26 April 2012

[art] A ZKT Exclusive Interview With I've Been Framed's Newest Employee

2808I'll say it until I can't say it no more: Local art stores rock and there are two that are instrumental in putting the cream in our coffee, the art supplies in our bag, and taking the money out of our wallet. One of them is I've Been Framed.

We like our two favorite stores for mostly the same reasons. They're both staffed and owned by local Portlanders who are passionate about art and sincerely love their customers. They both have different approaches that mean you get a ton of good out of them and the prices are seriously affordable. They care about what they do and almost everyone who works there are artists themselves.

When you walk into IBF you get the idea that you've walked into a delightful collage that will also sell you art supplies. They not only have brands that you look for but they also sometimes have insanely-discounted clearance lots. IBF has a nice little framing department in the back, which is where they get the idea for the nam.

The employees at IBF, as I intimated, really make the store however. Really friendly, really care about the art. Really care about making your experience there a good one. A new employee has been added, and he's a sweetie. I understand he works really cheaply … mostly for Little Friskies. You can get a good idea of who it is when you enter:

He, like all great artists, goes by a single name … Jordie. He's still settling in, but he's got a warm charm all his own. After asking Mark for an introduction I was shown into Jordie's office, where he was busy at work, holding down the Adorable department, as well as some of the inventory.

Actually, he may have been on break. With a kitteh, it's hard to tell.

I'm not sure if he was up to a hard-hitting interview about the ins and outs of being the only known art-store cat in Portland, but I wasn't about to back down. Here was a story that needs to be told, and in the wake of the loss of Powell's Books' legendary store cat, Fup, the position of Dean of Portland Store Cats is still up for contention. The public wants to know if Jordie can make the grade. And I wasn't about to be swayed by purring and cute looks.

Oh, heck, he's a cute cat. Of course I was. But on to the interview:

The Zehnkatzen Times: Jordie, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us.


ZKT: You have the opportunity of working as the store cat in one of the two most awesome art supply stores in the Portland area. How did you feel when you realized that you're the point kitty here? Particularly honored?


ZKT: Indeed! A great opportunity. Now, you're settling in, getting used to the crush of customers coming through … they're very creative types. Do you find the artists that come in for supplies particularly inspiring?


ZKT: That's a great story. You never know who you'll run into here … I just helped an artist who was working on ancient methods for making gessoes figure out how to come by the circumference of a circle so he could lay out some calligraphy. You don't have to work here to learn something new! You do work here though … do you feel that you're luckier than most kitties?


ZKT: Yes, it is a special place. That's why we keep coming here, especially with personnel like yourself that make the experience so nice.

At that point, Jordie had some important item on his kitty agenda to complete and had to end the interview, but not before there were skritches and pettin's and purring. But, withal, it looks like Jordie has all the chops to be a great art-store store cat. He's still got some settling in to do, learning the ropes of a very important position, but it looks like he'll grow into the position just fine.

So, visit yourself some I've Been Framed … local art stores are cool, and local art stores are awesome. Also stop by Muse. Support your local sources. They matter.

And pet yourself some kitty when you can. It may not make you rich, but it will make you happy.

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