My Art Haven : ART BAR!

I have a confession...

I'm officially obsessed with art supplies!!!

Have you guys visited Art Bar? This is one of the three specialty stores launched by none other than the Filipinos' favorite bookstore - National Bookstore!  

I'm so in love with the growing number of arts and crafts stores here in Manila. I can still remember buying my very first paint brush from Papemelroti when I started on my 'painting therapy'. It was actually the last one from their stock, I feel like it was really meant for me! Then, eventually I started buying watercolor paints and brushes from The Craft Central. But now, you would normally find me geeking around Art Bar shortly after payday! 

The first branch that I've visited was the one at Alabang Town Center. It wasn't even planned! I was just hanging out with a friend, we had dinner and then out of nowhere, I spotted Art Bar. I was already following them on Instagram even before that first visit, but since I'm quite busy at work, I never had time to check out their stores. So, while I was at ATC last December, I dragged my friend inside the store and all I can remember was that I came out of it literally skipping in joy. The next branch that I've visited was the one in Rockwell Power Plant Mall when I attended an art workshop. Apparently, this is the closest branch from my dorm. It takes about 10-15 minutes if I simply book a Grab Car, but close to an hour if I take a jeepney because the drivers normally take a wicked route and they tend to stop and pick up passengers along the way! Not to mention, the traffic, yo! (Welcome to Manila!) 

My sister has been telling me about the Art Bar branch at Serendra for a long time now, but I only had a chance to visit it last January, after having coffee with another friend. I was originally checking out art supplies at National Bookstore in Market Market that time when my friend noticed that I wasn't really satisfied with what I'm seeing. She told me that she'll just take me to a 'store' along the way to her officetel. Little did I know that she was talking about Art Bar!

This month, Art Bar just opened a new branch in SM Megamall B! Since more people are now aware of my obsession with art supplies, I'm just thrilled that people are hitting me up on social media to give me a heads-up whenever there are art workshops and newly opened crafts stores. (Thanks Jay!) 

A week ago, I dragged a friend and former co-worker (Hi Angela!) to check out this new branch. I got there first which is actually awesome because it gave me enough time to take some photos of their modern and minimalist interior. I was already doing internal cartwheels the moment I saw the art supplies through the glass panels about six feet away. But since I just got off work that time and I was still wearing my suit, I tried to suppress my kidult screams, yo! It was tough though! 

My all-time favorite watercolor pad is Berkeley. I've tried using other brands but for some reasons, this is the only one that works well with my painting style. I also use Fabriano (9" x 12") watercolor sheets if I would like to paint landscapes.  

Aside from my toothbrush, these are the only brushes that I get my hands on these days. You won't find a single makeup brush in my bag but you might find round paintbrushes from time to time.  

You can also find well-known brands here such as Winsor and Newton, Mijello, Pebeo and other Parisian brands that I can't even pronounce! Haha! They have a wide range of oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolor paints. I only got my eyes on watercolor tubes at the moment. For me, this is the simplest and easiest medium though I've started using gouache as well. 

For my 31st birthday, my sister got me an easel PLUS three Mijello watercolor tubes. I can barely afford the Winsor and Newton tubes and she got me the elite ones?! Scooooore! (Domo arigato, Nee-chan!) Just imagine me sleeping next to those watercolor tubes after I got them. That's how much of a geek I really am!  

Aside from pads, paints and canvasses, you can also find a wide-range of brush pens, gel pens, colored pencils, markers and scrapbooking items such as Washi tapes and stickers here.  

Art Bar is the perfect place for professional artists, amateurs and hobbyists. If you don't have time to visit their stores, you can also buy their products through their website. I am hoping that they would continue to open more branches especially around Makati area.  If you love crafting or painting, I highly recommend this place! 


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