#Crayola is a company that recognizes the many beneficial impacts that the arts can have on young minds. In fact, according to PBS, enabling children to explore the arts helps them fine tune their motor skills, advance language, heighten visual learning capabilities, and strengthen inventiveness, cultural awareness and decision making abilities. Since 1903 the company known as Crayola dedicated itself to producing art supplies for children--and its founders had been producing drawing tools since 1885. Now world-famous for their markers and crayons, the brand is increasingly expanding into new and innovative items such as electrical powered air brush systems, 3D chalk and/or washable sidewalk paint, and apps that animate coloring book illustrations.

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While companies such as ALEX Brands, eeBoo and Melissa & Doug also offer #Art supplies to consumers, none are quite as iconic as Crayola. In 2016, the iconic franchise is showcasing several products--inspired by both recent and classic items--that aim to be ideal tools for #Back-to-School.

Airbrush 

Airbrushing is a popular artistic technique that many professional artists and illustrators use to create gallery-quality works. Noting the merits of airbrushing, in 2012 Crayola released their first airbrush system that aimed to familiarize children with this creative technique. After the success of the first airbrush kit--that worked via a hand-pump--Crayola recently launched an updated--and electric--version called the “Air Maker Sprayer” which enables users to easily create airbrushed art on paper, fabric and other surfaces.

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The “Air Maker Sprayer” works with most Crayola markers and comes with five washable mini-markers, two stencil sheets and ten sheets of blank paper. However, it will work with most board-lined markers. Essentially, all a person has to do to use this airbrush system is choose a color and load the marker into the “twist-and-load” nozzle. Then pull the trigger and a stream of color will be released. This version of the airbrush is motorized and electric-powered which means that users can keep spray painting for long periods of time without worrying about changing batteries and/or having to manually manipulate the system. This is a huge advancement from the original and one that makes this system as useful to professional artists as it is for children. Whilst it is not as professional as airbrush systems tailored to artists who work in paint, it's a very effective introduction to the overall technique that is useful even for younger children

Markers and crayons 

The overall quality of the airbrush system is in line with the established excellence of Crayola products in general.

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To prepare for the back-to-school season, Crayola is once again showcasing their most iconic items such as their boxes of crayons (in assorted numbers and colors) and numerous kinds of markers including the washable and miniature "Pip Squeaks" varieties which are all highly pigmented…and most can be used with the airbrush system. Slender "Super Tips," washable "Dry Erase" and thick "Power Line" sets are also markers offered by Crayola and--even though these do not work with the airbrush system--they are also extremely pigmented and work precisely as advertised. Some of the more unique offerings include "Metallic Markers" which create a shiny effect on paper that resembles highly-polished aluminum and "Twistables" which are light and slender colored pencils. "Doodle Scents" is another available series which is comprised of eighteen scented markers. Each marker is a different color and has a unique scent--some are standard like lemon and strawberry, but others are very offbeat and unusual aromas such as "Brick Oven" and "Barn Yard." Noting the massive consumer interest in these recent offerings, it is exciting to wonder what Crayola will come up with next.