International Art Materials Association

    eNews:  April 10,

      Membership                Art Materials World                 About Us               Resources     


See New Products              Submit Member News



Don't Forget Your Advantages

by Tom Shay

Lately, I have noticed situations between a salesperson and customer, in person, on the phone and by email, in which the salesperson has pointed the customer to the Internet for additional information.

One business sent a customer to the Internet because they had failed to order enough sales flyers from the vendor so the customer was told to go look at the manufacturer’s website. Another, responding to a request for a price, was sent an email with a PDF describing the products and a link to a page online with way too many prices and not enough explanation.

I am concerned for any business that is sending existing and potential customers to the Internet for further information because they are inadvertently steering the customer to do more business on the Internet.

The message here to share with your staff is simple.

Too often in our small businesses we forget that we do have advantages over the competition.  We forget what has sustained us over the years and why people choose to do business with us.

You can be "efficient", or you can make it “easy to move onto some other business” when you fail to use your advantages.

Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner, author, columnist, coach and speaker who has authored several training manuals for retailers that can be found in the Resources section of the NAMTA website – His knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. You can learn more here -

Art Materials World 2019

Post-Show Survey Winners

We appreciate everyone who took the Art Materials World post show Attendee and Exhibitor Surveys.

The future of NAMTA’s Art Materials World is heavily influenced by what the attendees and exhibitors have to say about the event.

At the end of the surveys you had the option to be in a gift card drawing. Congratulations to the following members who will be receiving $100 Gift Card:

  • John Divis from Creative Art Materials
  • Christian Cummins from Idaho Blueprint & Supply

Art Matters

Joan Kowalski from Bob Ross Company
helps Congress encourage High School Artists

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

This year, Television’s Favorite Painter's Joan Kowalski (pictured right), Bob Ross Company President and Namta member, has been chosen to go to Washington to be one of a handful of enthusiastic judges in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. “I’m lucky to be friends with my Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton,” says Joan, “mostly because we had a lot in common when she told me her kids love Bob Ross! ”

For more information, go to:


The Science of Drawing and Memory
Want students to remember something? Ask them to draw it.
by Youki Terada - March 2019

Find this story from and others like it at ART in US News on the NamtaArtAdvocacy website.

It’s long been known that drawing something helps a person remember it. A new study shows that drawing is superior to activities such as reading or writing because it forces the person to process information in multiple ways: visually, kinesthetically, and semantically. Across a series of experiments, researchers found drawing information to be a powerful way to boost memory, increasing recall by nearly double.

At the University of Waterloo, experts in the science of memory conducted experiments to better understand how activities such as writing, looking at pictures, listening to lectures, drawing, and visualizing images affect a student’s ability to remember information.

In an early experiment, they asked undergraduate students to study lists of common terms - words like truck and pear - and then either write down or illustrate those words. Shortly afterward, participants recalled 20 percent of words they had written down, but more than twice as many - 45 percent - of the terms they had drawn. This experiment helped to establish the benefits of drawing.

In a follow-up experiment, the researchers compared two methods of note-taking—writing words by hand versus drawing concepts - and found drawing to be “an effective and reliable encoding strategy, far superior to writing.” The researchers found that when the undergraduates visually represented science concepts like isotope and spore, their recall was nearly twice as good as when they wrote down definitions supplied by the lecturer.

Importantly, the benefits of drawing were not dependent on the students’ level of artistic talent, suggesting that this strategy may work for all students, not just ones who are able to draw well.

Across a total of eight experiments, the researchers confirmed drawing to be a “reliable, replicable means of boosting performance” - it provided a significant boost to students’ ability to remember what they were learning.

Why is drawing such a powerful memory tool? The researchers explain that it “requires elaboration on the meaning of the term and translating the definition to a new form (a picture).” Unlike listening to a lecture or viewing an image - activities in which students passively absorb information - drawing is active. It forces students to grapple with what they’re learning and reconstruct it in a way that makes sense to them.

The researchers also suggest that drawing results in better recall because of how the information is encoded in memory. When a student draws a concept, they “must elaborate on its meaning and semantic features, engage in the actual hand movements needed for drawing (motor action), and visually inspect [the] created picture (pictorial processing).”

At a neural level, the strength of a memory depends largely on how many connections are made to other memories. An isolated piece of information—such as a trivial fact—is soon forgotten in the brain’s constant effort to prune away unused knowledge. The opposite, however, is also true: The more synaptic connections a memory has, the more it resists eventually being forgotten.

So when we draw, we encode the memory in a very rich way, layering together the visual memory of the image, the kinesthetic memory of our hand drawing the image, and the semantic memory that is invoked when we engage in meaning-making. In combination, this greatly increases the likelihood that the concept being drawn will later be recalled.


Namta's Independent

Sales Representatives

If you were at Art Materials World in San Antonio as a buyer, you probably met quite a few Namta Member Independent Sales Reps working in Exhibitor Booths. If you were exhibiting, you might have had some Sales Reps stop by your booth.

You can find Namta's Independent Reps here to see who and where they represent.

To follow up with a Sales Rep you met in San Antonio. or to contact a Sales Rep,  you can log in to the Online Directory for contact information - or email Karen.

  • A. Franklin & Associates
  • A.R.B. Sales Group
  • Action Group Sales
  • Advantage Sales & Marketing
  • American Sales & Marketing
  • Artistic Paper Representatives
  • Athena Sales
  • BAJ Enterprises Canada
  • Carlson Welsh Associates
  • Carpenter-Wild Assoc.
  • Creative Sales Consulting
  • DLT 2
  • Donnelly Marketing
  • Eastman Group
  • Freudenthal Sales Group
  • FullCircle26
  • Fullerton Sales & Marketing
  • Golden Global Sales
  • GreMar Associates
  • Grimstad Comerford Group
  • International HobbyCraft Co.
  • Jack Anderson Associates
  • Jim Geary & Associates
  • Mimi Roberts Inc. (Art Group America)
  • Mooney Sales & Marketing
  • Peter S. Overpeck
  • Prime Line Partners
  • RAM Sales Group
  • Weber Group
  • Weisel Associates Inc.

Notable Quote   

"Try a thing you haven't done three times.
Once, to get over the fear of doing it.
Twice, to learn how to do it.
And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not. "

Quote from Virgil Thomson, 1896-1989, an American composer and critic, instrumental in the development of the "American Sound" in classical music.

Portrait of Virgil Thomson
In the 1920s and 1930s, Florine Stettheimer painted imaginative portraits and representations of the life and world of celebrated members of the American avant-garde, including artists Marcel Duchamp and Elie Nadelman; novelist Carl van Vechten; and here the composer Virgil Thomson, who is perhaps best known for his opera Four Saints in Three Acts. First staged in 1934 with an all-black cast, the work featured a libretto by Gertrude Stein and striking cellophane sets and costumes by Stettheimer, which achieved instant notoriety.

Stettheimer developed her unique blend of faux-naive art and avant-garde innovations during the 1910s. With little concern for proportion or perspective, the artist depicted fantastic scenes, combining past and present, real and imagined, near and far, which she populated with slim, stylized figures who seem to float or dance through space. In this painting, an ecstatic-looking Thomson, awash in a flood of supernatural light, gazes at a mask bearing Stein’s features, which seems to represent a source of inspiration. Alluding to music’s heavenly quality, this encounter between creative forces takes place on a bank of clouds, complete with a tiny stage and actors, lettered banners, and fluttering doves.

The chained lion to the right of Thomson might refer to the power of music to soothe even savage beasts or to Saint Jerome and the Evangelist Mark, who are frequently depicted in the company of lions. Reinforcing the link between creativity and spirituality are banners that combine the names of two saints from the opera, Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Ávila, with those of Thomson and Stein. However, the artist’s own name - Florine St. - appears in reverse order to the others, perhaps a witty abbreviation of her signature. Stettheimer designed the scalloped frame, which appropriately sets off her fanciful vision. from


Positions Available

with Namta Member Companies

SLS Arts Inc.

Posted 3/28/2019

4/11/2019 - This position has been filled



Posted 4/9/2019

Contact:  Megan Spellman

[email protected]

Position Title:  Director of Sales

Position Location:  Greater Atlanta

Position Description:
American Tombow is seeking an experienced, highly motivated Director of Sales to join our team. This candidate would be experienced in the craft and creative industries with proven success to drive business. The Director of Sales would be responsible for resellers across a variety of channels to include; craft, fine art, office, mass and e-commerce.The Director of Sales would have the leadership skills needed to manage, coach, and develop a team that includes 5 direct account managers and outside sales representatives. The right candidate would have a strong pulse on the market with the experience to lead the strategic and tactical business development that drive and increase sales volume.

  • Develop and implement sales strategies
  • Oversee the management, learning, and career development of the sales team
  • Oversee account activities including managing and direct selling to promote business development of key clients
  • Perform other duties as assigned, as well as duties that are unique and/or specific to the department
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Sales Management & Business Development experience with proven success across a variety of channels including art, craft, office, e-commerce and mass market
  • Minimum 10 years experience in sales

Estimated Start Date of Position:  May 2019

Job Postings are Free for Namta Members

List your available jobs with this form

Links to your listing will reside on, open to the public, on

 2020 Chicago Booth



2020 will bring Namta Members back to Chicago's Navy Pier for Art Materials World. Exhibitors can reserve 2020 Art Materials World booths today. Contact Rick Munisteri with questions.

2020 Floorplan

2020 Prospectus

Exhibitor Rules and Regulations

2020 Online Booth Application

Visit the Art Materials World Page
for Past and Upcoming Tradeshow Information


Namta finds great business articles all over the Internet. Here are a few that might be of interest to you, your staff, or your co-workers.

Delegation: A Skill That Pays You Back


Only half of American small businesses survive the first five years, and only a quarter make more than $1 million in sales. Many small business owners find themselves busily running around, attempting to act as accountant, sales rep, and social media manager, in addition to being CEO. Are you spreading yourself too thin to see the big picture? It’s OK to delegate.

Small Business & Sacrifice
Owning a small business can mean a lot of personal sacrifice. Nearly half of small business owners use their personal savings to pay for business expenses, and nearly as many invest every dime of extra cash back into the business. Only 17% use extra cash for retirement savings and even fewer invest it for themselves or their family. The sacrifice doesn’t stop with money either. More than 80% of small business owners work weekends, and more than half work major holidays. 60% take just one vacation each year, and three-quarters spend that their time off tied to their laptops, working. Devoting time and money to your business is important to the success of your business, but being overworked, stressed, and losing sanity is not. Whether you’re sacrificing your time with long hours, and no holidays, or skipping paychecks to float the business. Sacrificing too much will leave you stressed out, exhausted, and unable to make the best decisions for the future of your business.

Decision Fatigue
Making choices takes effort, even when those choices are small. The more decisions you make, the harder each choice becomes. And when our decision-making powers are pushed to the their limits, our choices will often become reactive instead of proactive.

If one of these profiles describes you, you’re probably suffering from decision fatigue:

  • Paralyzed Overthinker: Do you avoid making choices until you’re forced to face them? Or think endlessly about the choices available until time runs out?
  • Overwhelmed Hothead: Are you easily frustrated when faced with a decision? Do you argue over simple decisions?
  • Immediate-Satisfaction Seekers: Do you make decisions impulsively? Are your choices sometimes illogical? Do you favor short-term solutions?

Decision fatigue robs you of the ability to see the big picture. You’ll end up making choices that are easier or faster in the moment, but mean more work later on. If you feel like you’re always fighting fires, and never get the chance to make long-term goals, you’re seeing the effects of decision fatigue.

Why You Should Delegate
There’s an easy way to cut down on your personal sacrifices and reduce decision fatigue: learn how to delegate. Studies show that CEO who delegate well generate 33% more revenue than those with low delegation skills. Instead of wasting your brain-power handwriting paychecks or managing office supplies, conserve your efforts for the big decisions and form a trusted staff to help with the rests. Studies show that people with the best self-control conserve their decision-making for emergencies and important decisions. Everything else comes down to structured days and procedures that allow you to make decisions once, and reuse them for completion of routine tasks and operations.

Building A Team
Having the right team is important if you’re going to delegate successfully. While many small businesses struggle to hire and keep employees, there are options available to suit your needs. Consider how much work you have available, and what skills you need for your team. You might be better off investing in full or part time employees. If your business is seasonal, or can’t cover the cost of benefits, contract workers could be a better choice. Contract workers will save you the cost of paying benefits or training employees, as they generally already have the skills you need. But there’s no guarantee your flex staff will available when you need them.

What to Delegate
The art of delegation starts with picking the right tasks to delegate. Your goal is to rely on the expertise of others, and to eliminate tasks that don’t require your own expertise or input. Day to day tasks and decision don’t need your constant input, so step back and let someone else take the reigns ― you’ll have more time to focus on the big picture and moving your business forward. Don’t have great accounting skills? No problem! Find someone who does who you can rely on to get things done right, and probably in less time than it would take you to do it yourself. Spending too much time performing organization tasks like data entry or filing? Maybe it’s time to hire a secretary or some part-time office help.

Other Tasks to Delegate

  •     Social media
  •     Marketing
  •     Legal counsel
  •     Web Design

How to Delegate
When you start delegating tasks, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. You should always consider your employees’ skills and whether they are matched to the tasks at hand. You shouldn’t expect a social media manager to suddenly take over your accounting. If you don’t have any employees with the right skills, you might need to hire some new talent. Another important consideration when delegating tasks is to keep in mind how much time your employees have available. Delegating tasks to employees who are already struggling to get their work done, or staying late every night is sure to add to their stress level and may cause you lose a dedicated employee. When your employees do have the time and skills to take on new task, it’s important to acknowledge their efforts. After all, you’re asking them accept more responsibility for the same job, and little gratitude can go a long way. Acknowledge a job well done, and offer constructive feedback when necessary ㅡ there will doubtless be growing pains along the way.

Secret to Success: Policies & Procedures
Successful delegation requires your business operations to run smoothly and consistently. You can only delegate in a company if every decision doesn’t hinge on a single person’s know-how. Once you create the policies and procedure to achieve smooth operations, you’ll be able to delegate successfully and proactively approach problems. Your business will need an operations or training manual that defines how things are done. Having a manual ensures everyone is on the same page and employees know how to operate the business, even the owner isn’t there.

Training Manual Contents

  • Mission statement
  • Company’s story and history
  • Descriptions of major systems
  • Outlines of key operations
  • Company culture, values, and goals
  • Training materials

Your company’s training materials should include a comprehensive overview of operations, and instructions for following common procedures. You should outline the policies that employees are expected to follow and what do when a problem arises that isn’t in the manual. Provide a copy of the manual to every employee, and open yourself to suggestions for clarification or revisions. With the right procedures in place, you can free up time for yourself and all your employees. Instead of starting every project proposal from scratch, create a form or outline you can use to start, and include common needed information, like a description of your business in the form. Similarly, creating form letter to respond to common client queries is great way to save everyone time.

There’s no shame in asking for help, in fact 58% of small business owners would advise new owners not to fear asking for help.

Learn more about delegation in this INFOGRAPHIC from

Do I Need a Business Credit Card If I'm Self-Employed?
You don't necessarily need a business credit card when you're self-employed. But a card can be helpful for managing your everyday business spending or financing larger expenses so you can grow...


Multitasking is usually a bad idea, but here are 5 times when it’s okay
Multitasking isn’t always a bad choice, here are a few times where if you multitask, you’re likely to be more effective…


How Does Payroll Work?
Payroll is an essential function of any business. As an employer, it's your job to make sure your workers are compensated...

Member News

Congratulations to Jim O'Brien from Savoir-Faire for recently becoming National Key Account Manager.


Welcome New Members

Contact information for these members can be found in the Online Directory, or contact Karen.

Welcome to Hung Hsuan International Trading Co. Ltd., a well known trading company in Taiwan specializing in art supplies, technical drawing, and preschool art materials

Welcome to RedFox Artist in Phoenix, Arizona who are getting organized to be a retailer of fine art supplies, offering classes to educate artists in Fine Art Mediums, Marketing, and Selling their Art. Opening date to be determined.

Located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Art VallARTa is a cooperative environment for a community of artists of all levels to work at that own schedule on their projects. Art Supplies for sale include Canvases, Paints, Drawing, Clay and Multimedia art supplies from local and international suppliers.