Pearl Paint is widely held as the artist’s go-to retailer for supplies at decent prices, but that store is in Manhattan, and we are not. I wanted to find the best art supply stores here in our very own borough, so I decided to do a cost comparison of the items I use most myself, from five local shops. The products were Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph technical pens (individual), Prismacolor markers (individual), Higgins India ink (1 oz.), and the cheapest, crappiest pencils and brushes each store carried.
The five stores were:
• Utrecht Art Supplies, 536 Myrtle Ave. (between Emerson and Steuben)
• The Pratt Store, 550 Myrtle Ave. (between Emerson and Steuben)
• Apple Art, 321 Dekalb Ave. (between Hall and Washington)
• W C Art & Drafting Supply Co, 351 Jay St. (at Smith)
• Artist & Craftsman Supply, 761 Metropolitan Ave. (between Humboldt and Graham)
And the results went like this:
The results: Utrecht (total: $35.85) and Pratt (total: $34.88) win the price check by a polyester hair and are literally next door to each other. Both have a good selection, competent staff and typically good music playing. Next comes Artist & Craftsman Supply (total: $37.03). Apple Art (total: $39.16) is the smallest, cutest, most mom-and-pop kind of place and is also one of the more expensive, but also offers an excellent selection for fine arts supplies, (painting, wood carving, etc.)
If your projects lean more towards the crafty end of the arts and crafts spectrum, WC Art & Drafting Supply is your best bet, thought art and illustration supplies are more expensive here (total: $43.06)
If you’re a college student (or if you have your old college ID or, probably if you just look like you go to college) each of these stores throw in an additional !0% off. With Artists & Craftsman Supply, it has to be a current ID for a school in the tri-state area. God, I know right? IT’S SO UNFAIR.