Monday, May 31, 2010

A Non-Artsy Cartoonist's Trip to the Art Store

Although I'm a cartoonist, I've never considered myself to be "artsy." Personally, I think terms like geek, nerd, and/or loser (my wife's favourite pet name for me!) are probably more accurate descriptions.

Nevertheless, when your car needs gas, you go to a gas station; and so, when a cartoonist needs art supplies, there's only one place to go …

An art store!

Curry's Art Store - Hamilton, Ontario
Curry's Art Store - Hamilton, Ontario (image courtesy of Google Maps).

My personal favourite is Curry's Art Store in Hamilton, Ontario. Their prices are very reasonable, service is always helpful, and they usually have everything I need … (during my last two visits they didn't have my preferred 30ml Winsor & Newton Black Indian drawing ink in stock ... ARGH!!)

... But I still highly recommend them :)

So, what does this non-artsy cartoonist buy when he visits an art store?

Well, that depends on if the visit is out of necessity or casual procrastination. This past week, one of the important items on my shopping list was the drawing ink mentioned above, but here's a snapshot of what I did bring home …

Some Cartooning Supplies Purchased at Curry's Art Store
Some Cartooning Supplies Purchased at Curry's Art Store

You can click to enlarge the above photo. See if you can spot the following cartooning supplies:

  • (6) Koh-I-Noor 2H pencils
  • (12) Speedball 513EF pen nibs
  • (1) Sketchbook
  • (2) Artshow Presentation Books
Most traditional cartoonists, like myself, go through pencils and pen nibs like candy. I always buy a handful of both at each visit, so I have a pretty healthy supply here in my studio ... Perhaps it's more of an addiction!

The sketchbook was sort of a necessity. I wanted to make a fresh start and try a different brand. Unfortunately, the book's name ("The Great Canadian Sketchbook") has intimidated me so much that I've yet to tarnish any of its pages. With such a beautifully inked Black bear on the cover, it's almost like cartooning in it would be considered national blasphemy.

And finally, the presentation books ...

Original NETTREKKERS Comic Art in Artshow Presentation Book
Original NetTrekkers Comic Art in Artshow Presentation Book.

These were specifically bought for protecting the original cartoon art (ex. NetTrekkers comics and Reader's Digest gag cartoons) that I bring to the various cartooning workshops I run at local schools and libraries. The kids and adults have always been gentle while handling any of my original samples, but I've been worrying that someone's innocent sticky fingers are going to smudge boogers (you know how adults are!) all over and ruin them.

What I liked about the Artshow brand of presentation books was their padded vinyl cover with snap button closure -- the price was right too!! As you can see above (click to enlarge), this particular size fits 11" x 14" sheets of Strathmore Smooth Bristol board (300 series), just fine.

Each book has 12 sleeves, so that means 24 pages of original cartoon art, but you know what they say about too many eggs in one basket!!

And so, that's what I bought during my recent trip to the art store … How about YOU?

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope


  1. I love posts like this Mike!!!

    On a side note, now that you are a regular member of the NCS do you have to design your own bio for their member's page or do they do that.

  2. Thanks, David! I know I'm notorious for being a low output blogger, so I'll try making it a habit to write more.

    As for the NCS, I'm pretty sure that each member is responsible for designing their own bio cards. Since I was accepted so close to the Reuben Awards, I didn't want to pester the executives with newbie questions :)

    My plan is to email them within the next week, once everyone has, umm, RECOVERED!!

  3. That'll be fun for you. Please be sure to post it here on your blog.