Wednesday, September 04, 2013

August Deboxing: Art Snacks, Box 4

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After last month's disappointing Art Snack, I had somewhat low expectations for this month's.  I keep hoping for something really special to take me by surprise, but the bar may be a bit too high.  This month's Art Snack, while not particularly inspiring to me, beats last month's by a long shot.

NOTE:  The menu says 'September', but it arrived in late August.


My August Art Snack arrived while I was in New Orleans for Mechacon (link), so it was a nice little surprise to come home to.

My August Art Snacks came in their signature little white box.

Inside were a neatly wrapped green parcel, a 'snack', a menu card, and an Art Snacks vinyl sticker, perfect for covering the barcodes on my used sketchbooks.

In the past, Air Heads have dissolved my braces glue (stupid choice on my part) AND a filling (I know, what?), so this went to Joseph.

This month's menu includes:
  • A Tombow Mono Zero Eraser
  • A Koh-i-Noor Triocolor Pencil
  • A Stabilio Pen 68
  • A Kurecolor Twin S Marker
  • A Chartpak Blender Marker

The Review

This month's Snack definitely impressed me more than last month's disappointing snack, but I'm still waiting for Art Snacks to surprise me.  I use Mono zero erasers on a daily basis, and I've tested both Kurecolor S markers and Chartpak AdPro markers, and have noodled around with Stabilos, which are fine as pens, but subpar as technical pens.

I was a little confused as to why a blender marker was included, but no Chartpakmarker to blend it with.  Yes, Kurecolor markers will blend with Chartpak blenders, but the results are almost uncontrollable, the bleed is so large.  I am impressed that two markers were included this time, and that one was a Kurecolor S, which isn't usually carried in brick and mortar art stores.  I really like Mono Zero erasers, and I'm glad that their inclusion in an Art Snack may garner them a bit more exposure.  I've never used a Koh-i-Noor Triocolor, but the color I was sent is lovely, and I'm sure I can put it to good use. And I love felt tip pens of all stripes for doodling, and the Stabilo can certainly fill that need.

So was it worth $20?  Let's crunch some numbers!

Chartpak Blender- On Amazon- $5.29 with free shipping from Prime (best price I could find on Amazon, and this is as an add on item)
Kurecolor S- On, an individual marker is on sale for $3.28 (not including shipping)
Mono Zero- On Jetpens, $5.75, not including shipping or tax.
Koh-i-Noor Triocolor- On Art Supply Warehouse, individual Triocolor colored pencils are $1.93, not including shipping or tax
Stabilo- On Art Supply Warehouse, individual Stabilo pens are $1.10, not including tax or shipping

This month's total is: $17.35, which is leagues better than last month's total, and may even be too generous considering one pays $20 per month for the subscription.  Generally, I consider $15 worth of art supplies from this $20 blind box to be a 'good deal', since I enjoy the novelty of random monthly art supplies, I recognize the need to pay employees, and I know shipping costs money.

I'm not sure if monthly selections are made to correspond with a theme or if they're random (they seem a bit random), but I recommend that Art Snacks try to ensure that each month does not dip below $10 worth of items.

I am a bit curious as to who Art Snack's target audience is.  Their supplies are a bit low-grade and basic (sometimes) for a professional artist, but may be a bit obscure for a complete novice.  This month's suggestion would be for them to consider two tiers of subscription:  BEGINNER and PROFESSIONAL, and offer supplies accordingly, but this would increase their costs significantly.