Ok now, I love learning about new products or even just materials that I might be unfamiliar with. I rarely miss a chance to attend a product demo or workshop offered by our vendors. These are wonderful opportunities to stay current with product trends which enables me to be more knowledgeable about the items we sell. The manufacturers appreciate the efforts in providing accurate information, as do the customers who may have questions about those same products. So, when the Copic Marker Product Demo was announced, I was eager to sign right up.
We all gathered one evening at Cheap Joe’s and spent some time getting to know Thomas Atkinson from Tampa Bay, FL. Thomas traveled to Boone to tell us all about the great markers from Copic. He was full of knowledge and had lots of great information to pass on to us before we were able to experiment with all of the wonderful products he provided. But the one question that was on everyone’s mind, “Is it Copic- (co-pick) with a long “O” ?or Copic (cah-pick)? Although, technically it is “Copic” with a long “O”, Thomas said it didn’t matter how you say it, that, generally, it is a regional thing! You say, “Coe-pick”, I say “Cah-pick”, either way, it’s one great marker!!!
Thomas went over all of the important aspects of the marker products and then demonstrated how to use them. Here is some of the information he gave us that is available on their website.
This is the Copic Family of markers:
Besides the markers, Thomas mentioned that you just can’t do without the Copic Multiliners and Multiliner SP. These are both great pens for journaling, sketching, and just plain doodling! The one difference you must know about these wonderful multiliners is the SP version is fully refillable and will last forever! So, use them up, but don’t throw them away!
Tip: Copic markers do not like graphite, so if you tend to sketch with pencil first, draw over your sketch with the multiliner pens and then erase the graphite from your sketch. This way, when you fill in with the alcohol based markers, they will not smear the pencil!
The “Colorless Mover”- Thomas explained that the Colorless Blender Marker, which is filled with pure ethyl alcohol (which he says smells like “moonshine”), is a great addition to your marker collection. Filled with the same liquid that is in all of the markers, the colorless blender is used to blend, add texture, create mono-prints, and correct mistakes when painting with your Copic markers. You really can’t live without one, and guess what? There is a refill for these as well!
Now, even though I rarely get to play with markers, they happen to be one of my favorite mediums. With all of the ready to use colors, the portability, cleanliness and low maintenance of them, you can take them almost everywhere. Growing up, my mom used to buy me the inexpensive markers that you can still find at Walmart in the arts and crafts or stationary department, but I will tell you, that professional ad markers like Copics are not your ordinary every day markers. These are true high quality tools used everyday in advertising, marketing, interior design, fashion design, architectural practices, and other professions all over the world. They are a staple art material in the creatively, high tech, design world. Even with all of the state of the art computer generated software available, markers are still where a conceptual design starts… at the drawing board. Imagine, how many ideas, all over the world, are first conveyed by the stroke of a marker and how much time and energy is spent going back to the drawing board time and time again. That is a lot of ink and a lot of used up markers! Most markers end up in the trash because they run out of ink, and ultimately are thrown away. But not a Copic, this is the marker that was made to last a lifetime! It was specifically designed by professional artists for professional artists. And because the designers know that markers have to be constantly replaced, and probably, at a very crucial time, they created a whole refilling system to extend the life of the product, thus, saving the artists lots and lots of money over the course of a lifetime!
Copics are filled with high quality, fully saturated, non-toxic dyes that flow in an ethyl alcohol base which enables them to dry quickly and create a fresh colorful idea in an instant. It seems that the Copic company has thought of everything! Once you invest in a Copic Marker, you will never have to dispose of them. When they run out of ink, fill them back up with the refill bottle, when the tips become worn, stained or damaged, just replace the tip. You can even mix your own colors and create a whole new marker from the empty cartridge that is sold individually. Not that you should have any trouble finding a particular color, as the Copic Sketch line, the most popular marker design, has over 350 different shades for any need! Along with the convenience of refilling, the Copic System has many other products to convert your markers into an airbrush system for shading, alcohol marker pads for stamping, and even special paper made especially for markers.
Note: Although, Cheap Joe’s may not carry the complete line of Copic Products on our website or in the printed catalog, we are always able to Special Order anything you might need. Feel free to inquire about products you do not see available on the website or in the catalog, or call 800 227 2788 for more information! We are ready to help you in every way!
With the enormous selection of colors available, you must be able to identify and select the appropriate colors quickly. It seems, Copic has thought of that as well. They have devised a number system that is printed on each marker to fully identify the aspects of the color inside. This enables you to purchase just the colors you want to provide excellent blending and color harmony. There really is no guessing required!
- The Color Family indicates what sort of color, i.e. red, blue-green, orange, etc.
- The Saturation Number indicates how “rich” or how “dull” the color will appear (higher number = more dull)
- The Brightness Number indicates how “dark” the color will appear (Higher number = darker markers are the really the only sensible solution for this high paced designing world!
The best place to start collecting and using Copic markers is by purchasing a basic set. Then, buy the ones you need as you need them. There are many great sets available.
The workshop was great and we learned a lot from Thomas! Thanks! Copic for the great workshop and Demo! Thanks! Thomas for doing such a great job!
Here are some pictures from the workshop and from the following morning at our Employee Meeting.
After the workshop, I began to wonder how I could use these Copic markers in my everyday creation of art. I am not a marker artist or graphic designer who might use these on a daily basis. And I really don’t spend much time with Scrapbooking or stamping, although I would love to! Hmmmmm…
Then, it came to me! What have I heard Joe Miller say a thousand times to his students? What is the most important thing about painting? VALUE! A set of gray value markers would be the perfect tool for all of the value studies that I could ever produce! I would never run out of ink and it would be a great investment for a lifetime. This is just what every practicing artist needs in their studio, no matter their medium, no matter what size or shape, no matter how often they are able to paint. Everyone needs a complete set of value markers and these particular ones would literally last a lifetime.
It just so happens that besides the hundreds of bright and beautiful colors, the Copic family offers four complete sets of gray, Cool Gray, Toner Gray, Neutral Gray, and Warm Gray, all ranging from 0-10 value. During our workshop, Thomas mentioned it was not always necessary to get every color that was close in number, that you could actually create the next darker color just by applying layers of the lighter color. So, instead of getting a complete set of grays, I decided to go with the Cool Gray family in every other shade number (C2, C4, C6, C8, C10, and Black). This really made it very affordable and cut my initial investment in half! I will definitely be adding to my collection in the future!
Copic has a great website with loads of great information which gives you access to YouTube videos, product information, blogs, contests and a lot of other cool stuff! They also have a website called CopicColor.com that is totally dedicated to customer art! You can create your own gallery and share your art with other marker artists! Marker Art makes for a very creative community! Another outlet store employee at Cheap Joe’s, Billy Fowler, is a dedicated Copic Marker artist. He has several great works on the Copic Color Website as well as on his own website on deviantart.com. His artwork shows the professional quality of this great product!
We are proud and fortunate to have so many working artists using various mediums at Cheap Joe’s. As an art materials supplier and artists ourselves, we believe in making art and encouraging others to do so, too!
I hope you learned as much as I did about these great Copic products. This really is a lifetime investment that is a great value! They may cost a little more than disposable markers, but you will only have to buy them once and never have to throw them away! Seems like a good idea to me! Oh, and did I mention Christmas is right around the corner and these make great stocking stuffers? Be easy to shop for and put some Copics on your Christmas list and give Santa a little break this year!
Have a Happy Copic Marker Day! and try some today!
Keep Your Copic Markers Filled and Your Sketchbook Colored!