Sooo... yes. I have about 16 Copics coming my way. I ordered them from this fabulous website which offers them at an AMAZING discount! Check them out at http://www.oozak.com/. This website offers free shipping on orders of 50 dollars or more so I ordered enough markers to put me at that point. They also ship out the same day if your order is received by 3:30 pm (Eastern time) which is great if you're like me- super impatient! Yup... I want what I want when I want it. (Oh, you know you do too)! Anyway, I decided to start out with the Ciao series. I did this for a few reasons...
- They are cheaper! I was able to start out with a wider range of colors and still stay in the 50 dollar range.
- The tips are the same as the Sketch series.
- Even though there is less ink in the Ciao markers, if I do end up using them a lot I can always buy the ink refills which will refill a Ciao about 13 times. These refills are fairly inexpensive.
- If I decide I want more colors than the Ciao series offers (right now they offer 180 colors with more expected in March) I can always get what I want from the Sketch series (which has 346 color choices at the moment).
The point is, I'm not locked down to the Ciao markers. They're just a starting point. It's all about preference. I'm sure if I enjoy working with Copics I will eventually add Sketch markers to my collection.
Some other things I learned... the PAPER you use is important! I ordered Neenah Classic Solar White cardstock because it seemed to be the most recommended at the best price. I ordered that here http://www.ellenhutson.com/servlet/the-1368/Neenah%2C-Classic-Crest%2C-Solar/Detail?affiliate_no=01. It's a lot of paper! I just can't pass up a good deal when I see one though and it was the biggest bang for my buck. The other paper names that came up the most for stampers wanting to use copics was Gina K Pure Luxury Card Stock which can be found here http://www.shop.ginakdesigns.com/product.sc?productId=278 and Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Card Stock which is here http://www.papertreyink.com/pb_paper.html. They offer 40 sheets of 8.5"x11" for 6 dollars where Gina K's paper is 25 sheets (not sure what the size is) for $6.95. It's really all going to come down to two factors... which do you prefer and which can you afford. If you're able to experiment with more than one go for it! Let me know what you think! I'll be sure to share my findings as well.
The next important thing is INK! The general consensus seems to be to use Tsukineko's Memento Ink (try Tuxedo Black). Apparently this ink will not bleed or ruin your Copic nibs. You also don't have to heat set it before coloring your images! (I'm too lazy for that nonsense anyway). It is also the general consensus that you should NOT use inks like Staz-On (which is also from Tsukineko). This ink will ruin your Copic nibs!
Well, for anyone thinking about trying Copics I hope this was a little helpful. Obviously I am NOT an expert as I have still never even held a Copic marker in my hands. I just thought I would share with you what I found through my own research... sort of a condensed version. I figure it's easier than having to dig through all the Copic muck yourself. I will be sure to share my personal experiences with you in the future! If you have any input or questions please be sure to leave a comment!