When the lights in New York Comic Con 2015’s Artist Alley dimmed low on Sunday, everyone thought that party was over. As it turns out, the celebration was just getting started. While artists packed their bags, Winsor & Newton, a prestigious art supply company in attendance the show, decided to give away their entire leftover stock of pigment markers to attending creators. For those not in the know, Winsor & Newton have been around since 1832, making them one of the oldest art supply companies currently in operation.
The company’s new generation of pigment markers earned a great deal of praise throughout the weekend from a number of prolific artists including Rodney Ramos (Transmetropolitan) and James O’Barr. According to Ramos, when he first showed the markers to O’Barr on Thursday, The Crow creator said “‘Oh my god, this is great!’ He just kept working with it. He gave it back to me, and five minutes later he said ‘can I get that marker again?'” Ramos was such a strong believer in the art supplies that he continued to bring numerous artists to the Winsor & Newton table each day of the convention.
According to Kelly Carhart-Kline, Winsor & Newton’s North American Marketing Director, the company’s new line of pigment markers are designed to be sun-resistant, fast drying, and easily blendable. Each one retails for a little over $4, and I myself got nearly twenty, a minuscule volume of the markers being given away. From my conservative guesstimate, the company easily gave away more than $1000 worth of stock.
Why’d they do it? According to Carhart-Kline, “we really wanted to get the markers into the hands of the people who would use them the most; who would appreciate them the most.”