One of the keyword browser searches which leads people to my blog again and again is 'art shops in London'. So far I've only done one post "Art shops in London"(which focuses on L. Cornelissen & Son in Great Russell Street) but I do intend to do more and to create a series eventually.
When I travelled to the USA last year, I checked out where the local art stores were in the places I visited in advance. I also made a point of visiting a number. Plus I've ordered art materials from the USA from time to time. It seemed like a good idea to try and have all the information and relevant links in one place.
When visiting art forums and Google/Yahoo Groups I hear about places where people buy their art materials. This is information which tends to get lost over time until the next time somebody asks the same question. I knew I'd value having all that information in one place.
Finally, it's sometimes easy to find a website but difficult to find the details for where stores are located (artist suppliers please note!). It's handy to have information about location to hand when recommending a supplier to others.
And this is a roundabout way of introducing you to two new squidoo lens I've started.
Making A Mark - Resources for Artists Squidoo Group I set up for all the Resources for Artists lenses which I've created.
What do they do?
This site provides details about where to find fine art materials supplies in and around the UK. It shares details of online suppliers and the locations of retail stores that you can visit as a retail or trade customer.Initially, the main purpose was to make sure I have all the stores I use or have used listed in one place. However I am also trying develop these lenses so that they are more useful to other people as well. I'll be doing this by including links to stores and suppliers that I've heard about.
Where I have used a store or supplier personally and have an opinion or recommendations then you'll find this listed too. I don't have any recommendations about other sites - other than those provided by other people. Please remember what works out best for me and others might not work out best for you.
Introduction to the Art Supplies in the UK lens
So far as recommendations are concerned, if I like a store and or have an opinion about it I'll indicate this on the lens. I'll also include any recommendations that I get from people from time to time (so long as I can check out you are 'real' and not a marketing machine!)
I'm also creating modules within the lens for different types of suppliers, for example:
- online suppliers
- national/regional retailers with a large chain of stores
- local independent retailers and areas with a local chain of stores
- retailers in a specific geographical location (eg art shops in London or New York)
- retailers offering a good selection of a specific type of art supplies - starting with the ones I'm interested in (eg pastels) and developing over time
These lenses now have a lot of links - but they are also very much a work in progress. Since squidoo works better the more regularly you update the plan is to develop these slowly over time.
I'll be looking for useful links to information of value to people likely to read the lenses....which is where you come in.
How you can help others
There are two main ways in which you can contribute to these lens and help other people find out about suppliers of art materials in the UK and USA.
Firstly by voting in the polls I've got set up. At the start of the lens there is a poll to find out where most people buy their art materials. You can see the questions below. This will help me know how to focus the development of the lens over time.
You can also use the feedback module at the end of each lens to comment and/or offer suggestions or recommendations. They're set up so that anybody can comment. Since this is a very competitive market I'm obviously going to be watching out for any 'help' which any site decides to give itself!
Where do you buy most of your art materials?
Alternatively, leave a comment below and/or tell me about any reviews you've done on your blogs about your local art store or places you use to buy art materials. If you've not done a review why not do one?
Finally - I'm thinking about having another poll on both lenses about what people value the most about their art suppliers. I'd like suggestions as to what you think are the variables which should be included - like 'choice of materials' or 'stock levels'.
So what do you think?