Art store versus hobby store

Susan Plouzek

We’ve all gone to the hobby stores with our 40% off coupon. You enter the store and find the art supplies. What? The colored pencils are under lock and key! “No big deal,” you tell yourself, “I’ll just find someone who works here.” Across the other side, you spy an employee. You make a mad dash toward him. Just when you’re within voice distance he ducks into the back room! He’ll come back out, right? And so you linger. You surrender and go to the cashier. When it’s your turn you explain, “The colored pencil set I need is locked up. Is it possible for you to call someone to help me?” She gives you a blank stare. You stand there awkwardly; the clerk rolls her eyes and picks up the phone to the intercom. “Thank you,” you reply and head to the vault. He opens the vault, hands you a set of colored pencils, locks it and walks away. Then you realize he gave you water-color pencils. Hobby stores have their place.

Going to the fine art store requires you to drive a little farther, but you are always greeted with, “Good morning! Can I help you find anything?” “I’m headed toward the colored pencils,” you reply. His response is, “What kind are you looking for? Let me know if you need any help.” The people who work in the art stores are mostly college art students who are trained in all the supplies the store carries. If they do not know the answer to your questions, they find someone who can help.

We are fortunate in this valley to have several wonderful art stores. The best time to shop for fine art supplies is when it’s Back to School, so at the beginning of each semester the art stores are fully stocked at that time and usually run some type of store-wide sale. Stock up especially in paints, canvases, papers, portfolios, bags and easels. The next big sales will be December and January.

See you at the art store and at Oakwood Artist League where there’s never a dull moment!