An update from Raw Materials Art Supplies

tl;dr We aren’t open yet except for online ordering, hope to open for curbside before June 15, and not sure when we will be opening to in-store shopping.

Celia is recovering now, but after her fever spiked and she started showing other symptoms two weeks ago, she tested positive for COVID-19. She never required hospitalization, but it’s hard to convey how terrifying this has been experiencing symptoms that could spiral out of control at any moment, given how little is still known about this disease.

We don’t know how Celia was exposed. Jim hasn’t shown any symptoms, tested negative at the same time that Celia tested positive, and is waiting to get tested again.

All of our staff have been furloughed, and they were all able to receive extended UI benefits that meet or exceed what they were earning at the store. Our landlord was able to extend forgiveness for some of the rent due during this time, we have cut every possible expense, and while the road ahead looks tough, we at least feel that we are in a position to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and customers above the strong desire to get back to business.

If Celia recovers, Jim’s next test comes back negative, and the local numbers on COVID-19’s impact continue to improve, we hope to start up with curbside service, local delivery, and shipping from the store by June 15. As we do that, we’ll also work on making the changes to the store layout and securing the necessary equipment and supplies that would allow us to welcome staff and customers back into the store.

If you’re new to us, please understand that we’re a mom & pop operation, even more now than ever. Our first priority has always been the health and safety of our employees and our customers. While we have made sacrifices and taken risks to grow our store, we also know that we have benefited from privileges and opportunities that aren’t accessible to everyone.

There’s so much more to say about what is going on in our city and country, but we also know we’re not necessarily the people to deliver the message and want to get back to how we think we can help most: putting the tools of expression into the hands of artists.

Thank you, and please stay safe and healthy.

How Faber-Castell Makes Pencils

This video shows the 14-step process of making a Faber-Castell pencil.

From the selection of the wood, to the thickness and quality of the lead, Faber-Castell pencils stand head and shoulders above the competition. Since 1761, they’ve been perfecting the pencil. Check out the video to see the 14 step process behind their superior products.

What’s special about their pencils?

  • SV Bonding glues the lead the entire length of the pencil for break-resistant leads.
  • Thick leads use the highest-quality pigments for gorgeous color lay-down.
  • Graphite pencils with dipped ends or erasers on ends.
  • Coated with eco-friendly water-based varnish.
  • Made from reforested wood grown in their Forest Stewardship Council certified forest.

You can see all the Faber-Castell products we carry in our online store, including pencils, markers, sharpeners, erasers, paints, and kits. New to the store are the Albrecht Durer Watercolor Marker Sets, and we don’t think you can go wrong by starting out with Goldfaber Colored Pencil Sets or Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencil Sets.

Free Tutorials with Amy Shawley Paquette

Amy teaching leading a tutorial on Golden Artist Colors Facebook page.

If you have been shopping with us for a while, you may remember Amy Shawley Paquette, the awesome Golden Working Artist who broke our hearts by moving out of Downtown Los Angeles and going on and having a great life, kids, and all that. (You probably don’t remember the Paquette part, that happened after DTLA.)

Now that we live in a time of global pandemic and the Internet, Amy is back – virtually – and through May and June will be offering free weekly Facebook Live tutorials on her Art by Amy Shawley Paquette page!  These events will happen every Thursday at 4pm PT and will feature a different topic each time.  The first demo is Thursday, May 14 on the topic “Customize your Painting Grounds”, and will last about 30-45 minutes. If you can’t catch it live, it will be available from her Facebook page for later viewing.

(And if you get inspired, you can order everything Golden from our online store.)

Get organized with mesh bags

How can you make an art studio at home even when you have no space? Use an art pouch like these Mesh Bags from Art Alternatives.

If carving out a dedicated art space in your home is impossible, or you like being able to make art at the kitchen table and sometimes by the window, a portable art kit is essential. We’ve been using pouches in varying sizes as portable art kits for some time, but find that the more special it feels, the more we want to pick it up and use it. Check out this mesh bag that we covered in faux fur:

Need some more tips for organizing your studio or crafting space? Redfin collected has more tips here.

Wonton’s Art Lessons: Types of Ink

It’s Flashback Friday and we’re feeling nostalgic for the series of comics we used to run, Wonton’s Art Lessons! Created by a former employee, the very talented artist, Lisa Kash. This comic is called, “Lesson 13: Types of Ink”. Enjoy!

Wonton’s Art Lesson Comics: Art Therapy

It’s Flashback Friday and we’re feeling nostalgic for the series of comics we used to run, Wonton’s Art Lessons! We also miss a former employee, the very talented manga artist and creator of the series, Lisa Kash. This comic is called, “Lesson 33: Art Therapy”. Enjoy!

Isolated but not Alone: Lunch Doodles

For all artists staying safe at home, we salute you for all efforts to stay creative during these chaotic times. One of those artists sharing their creativity and processes online is Mo Willems, the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence. In his first LUNCH DOODLE, Mo welcomes you into his studio at home and guides you through drawing activities using one of his favorite characters as inspiration. So grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and let’s doodle together and explore ways of writing and making.

“You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some together.”

–Mo Willems

Lockdown Diary: Gold Mouf and “The Joy of Painting with Lute Ross”

We’ve lost track of which day of our lockdown this is. But thankfully we have enough paint and canvas in our home studio to follow along with this delightful video from Lute Ross, who would rather paint spaceships than trees. Something for everybody!

Safer at home

Friday, March 20 will be our last day of business while our street, our neighborhood, our city, and our state closes all non-essential businesses (which includes us, even as essential as this business is to us and the arts are to all of us). We will only be packing up and shipping orders that are placed before we go in to the store in the morning, after that any incoming orders will not ship until we transition into whatever phase of this crisis comes next. We’ll keep you posted. Stay healthy and safe.