Monday, August 31, 2015

That's So Kawaii!!! (Shopping for Art Supplies at the 100 Yen Store)

This week my wife and kids talked me into taking a break from my Utah prep for a little fun and history-in-the-making all wrapped up into one. What could possibly pry me away from the packing and sketching and painting, you ask? Well, the Daiso chain of 100 Yen stores (which already have an extensive presence in California and Washington state) just opened their first Texas store in the DFW area (Carrollton) and we were off to the grand opening!

the Daiso store is one of the first shops to open for business in the new asian market

My wife and kids wanted to check out the colorful, kawaii (i.e., "cute") goodies and the yummy Japanese snack items; while I was intent on discovering anything that might be useful in the studio or field sketcher's day bag. And very best of all -- almost everything in the store sells for just 100 Yen! (That's $1.50US for those of us who don't carry yen in our wallets.)

every aisle is chock full of colorful little possibilities! 

OK, opting for a hand basket instead of a shopping cart was probably wishful thinking on my part. But, being our first visit, I wasn't really certain how extensive the product range was going to be. (After all "all items $1.50" and "artist's supplies" don't usually go together. Right?) And, besides, my wife and kids each grabbed a basket as we entered too.

need a daypack-sized brush carrier (with water bottle and bulb syringe thrown in for good measure)?

The art supplies weren't difficult to find at all. In fact, I was rather surprised to find that there were aisles of them. Not surprisingly, there was an extensive sumi-e selection. But there was also several small watercolor sets to choose from... and sketchbooks, correction tape, and two-sided adhesive dispensers (colorfully decorated, of course.) 

ink sticks, stones and mini sets (yellow arrows), a selection of traditional 
sumi-e brushes (red arrow), and oriental papers (blue arrow)

I also found at least two artist's sketchbooks in the store's stationary section, and several excellent -- and highly affordable -- ink dish and water bowl options in both plastic "lacquerware" and blue ware  porcelain. (Yep, still just $1.50US.)

leave it to Daiso to make correcting those sketchbook errors whimsical and fun

Some items weren't exactly intended for artists -- but it didn't take much imagination to repurpose them for studio or field work. (For example, if you don't want to risk loosing all those artistic goodies in the tall grass, one of these brightly colored bags might be just the thing for keeping it together.)

now that's kawaii!

Or maybe you like to work with your French color box and tripod stool at home but need to protect your hardwood floors against scrapes and scratches. Well, how about socks for those tripod legs?

OK, I guess you could use these with household furniture too

So, why not check out the Daiso web sight, find the nearest store to you, and pay them a visit? (Or email them and ask when you might be able to expect a store opening in your area.) You're certain to have a fun time.

Don't live in the United States or Japan? No worries! Daiso stores can also be found in North America, Brazil, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

how close is your nearest Daiso store?

Note: Daiso does have an online store on their website, but currently it only sells bulk (i.e., by the case.) The prices are still reasonable, but you probably won't need that many of anything unless you're opening up your own 100 Yen store.)

Next week we're back to adventure prep. (This time we'll be working on paper... and maybe shooting a little video.

Until then, Happy Trails... and Sayonara!

1 comment:

  1. I love our local Daiso store in California although we don't seem to have as big a selection of art supplies as you are describing here. Still, good stuff!