By Mark Golden
Golden Artist Colors, Inc. has worked diligently to create a company that we could all be proud of. Our mission, emerging from our conversation with artists, has kept our direction focused: To grow a sustainable company dedicated to creating and sharing the most imaginative and innovative tools of color, line and texture for inspiring those who turn their vision into reality. As we continue to work with artists to develop new creative tools, we are embarking on what may be our most challenging journey yet.
Collectively, the art material industry, along with other manufacturers of quality consumer products, face tremendous market pressure to lower prices and offer continuing concessions for placement of product. This “Wal-Mart® effect” has created an accessible range of inexpensive student-grade products, encouraged a flood of imported products and pushed many manufacturers to adjust the quality of their product and reduce services in order to meet these pricing demands.
With the marketplace so focused on price, opportunities such as improving quality, increasing the range of available products, creating new innovative offerings, and providing support services are all at risk. If it continues, the effects of commodification will eventually reduce the choices available to artists, including where to buy products, availability of materials, quality of products and availability of services. This may be a perfectly acceptable value proposition for some artists, and we understand that. We also honor the range of unique materials from other manufacturers that meet artists’ individual needs. But we believe that there is an opportunity here for us to make a difference. It is our hope and belief that our efforts will help make all these products more available, sustaining wider choices and making our creative world that much richer.
We all know of stores, whether online suppliers, chains or small independent shops that have worked diligently to become a significant part of their creative community. Some shops have set aside retail space for hanging artist’s work, others have committed valuable retail space for regular workshops and education. Others pride themselves in having incredibly knowledgeable artists on staff. A few shops have become savvy purveyors of art materials from around the world, searching for unique and one-of-a-kind materials to inspire their customers. And still there are those that endeavor to have just about everything, in every size, always in stock. None of this is accomplished without a serious commitment in time, money and staffing. Many of our favorite art supply retailers, large and small, have re-invested heavily within the arts community they serve. They deserve and have earned our patronage.
As a manufacturer that supplies these retailers, we believe in supporting those partners that help to create and support the community of artists, wherever and however they exist. For all of us to thrive as part of a sustaining creative community we must all commit to be a significant contributor to our communities, to share and to give back to one another for our mutual success.
Despite the market pressures, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. is committed to maintaining high quality and the extensive services that we believe have value for all artists. We will continue to provide access to unique materials that excite and provide value to our customers. We will continue to make ourselves available to artists as an information resource. We enjoy making a quality product in the U.S. and will continue working diligently to improve all our processes so that we can continue to manufacture competitively. And we will continue to be a conduit for creative expression that requires the integration of science and technology with fine arts. It is our passion and our commitment.