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Rhodia notepads in Plaza Artist Materials store

This month, we answered some interesting questions about the future of notebooks for the Featured Retailer series on the Rhodia Drive blog. Rhodia Drive is sponsored by Clairefontaine-Rhodia, the maker of Rhodia products. On the blog, you can find information and resources for using these iconic orange notepads! The folks at Rhodia Drive asked us questions about the importance of handwriting and drawing by hand in a world ruled by technology. Read an excerpt of the interview below or check out the full interview on Rhodia Drive!

Rhodia Drive: Have digital devices and apps changed how people use notebooks?

Digital devices have definitely changed the way people take notes, create calendars and store information. But smart phones and computers haven’t necessarily changed the way that artists use notebooks. More artists may be experimenting with digital sketchpads and various art apps, but nothing can replace real life sketching. Whether you’re a painter, illustrator or sculptor, you need to be able to sketch. Rhodia graph paper pads are popular with our customers, as are Rhodia notebooks. People may not use notebooks in the workplace like they used to, but many people continue to use no...

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A student practices symmetry, drawing a butterfly during the Big Draw.

On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, students at North Chevy Chase Elementary school gathered for an unusual day of classes. Math, reading, science and other subjects were put on hold. Instead of practicing the three R’s or preparing for standardized testing, the students of NCCES made art. 

Artists, museum educators and designers led students in drawing and painting lessons throughout the day in an event called the "Big Draw." All students in grades 3-6 had the opportunity to participate. Fourth grade teacher Jacqueline Moore first developed the Big Draw for her class in 2008, and it quickly became a school-wide event. Plaza Artist Materials has been a proud supporter of the Big Draw over the years. This year we donated approximately 400 sketchbooks that the students used during the day’s many drawing activities.

“The Big Draw helps our kids hone their powers of observation and it demonstrates how they can apply artistic skills across several different disciplines,” says Moore. The event also teaches kids how to work in different modes of creativity and to appreciate the works of others by recognizing the effort and skill required to produce different types of art.

Art education is vital, b...

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Comments | Posted in Inspiration By K. McDermott


(1.) Everyone Can Be an Artist

All it takes to become an artist is to make art. Did you have a terrible teacher criticize your drawings in middle school? Do you feel like you "aren't as creative as other people” sometimes? Do you feel like you don't fit the mould when you think of what an artist is "supposed" to look like? Artists come from all backgrounds and work in all mediums, and nobody is born a great artist. Art takes practice.

Artistic ability is a muscle that needs to be exercised. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never made art before—if you begin to create art and continue to create art, you can call yourself an artist. It doesn’t matter what stage in life you start to make art. You’ll get better with practice and exploration.

(2.) You’ll Meet New People

Taking art classes is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. You may have the opportunity to interact with people of different ages and backgrounds who you might not meet otherwise. It’s fun to be surrounded by people who also share your love for art and your enthusiasm to learn.

Even if you are a professional artist, taking a workshop can give you a kick start when you’re in a creative rut. You can experiment with a...

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Comments | Posted in Inspiration By K. McDermott

6 Art Podcasts You Need to Hear

Feb 17, 2016 11:32:00 AM

art podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts? For those who are unfamiliar—podcasts are like radio programs, but you can tune in at any time to listen because they are stored online.

There are many interesting online podcasts about contemporary art and art history. Whether you’re looking for something to break up the monotony of the office workday, something to put on in the background when you’re at work in the studio, or interesting listening for a long road trip—these podcasts are perfect. Let us know if you have any other art podcasts you like to listen to!

(1.) Modern Art Notes -

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is a weekly program produced by art historian and critic Tyler Green. In each hour-long episode, Green interviews artists, art historians, curators, conservators and authors. This is a beyond-stellar podcast in terms of research, diversity and depth. Green asks great interview questions and the artists reveal the thought processes behind their artworks.

(2.) NPR Fine Art Podcasts -

NPR’s Fine Art podcasts page features a collection of programs that were broadcasted on the air or on the website and are now available for streaming and down...

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0 Comments | Posted in Inspiration By K. McDermott

Crimson is Red, Phthalo is Blue...

Feb 4, 2016 5:01:00 PM


Want to win a box of art supplies this Valentine's Day? Go to our Facebook page between now and February 14, 2016 and "like" our official Valentine's Day contest post on our page (with the GIF pictured above). You also need to like our Facebook page to qualify for this contest. We'll draw 10 winners at random and announce those winners on February 15, 2016.

Each box contains goodies from great brands like Grumbacher, Molotow, Koh-I-Noor, Schmincke and Higgins, plus AD Markers! 

Check out the Official Contest Rules if you have additional questions!

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Items 1 to 5 of 11 total