It’s been a while since Creativeworld 2020 in Frankfurt, but I wanted to record my memories from the very first art supplies fair, that I visited.
I want to start chronologically. When you enter Frankfurt Fair, you don’t get around visiting the commercial Christmas fair, which takes place at the same time. Why in January? So your favorite stores can plan for the next festive season. If you don’t believe in time travel, that’s the place where you will change your mind. The intricately decorated booths take you at least a month back. Even such a Grinch as myself feels so comfy among the fluffy owls, glittery balls, lights and mystic creatures made of wood and glass.
We headed towards the most exciting part: Creativeworld! I was very hesitant to take photos there. And I also had to talk to a company or two, asking about their products. Below are the impressions of some booths.
Nevskaya Palitra/St. Petersburg
I have the advantage to talk to all the amazing brands from Russia in their native language. But in that case, I felt like I wasted my time. My complaint about tubes with empty spaces was basically shrugged off like “I have no knowledge of this, I’m here to sell.” Well, ok. I still like those paints. But with that amount of artists roaming those halls they could easily install a small area, where visitors could swatch the new colors. Impression: meh.
The booth booked by Royal Talens, the umbrella brand behind the brands van Gogh, Rembrandt, Art Creation and Cobra, was probably the most impressive and it’s really a pity that I can’t show you anything. Next time I’ll be smarter and take my GoPro with me. There was a huge space with neatly arranged displays and they had their own café with coffee tables (occupied by people talking serious business) and free coffee! Well, we asked for water. Impression: Royal! Pun intended.
Do you know this company? I’m sure you already used at least some of their products. The artist quality brands LUKAS, Daler-Rowney, Canson, Princeton Brushes and Maimeri are part of this huge group, along with many others. Their booth was cut off from the main space with walls and it felt like an art supplies store. I finally had the chance to test out Princeton’s brushes on a special surface, where clear water leaves dark markings and they disappear when the board dries. One thing that I do not understand: Why is everybody so keen on the Neptune series, but I hardly hear anyone talking about Aqua Elite? I received a sample, a size 10 round brush and I’m in love with it! After using it for a while I can understand why some artists don’t like it: it requires an adjustment of the entire painting process.
Golden Arists Colors Inc.
Golden didn’t have a booth full of action, but they had something better: Friendly representatives. I had a mishap with one of my QoR tubes and it was not normal. Right now my replacement is most likely stuck somewhere in Hamburg or Frankfurt, waiting to pass the customs.
I also received a set of QoR sample tubes and Williamsburg sample tubes. Well, now I have no choice, but to start oil painting, right?
There were so many other brands there (basically every brand that you know) and I’d have to write a mini-novel to cover them all. What I can say is that if you come from further away, maybe booking two days is a good idea. That way you can spend more time getting to know the brands, talk to the representatives and sometimes you can even try out the products yourself. Most of the time there are artists at some booths and you can just stand and watch them at work. I really wish that one day the fair will become targeted not only at representatives of art supply stores. It’s such a great way for companies to establish connections with artists. You MUST be at least self-employed to get a ticket. You’ll get asked for a card and sometimes you even have to be a business person to just talk to the representatives.
I will definitely be there next year! Who’s with me?