Let's talk about feeling productive...making lists and trying to get things accomplished. A great way to start the new year, right? Today by 3 PM I had just one thing left on my list, I needed to pick up some resin for the studio. To accomplish this "one last task" required a trip to the art supply store.
My rant today is about a specific art supply store that I've been going to since 1997, and how I wonder how they can still consider themselves in the art SUPPLY business. I'm allowing myself to break the "30-second" rule this once because it is directly studio related ;)
First of all, the place is run by a bunch of uninterested, apathetic employees. I think they must have started working here while they were going to art school, and I suspect that once they graduated they just never bothered to look for another job. I'm sure they had it in their minds to leave, but it never happened and so 5, 10, 15 years later they are still really resentful of this job and any of the art-makers who walk through the door.
Maybe I'm wrong, but this is what I see. Since day one every time I've gone into this store I've noticed how the employees seem bothered by the presence of customers...like they are the only true artists and anyone else who walks in is undeserving of both attention and art supplies. If you've ever seen "High Fidelity" you understand exactly what I'm talking about, except here it's art instead of music.
You might wonder why, then, I still go to this place.
Well, until recently it was the only art supply store around where you could go to get say, painting, ceramic, drafting, gold-leaf and book-making supplies all in one place. Being the mixed-media person I am it was very convenient for one-stop shopping. I could deal with the apathetic employees.
My frustration today is the result of something I've been noticing happening slowly at this, my "once #1" art supply store: out of stock items. I've been there several times over the past year or two and have noticed that if I needed ten items, I might only find six. Very bothersome once or twice, but after five or six times you begin to think it may not be worth the trip.
Today I had one thing on my list...resin. I knew they would have it because they carry the brand I use in 3 or 4 different sizes. I prefer to buy the largest size, but I figured even if that wasn't in stock I could pick up a couple of the smaller sized kits to tide me over. When I got there this is what I found:
Yes, two completely empty shelves where "my" resin usually sits. If I told you "completely empty" without showing you would would have thought I was exaggerating. I'm not. EMPTY. No resin for me today.
I was so frustrated that I had made the trip for nothing that I called Martin to vent. And after that I walked around the store to document the random emptiness:
I've decided that I don't need to visit this store anymore. How depressing is it to see this store that was once spilling over in its art supply abundance slowly withering away to nothing? I know the bad economy is affecting so many retail places, but this is something I've seen coming at this specific place for quite some time. I hate to see any place shut down, but I just don't see how this place can make it...I WANT to go in and spend some money, but NOTHING that I want is in stock. And the thing that bothers me the most is that if they just had some employees who seemed to care, I might too.