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

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

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)

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

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.

Ben Franklin Bonney Lake & Montana Cans

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

Ben Franklin Crafts & Frame Shop Bonney Lake, Washington, collaborated with Montana Artist Devin Finley to transform the formerly drab graffiti walls of the local Skate Park in town into an outdoor gallery of street art!

In collaboration with the community of Tehaleh and Montana Artist Devin Finley, Ben Franklin Bonney Lake’s goal was to get more people aware of the Montana spray paint in the community while improving a community space with art. Staff member Colleen coordinated the event with the community director of a local skate park.

Over 50 people attended the event, which featured live painting by Devin, music, snacks and of course the built-in entertainment of the skate park itself. Before painting, Devin explained his plan to onlookers and sat with young artists to each them techniques and strategies for creating their own artwork. The event was a success, engaging community, sparking curiosity about Montana Cans and drawing people into the store.

Demo Days: Stenciled Tea Towel with Derwent Inktense Pencils

September 17th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Account Manager, MacPherson’s

I recently did a demo at Mangelsen’s in Omaha, Nebraska during their annual art fair using Derwent Inktense on Flour Sack towels. This demo is easy to replicate with any stencil of your choice, the project can take on any theme imaginable. We laid out several stencils on a demo table, the chicken was the most popular—maybe because of the rustic, homey feel—perfect for the tea towels, and let customers’ imaginations run wild  You know your customers best, so feel free to get creative with what materials you use; this demo can also be done on canvas tote bags, handkerchiefs, center piece runners and other cloth items.

Project time: 15 – 30 minutes

Materials

Steps

  1. Iron the tea towels to ensure smooth application
  2. Lay a paper towel underneath tea towel; this stabilizes it and keeps the aloe from staining the table below.
  3. Lay the stencil of your choice on the towel and lightly trace the design with an InkTense Pencil
  4. Fill outlined areas with aloe vera, which activates colors without bleeding into the fabric. Layer in colors of Inktense, blending with a paintbrush for added effects. Keeping adding aloe vera and InkTense until you like the results! Neat effects happen when layers dry in between applications.
  5. Once the piece is dry, heat set it with a dry iron for 20-30 seconds.
  6. Let participants know they need to hand wash it and let it dry completely before the first machine wash!

LenzArts’ 50th Anniversary, a.k.a. “Lenz Arts Week” As Pronounced By Santa Cruz Mayor

September 17th, 2018

On the left, community members playing with POSCA and painting rocks primed with Montana spray paint; On the right, Lulu, the youngest Lenz!

Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

LenzArts went all out for their 50th Anniversary August 4th. Their family business has survived and thrived despite fire, flood and earthquake. Over the decades they have become embedded in the community. Three generations of the Lenz family participated in the event, which included a Vendor’s Fair and a storewide sale. They set up twelve interactive stations of different make and takes as well as demos with reps and artists. People enjoyed free face painting, raffles, a homemade fishing booth and a Wheel of Fortune. They also invited Santa Cruz Art League rep to talk to community members; the current generation’s great-grandmother, Leonora Naylor Penniman, was one of the founders of the league in 1919. Her artwork and bio were on display to honor the artistic roots of LenzArts and inspire curiosity about the league.

Diane Bokulich, a member of the Lenz family, sees the event as more than an anniversary event; it was an homage to community and creativity.

“We wanted to thank the community for their support, give back to them and celebrate art. People were thrilled to be immersed in art for a day. You could feel the joy of creativity and the fun of being together connecting to the world of art in an interactive, hands on setting, experimenting with art supplies and talking with artist and reps, gleaning their expertise. It was exciting–we had all ages there! I heard parents and grandparents say how great it was to have their kids “unplugged”. In our family tradition of gathering for fellowship and food, we BBQ’d ourselves, giving out hundreds of hot dogs while my teenage daughter made hundreds of snow cones made to order. Nine of the grandkids were there serving, ages 8 to 23; all of my siblings were there, even from out of town. We had three generations of family there helping all day.”

Matthew Lenz, Cynthia Lenz, Andy Lenz Sr., Mayor David Terrazas, and Andrew Lenz Jr.

We congratulate LenzArts on bringing their community together through creativity, incorporating something for everyone and on decades of success in the art supply industry!

MacPherson’s YouTube: Hands-On Demos, Resources & Shareable Content

August 28th, 2018

We are excited to announce the launching of a MacPherson’s YouTube account! It is currently populated with videos from each of our vendors’ hands-on experiences at this year’s Dealer Workshop. In collaboration with our vendor partners and the Artist’s Network, we produced a series of instructive and inspiring videos showcasing this season’s new products.  Most importantly, you can learn about the products and discover ways to replicate the experience for in-store demos, events and creative displays. Create in-store connections with your customers and inspire your employees.

Check out the videos and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can stay current when we post videos in the future.

Chameleon Rebranded

August 28th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter & Chameleon Art Products

Chameleon shared a recent press release with us announcing the rebranding of their products and their website  – aiming for a fresh look and user-friendly design. Read on for highlights about these changes:

“We strive to keep pushing the boundaries so you can develop your talents even further. We want to help you unlock all the colors hidden inside your art tools. And that’s what our rebranding and “Changing Color” is all about.”

Chameleon changed the website’s look based on the creative community’s feedback.

“Chameleon should be a place for like-minded individuals to share ideas, brainstorm and be inspired by each other. Inspiration can come from anywhere and we want to help fuel that. It starts by celebrating the world of color and art. Art is all about being creative and thinking outside of the box. Our unique tools produce unique results and we want to keep it that way.”

Lush with color and content, Chameleon’s website is chock full of artistic resources. We particularly like how the information is laid out, with a consistent color palette that highlights the gradients and unique combinations so signature to Chameleon products.

“We are inventors with new ideas. The Chameleon team never stops thinking, inventing, testing and researching new concepts. Our rebranding signals a new chapter for us. It’s the start of the next part of our growth and pushing the medium to the maximum. We could not have done it without all of you in our Creative Community. So thank you all. Your contributions are what drive our company forward.”

They are offering 55% off through MacPherson’s just in time for back to school! Terms and conditions apply – offer is valid till September 13th.

Fun and Easy DIY Card-Making From Strathmore

August 27th, 2018
Sara Prentice, Social Media Marketing Manager, Strathmore Artist Papers

DIY Cards

Greeting card season is just around the corner and these card-making techniques are a great way to inspire customers to buy all the materials needed to make their own personalized greetings well before the holidays hit! A seasoned artist or a beginner can enjoy these approachable cards. Perfect for the upcoming holidays, they can be easily customized for any occasion.

Trend Trifecta: Watercolor, Mixed Media and the Handmade Movement

Watercolor and Mixed Media remain hot topics. More people than ever are trying to learn about these mediums and show their creations on Instagram, Pinterest and other social channels. Anything and everything handmade is also on demand – the popularity of DIY activities has risen exponentially in the last few years. Combining these trending mediums with the handmade movement creates a powerful opportunity to drive sales.

3 Fun and Easy DIY Watercolor Cards from strathmoreartist.

 

In Your Store

This demo video provides step-by-step instructions and walks you through the process from start to finish. These printable instructions feature a full supply list and easy-to-follow steps.

Here are some ideas for utilizing this demo:

Themed Supply End Cap – Download the printable instructions, create a few examples and place them on the endcap with the materials needed to make the cards. Beginning Artists and makers will appreciate having all the instructions and supplies at their fingertips, and seasoned customers will see these materials in a new light.

Social Media Engagement – Share these ideas,instructions, and videos on your website and social media channels to help build a following, drive engagement and generate in-store traffic.

DIY Cards In-Store Demo – All the information is ready to go, so hosting your own event is that much easier!

 

HOT TIP: Create your own custom kits with instructions so interested customers can easily take the project home!

Four Different Designs: Galaxy, Splash, Geometric, and Combo!


Galaxy

Materials

 

Splash

Materials

 

Geometric

Materials

Splash + Geometric Combo

Materials

  • Strathmore Mixed Media Cards – SM105-462 (10 pack), SM105-262 (50 Pack), or SM105662 (100 pack)
  • Royal Talens Ecoline Liquid Watercolor
  • ¼” Wide Painters Tape
  • Straw
  • Painters Tape or Artist Tape
  • Princeton Watercolor Brush
  • Permanent Ink Pen
  • Paper Towel
  • Graphite pencil (optional)
  • Eraser (optional)

Interconnected Community: Pride, STABILO, Endeavours Art & MacPherson’s!

August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Paul MacNeil and Chrissy Park MacNeil, customers and artists/instructors who volunteered for Endeavours’ Pride event

The weekend of August 11th, Luke and Tyler Randall, co-owners of Endeavours Art in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada went all out for Pride week!

Their Pride celebration this year was a result of a collaboration between STABILO, MacPherson’s and Endeavours Art. The idea sprung to life during the 2018 Dealer Workshop in Las Vegas. Upon hearing about Endeavours’ yearly celebration where they fundraise for causes benefiting the LGBTQIA2+ community, Assistant Brand Manager Ana McCormick made a connection. STABILO Pen 68 and 88 sets – vibrant, colorful and perfect for Pride.

With STABILO as a sponsor, it was an incredible time for all involved. Tyler recapped proudly that “we celebrated in solidarity with Pride and in the name of love, community and freedom.”

The event combined a parade, a booth featuring STABILO supplies and a Pride Heroes Gallery – an art show featuring artists from the LGBTQIA2+ community and portraits of their heroes within the community. All of the proceeds from the gallery and Pride parade sales were donated to Rainbow Railroad, a charitable organization that helps members of the LGBTQIA2+ community find safe havens: “In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBTI) people live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives…Rainbow Railroad exists to help people get out of danger to somewhere safe.”

MacPherson’s and STABILO were proud to support this event, and support Tyler and Luke with building connections within their community.  STABILO’s colorful, vibrant sets featured at the Fredricton Pride Parade include SW8815-1, SW8830-1, SW6815-1 and SW6830-1.

New Location, New Name: South City Art Supply, Now St. Louis Art Supply

August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

South City Art Supply, now St. Louis Art Supply, is moving to a larger location in Central West End at 4532 Olive St. in St. Louis, Missouri. They have expanded their inventory by about 40%, with additions in nearly every department.

“Our focus areas are painting, drawing, reading (we sell books, too), and writing, so most of our additions are in those areas,” owner Carson Monetti explains. “Some highlights of the expansion include Masterpiece canvases and stretchers, POSCA markers, Cobra water-soluble oils, Golden High Flow, Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens, LAMY pens and pencils, and quite a few new notebook and planner lines.”

St. Louis Art Supply will also open a sister store at the same location – Cornflower Coffee & Tea which will “share the same space, so [customers] can watercolor over breakfast or take a latté into the book department!” Follow the progress of their move on their well-curated Instagram.

GOLDEN Educator Residents & Top Finalists Announced!

August 27th, 2018
Golden Artist Colors

Golden Artist Colors and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 GOLDEN Educators Residency! Three educators will be invited to participate in a two-week artists’ residency through the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation in a sylvan setting in upstate New York. They will also each receive a gift certificate for $1,000 for GOLDEN paints.

Geeta Dave, Power of Intuition, Acrylic paint, 30’ x 30’, 2018

Geeta Dave

from Prairieville, Louisiana

Glasgow Middle School

 

2017, acrylic, pastel, ink, painted and collaged paper, canvas, and felt on panel, 46” X 46”

Kevin Kelly

from Wichita, Kansas

Wichita West High School

 

“During the spring of 2014 I made a promise to my AP Studio Art students that I’d paint a portrait of them if they passed the AP Studio Art portfolio review.” 2015, oil painting

Brian Payne

from Yukon, Oklahoma

Yukon High School

Collectively, these three educators have been teaching for close to 60 years. Learn more about their work here. The Alliance partnered with the National Art Education Association to review the applications to the residency – in addition to the three residents selected, nine additional finalists (who made the decision-making process particularly challenging) were identified; they will also receive $1,000 gift certificates for GOLDEN paints:

Lynn Bennett-Carpenter, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Rouzanna Berberian, Monrovia, CA

Cynthia Berger, Minneapolis, MN

Amy Bouse, Inglewood, CA

Caitlin Clifford, Cortlandt Manor, NY

Elaine Florimonte, South Riding, VA

Todd Johnson, Knoxville, TN

Christina Keith, Prior Lake, MN

Shannon McBride, West Linn, OR

Learn more about the GOLDEN Educator’s Residency here.

Minimizing Support Induced Discoloration (SID)

August 27th, 2018

Information Worth Sharing: New Video From Golden, Perfect For Painters

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.

Golden Back To School Promo!

August 27th, 2018

Don’t forget – Golden MAP Promotional Pricing is in effect until 9/28. Seize this Golden opportunity – advertising for all three Golden brands (GOLDEN Acrylics, Williamsburg Oils and QoR Watercolor) can be extended to 40% off.

Golden Welcomes New Education Director Stacy Rosende

August 27th, 2018
Golden Artist Colors

Golden welcomes Stacy Rosende as its new Education Director, who oversees all Golden Artist Colors education programs as well as the development of new strategies and platforms. Kevin Greeland will continue to lead the Working Artist and Artist Educator programs and serve as the key contact for lecture demo activities.

Stacy Rosende is a visual artist and educator from Florida where she ran an award-winning art program in a public high school, maintained her personal studio practice and exhibited works internationally. She discovered her interest in education while working towards her Masters in Fine Arts degree at Boston University. Stacy has taught students in the visual arts at every level, from primary to post-secondary. She has a proven track record of success and looks forward to utilizing those resources at Golden Artist Colors. She is accompanied on this new adventure by her daughter Maya and her husband Cezary who will be key partners in the restoration of their new home, an old Victorian farmhouse. They are particularly excited to convert their barn to a workshop and studio that will house their endless creative endeavors!

Lasting Impact: Make It A 2-Day Event – Community Engagement at Dots ‘N Doodles

August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

(From left to right) Tim Masuelli, Owner of Dots N Doodles, Dennis Metcalf, Key Account Manger at Royal Talens, Tiffany Mang, Loving Vincent Artist, Scott Leahing, Owner of Dots N Doodles and Charlene Mosely, Loving Vincent Artist

Dots ‘N Doodles Art Supply in Astoria, Oregon recently hosted a two part event honoring the work of Vincent Van Gogh and encouraging modern day oil painters! Staff kicked off the event by showing the movie Loving Vincent on Friday night, with a workshop led by artists Charlene Mosely and Tiffanie Mang, who worked on the set of the movie. The event sold out, and there was so much interest that they added an additional workshop later in the weekend. With an Art Alternatives canvas roll, Rembrandt oil paints and effusive enthusiasm, artists created a large scale painting in the iconic style of Van Gogh. Dennis Metcalf, sales representative for Royal Talens was integral in the planning process and was able to attend, adding his expertise to the mix. Customers left with a deeper understanding of Royal Talens line of products and the inspiration to embark on their own colorful journeys. The event was also supported by Art Alternatives and Princeton Brushes.

Jerry’s Artarama of Hartford, CT Turns 25

August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Jerry’s Artarama of Hartford, CT celebrates its 25th anniversary! Owners Jeff and Susan Shoham were featured in the Hartford Courant in an article that details their incredible journey, from building their business from the ground up to becoming a community staple as the go-to art supply store for creative endeavors in Elmwood. They celebrated the big 25 with a 25% off sale over the weekend, door prizes and of course, cake.

Left to right: Chet Terry, General Manager, AJ Shoham , Store Manager, Jeffrey Shoham, Owner

When thinking back on the the years of hard work that brought the business to where it is today, Jeff reflected on the rewarding moments that make everything worth it.

“Talking with customers. My time is limited, but I love being on the floor, still. Especially the students… to see them come in as freshmen, you see them develop over the years.”

When we take a moment to celebrate anniversaries, it’s not only a chance to reflect on our accomplishments and progress… it is a way to connect with community and strengthen relationships with customers.

One woman at Jerry’s Artarama’s 25th celebration came up to shake Jeff’s hand: she had been at the store the day it opened and had watched the store evolve and change… for all 25 years. We are looking forward to celebrating more anniversaries with our retailers!

Art Dog of the Month: Wonton

August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Wonton has mastered shaggy-chic – a perfect look for the beloved mascot of Raw Materials in Downtown Los Angeles! Not only is he always at the store, an employee with a knack for illustration incorporates him into promotions, sales, events and insta pics. His humans are Jim and Celia of Raw Materials.

Concrete Jungle Sparks Imagination: New Forstall Art Mural

August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Murals are a wonderful way to support local artists, draw attention to your store and jostle people out of their everyday routine. A drab concrete wall becomes a photo opportunity, an invitation to reflect, or a celebration of your town or city’s personality. Phillip Forstall, owner of Forstall Art Center in Birmingham, Alabama, recently installed a mural in collaboration with Shane B., a local muralist and tattoo artist. The jungle scene is vibrant and full of life. We wanted to learn more about how the mural came to be and its effect on the community and gave Phillip a call to learn more.

Who created this mural? Why this design?

The mural was designed by Shane, a local artist. He’s a longtime friend and customer. My wife Annette and child Andy asked him to create an interactive mural. They wanted a mural with a path so people could take fun photos. Annette and Andy created the design, so it was really an inhouse project. Shane did all the painting. Many of his friends stopped by with food and company.

What do you like best about it?

It’s hard to choose! I love that people interact with the mural and don’t realize that there’s a wild kitty lurking above them. I love that people stop all the time to get their picture taken. Finally, I love that we have some color brightening our space. All the blank walls downtown can get monotonous.

Have you gotten any feedback from the community / new or repeat customers?

Yes! They love it! They want more! People tag us on Instagram a lot. We can’t wait to commission more murals.