Life & Other Stuff

Friday, September 3, 2010

To Copic or not to Copic

...that was my question. 

I was once a Copic virgin.  Had no idea what a Copic marker was.  I attended a Stampin' Up event where the hostess had the most outrageous collection of Copic markers.  The array of colors had me at "hello".  The smoothness in which they colored enamored me.  Curiosity let out this cat!  There is something incredibly fabulous about these markers but other than the fact that I couldn't stop coloring with them left me stumped.  Why are these markers so special?

And thus my hunt for the truth began.

Art stores, high quality craft stores... they had them.  I would walk by them and admire all the delightful colors, gently marking them on the little scraps of paper they offered below the case.  I wanted one.  Oh, I wanted one bad!  But, oh my gosh are they expensive, often ranging in the $6 area for one (Yes, ONE!) marker.  I can't just have one marker.  I can't just have two.  These colors are much too pretty and would require a collection.  How far away is my birthday?  Christmas? An opportunity for a special gift? 

Time passed and each time I passed by a case, I would lust after them.  In the end, I just couldn't validate paying that price.  And then a little crafty angel (ok, my friend Laurie) told me about this store called Cranberry Hill Mercantile.  I was looking for rubber stamps and she suggested they might have a good selection.  She was not kidding!  I'll discuss stamps in a separate story. At CHM, the Copic markers are lower priced than at other retailers.  I was so surprised, so I invested in just a handful of colors.

I had done some research as well to find out more about the markers and one thing led to another and eventually I found a class.  So,recently I took a class from Irina who owns La-la Land Crafts.  She was a wonderful teacher who carefully and patiently explained the basics of Copic Markers.  I was amazed by its capabilities of being refilled, tips being changed out, the forgivingness when coloring.  She basically said, "all you ever knew about coloring, throw it out the window".  She wasn't kidding!  Our task for the evening was to use between 2 and 4 colors and practice "shading".  Sounds simple, but I had the darndest time doing it.  For many years now, I've been thinking I had at least a bit artist talent.  But, with Copic, I no longer think so.  Irina would come over and show me how to visualize the shadows in the stamped image.  Simple, I swear she made it look simple.  Then, I'd try.  FAIL!  She reminded us that it will take practice and the more we do it, the better we will become.  I walked away completely unsure of my own abilities in being creative and a bit overwhelmed by the diversity and complexity these markers are capable of doing.

So, for now, I have my mini set.  I would like to expand one or two colors to a short series of the same shade so I can practice the shading technique.  I suppose I'll need to win the lotto to afford more.

All this said, I feel like a professional.  I was told Manga artists, architects, and artists often use these delightful little tools.


  1. where are the photos of your copic shading?! and you should really post a list of the colors that you have so you don't get duplicates for your birthday, christmas, and just-because gifts ;)

  2. Flip Flop Girl, you are too cute. ;) Let me dig up my creations and get them in the camera. Will post soon.