Your Art Supply Store in Aptos
By Maggie Caldwell
Art Supplies, Ink is Aptos’ world-class destination art supply store, and in keeping with the spirit of our community is also truly a family-run business. Owner Rich Koslowski is an award-winning writer, cartoonist, and animator who works with Archie Comics, Marvel Comics, and Top Shelf Productions. He’s written several original graphic novels with his wife and business partner Sandy Koslowski, also a professional artist who works in many mediums but who specializes in and has won awards for her clay sculpture.
Their daughter Stella, an incoming Aptos Junior High student, is the third member of Team Kowalski. “She’s a trooper,” says Rich. “She helps teach the kids’ art camps and classes and is manager of the kids’ section.” Stella, a talented painter in her own right, has a discerning eye and is responsible for the popular selection of Japanese erasers, stickers, and other kid-friendly art and craft supplies. “She even has her own department of Totoro backpacks and other merchandise,” Rich points out.
The top selling items at Art Supplies, Ink include sketch books and Gelly Roll markers, but there’s an inspiring array of art and art-related supplies for any type of project you can imagine: Solarfast dyes to print photos on fabric using only sunlight, Zentangle books and tiles, Japanese art markers for manga artists markers and brushes, even brightly-hued mural paints that Team Koslowski used with the outgoing Valencia sixth-graders this past year.
The inventory has grown tremendously since the store opened almost a year and a half ago. The selection of basic art supplies such as acrylic and oil paints, markers, pastels, and brushes had widened tremendously in response to the needs of the community. Expect Art Supplies, Ink to be especially well stocked for back-to-school.
“From our first year in business, we really understood what we needed to have on hand for all the students in the area, and we’re ready now, said Rich. “Display boards, presentation boards, glue sticks, drafting supplies – we’ve got it all.” Art Supplies, Ink also stocks everything Cabrillo students need for their classes and offers a 15% discount with a Cabrillo ID.
Gifts and More
Art Supplies, Ink has become a popular place to shop for gifts both for kids’ birthday parties and for adults. In addition to how-to books, comics and graphic novels, games, and puzzles, Rich points out some unusual gift choices: elegant wooden boxed calligraphy sets hand made in the Netherlands, Piperoid paper pipe robots from Japan, and handmade journals and felted wool bags from Nepal. “We go to gift shows, art shows, and conventions to look for new and different items for our customers to enjoy,” he explains. Art Supplies, Ink also offers custom picture framing and stocks a wide assortment of ready-made frames if you choose to gift a handmade picture or photo.
Throw an Art Party at Art Supplies, Ink
There’s a separate room at Art Supplies, Ink where art-themed parties are held. “The Fairy House parties – sometimes we call them Sparrowman houses – are the most popular by far,” Rich observes. “We’ve even had a family reunion here building fairy houses – there were all ages from 7 to 70. You could tell they were all having a great time.”
Other themed parties to choose from are Zentangle Designs, Creative Collage, Cartoon Superheroes, Design T-Shirts, Sculpey Fun, Making Mosaics, and the newest offering: Painting Skateboard Decks. “We’ve held a few of those this summer, and the kids have a blast. They can either take their decks home and hang them on the wall or turn them into working skateboards.”
Weekly Classes for All Ages
Facilitating art education is a big part of the Koslowski family’s mission, so they team with local artists to offer a variety of classes, camps, and workshops. Jon “Bean” Hastings teaches cartooning classes every Monday afternoon. Kimberly Hardin offers her expertise on Youth Canvas Painting Thursday and Friday afternoons. And Wednesdays – early dismissal days for the PVUSD students – Team Koslowski holds their “Every Wednesday” art class where students aged 4 – 9 explore a variety of art materials and techniques.
Sandy, who co-teaches the class, observes, “The little ones love to do the projects with clay and paint and some of the other mixed media. They don’t always have the opportunity to get down right messy and it is fun for them. They love the tactile experience.” Students are also welcome to drop-in on “Every Wednesday.” In addition to the kids’ classes, Noah Gould offers oil painting classes for adults and teenagers on Saturdays.
Art Supplies, Ink is located in the Aptos Village Square at 7960 Soquel Drive Suite H1. Hours are Monday – Friday 10AM to 6PM and Saturday 10AM – 5PM. They are closed on Sundays.
Their phone number is 831-708-2855 and website is http://artsuppliesink.com. Follow them on Facebook for daily updates about classes and specials.