10 Tips to Save Money on Art Supplies
- April 20, 2021
As artists, we know for a fact that a trip to the art supply store can be (very) expensive!
We have all been through this situation where we only needed a new brush to come out of the store finally. A basket full to the brim! And it is precisely this kind of habit that can quickly become problematic, especially for artists trying to watch their budget or make a profit.
The good news is, that does not mean you will have to skimp on quality or go without the supply you need, just because you cannot afford it.
Finding great deals is within everyone’s reach, especially if you devote a little time to it and follow these ten tips to help you save money on art supplies:
Be a regular buyer
If you are used to going to the same store, do not hesitate to ask if there are any discounts for frequent customers.
Usually, this reduction takes the form of credit, which is a good deal if you know you will be coming back to it regularly.
However, if your must-see art store does not have such deals, it might be a good idea to look for another one, as long as it also offers everything you need and is within your range of price.
Indeed, there is no need to have to travel more kilometers, pay more, or be disappointed with your purchase simply because you have a store credit to spend.
Don’t waste your paint
Not using too much paint is a great way to cut costs and avoid unnecessary waste:
When distributing your colors, consider how much you will need for your intended use.
Mix the colors as you go and try using the paint you mixed previously for other works.
Another way to save paint is to buy tubes of glaze rather than impasto. It is because the glazes are more liquid and can be stretch more easily.
If your painting requires more texture, do not be afraid to use texture paste or get creative with collage using, for example, fibrous paper or old newspapers.
As for acrylic paint for students, it is also an excellent option for those who want to paint a particular effect without breaking the bank.
Look for discount coupons
To save money on all your art supplies, from paint thinner and charcoals to pallets, feel free to cut out and download the discount coupons offered by significant art supply chains or craft stores.
Often these stores have offers that are very easy to find. Just type the store’s name preceded by the word “coupon” into any search engine, and you will be amazed at the results!
And to receive even more benefits, subscribe to the store’s newsletter: they will send you their latest offers and coupons not available to the general public!
Stretch your own canvas
As you know, pre-stretched and primed canvases are expensive. Despite everything, as most artists agree, the canvas is and always will be the perfect medium!
So how can you avoid exploding your budget?
Well, quite simply by stretching your canvas! It will give you more surfaces to work with, and as an artist, it is a great way to experience a new side of your craft.
Another valuable idea for saving money is to reuse old canvases. Too many artists throw away works they no longer like or sell, which is an absolute waste. Remember: a canvas can easily be reused by turning it over or priming it with gesso.
If you have enough storage space and know you will use a particular product, it may be a good idea to buy large quantities if the wholesale price is excellent.
Plus, it means higher profit when the time comes to sell your work.
Take care of your existing supplies
Well-maintained art supplies can last for years. For example, a good set of brushes or palette knives can last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, many artists do not maintain them properly, and this frivolity results in the loss of hard-earned money.
I advise you to clean all your equipment with soap and water carefully, or even turpentine (for oils only) after each use.
Then, always make sure to wipe your brushes well in the hairs’ direction and do not mix them! For example, if you used them with oil paints, you should not use them again with acrylics.
Finally, do not forget to check that the paint cans are properly closed and stored at room temperature.
Even if you are in your pajamas on your sofa, I assure you that you can also save money!
However, keep in mind that smaller art supply stores tend to charge more due to lower customer volume. Buying in larger stores may therefore turn out to be a better idea. Plus, big brands usually have a more extensive selection of supplies available online.
Private sellers are also a great way to buy online. Do not hesitate to browse the web and its classified ads or online auctions to buy – at a lower cost – the items you need.
Besides, you can also use this method to sell material that you no longer need. It will save you some money, and you will actively participate in the circular economy.
Don’t discredit garage sales
Besides offering great deals, garage sales (unlike online shopping) allow merchandise to be checked carefully before purchasing it.
Plus, now is the perfect time to get your creative mind working! For example, mass-produced prints can easily create very inexpensive blank canvases, and a few screws or wood glue can fix an old easel. All it takes is a little elbow grease and voila. Great savings!
Evaluate what you need
Above all, being a profitable artist means knowing how to evaluate the supplies you need, the supplies you want, and the supplies you can do without it.
The race for bargains to its limits be responsible for limiting waste and not wasting too much space in your workshop. For example, if you paint better with your canvas lying flat on a table, there is no point in buying an easel that you will never use.
Splurge every now and then
And finally, do not forget to treat yourself! It is impossible always to respect your budget to the letter.
There are supplies you need, no matter how much they cost, and sometimes it is best to buy quality materials, but in smaller quantities.
In the beginning, you will have little material (and this is quite normal), but over time, you will build up a solid collection to create works that are still just as masterful, without being angry with your banker!
So, get your brushes ready, paint!
See you soon for new articles.