You’re walking down the high street and you spot it in the corner of your eye. Despite having been there countless times and knowing pretty much every single item in the store (as they tend to be quite small), you wander in anyway, stoking the flames of your guilty pleasure. Shelf upon glorious shelf stacked with things you’ve never seen before, and hitherto never knew you needed on your already cluttered bedroom desk. Welcome to my Achilles heel, the art shop.
Magma, a small chain of art and graphic design shops, have a branch in my home town which I visit almost religiously every time I’m in the area, a habit which fills me with guilt as I saunter around the tiny room, perusing the oddities knowing full well I could never justify buying.
Now people do this a lot in places like the Apple Store or Harrods, heck, they’re pretty much tourist attractions in their own right, but window shopping in tiny stores just feels wrong. The moment you enter, you’re greeted by an enthusiastic man in flannel and skinny jeans who is genuinely happy to chat with you about how cool their business card design is or why you should pick Moleskine over Paperblanks, a man who you cheerily wave goodbye to as you walk out having not spent a penny, despite all your good intentions. I prefer stores like Paperchase as they’re slightly more impersonal, allowing you to dream about at all the things you could have in your dorm room, with less emotional investment.
Yesterday, my friend Lorraine introduced me to, what could potentially be the undoing of every good financial decision thus far – Fred Aldous. Three stories pile high with art supplies, books and gifts; heaven. In the basement, they also have a photography studio which you can rent out for £15 an hour, fully supplied with studio lights, soft boxes and macs. We spent a considerable amount of time in there, needless to say!
God only knows how much will be spent here if I ever own my own house