor Living Paint

Friday, September 28th, 2018
    DecoArt, Inc.

It’s the most shudder-ful time of the year! With Halloween just around the corner, DecoArt has a range of products that will make your customers shudder with delight. Treat your customers to DecoArt’s Americana Decor Outdoor Living paint to make this selling season truly spooktacular. Durable and weather-resistant,  this paint does not require sanding, priming, or sealing. Outside spaces are being decorated as elaborately as interior rooms, especially during a holiday season. The addition of the DecoArt Outdoor Living line to your store makes it easy and affordable for all customers to transform any piece from daunting to happy haunting. It’s permanent and durable adhesion to concrete, terra cotta, masonry, wood, metal, plastic, glass, and more makes it one of the most versatile paint products on the market. Americana Decor Outdoor Living is an easy to use product for both indoor and outdoor projects.

Here’s a monster mash-up of Halloween projects to inspire your customers to purchase all the materials needed to create a boo-tiful front porch!

Don’t lose your “ghoul!” These 2-3 step projects are simple, even for the most novice craft customer.

Tip: Drive sales by providing your customers with our free downloadable project templates, located on each project page (Practical Potions and Witch’s Chair).

Practical Potions Sign

“Sit for a Spell” Witch’s Chair

Pack your porch with even more thrilling DecoArt projects. See below for even more coordinating ideas and bewitched inspiration for you and your customers!

Learn more step-by-step instructions via the DecoArt Project Gallery: make a Witch’s Brew, a Bubbling Cauldron, a Witch Hat or a Witch Silhouette!  

“Best Witches” from DecoArt, in all of your art adventures!

To purchase DecoArt Outdoor Living products, contact your MacPherson’s representative or shop online today!”

Reminder: Golden B-T-S Promotional Period

Friday, September 28th, 2018

A reminder from GOLDEN Artist Colors that the last date for additional promotional advertising is September 30, 2018! Please revert to the maximum 30% off beginning October 1st.

Paperwork People Actually Want

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager, MacPherson’s

This holiday season gift your customers with basic instructions for simple activities and projects for all ages. These Activity Sheets are especially helpful for aunts, uncles and grandparents who may be seeing their young family members for the only time this year. Plenty of easy DIY projects can be found online; all you have to do is assemble the desired items in-store in an easily shoppable layout, highlight that you have a FREE activity sheet, and provide an example of a finished project for reference. For the Holiday Season, going a little crafty is ok! Make sure to include your social media handles, website, and store hours and information on this handout so customers can connect and remember the value you added to their shopping experience.

Examples:

Kid’s Popsicle Stick Ornaments

  • Instructions like these, from the blog Fireflies and Mudpies, are available with a quick Google Search and provide ample inspiration to get you started creating your own project sheet.
  • Materials to highlight:
    • Acrylic paint or paint markers
    • Paint brushes
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Wood glue
    • Glitter/pompons
    • Scissors
    • Hemp/Twine

Photo from Francois et Moi

Shibori How-To

  • Indigo has been making a big comeback, and Shibori dyed fabrics are all the rage. Encourage your customers to try this trend by providing instructions on how to properly tie dish towels or flour sack towels to create the perfect patterns
  • Materials to highlight

Our New WMS is Going Live Oct. 8

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

WMS goes live in Reno as of October 8th, 2018!

We are excited for this new chapter and technological milestone in our company’s history. As you may know, last year we made the decision to upgrade our Warehouse Management System (WMS).  This is the largest technology investment in MacPherson’s history. WMS is the “brains” of our distribution centers that tracks inventory locations and determines how orders are processed and how freight is shipped. We are working with the leader in warehouse software platforms, Manhattan Associates, and our team has devoted hundreds of hours to configuring and testing the system to ensure successful implementation. This innovation strengthens our commitment to service excellence, and we are looking forward to sharing more updates with you.

To learn more, please visit the Announcements page of www.MacPhersonArt.com.

Retailer’s Choice: Next “Demo Days” Feature

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager, MacPherson’s

Last month we introduced a new feature called Demo Days, which outlines instructions and materials needed to create an in store demonstration or workshop.

Regular in-store activities help to foster a sense of community and make your store a destination spot for artists and hobbyists alike. Allowing your customers to participate in a hands-on activity that educates them on products and lets them leave your store with an item they are confident they can recreate. We’ve put together a list of demo ideas for 4th Quarter. Let us know which activity inspires you and we’ll outline how to do the most requested one in our next Demo Days feature. Want to see something that’s not on the list? E-mail us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com to let us know!

  • DIY wrapping paper – block printing on craft paper
  • Giant snowflakes with decorative papers.
  • Wintertime felt trees
  • Furniture antiquing techniques
  • Face painting for parents
  • Making your own calligraphy inks
  • Marbling glass ornaments
  • Oven Baked Clay – beads, ornaments, and more

The Wet Paint Way: 4 Strategies For Successful Social Media

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Wet Paint is an independently owned store in St. Paul, MN that is well known for their social media and marketing verve. They organize regular in-store events, classes, weekly newsletters, an interactive website, regular social media postings via Instagram, Facebook, a bit of Twitter and Google+ content as well as a blog on WordPress and videos via YouTube. They also maintain a steady flow of print materials. In short, they do a lot. This dynamic, multi-platform strategy is made possible by the dedicated Social Media and Marketing team: Kristina Fjellmen and Chris Nolt.

Clockwise from the left: Kristina Fjellmen, Chris Nolt, Darin Rinne, and Scott Fares

Kristina and Chris are both working artists with years of experience on the sales floor. Kristina works full time as the Marketing Manager. She recruited Chris to help with the social media about a year ago. With Chris focusing on social media, Kristina works full time on the website, email digest, print materials and marketing strategies. Chris spends 1 to 2 hours a day on social media as well as one full shift (8 hours) on content creation and curation each week. Both are artists in their own right: Chris is a mixed media artist, working with ink and watercolor for about 5 years; he also designs laser cut jewelry and has dabbled in music production, printmaking and writing methods. Kristina works with textile or fiber-based sculpture and installation and is also a theater artist. Both of them mention the Wet Paint community as a huge draw to working there. “I think we are pretty lucky to like our jobs,” Kristina notes. “I know that enthusiasm influences how we approach the marketing and social media work we do.”

While Wet Paint maintains a strong online presence, they haven’t neglected print materials. Many of their customers like to take home a pamphlet or schedules of events and classes or a catalog of sale items. The consistent production of schedules and catalogs in combination with a “steady drip” of digital content allows for a broad customer reach that respects a preference for paper while also engaging with click-happy millennials.

Breaking It Down

The following list is designed to be helpful for everyone, wherever your store falls on on the marketing and social media spectrum: from tentatively googling “Why do I need an Instagram?” to having a dedicated social media team.

1. Holy Trifecta: Products, Services & Real Life Interactions

Much of Wet Paint’s content touches one, two or all three points of this trifecta. Their posts showcase a product, clue the audience into an experiential opportunity and/or reference real life interactions with customers.

A weekly special called “Customer Questions” features real life in-store questions from customers with answers provided by a rotating list of staff members. These posts generate conversation and interest, as well as reminding their customers that they have an educated and trusted team of artists on staff. Other store-to-social connections are video demos of new products, favorite products, or products that people have lots of questions about. Conversations on the floor inspired Chris to create this video, which features the Wet Paint community while demystifying the pronunciation of a paint color:

When content stems from real life connections, relationships and interactions in the store, the bridge between the abstract, digital realm of the internet and your very real store strengthens. New followers and subscribers become customers.

2. Identify Your Voice (And Use It)

The bottom line: be authentic. The passion and commitment Chris and Kristina have for the community of artists and art enthusiasts who step into Wet Paint shows. Chris puts it well:

“Everything I post, I want to make it feel like it’s a conversation in the store. Straightforward, honest and casual. All of the staff here are working artists with a lot of character, and customers get attached to certain people. They’ll ask for them on the phone, they’ll come in on specific days when that person is there. I’m okay with adding child-like excitement to my copy, or talking about when something is adorable or cute. We had a whole post all about how cute Japanese pens are. Because they are! And people loved it.”

Wet Paint’s instagram is chock full of personality, character, silliness, artsiness and content that gets people pumped up about art supplies. To learn more about how to develop your store’s voice, here are some useful tips.

3. Save Time With A Little Tech

If you don’t have a dedicated team for social media, that’s okay. These strategies can be scaled down as needed based on what resources and time you do have. Try synching the social media platforms you use (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) with a social media management tool that “funnels” all your posts to the proper channels. These tools allow you to create multiple versions of a single post for all the platforms you use and post to all of them with just one click. Pre-schedule your posts for the week so that you are not thinking on the fly everyday—it will post automatically.

4. Consistent & Imperfect

Consistency is key. It doesn’t matter if you post four times a day on three different platforms or twice a week on one… just pick a method and stick with it. Let followers or subscribers know what to expect, and they’ll keep coming back for more. Being consistent means giving up perfection. You can waste time hesitating over language in an Instagram post, but it lasts about a minute on the internet. It may drive someone to click, come into the store or buy something but if you mess up, no one is harping on it. Think of your online presence as a growing portfolio. Practice makes progress!

…OK, Go!

Once you get a handle on your content, clarify the way you’d like to talk about it, set up a realistic system for posting and commit to a “just do it” attitude, you are ready. Whether you are dipping your toe into social media or looking to revamp your marketing strategies, these tactics can help you strengthen relationships, build new ones and get your products and services to the people. And, in line with the “Wet Paint Way,” try to have fun while doing it!

Best Practices: Plan Ahead For Holiday Merchandising

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager, MacPherson’s

The holiday season brings in customers beyond the everyday shopper, which is an exciting opportunity to connect and encourage repeat business from these “non-regulars” throughout the year. In reality, it is also the season where empowering customers to help themselves will keep sale opportunities moving through your retail space in a healthy flow. Early October is a great time to set-up a a semi-permanent featured items table or end-cap up in store to rotate through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays. Your regular customers may notice something new – and your new customers will see fun products at great prices.

October

Ah, Halloween, the season where a customer could ask for literally anything under the sun to create the perfect costume… The obvious requests for essentials like masks and face paint and glitter arise – but for creatives wanting to explore more advanced costume making techniques, consider featuring any of the following:

  • Mold making tools and supplies
  • Plastercraft
  • Styrofoam
  • Carving tools
  • Armature wire
  • Glues that adhere to multiple surfaces
  • Fabric paint and glue
  • Oven-bake clay
  • Beads and ANY craft supplies (buttons, sequins, rhinestones, findings, etc.)
  • Economy acrylic paints
  • Googly eyes
  • Tissue paper

Provide project ideas, images of how the products can be used, and share relevant YouTube videos on your social media pages. This a great time of year to educate curious customers on new materials and inspire them to try something out of their comfort zone at a great price.

Click here to revisit featured Halloween items on www.MacPhersonArt.com!

November

Holiday shopping begins!  You can leave a lot of your craft items from October on your features table here. In preparing for the holiday rush, start showing your customers how to make their own wrapping paper or placemats using a block printing techniques, how to create a handmade “hostess” gift, fold easy origami ornaments and the classic – homemade holiday cards. Consider featuring the following:

  • Craft supplies
  • Block printing tools and materials for printing on paper and fabric.
  • Craft paper rolls or white paper rolls
  • Hemp/twine/ribbon
  • Candle or soap making supplies (easy hostess gifts!)
  • Origami paper and other paper crafts
  • Card making supplies (see project ideas from Strathmore here)

This is also a good time to get store staff involved by writing notes about supplies they are “thankful for” and prominently posting them on displays. Start to set out some holiday sets as a preview for what’s to come.

December

Holiday Bonanza! It’s time to feature all those sets you brought in at great discounts for the holidays. Create signage to educate your customers on the differences between sets. Physically separate them into categories for “Child/Beginner,” “Hobbyist,” “Student” and “Professional.” Don’t forget to have a few sets open and ready to try with appropriate surfaces. Focus trending products under a sign: “Your Grandkids will LOVE….{Insert: marbling, alcohol markers, slime kits, or glitter gel pens}”. Put together a house kit for a trend like bullet journaling, with a creative staff-made examples! Other products to consider:

  • Fine paper/wrapping paper
  • Ribbons/twine/hemp (for wrapping and gift tags)
  • Gold and silver writing pens
  • Scrapbooking appliques and stickers
  • Blank cards (see top selling Strathmore cards on Page 25 in the Buyers guide)
  • Knives and blades
  • Tape (double sided and regular)
  • Glitter/glitter glue
  • How-to-calligraphy and hand lettering books
  • Paper mache figures
  • Origami paper
  • Ready made frames

Calling All Staff

Monday, September 24th, 2018

You may have noticed an uptick in posts these last few weeks. With support from your Account Managers and Category Managers, our Creative Services team is revamping and revitalizing Art Dog Blog! In addition to industry news and resources you’ve come to expect, some of the features we are introducing include Who’s Who, an opportunity to feature a member of your staff who is doing an incredible job, Best Practices, where we explore trends, merchandising hacks, demo ideas, and other in-store strategies and of course the Art Dog of the Month. Make sure to share Art Dog with all members of your team, because there is something for everyone.

Have someone on your team who might want to submit? Please send submissions to artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com.

Art Dog Of The Month: Q

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

 

We are pleased to feature a member of the Mac Fam for this month’s Art Dog! Q is Merchandise Manager Cathy Denny’s beloved pup. Possibly a Rottweiler of some kind, Q was in a high kill animal shelter earlier this year when Cathy and her husband discovered him. Q likes to sit in on team meetings, partake in distracting .GIFs (very silly mini-videos that loop constantly) and hang out under our desks.

Wicked Halloween Assortments

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Halloween is just around the corner, so don’t forget to check out this assortment of key Halloween items and seasonal goodies, perfect for a prominent display or end cap.

White pumpkin, marbled with black and white Marabu Easy Marble

Thumb Through Your Fall Buyer’s Guide

The Fall 2018 Buyer’s Guide is full of inspirational resources for the coming fall (check MacPhersonArt.com for a link to the current Buyer’s Guide and promotions). Try a fun fall demo so customers can see how easy it is to use some of these products, like the marbled pumpkin featured on page 61. Click here for a refresher of how to transform a pumpkin into festive decor – no carving required!

Who’s Who: MacPherson’s Jeanine “JD” Davids Celebrates 30 Years

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Introducing Who’s Who, a feature that showcases a member of our industry community who is doing an incredible job. If you would like to nominate someone for a Who’s Who feature, please email us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com with their name, position, company and a short description of why you would like to nominate them.

Jeanine (right) with her best friend “Bud.” This is the only picture Jeanine would let us use – if we wanted her, we get Bud too. Jeanine and Bud met in 1986 at Art Hardware in Boulder, Colorado (now Meininger’s) and became close friends; when Jeanine left for California to join MacPherson’s Bud followed shortly after, taking over Jeanine’s purchasing responsibilities when she went on maternity leave. Sadly, Bud passed away in January 2017 but their friendship is eternal.

Category Manager Jeanine Davids just celebrated her 30th anniversary with MacPherson’s. Jeanine is known around the office for her expertise, off the cuff sense of humor and willingness to innovate. We had to cap our talk at an hour, but we could have gone on all day! Jeanine started out as an assistant to the purchasing manager back in 1988 when the department consisted of two people; she moved on to become a Buyer, a Merchandise Analyst and now a Category Manager, where she handles the realm of paints, mediums, adhesives, brushes, storage, and printmaking supplies.

What initially inspired you to work within the art industry?

In high school I spent every possible moment in the art department so it was just logical for me to work in an art store.  I still remember the ad in the newspaper, Art supply store needs sales help. In August of 1979 I applied, had one interview and the rest is history. The store was on Long Island in Hempstead, NY., called Orange Front. It was actually a paint, wallpaper and window treatments store with the art supplies tucked into the back of the store.

What are some of the highlights of working at MacPherson’s?

My favorite experiences at MacPherson’s are related to NAMTA – I’ve always loved it because I like when a lot of people in the industry are experiencing the same thing at the same time. You get real time reactions from people – I like having the vendor-customer relationships at the tip of my fingers. It’s also great to see all of our hard work pay off!

What do you love most about your job?  

I love working on projects with people who are as engaged and invested in the outcome as I am.  In the 30 years I’ve been at MacPherson’s, that element has always been there. As long as I can contribute to something meaningful, I’m happy.

What keeps you engaged?

MacPherson’s is always changing. Always looking to do new things, increasing value to our retailers and vendors. We’ve never sat on our laurels. I always learn new things, and that is how we have gotten to where we are as a company. We are always asking that question: what can we do better. It’s never boring for me, because change excites me: what am I gonna learn now?

So, what kind of new things have you learned recently?

The concept of retailer engagement and how people connect with their customers. People have to turn a store into an experience and destination to give the customer a reason to walk in. Our department is embracing these terms with open arms…now when we look at a product, we think, how is it going to play out at the retail level? What about it is going to entice a retailer, or a consumer? This is different thinking than what we’ve done in the past, which is so fun.

What is your typical day like?

My typical day is a mish mosh – it all depends on what our department is working on. There is always a Buyer’s Guide in play. A ton of meetings with ideas, brainstorms, trends…I also process data from vendors, see what they are offering. Running alongside of that, we’re bringing in new products, planning a product launch, tracking down product information. And meeting deadlines because without deadlines we wouldn’t be civilized!

What is your team like?

Right now I’m working with the strongest team we’ve ever had in my thirty years here – and it’s 100% how Cathy Denny has brought us together. The way we work together, we are constantly collaborating and talking about projects. The transition of the Buyer’s Guide is a beacon of success, too. I would love to be a fly on the wall with the retailers and see how the they use the guide, how it helps them, what we can work on.

Are you involved in the arts in your free time?

I’m always artsy! My daughter is into art and I mat her artwork. I’m always working on something. Covering things with paper, customizing and personalizing anything and everything.

Do you have a motto or manifesto for your attitude towards work?

It’s the same for work as it is for my life: change we must to live again.

Word On The Street…She’s a Superstar!

“What comes first to my mind: Jeanine is a…

  • Vendor’s advocate and true partner who prioritizes supporting others,
  • Industry knowledge guru and proponent of change and innovation,
  • Dynamic personality entwined with a fantastic sense of humor
  • Team player with the desire to be the best that she can be.”
    -Cathy Denny, Merchandising Manager

“Jeanine’s unparalleled sense of humor and irreverence, combined with her vast knowledge and experience in this industry makes her my hero and an ART SUPERSTAR. Jeanine for President!”
– Hannah Reineck, Web Content Specialist

“In her 30+ years here Jeanine has seen it all and is always looking out for the best interests of MacPherson’s… She is also a charter member of the MacPherson’s in house band, “One Night Stand”.  Jeanine provides back up vocals as well as taking the occasional lead on a song like “Love Shack”. She designed the “One Night Stand” band logo which is prominently displayed on two large signs in our Emeryville office!”
-Jim Semitekol, Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer

The One Night Stand poster proudly on display in our Emeryville office.

Thank you Jeanine for all your hard work and dedication. The MacPherson’s family endorses JD 2020 all the way!

Colossal Creativity: Bring Art Into Your Store

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Staff member Abby Langley (they/them) creates larger than life sculptures of everyday art supplies for displays at Creative Coldsnow stores in Kansas City, MO and Overland Park, KS. Their recent creations include an XXXXL Posca marker and a gargantuan Gamblin paint tube; they got the idea for the larger than life sculptures at a staff meeting. “We were trying to think of ways to merchandise and advertise the new POSCA markers,” Abby recalled. “I was looking a marker one day and thought to myself, it would be fun to make a giant version.”

Abby is a sculptor, having graduated with a BFA Kansas City Art Institute; their preferred medium is glass, but they also use wood, metal and paint.  While they hadn’t worked with cardboard in years, they were excited to take on the challenge.

With a well thought out design, cardboard, paper and paint, Abby created a Posca marker 6 times the original size.

The sculptures are on display in both store locations, hanging from the ceiling above respective aisles, beckoning customers to find their miniatures in the shelves below. Next on the docket? An Angelus paint jar or a Golden Hi Flow bottle.

A  tube of Gamblin paint 7 times the original size (which now seems miniscule – we want more paint!)

Bringing art into stores has been on their mind since day one. “One of my first days, someone came in and was like, ‘Where is all the art?’ I looked around and realized we didn’t have much… Since I’ve been here I’ve tried to incorporate art into the displays.” Abby is not just contributing to imaginative displays – they are creating conversations. People stop in their tracks and want to know more about what the sculpture is, which product it is, what it can do. “People realize that the people who work here are artists themselves,” Abby explains. “We have knowledge and resources and they can ask us, learn from us, relate to us.”

The staff at Creative Coldsnow contributes collectively to the displays. There are two other artists on Abby’s team, Ron Wickersham and Bobby Haulotte. “Ron painted the arrow that’s paired with the posca marker, and they’ve both done individual projects for other products we carry.”

“Making displays is the part of my job that I enjoy most,” Abby explains. “It’s a way to use my creativity in a functional way. I like using my creative skills in a retail environment and have it make a difference.” And art in stores does make a difference – the POSCA marker in particular has had a positive impact on sales while launching the product.

There are so many ways to incorporate staff-made art into merchandising to generate interest and create conversations. Unconventional displays or community-specific artworks are a great way to strengthen the connection your customers have with your store and your team.

Do you have artistic displays in your store you’d like to share with us? A staff member whose artistry we can celebrate? Email us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com and show off your work.

 

A Letter From Opus Art Supplies

Monday, September 24th, 2018
David van Berckel, Opus Art Supplies

Opus is an independently-owned local business, supplying the visual arts community with art materials, digital printing, picture frames, art education, community support, and more. Founded in 1974, they have grown from a single location framing company to seven stores throughout BC and a Canada-wide mail order service for online & phone orders.

To our valued vendors,

I have known so many of you for decades while I managed to turn a small framing production workshop in Vancouver into a sizeable and important art supply business over the past 50 years or so. But time continues taking a toll on my body and mind and I have decided to pull back from the day-to-day operations of Opus Art Supplies and concentrate primarily on the unique things in the business that sustain my spirit. I am not going away, but I am stepping down as President to become Opus’ Chairperson. I plan to continue working three days a week and will still travel the world seeking new products, exploring innovative ideas and anything else that I bloody-well want to!

Similarly, but more definitively, Opus’ V.P. Scott Cronshaw has decided to step up the pace of his retirement by planning an exit from the company by December 31st of this year. Scott’s wife retired earlier this year and he is jealously resenting her worldwide travels, so it’s catch-up time for him. I would like to thank him for helping guide Opus’ success for the past 34 years.

Fortunately, Opus’ other long-term V.P., Simon Chow, plans to be with us for many years to come and is very much engaged in helping build the business along with a new, yet familiar, team to lead the operations of both Opus and its ‘sister’ wholesale company, Framers Choice.

The ‘new recruit’ in this whole plan has been an active management consultant with Opus over the past 22 years. Tom James will now be leading the company as the CEO/President. Tom has extensive experience in hands-on CEO-level positions and is a specialist in retail. We have some aggressive, but realistic, goals for Opus over the next 5+ years and I am confident that he is the best person to take Opus up to another level.

Supporting Tom on the retail side are a couple of familiar faces to all of you. Both Brian White (as Director of Sales & Marketing) and Susannah Blundell (as Director of Purchasing & Logistics) have earned their new roles and are responsible for the key day-to-day retail operations of Opus. Together, they have 45+ years of experience with Opus and know the business intimately. Opus has always valued promoting from within, and Susannah and Brian are perfect examples of that principle.

If we do not see you on a visit to Opus before the next Namta event in February, you will get an opportunity to meet Tom James there. Susannah, Brian, Scott and I will also be in San Antonio to introduce Tom to all of you in the industry.

Cheers!

David van Berckel

Please contact David at dvb (@) opusartsupplies.com with any comments or questions.

Sakura of America’s New Koi Creative Art Colors (CAC) Make a Splash!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

@SakuraofAmerica’s new Koi® CAC (Creative Art Colors) Watercolors are compact kits packed with unique colors and effects for one of a kind projects. Koi CAC is available in 12 and 24 color kits. Each cake set includes 4 metallics and 8 fluorescents. Learn more by searching the hashtags #SakuraKoi or #SakuraKoiCAC, and click here to find them on OEX.

Luxe Watercolors for Shimmer, Shine & Luminescence

Koi CAC are pocket sized with essential accessories for painting on the go. Create unique washes and blends with the metallic, fluorescent, and pearlescent paints; explore a whole new spectrum of stunning effects by mixing these Creative Art Colors with your traditional watercolor set.

The set of 24 features an additional 12 pearlescent colors exclusive to the set. The vibrant fluorescent hues are perfect for adding a pop of color that glows beautifully under a black light. The metallic and pearlescent shades are ideal for adding shimmer to your lettering, illustrations, comic characters and mixed media paintings. These special effects also work great on black paper.

Inktober For Everyone!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

In 2009, illustrator Jake Parker set out to challenge himself for the month of October: create a work of art in pen and ink each day, and share it online. He dubbed it with the catchy name “Inktober” and got to work. Nearly ten years later, tens of thousands of artists are a part of the Inktober community. 31 drawings in 31 days, all under the hashtag “#inktober,” the artwork spans from fantastical to realistic, lettering to abstract. As long as it’s ink, it qualifies. Each day of #Inktober has a corresponding prompt to tackle creative blocks; see the list here for inspiration.

Inktober in Your Store

While Inktober reminds professionals to loosen up and have fun with their craft, it also challenges beginners and enthusiasts to push themselves and improve. It is a great opportunity for you to engage with customers who use pen and ink or those who would like to challenge themselves in new ways. So what supplies are your customers craving?

We’ve compiled a list of supplies you can feature in September to get your community excited for October 1st! In addition to featuring ink related products, you can also host in store competitions, staff artwork or have a gallery showing in November featuring the work of local Inktober artists.

Collaboration

Jake Parker, the founder of Inktober, is professional illustrator who has helped build the Inktober community over the years. If you would like to use the Inktober logo for promotions, please connect with Jake directly. He is open to collaboration; run an idea by him if you’d like to go beyond an endcap or demo and do Inktober events, gallery openings and more. He also offers online classes if your customers are interested. Please contact him and tag him in social media posts with #inktober @jakeparker.

Beyond October…

Monthly challenges have gained popularity in recent years and are a great way to engage with customers or showcase specific products. Check out Dynovember, March of the Robots or Sketch a Day May to learn more about what future months hold!

Come To My Window: Create Innovative, Inviting Budget-Friendly Window Displays

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

While the upcoming holidays are a great incentive to create expressive, themed window displays, we think any time is a good time to step up your display game. Our Emeryville office is just down the street from a bustling quirky-chic shopping destination in Berkeley, CA. While our designers were hunting for inspiration this summer, they couldn’t help but notice the impact of window displays in this creative retail hub. Nearby stores whose window displays we love include Papercraft, Athropologie, and a local toy/art supply store that specializes in the weird and wacky.

We discovered a handful of resources from the creative geniuses at Anthropologie; click here to learn more about how they design their store experience, from window displays to promotions to discounted items.

Change the experience, change the results

This article outlines seven easy, low-cost tips for displays that catch the eye and draw people in.

Staff skill set

Discover your employees hidden (or not so hidden) talents! This article showcases the portfolio of an artist who worked for Anthropologie as a display coordinator. Check in with your staff and discover who may have a knack for construction, installation or arranging. Maybe someone on your team is into a little-known craft that can add craftsmanship and intrigue to your display, like paper quilling.

A clever window display by Fortnum & Mason in London, 2016.

Get Featured!

We’d love to see your store’s window displays – please email us at artdogblog@macphersonart.com include a photo or two and the names of employees or community members who had a hand in the design or construction.

Halloween and Cosplay Go Hand in Hand: Creative End Caps For People Who Love Dressing Up

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Halloween is a great time to introduce customers to the wild, varied, inclusive world that is Cosplay. CosPlay is the practice of dressing up as a fictional character–any fictional character–and it is not just popular during Halloween. Customers’ imaginations are already in gear for creating witty, spooky, realistic or outlandish costumes, so this is a great time to introduce another costume-related art form. Peak the interest of that special group who secretly wishes Halloween happened more than once a year and engage with a community of cosplayers you may have never known about.

The Cosplay Community

The word Cosplay is combination costume and play, and it is a global phenomenon. The philosophy of Cosplay is “you can be whoever you want”–cosplayers are driven by passion, obsession and creativity, and they are in dire need of all kinds of supplies to make their favorite character come to life. Cosplay originated when sci-fi fans in 1908 who would dress up as Mr. Skygack, a martian from a popular comic.

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.), 10 Feb. 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Cosplay has evolved to include comics, anime, TV, movies as well as all things science fiction. Characters from anime, movies like Harry Potter or the Miyazaki films, video games and sci-fi novels spring to life. This article highlights some impressive cosplay characters at this year’s Comic-Con San Diego, a yearly convention that is one of the biggest draw for cosplayers. It is essentially a festival where artists, writers, creators, actors and fans gather to peruse, converse and perform.

Connecting The Dots: In Your Store

So how does your store fit into all of this? Relevant materials are endless, including fabric, embellishments, face paint, craft foam, acrylic paint, mold-making kits, craft glues for different surfaces and more.

Specific materials that a Cosplayer looks for:

Sci-fi fans will appreciate a Cosplay shout out in your store, as will people who go that extra mile to create an artistic, wacky, one-of-a-kind Halloween costume!

Sennelier abstract paint Community Murals & BTS Promo

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Sennelier Art Supplies

Watch the versatility of Sennelier abstract paint in real time. In collaboration with Sennelier and Artpsan, multiple artists with very different techniques transform the blank city walls of the Salesforce building. ArtSpan is a non-profit “committed to cultivating a vibrant, accessible, and world-class art community in San Francisco and promoting the city’s unique creative energy locally and globally.”

The result: more than 80 gallons of Sennelier abstract® paint and vibrant, captivating murals. Which one is your favorite?

Information Worth Sharing: New Video From Golden, Perfect For Painters – Minimizing Support Induced Discoloration (SID)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Golden Artist Colors

Support Induced Discoloration (SID), what is it? and how to minimize it. from Golden Artist Colors on Vimeo.

Proper preparation can change everything. Set your staff up for success when chatting with customers and ensure that your community gets the best results when painting, from start to finish. Golden’s new video demos step-by-step how to minimize Support Induced Discoloration (SID). SID occurs when contaminants are drawn into paints and mediums as they dry – it is most noticeable with light colors, gel mediums and glazes. This video demos how to prepare a canvas or board with Gloss Medium to minimize SID before painting.

Videos are quick and easy to share on Facebook – a great way to boost your organic reach with valuable content. Check out Golden’s other videos on Vimeo and YouTube for additional resources.

All Hands On Deck: Floods in Madison, WI Impact Wisconsin Craft Market

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Painting of Madison, Wisconsin by Eric Dowdle

Last month devastating floods in Madison, WI impacted Wisconsin Craft Market – employees walked in to discover several feet of water in the store and an overwhelming amount of damaged product. Their staff banded together for several days of drudgery, with family members and loved ones pitching in.

Recapping the experience on their Facebook page, owner Paul Zarnikow expressed his gratitude for the team of friends and family who made reopening possible.

“Not only did no one complain, the loud laughing and chattering usually heard went on like any other day. I’m lucky to have had these ladies as employees for so many years, luckier still to have them as friends.”

Once they got the water under control, they opened up shop while they finished the rest of the clean up. Their first group of customers?

“We had a large group of ladies from the Chicago area who had planned a Madison yarn crawl for the day so they shopped while we mopped. I can’t tell you how nice it was to talk with fun customers again after the last few days. They were great, but I’m sure less than impressed with our dress code!”

To learn more about the flooding in Southern Wisconsin and read about way to help, click here.