I am an art supply junkie. I love pencils, pens, paints, paper, and any other thing you can think of. I’ve got tons of art supplies. Some I haven’t even touched in a long time. For example I have a couple of drawers full of oil paint. In the 1980s and 1990s I did a lot of painting with oil paint. But then in the early 2000s I wanted to try acrylic paint so I switched over to them. Meanwhile my oil paints just sit in a drawer. They may not be good anymore. I don’t even know. Someday I’ll use oil paint again.

Having plenty of art supplies doesn’t stop me from wanting more of them. After all, art supplies get used up so I may as well have a lot of them on hand. To that end I like to look through art supply catalogs and websites. Even when I end up buying nothing I still like to browse. I am often filling up my cart on one of these art websites only to empty it and never buy something. Sometimes I add the stuff to my wishlist so I can find it easily later.

One of the things I like to buy are markers. I have a hundred marker collection of Copic markers and those are the ones I use most. Even though you can refill the markers with ink I still have to buy replacement markers when the caps wear out. If the cap on a marker doesn’t seal properly then that marker will dry out quickly and be unusable.

I’ve tried out other types of markers too. I have a set of 24 Pitt brush markers, a set of 12 Pitt Big Brush markers, a ShinHan set of about 50 markers that I bought years ago that still have some life in them, a group of about 24 Prismacolor markers, and a few each of at least four other marker brands. Plus I have about a 30 marker group of Sharpies and another 20 marker group of Bic markers. Neither of those sets are as good as the “Art markers” but they’re still fun.

I have all these markers but I still was looking just last night at the Dick Blick website and their house brand markers. Blick has been making their own marker for years now and I tried some out a long time ago but they have recently remade their marker and have come out with refits for them. Refills are really important to me because they make the markers a lot cheaper. One marker is about $6 and one bottle of marker ink is about $8. A bottle of ink can refill the marker about ten times. That beats buying ten $6 markers.

The Blick markers are cheaper than the Copic markers. Especially since Copic just cut the size of their bottle of ink in half without dropping the price. You used to 25ml of ink for $8 and now you get 12ml. So I’m thinking about switching over to Blick markers. But how long would it take for it to be worth it? Do I really want to replace a hundred markers? Plus I already have a hundred bottles of Copic ink. Do I just not buy anymore Copic ink? I don’t know.

Either way I had a bunch of Blick markers in my checkout basket for a while before I deleted them. I figured I’d start with blue markers so I picked out $13 set of six blue markers. That’s a lot cheaper than $6 a marker. Oddly they only had refill ink for five out of the six markers. Sorrento Blue is nowhere to be found. At $6 for a bottle of ink the price went up over $40 pretty quickly. I should just buy the markers to try them out but I’m so used to buying refits with markers these days that it’s hard not to.

I also saw a set of 24 Blick markers for $15. I wanted to grab those up but with tax and shipping the price went up to closer to $25. I put them in my cart along with the blue markers but eventually deleted all of them. Shipping is usually why I like to make big orders of art supplies. At around $50 most places offer free shipping so it’s best to wait until I have a need for that many art supplies.

I’ve also been checking out off brand markers on Amazon. It seems that in the last few years a lot of companies have been making and branding their own markers. They generally try to imitate Copic markers but are much cheaper. I see sets of 80 marker for $40. At 50¢ a marker that’s a really good price. But I have no idea if the marker, or more importantly the ink inside, is any good. Copic is well known for the consistency and durability of their ink. I don’t know if these knock-offs are half as good.

One time back in 2017 I was looking to replace a specific color Copic marker ink and I couldn’t find it. I ended up ordering it from a third party seller on Amazon. Much to my surprise when I got the tracking number the marker was coming all the way from Japan. It only cost me about $6 so I was stunned it was coming from Japan. Sending a $6 bottle of ink from halfway across the world didn’t seem like it would be profitable to anyone.

I get a lot of ads for art supplies on both Facebook and Instagram. I guess since I post a lot of art they’ve figured out I’m an artist. I’m okay with that because I like looking at art supply ads. Usually they’re for gimmick art supplies like a brass aperture that can be used as a circle template. There are also all sorts of tooled metal things designed to help you draw any number of spirograph like shapes. They’re mostly too expensive for my budget. They run anywhere from $20-$40 which is too much for an impulse buy for me. I can get a set of Blick markers for that price!