Monday, December 07, 2015

Target Art Supply Review: Introduction

I'd be a fool to pretend that most of my readers don't have a Walmart within an hour's driving distance, so I know my Walmart Art Supply series probably has the widest possible reach and application.  But Walmart isn't the only big box chain in the country, and it's not the only source of supplies for many of my readers who live too far away from art supply stores to make the drive.  So days after I bought all the materials for my Walmart Art Supply series, but before I'd photographed or processed them all, I was back behind the cart for even more affordable art supplies.

I've casually mentioned on my Instagram and Twitter that I'm also doing Target and Dollar Tree series, giving me the trifecta of cheap art supplies available in the US.  I did my Target run at the Target at Esplanade, in Kenner, Louisiana, while I was in town for Mechacon.  It was at the height of back to school shopping season, so your selection may vary greatly from what mine was depending on the time of year.

Before we dive into these reviews, I'd like to take a moment to thank those of you who've been supportive of this blog by writing in, donating things for review, and purchasing from my affiliate links.  Your support really means a lot to me, especially since artist run art supply review blogs don't see the same popularity or sponsorship that many craft-focused blogs do, and certainly don't see anywhere near the support that popular Let's Play youtube channels see.  Although my focus right now is on affordable and accessible art supplies (meaning no ordering online, no need for a credit or debit card), I have a lot of exciting reviews in the lineup (lots of new alcohol based markers, including Blicks revised Studio markers, for example).  I've also integrated polls into my layout, allowing you guys to voice what you want without having to write an email.  Since you guys have requested more tutorials, there will definitely be a focus on that in the near future as well.  

I went into Target looking for the same sort of things I hunted for when shopping for the Walmart series:  Drawing stuff, Inking Stuff, Coloring Stuff, Erasing Stuff, Storing Stuff.  I tried not to buy things I could buy easily at Walmart, although I did make a couple goofs.  You guys can check out everything I bought in my Target Art Supply Review Haul video below.



But for those of us who prefer to read our content, below are photos from my trip, as well as an itemized and priced list of what I bought.

A caveat:  Target is often more expensive than Walmart for comparable things, so if you're looking for the biggest savings, I recommend you hit up Walmart first, and get what you can't find there at Target.

The Target

Arts and Crafts Section

I'm not sure if all Targets will eventually have a section like this, or if the Kenner Target is just one of the lucky ones, but the two Targets I've been to in the Nashville area don't have craft sections, and the Target in Savannah, GA, didn't have one either.  The craft section in the Kenner Target is only one aisle, but it has a few interesting supplies, although variety is limited.


Boxed spools of ribbon, boxed glitter, any item that's sold en masse is sold as a set.


Sets of brushes on a picked over pegboard.  I opted not to pick any up, I probably should have examined the small brush set in greater detail.


Yes, nothing says 'craft' more like unstocked shelves.  The Crayon Gems look pretty cute though.

Kids Stationary/Art Supplies Permanent Section


I think most Targets have this section towards the front year round.  You can get your basic school and kids' craft staples- glues, pencil boxes, ect.



And this Target carries scrapbooking and journaling supplies by ek tools.  I picked up the Calligraphy pens and the journaling pens for this review.  As you can see, they were a bit pricy.





Although there are lots of notebooks to choose from, there are no sketchbooks here, and I couldn't find any unruled notebooks to use as a sketchbook in this section.


Lots of ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils to choose from.


Ok, I lied, Target has Moleskins, but given how smooth the paper, I don't like using them for sketchbooks, and I honestly think they're overpriced, so I opted not to review them in the Target Art Supply Review series.


It's always good to have a compass and protractor in your drafting supply stash.


When I was an artist in highschool, I carried my comic pages around with me in a plastic clipboard case like this.  These are really handy if you like to work in 8.5"x11" format- you've got a hard surface, a clip to keep your paper in place, and somewhere to store your pages and supplies when you're not using them!  I still use a regular chipboard clipboard for my at-con commissions, so I don't have to rely on the tabletop for a hard surface.  I highly recommend you pick one up for your own stash.




Seasonal Back to School Section

By the time this review goes live, this section will have withered away with the summer leaves.  I tried to get everything I could that suited this review in the regular school section, but I still browsed this area for additional goodies.






Even more pencils, leads, and erasers back here.




The last sketchbook in the entire store, and I bought it.

What I Bought

Mechancial Pencil- Gorilla Lead- 3.62
Up and Up Pack of Mechanical Pencils, .7 lead- $2.79
Sharpie Felt Tipped Pens- $2.97
Up and Up Waterbased Markers- $4.29
Up and Up Watercolor Markers- $4.00
Up and Up Watercolors- $1.77
Pencil Sharpener- $1.49
Yoobi Highlighters- $4.99
Eraser- $1.69
Yoobi Pencil Case- $4.99
Journalling Pens- $12.79
Calligraphy pens- $11.79
Sketchbook- $3.89

My Total

$56.08

My Photo Haul







I think you guys know how these series work by now.  In the upcoming days and weeks, I'll be scrutinizing these products to see if they stand up to my artist standards.  I know not all of these products are intended for that sort of scrutiny, but I believe some will surprise us with how well they perform.

If you enjoy this series, or any of my series, please make sure you share it with your friends and family on your social networks!  You can also send me an email, or consider contacting any of the companies that manufacture these products, and let them know how much you enjoy my reviews!  If you find these reviews really helpful, please consider sending me a tip via the Paypal donation link in the sidebar, or consider purchasing something for yourself or a loved one from the Nattoshop.  Your support really means a lot to me, even if I'm awful about hoarding away your kind emails and taking entirely too long to answer them.