Last month, a company called Artist Supply Source reached out to me about sending some supplies my way in exchange for a review of their site. I agreed, and they graciously sent me a Pentel Brush Pen, which is something I’ve been dying to try! Today I’m sharing the two pieces I’ve used the brush pen on, along with my review of the Artist Supply Source website. All opinions are 100% my own.
Before I dive into the Artist Supply Source site review, I do need to rave about the brush pen. I love it so much! I definitely need more practice, but it is just so versatile in terms of the different line weights you can get.
The above Link fanart was my first time ever using it. I wanted to dive in with something not overly stressful which meant fanart was my go-to! And since I also can’t wait to play Breath of the Wild, I had to sketch out Link. I’m really pleased with the linework for a first endeavor! It definitely has it’s flaws, but I think the lack of practice has a lot to do with that.
My second piece using the brush pen was a just-for-fun idea I had after watching my daughter play with some (fake) peacock feathers. The sketch and final result turned out way creepier than I had thought it would, and I totally love that! I like the combo of creepy/beauty.
Okay, on to the Artist Supply Source site review.
They have a really great variety of supplies, there’s no denying that. I browsed for quite awhile and there is a great selection. Copic supplies were sold out in a few cases, but that happens with pretty much ANY art supply site.
In terms of pricing, they are comparable to Blick with some things being slightly cheaper and some things being slightly more expensive (I’m talking less than $1 per item difference). Overall, I found them cheaper than Amazon as well.
But now we get into the big problem with Artist Supply Source. Shipping. I couldn’t in good conscience write a review for a shopping website without actually placing an order from them, and I am SO glad I did.
To be blunt, shipping costs from Artist Supply Source are absolutely outrageous. My first order that I put in my cart totaled around $28. Estimated shipping cost? $17. SEVENTEEN DOLLARS. I mean that’s over half the cost of my order itself! And there is no logical explanation for it. I live in New Hampshire. According to the site, these items were shipping from Connecticut. Nothing was crazy heavy or large – the order contained a few brushes, a travel watercolor set, and a small travel sketchbook. So why the outrageous shipping cost?
Well, at this point, I assumed it was a mistake. So I emailed customer service and explained the situation. First off, I found customer service to be pretty slow. At least a full day went in between emails back and forth. Not great. Second, they gave absolutely no useful information. After the first email I sent explaining the situation, I received an email back stating how shipping costs are calculated (things like weight, etc. Nothing new there.) Then, I was asked to send the specific links to the items I wanted and they would calculate what the shipping cost should be. I did so. They responded saying the shipping cost should be about $7.
THAT is reasonable. I mean, $6-$7 is totally average for your standard ground shipping fee using UPS or FedEx. I responded saying, yes, that seems totally normal, but that isn’t what was coming up in the checkout, and could they explain why? This is the part where I get really mad. I never got an answer, or even an effort of an explanation. Literally. All I got was a copy of the first email; the explanation of how the shipping costs are calculated. So what the heck, people? My question was never answered.
Now at this point I’m quite clearly annoyed, but I still want to do my best to give a comprehensive review. So I figure, maybe the order is a fluke. I emptied my cart and added in some new things. SMALL, LIGHTWEIGHT things. Literally two paintbrushes + a set of waterbrushes. Total cost of the order was about $11. Any guesses as to the shipping cost this time? FUCKING $28 AND CHANGE. Yeaaaaaah, needless to say I emptied my cart and haven’t been to the site since.
TL;DR: Unfortunately, I cannot recommend shopping at Artist Supply Source for your art supply needs. They definitely have some shipping cost issues that need resolving, but from the sounds of it, their customer service doesn’t have much interest in that. Ironic, since on their front page they have a banner stating “superstar award-winning customer service” AND “fast low-cost delivery within USA and worldwide”. I sincerely hope they do get the problems resolved.