Exhausted by the news and the recent hot weather? Take your mind off all that by joining in inktober2019, a sketch-a-day exercise using the 31 prompts shown on a board at St. Louis Art Supply, above.
Utah-based artist Jake Parker dreamed up inktober 10 years ago as a way to increase his drawing skills. The idea spread and now artists around the world post their work on social media during the month of October.
St. Louis Art Supply co-proprietor Carson Monetti shared some of the sketches that have been posted on instagram since yesterday, October 1. The prompt for the first day was “ring.”
Why don’t you give it a go. Use your favorite ink pen—St. Louis Art Supply has a great assortment of fountain pens, which are back in vogue (some contend they have never disappeared), and follow the prompt for each day. More instruction can be found on the inktober website.
Post your drawings on your instagram account and tag #inktober2019 and @stlartsupply. Monetti will gather them together and select a winner. I’ll be keeping mine under wraps, but for those more talented, consider what a stress reliever this daily exercise will be, and then there’s the prospect of that $100 gift certificate.
Since this was posted last May, Joshua Falconer has launched a Kickstarter Campaign to put RASA Easels into production. The prototypes were so successful at St. Louis Art Supply that they sold out quickly. Here is more information about Falconer’s campaign and how you can participate.
Earlier this year while touring MADE, 5197 Delmar, at a Central West End Association Happy Hour, I met Joshua Falconer, above, who along with his business partner and co-inventor Jacob Lewis, was in the process of rolling out a limited edition of RASA Easels—”the nomadic artist’s best friend.”
Falconer, an artist and PhD Candidate in Semitic Languages at Catholic University, and Lewis, an art teacher, have conceived of many ideas individually and as a team, but the RASA easel is the first invention for which they have developed a working prototype and submitted a provisional patent application.
The idea was born of frustration when Lewis realized his drawings were skewed and out of proportion as he drew on a flat surface using a traditional sketchpad. He came up with the notion of combining a tabletop easel with a sketchpad, and Falconer helped engineer, test, and refine the prototype. Falconer said the biggest design challenge was how to make the easel refillable.
They named their invention RASA, alluding to the Latin phrase “tabula rasa” or “blank slate.” Falconer said that the name is “a tribute to the way that every blank page presents new possibilities for artists to explore.”
After approximately 2 years developing the rough-working prototype and refining the design, the inventors produced a small batch of their maple RASA easels and took the finished product about 10 blocks east to St. Louis Art Supply, where they are being sold on consignment. The CWE’s art shop is the exclusive retailer of this pre-release version.
A RASA easel starter set with mixed-media pad is $55, an easel with a drawing paper pad is $49. Refill pads are $16.
Recently Falconer emailed that they have come up with a less expensive RASA easel made of tempered hardboard, a sustainable and durable material that resists warping. This new version can be primed and painted so an artist can customize the cover. It is also refillable. The price has not yet been determined, but they’ll be available at St. Louis Art Supply in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, Falconer and Lewis are planning a crowdfunding campaign to help scale up production and bring down the price point to make the RASA easel even more accessible, so all sorts of creative types—illustrators, comic book artists, tattoo artists, etc.—can take their studio with them wherever they go.
St. Louis Art Supply’s Carson Monetti keeps a supply of watercolor pencils by the display, so you can play with the RASA easel.
When I stopped in the store recently, I asked Monetti whose lovely drawing graced the sample easel. “I don’t have a clue,” he said. “I always find anonymous drawings around here.”
Finding an outlet for a locally-made item in the same neighborhood as it was invented is pretty special. So are the local artists who test products at St. Louis Art Supply and leave their art behind for the rest of us to enjoy.
St. Louis Art Supply proprietors Carson Monetti and Zena Colby were kind enough to let me take an advance tour of their new shop at 4432 Olive St. this morning. You are going to LOVE it!
Depending on the issuance of permits there is a 50% chance they will be open by Friday, otherwise it will be early next week. The best way to get the opening day news is to sign up for updates on their website here, or check Facebook or Instagram.
A view of Cornflower Coffee & Tea which will be open for breakfast and lunch. The store will be stocking coffee-making supplies too.
As I walked out the door, I was handed a delicious homemade chocolate chip cookie that will be on the menu when they open. I was smitten even before I ate every last crumb of that delicious cookie—with just the right hint of salt. What a fabulous addition to the neighborhood!
St. Louis Art Supply and Cornflower Coffee & Tea, 4532 Olive St., will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day but Monday.