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Maxime De Ruyck via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Maxime De Ruyck via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Thanks to Adult Coloring Books, There’s a Global Pencil Shortage

Maxime De Ruyck via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Maxime De Ruyck via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Whether you feel inspired to scribble in the characters of Chuck Palahniuk or Lisa Frank, there’s a coloring book out there for you. The widely popular adult coloring book trend seems like it’d be great news for pencil companies, but the Independent reports that some major manufacturers are struggling to satisfy the demand.

Workers at Faber-Castell’s factory in Germany have been forced to run extra shifts in order to keep up with production. The world’s largest wooden pencil producer is reportedly seeing double-digit growth in artists’ pencils sales and has boosted its supply significantly compared to the previous year.

Faber-Castell isn’t the only company that’s been impacted by the fad—the European manufacturer Staedtler and Stabilo has reported a colored pencil shortage, as have suppliers in Brazil. According to The Washington Post, overall colored pencil sales spiked by about 26 percent in 2015—a significant change from the past three years, during which growth never exceeded 7.2 percent. In response to the increasing amount of adult customers, some companies like Crayola are now selling adult coloring books and pencils as a package deal.

Demand for higher quality pencils and larger sets has also risen. Sandra Suppa from Faber-Castell told the Independent, “People are now not satisfied with ‘just’ 36 colors and we are noticing a trend in people preferring bigger sets of 72 or even 120 colors for coloring.”

If you've somehow avoided joining the coloring book bandwagon, it’s not too late to start—just make sure to stock up on pencils while they're still on the shelves.

[h/t Independent]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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