(This is the first of a series of posts set in, or connected with, the great city of Chicago.)
Did you ever wonder where sketchbooks come from? For me, at least, they usually come from a major online dealer, arriving in a brown cardboard box a few days after a brief exchange of information over the internet.
I’m old enough to remember real brick and mortar stores (we just called them “stores”) where you could walk down the street and buy this kind of thing for cash– not just art supply stores, but stationary stores, craft stores, and even dime stores and department stores– they all sold basic drawing stuff, with larger selections at the more specialized outlets. These have all been gone from the suburbs and small towns for a long time, the last holdouts being the big box office supply and crafts stores. Now even those have cut their assortments of serious art supplies to the bone, with the former selling mostly school supplies and the former the kit based and crafty. Where I live, I can still buy black markers (I use office markers anyway) and the Bristol board drawing paper I use to make finished comics in here in town, but everything else has to be ordered in, and I am pretty sure the Bristol will go next.
But then there’s the big city. That major on line art supplies dealer has a large real world store in Chicago where you can actually walk in and buy all kinds of stuff. You can poke at the stuff, ask the staff about it, talk to passers by about it, and if you are careful and use a discreet camera, you can take pictures of it. So here is a rare photograph of authentic Drawing of the Day sketchbooks in the wild, or in the field waiting to be gathered, or whatever metaphor you care to use. Specifically, the drawing of the day is done in the 80 page, 7 x 10 Cachet Classic black wirebound hardcover sketchbooks seen in the lower right and the lower center stacks. Lots and lots of them.