For something a little different today – a “talkie!” Just chatting, no tutorial, but I hope there’s something in here that helps everyone learn a little bit.  Pull up a chair and let’s chat!

Vlog: HELP! Color selection in Ohuhu markers (hex chart)

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Thoughts from the cutting room floor

Originally this was an even longer video, believe it or not! Gah! Craziness. I apparently had a lot to say!

This is a government/business issue, not a people issue.

The people who live in any countries with the aforementioned terrible practices are NOT at fault. Please do NOT attribute characteristics of the unethical businesses and governments to the average citizens in these countries or in your own. We have enough of that going on. Don’t blame the wrong people for the misdeeds.

Costing us art supply companies

A big thing that I decided to cut because I think it was implied: these companies who steal intellectual property are putting art and especially small craft companies out of business. If you’ve noticed a bunch going under in recent years, that’s often a part of it. These manufacturers are stuck either paying legal bills to try to get these fake products removed from these horrible websites, or they just leave it there and lose customers who won’t come back to shop at their own store anymore, because they only shop from thieves around the world to get themselves a deal.

We can help keep our favorite maufacturers and retailers in business by taking care where we buy from.

Exceptions to every rule

There ARE products made in unethical countries all over the world that ARE clear of the kind of corruption mentioned.  Not everyone is on the take. There are even some products I use regularly that were invented in and sold by companies within corrupt countries—but they came up with something new and unique in the marketplace. I’m not at all against that!

I’m also not an avid researcher of EVERY single item I purchase; plenty of good companies source some portion of materials from unethical places, and mircomanaging everyone’s supply chain is not what I’m advocating. 

But products that should cost much more but carry a dollar store price always do raise my spidey sense. If it looks like a dodgy item, it’s safe to assume there’s more to the story. Feel free to give them the benefit of the doubt if you’re comfortable doing so, but I personally find another product to purchase.

My own policy

I don’t knowingly promote any product that benefits from their Human Rights violations or commits Intellectual Property theft. (I’m not perfect at finding out all the details on every company, and every time Amazon is involved there’s a risk since it’s hard to go track down information.)

I also don’t promote product that I simply do not think is worth you spending your money on—unless I tell you don’t buy this $125 ballpoint pen. You certainly may buy anything you wish, but I don’t need to be part of that food chain, so generally I ignore not-good supplies rather than providing them oxygen.

I get 5-1o emails a DAY from foreign dodgy companies wanting me to promote their stolen goods, and it’s exhausting. Their marketing is insane. Ads chase me on Instagram and Facebook, and I hardly scroll my feed any more because of it! Any company that hounds me that way gets the “talk to the hand” treatment. Ohuhu hasn’t been as bad as others, but they did fall into the too-many-ads category and I had to mark them as spam on Instagram.

If any companies ARE really reading my blog like they tell me they are (ha!)….please just stop emailing me. Engage with my social posts and YT videos in comments, let’s get to know each other, THEN you can email me. Cold emails get you nowhere but my block list. Thanks.

So I can sleep at night…..

Since I do not want to profit from products I do not believe in, I’m doing two things:

  1. I’ve donated my set of markers and a bunch of sketchbooks to our family homeless shelter, and I’m hoping some young person with talent finds them and uses them to lift their family out of poverty.
  2. I’ll be donating the profits from the Ohuhu Honolulu Hex Chart to Human Rights Watch. 

I think that’ll help me get better sleep.

Ohuhu Hex Chart – Honolulu Set

Purchase a downloadable hex chart for Ohuhu’s Honolulu set of alcohol markers – included are both a blank one to color with your own markers, and a completed one to print for reference.

How to Use a Hex Chart Class

In this color course, learn all about ways to use the Hex Charts for alcohol markers or colored pencils to choose the right colors! Includes discussion of color theory as we examine photos and learn terminology like hue, value, saturation, temperature, and more.


I hope this was helpful – if you have further questions please don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂

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  1. Jennifer Yoon

    Hi I bought the Ohuhu Honolulu markers 120 set with alcohol paper pad for $105 direct from company online, using a holiday discount. About 72 cents per marker. I would never have bought even a small set of Copic markers due to its price. For what I make, Copics are way overkill. I only use alcohol markers occassionally, and for card making and not fine art. So they fit my use case well. I like them a lot. I don’t know if they are doing any shady business practices. I accept there will be quality trade-off with name brand markers. I also prefer the brush and bullet nibs on Ohuhu honolulu line over the sketch and original Copic marker nibs. Since I usually color small areas for card making, I find the copic nibs too large and stiff. To each her own. I am happy with my purchase. I own a few Copics from before. Only marker that dies after 2-3 light use was a Copic sketch. The cap had split down vertically. Plastic seems thinner than Ohuhu caps. So Copic is not immune to cap breakage, after a very light use.

    Thank you for the Hex charts. I bought both Copic and Ohuhu charts. On YouTube people refer to Copic color numbers and I want to be able to convert from Copic to Honolulu marker colors, or get close enough matches. Cheers.

  2. Annie Cianciolo

    Sandy –

    Thank you for sharing this video. I have learned so much from you about Copics, I have no desire to try another product! I may never get to using a compressor, but I enjoy what I can achieve.

    Cudos to you for donating to charity while you are educating the crafting community.

    Enjoy your new high tops!

  3. Lisa Itatani

    This was an interesting video. I watched another YT who loves them but she’s also sponsored by them so I didn’t think she would say anything negative. Even with someone being “transparent” with getting paid to demo a product, they never give a bad review.
    I find it refreshing for an artist to say “I don’t like this product and here’s why”.

    • Sandy Allnock

      Thanks – everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but I’m always one-eye-open when a sponsored post is too glowing, lol. I’ve had companies I love send me stuff – but I limit who I allow to do that, once they’ve proven to have things I already like 🙂

    • Marilyn P. Bailey

      I totally agree with you. Getting tired of “influencers” and their product demos/recommendations. They’re getting paid to do this, so nothing impartial for us viewers.

  4. J.Williams

    I have been a long time subscriber to your channel, but I was very disappointed with this video.
    Why did you spend so long on intellectual property rights, when it’s not relevant to Ohuhu? Did you just want to besmirch their name by implication?
    Did the pens fall apart as per your cheap shampoo bottle analogy? I assume not, as they are fit for you to donate. Incidentally, I’ve never had a cheap shampoo or a cheap marker break on me.
    As you say, we don’t know what the working conditions in the factories are like so why do you assume the price difference is owing to worker exploitation in one, rather than rampant profiteering in the other?
    If you feel China’s record on human rights, environmental issues etc is so heinous as to make you boycott them, why would you facilitate other people’s access to their products via a hex chart? During the apartheid years, I boycotted South African products, so I certainly wouldn’t have given out recipes for using their fruit and veg.
    I’m not a passionate defender/user of Ohuhu, and I would have liked to see you do a detailed review of the products, demonstrating why you think they are not worth the money, or why, if they are worth the money, but you don’t recommend them on moral grounds, then I’d like to see more evidence.

    • Sandy Allnock

      I’m sad that you think I’m not permitted to provide education about products that may have ethical problems. I’ve watched too mnay friends businesses go under because of overseas companies and poor practices.

      As for Ohuhu I *said* that I didn’t know what they are doing to make markers so cheaply. I said what I didn’t like about the product. I’m not about to demonstrate them—many people only watch a clip of my videos and I didn’t want them to “see” me with one in use and assume it’s endorsed by me.

      Making a hex chart was 1) helping my students who have already made the switch in brands, and 2) protecting my own trademark for hex charts, as I’ve had people threatening that they would make and sell it if I wouldn’t —and I’d need to sue them to defend my trademark legally. Making a chart and passing off the benefits to a charity seemed a better option.

      You can make your buying decisions the way you like ethically, you don’t have to agree with me.

      • J. Williams

        Of course you can provide education on whatever you like, which is why I watch your videos. I was just disappointed that on this occasion you didn’t provide much education. You implied the pens could break (do they?) and the ink might run out sooner and fade (but you didn’t use them enough to know that). You suggested there ‘may’ be ethical issues (if so, we need to know what they are).

        • Sandy Allnock

          Not sure where I implied they’d break or ink would run out? Changing my content isn’t helping this argument.

          As stated I used them years ago and ran a bunch of tests, didn’t like them then or now and that’s why I avoided them all this time—-as I said, nibs are terrible, color is weak and fades quickly. Same was found in working Haigh this recent set with the addition of the dive into the nonextstent color system which only adds to my distaste for the product. Three common unethical business practices that lead to extreme low pricing were discussed. I feel like I can only repeat what was already said, and you still won’t be satisfied. ‍♀️ Have a nice night.

  5. Debbie Lake

    Thank you so much for sharing your opinion on this. I have grown so frustrated with all the Temu hauls I’m seeing by crafty YouTube content creators. I browsed the Temu site out of curiosity and within 5 minutes found several different stamp sets that I know are produced by companies whose products are made in the United States. That means they’re counterfeit! This infuriates me because I go out of my way to try to support companies whose products are made in the US, or other relatively ethical countries. I understand the desire to get a bargain what at what cost?

    • Sandy Allnock

      Exactly! It’s shocking how many people don’t know there’s something wrong with it, they just think they scored a deal.

    • Marilyn P. Bailey

      I also do the same thing. Haven’t looked at the Temu site though…sort of afraid if I visit, I’ll be tracked and get more ads from the site. I boycott Chinese products when possible…and certainly have never bought from their sites. I just don’t understand why people want to undercut our US companies….

  6. Diana Martinez

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  7. Jaye Joyce

    Not to mention … environmental regulations. Many Countries require their manufacturers to comply with environmental standards, others choose to pollute at their will. I avoid a lot of products out there that fall into the “too affordable to be righteous” category. I have purchased some cheap alcohol markers that don’t try to be anything other than that (cruddy nibs, not refillable, etc.) specifically because I’m going to color materials that will destroy pricey nibs (glitter, foil, etc.). Those markers however, are offered by a reputable manufacturer that sells almost exclusively to craft retailers … and they don’t pretend to be anything other than a cheap alcohol marker. Ohuhu is pushing heavily to be considered as equal or even better than Copics (by some very well known influencers). Thank you, Sandy, for standing up for artistic integrity!


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