I want to buy a special New Yorkish drawing-y gift. Please hope me?
November 2, 2010 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Fabulous, unique, amazing graphic design and/or drawing gifts in NYC?

I'm in a long-distance relationship--my boyfriend is a Graphic Design major and he loves to draw (with pen). He lives in Portland and I'm in New York, and Christmas is coming up and I'm starting to think about gifts. I was thinking it'd be neat to get him something really special related to his major/art, something that isn't as easy to get in Portland (where we are both from), or something that is uniquely New York in one way or another (maybe because the store it's from is unique?).

In other words, if you have any suggestions as far as either a *gift* or a *store* to check out, I am all ears! I tried to do a google search but there is so much here...I'm pretty open--he draws pretty unusual and imaginative stuff, generally in black ink on paper, and that's the only media he works in as far as his own art. However, his major is more inclusive as far as media goes...so I'm open to it all!

Thank you for anything and everything. :)
posted by nonmerci to Shopping (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, you should check out New York Central Art Supply store in the East Village. I've never been but it was profiled in the NYT a couple of weeks ago and it sounds pretty cool. I don't even "do art" although I love to collect pens and want to get back into sketching, and I bookmarked the article so that I wouldn't forget to check it out on my next trip to NYC.
posted by kaybdc at 7:00 PM on November 2, 2010

Response by poster: This is exactly the kind of comment I am hoping for! Thank you, kaybdc. :)
posted by nonmerci at 7:14 PM on November 2, 2010

The Strand has some awesome, awesome, awesome books on art and design on the mezzanine and second floors. Cute little pocket-size books and enormous, beautiful folios, and everything in between.
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:17 PM on November 2, 2010

The MOMA store usually has cool stuff.
posted by TEA at 7:18 PM on November 2, 2010

Maybe try the Compleat Sculptor? It is one of the more interesting arts supply stores I have been into.
posted by soy_renfield at 7:21 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Having been to most of the big art supply stores around the city, I have no idea what's supposed to be so special about New York Central Art Supply. Not saying don't go there (and it definitely has its own special vibe, like a lot of other interesting East Village holes in the wall you should go dig around in before they're all replaced by Forever 21 outlets and NYU dorms). But they don't carry much that you couldn't get in any other art supply store in the city, let alone what's available in Portland.

I love the MoMA design store for interesting artsy fartsy stuff. They also have a great bookshop.

Forbidden Planet has an amazing selection of graphic novels and underground comics. Not sure how this compares to what you can get in Portland.

Lee's Art Shop is an experience that is not to be missed, though I don't know that they carry special drawing supplies other stores wouldn't. But man, that place is HUGE. You can get lost in there. They have an entire floor dedicated to portfolios!

Paper Presentation has every kind of, well, paper you could ever imagine. It's lots of stationery and scrapbooking stuff, but if there's a weird notebook he loves that's hard to get in Portland, they'll have it there. And if they don't have what you want, Kate's Paperie will. You should also check out the stationery section of Kinokuniya Books - especially if he's in any way interested in Japanese drawing techniques. They also have an unbelievable Manga section.

You should also drop by Printed Matter, for books and art world swag. Their website just reminded me that this weekend is the New York Art Book Fair! Not sure whether that's books about art or Book Art, but definitely worth a look-see over at PS1. An actual piece of art in book form would be a pretty amazing gift.
posted by Sara C. at 7:34 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Jorge Colombo's iPhone sketch New Yorker Covers.
posted by rhizome at 7:41 PM on November 2, 2010

Ugh, I should read other people's links before I post. Had no idea about the paper thing with NYCAS. Still, pretty sure the article is overstating the case (Paper Presentation and Kate's have comparable numbers of types of paper, and honestly $5 for a sheet of paper is nothing). Also, still, pretty sure it's a cool place to go mess around of an afternoon.
posted by Sara C. at 7:42 PM on November 2, 2010

2nd Jorge Columbo, or any of the NYC-themed 20x200 editions.
posted by judith at 7:48 PM on November 2, 2010

You might also check out Art Brown International Pen Shop... they're more writing instrument & stationery than art-oriented, but there's some neat stuff there. Their fountain pen ink selection is amazing. (See this discussion about drawing with fountain pens.)
posted by usonian at 8:58 PM on November 2, 2010

Best answer: People who draw with ink on paper can be very particular about the kinds of paper and ink they use. With that caveat out of the way, I love Handprint sketchbooks (toothy, thick, creamy paper) and Dr. PH Martin Black Star India ink (very dense, very black, but not shiny). Neither of these is available everywhere; both are at NY Central.

Definitely check out Printed Matter.

He might like a brush pen with the ink built in. Kinokuniya has these. Why not a regular brush and some ink, you ask? Well, all I can tell you is that for some reason these brush pens make a special, different kind of dry-brushy mark that is somehow more difficult with a regular brush. This is perhaps contradictory to your request, since Portlander Craig Thompson uses 'em sometimes.
posted by the_blizz at 9:40 PM on November 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!
posted by nonmerci at 8:04 AM on November 4, 2010

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