Thursday, July 05, 2018

Art Supply Steals, Deals and Hacks

I have an addiction to buying art supplies - buying, not necessarily using.  I have the best of intentions when making a new purchase.  I get a project in mind and while committing to purchasing whatever it is for whatever I plan to use it for, I promise myself that this is going to happen.  Like I said, the best of intentions.

Sometimes I start a project and realize it is going to take much too long and give up before I finish.  Other times I realize the fantastic project I had in mind is beyond my skill level and that I need to start out out simpler.  Often it is just that I simply take on too big of a project and realize that I have to start smaller and build up to something bigger.   In the very worst of cases, I start to get a compulsion to have something.  I start obsessing and really feel like I HAVE to have whatever it is.

I started to feel guilty of spending so much on art supplies.  Even though I am a bargain shopper art supplies are costly.  To reduce costs I slowly started buying "used" art supplies.  Often these are new or like new.  I buy a good number of my supplies second hand now - 1) because the cost is reduced, 2) because I get more bang for my buck, but also 3) because I hate to see waste.  I am passionate about recycling, upcycling, reusing, etc.  The consumerism in America is really horrendous - it is excessive, especially compared to other countries.  As much as I am against this in theory, having a compulsion to buy something does not help so I feel less guilty when buying second hand.  I am saving something from being dumped in a landfill and hopefully putting something to use that would have been otherwise wasted.

Where do get my art supplies?  New supplies I buy from both small, independent stores and large, big box retailers - I will list my favorites in a separate post.  For second hand supplies I mainly buy at garage and yard sales, ebay, and other online retailers but my favorite place is the Scrap Exchange, a re-use center in Durham.   Some of the pricing can be inconsistent but I generally get a great deal on markers, pens, pencils and inks.  I also my vintage papers, old office supplies, storage containers, etc.

Whatever the case I have a sh*t-ton of art supplies.  I committed this year to using what I have, minimizing what I buy (especially if new) AND repairing or making my own art supplies.  Lately I have made my own ink pad refresher, blending pen refills, DIY gelli plate and modeling paste (new post to follow soon).  I have revived dried out markers (water and alcohol based) and invested in ink pads AND ink pad refills.  In addition to re-inking old ink pads the re-inkers are pretty versatile - these can be used for water coloring, dying different materials, etc. I'll be posting and sharing how-to's and such.

I look forward to sharing all of these with you so please visit often and feel free to share your own tips, tricks and hacks.  For my first post please see colored modeling paste hack .

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