The International Art Materials Association (NAMTA®) is dedicated to promoting the art/creative materials industry. Members include retailers, manufacturers, distributors, importers, and independent reps from around the world. Our mission is to provide members with the products, services and information needed to grow and prosper.

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NAMTA Releases the Market Summary

of 2015 Artist & Art Materials Study

Market Summary

The Market Summary paints the picture of a $1.76 billion market for fine art materials in the USA and Canada that has averaged 4% growth in each of the past three years. Active artists, those who create at least 10 artworks per year and view art as a central part of their lives, are more active than ever. The study surveyed more than 6,000 of them in the USA and Canada in December 2014. U.S. active artists created a median of 43 artworks in 2014, up from 39 in 2011. These were most often drawings using pencils/graphite/charcoal, acrylic paintings, watercolors, mixed media/collages, and drawings using pen/ink/markers. Artists using Facebook, computers, or digital drawing tablets for art created even more of these traditional art forms than those who did not. Art supply stores, though fewer in number since the Great Recession, are doing well. The study surveyed 128 U.S. art supply stores and interviewed key industry players. There are about 640 specialty art supply stores in the USA and 185 in Canada. The study reports a significant number of smaller U.S. retailers exited the business between 2012 and 2015. At the same time, the bigger retailers got bigger. The result: U.S. art materials retailers reported median gross sales of $800,000 per retailer in 2014, up from $450,000 in 2008. Almost two-thirds of these retailers reported sales growth in 2014, up from 46% in 2008. The aging of the population is good news for art. Nearly half of U.S. and Canadian artists surveyed noted they stopped creating art at some point in mid-life, usually because of career or family demands. What gets them started again as older adults? Most often it is a local art class, plus friends and books. The 2012 NAMTA study revealed creating art makes people feel happy and fulfilled. This 2015 study is a call to action to ensure all older adults have access to art classes in our communities, and thus happier and more fulfilled lives.

Members can download the Market Summary FREE here
Non-members can purchase the Market Summary for $200 here.

For more information please contact Reggie Hall, Executive Director of NAMTA, at 704.892.6244.

NAMTA thanks these sponsors for their support of this important study:  A. Franklin & Associates, Faber-Castell, Jack Richeson & Co., Ampersand Art Supply, Fredrix Artist Canvas/Tara Materials, Logan Graphic Products, Blick Art Materials, Gamblin Artist Colors, Princeton Artist Brush, Canson, Global Art Materials, R & F Handmade Paints, Crescent Cardboard, Golden Artist Colors, Reeves & Associates, Daler-Rowney, Grafix, SAMPRO-Hammer & Associates, Escoda Sabatés, Grimstad Comerford Group, Speedball Art Products, F+W Media, HK Holbein, Strathmore Artist Papers

2015 Artist & Art Materials Study
Artists Survey Results
NAMTA received responses from more than 6,000 US and Canadian artists in November. The results can help you shape your business and have a better understanding of the needs, desires, trends and thoughts of your artist customers.
   Members can download FREE here
   Non-members can purchase the data for $300 here.

2015 Retail Survey
Retail Survey Results
Get the results of a 2015 survey of 150 art materials retailers in the USA and Canada: core financial metrics, growth trends, product trends, marketing and business best practices, challenges, and feedback for suppliers. The report includes data from all three study years: 2009, 2012, 2015.
   Members can download FREE here
   Non-members can purchase the data for $300 here.

Closing the Gap
Highlights of the 2015 Study: Closing the Gap
This presentation was given at NAMTA’s Art Materials World 2015 trade show. Learn how to make your store a better fit with what artists want in 2015. Learn the best marketing techniques, social media sites and content recommendations, how to reach younger customers, product trends, and the most important store features based upon the results of the 2015 NAMTA surveys of artists and art materials retailers.

This is the third edition of the study independently conducted in 2009, 2012, and 2015. It is the ONLY current national survey of artists in the USA and Canada.

Retail Merchandising . . . a Key Piece of Art Materials Sales Success

NEW - Retail Merchandising, the third manual in NAMTA’s Retail Operations training series, has traditionally been about the process used to conduct retail sales. What products do you sell, how to present them to your customers and at what price. While art materials retailers have traditionally engaged in the task of retail merchandising in a physical location, the internet has now made it possible to apply these same basic principles online in a virtual store. NAMTA’s newest Retail Operations training manual – Merchandising – has been written specifically for art materials retailers. Whether a novice in the business or a veteran retailer looking to explore the changing dynamics of art materials sales, you’ll learn more about how this important facet of retailing can be managed in both brick-and-mortar and/or online environments. Target marketing, selecting vendors, shipping issues and costs, planograms, inventory control, managing your product mix, pricing strategies, working with sales reps and so much more are addressed in this manual.
FREE to download for NAMTA members here.
   For non-members the manual is available for $50 here.

Art Materials World 2016
Houston, Texas - March 6 - 8

NAMTA’s Art Material World will co-locate with CAMEX, the annual convention of the National Association of College Stores.This synergy will provide more exhibitors for buying companies to visit and a large group of potential customers for exhibitors. Executives from more than 1,000 college books stores attend CAMEX.

FAQs about Art Materials World co-locating with CAMEX

Learn more about CAMEX 2016

Email NAMTA for information about Art Materials World 2016


NAMTA's Art Advocacy Program


NAMTA helps its members find the resources and tools they need to address a wide range of Art Advocacy issues that can develop in their community. Visit

Display the NAMTA Art Advocacy Logo on your website and newsletters.

Order Art Matters T-Shirts

Did you see these posters with ten thought provoking quotes displayed at Art Materials World in the NAMTA Booth?

You can
download and print these colorful and informative posters to give away to your customers, or donate to your local schools or art organizations.


NAMTA's Membership Advantage


NAMTA members have an advantage in the art and creative materials industry - the products, services, networking and information they need to grow and prosper.
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Sept. 9, 2015 Palette

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Sept. 16, 2015 eNews

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2016 Art Materials World
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