From the overflowing, overwhelming aisles of Moskatel’s downtown craft palace to the carefully curated shelves at Los Feliz’s Blue Rooster Art Supplies, Los Angeles is home to a wealth of great art supply stores. Here are some of our favorites, and their specialties.
Retna/El Mac mural across from Graphaids. (Photo via Graphaids via Facebook)
You know an art supply store is serious about street art when the side of their building serves as a canvas for El Mac and Retna, as is the case with Culver City’s Graphaids. The art supply mecca has since moved into a new store across the street, but the “Of Our Youth” mural remains at the original location (3030 La Cienega Boulevard). As you might guess, Graphaids has an impeccable and extremely large selection of spray paints. Other highlights include their professional drafting supplies (so many templates!), digital printing supplies and services, and marker selection.
Graphaids is located at 3051 S La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City. (310) 204-1212. They also have locations in Long Beach and Agoura.
Top’s interior. (Photo courtesy of Top’s via Yelp)
This Koreatown mom-and-pop shop is, quite literally, my neighborhood art store, and I’m extremely grateful to have it so close by. They have a wide array of high-quality supplies at reasonable prices. All of the employees at this family-owned store are not just extremely knowledgeable about their wares, but also friendly and helpful. Have a question about which brush would be best for achieving a specific effect? Just ask, and they’ll do their best to explain and point you in the right direction while being mindful of your price restrictions. Top’s is also basically Copic marker heaven—they have a giant and very well-priced selection that can rival any art superstore. Other specialties include their fashion and pattern-making supplies, handmade papers, frequent canvas discounts, and Japanese brushes. And there is a free parking lot in in back, which is basically gold in Koreatown.
Top’s is located at 3447 W 8th Street in Koreatown. (213) 382-8229
(Photos by Blue Rooster via Facebook)
BLUE ROOSTER ART SUPPLIES.
Originally located in a tiny storefront on Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz, Blue Rooster has since moved around the corner to a slightly larger Hollywood Boulevard location. The store is still small, but they pack an impressive amount of stock into their well-curated shelves. They may not carry every possible brand, but the supplies they do choose to carry are very, very good—and often include things you might not otherwise find elsewhere. I’ve discovered some of my favorite paints at Blue Rooster. Paint and pigments are one of their specialties, particularly spray paint and anything graffiti-related. They also have great sketchbooks. Check their calendar for upcoming classes, sales, and cool events held in the courtyard behind the store.
Blue Rooster is located at 4661 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz. (323) 302-5613
Some of the vast selection of faux florals at Moskatel’s. (Photo by Sylvia W. via Yelp).
Moskatel’s definitely veers more into the crafty side of arts and crafts, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention this warehouse-sized paradise of supplies. Located in downtown’s Flower District and owned by Michael’s, Moskatel’s literally has every possible craft supply you could dream of… and more. Most of the prices are bargain basement, and much is offered in bulk. But be forewarned: it is difficult to walk the teeming aisles without wanting everything in sight (including many things you previously did not even know existed), and also suddenly being quite certain that you should start making candles, or soap, or decorate your entire home in faux florals, or just become someone who has this eight-pack of specialty miniature [insert object here] on hand for your next party. And their Halloween decorations, as you might guess, are nothing short of epic. I want to live here.
Moskatel’s is located at 733 San Julian Street in downtown Los Angeles. (213) 689-4830
Raw Materials exterior and their Handbook Journal Co. notebooks. (Photos by Raw Materials via Facebook)
Located on Main Street right by the Regent Theatre, downtown’s neighborhood art store is similar in size and scope to Blue Rooster. Raw Materials is relatively small and moderately priced, but they have an excellent supply of paints, art pens and paper. You won’t get lost in here, but you might just find the perfect sketchbook. The selection of mixed-media sketchbooks is particularly good—they even carry my favorite Handbook Journal Co. “trav•e•logue series” watercolor journals in sizes I hadn’t previously seen stocked anywhere else. The well-organized selection makes Raw Materials a perfect place for downtown worker bees to stop in on their lunch breaks. And FYI, they typically get new supplies in on Wednesdays.
Raw Materials is located at 436 S. Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. (800) 729-7060
Blick on Beverly Boulevard in Mid-City. (Photo by Mike B. via Yelp).
Blick may be a big chain, but their numerous Southern California locations tend to have the personality of much smaller, indie art stores. I’ve made too many Blick visits to count over the years, and never encountered a salesperson who wasn’t knowledgeable about their wares (though they tend to have different specialties, most Blick employees are artists). Their stores carry a giant selection at a range of price points, regardless of your chosen medium.
There are Blick locations in Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica and West L.A.
Article courtesy of LAist.