Tag Archives: supplies

Studio Expansion Photos

Studio Space Shot 6

Recently, the family and I decided it would be a good idea to move my bedroom out of the studio. For a whole evening we laboured moving furniture around on the second floor of the house. The result is that both my bedroom and studio have their own separate rooms.

Studio Space Shot 7

The disorganization of my brain is evident in these photos.

Studio Space Shot 5

There is a god and it’s name is order!

Studio Space Shot 3

Logically one would think that nothing could be created in here and truth be told nothing is being created in here for I am missing one all to important feature; that of work table that is high enough to stand at, for working; namely to get the packaging, photography and cutting area off of my creation table which all to often becomes cluttered with everything but art.

For now cardboard is serving two purposes, that of a table a for shooting product photos and that of packaging. Pictured below is the newest edition to my shop; mini greeting cards!

Studio Space Shot 1

I’ll be commissioning my brother, the carpenter to build a table very shortly. Until then, I’ll make do with what I have.

And how could you not love that red vintage swivel rocking chair! I bought that close to 8 years ago from an office worker whose office was closing before leaving for Vancouver. They wanted $150 for it. After frantic negotiation he settled for $75. Then the arms and legs were removed, refinished and put back on hence restoring it to it’s original luster! Yes, I know how to sand and refinish vintage furniture.

Studio Space Shot 2

Happy!

Happy!

Note to self: I must figure out where to put the new printer I am expecting tomorrow in the mail! The Epson paper and ink arrived today.

In search of supplies, systems and the middle class dream

Beginning your own business from scratch without going into debt is a fun challenge. Add to that a student loan that is 10 years old that must continue to be paid down. So far so good.

The next immediate need is bookkeeping software to track my incoming and outgoing costs, supply, packaging and advertising costs as yes, I do budget a small amount for advertising. I attempted to install Open Office but Panther and Open Office hate each other due to X11. After more research I found Neo Office. Wonderful! How do I use spreadsheets… I haven’t a clue.

Last month I earned as much as I would have earned working part-time at that nameless place… haha. I remain earning well below the Canadian poverty line. I live with my family who feed and house me. Without their support I could be on the street.

I’ve not borrowed a cent to run my shop. That feels so good to say.

In August I’ll be introducing matting into the shop. Tomorrow I meet with a local custom picture framer and gallery to work out a price for mats to go on my 5×5 and 8×8 inch prints. He’s also interested in selling my originals! Woot! I currently order rectangular mats from an online supplier. They do not, however supply square mats which most of my artwork is. And their quality is very good; acid free with no over cuts. I know a good mat when I see one.

I’m stocked with pens of every shape, colour and size, paper, paint, printing ink, and packaging supplies.

As time goes on I purchase larger amounts of everything to take advantage of bulk discounts and cheaper shipping. All the art and prints are placed into acid free resealable clear bags and then sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and placed into a sturdy craft mailer for shipping when sold. My shipping days are standard; being Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s.

My studio/bedroom and now part of a spare room have become packaging, business, creation, storage and computer work stations.

I began paying myself bi-weekly in May from my Art Sales and have continued on since. There may be those who believe I’m not able, thinking this a hobby and that I should go get a real job. Well, this is my real job and I love it.

My goal is simple: to become a respectable middle class citizen earning a livable wage.

xo

Artist Tip #16 – Why on earth did you buy that?

Have you ever stuffed your cart so full of art supplies, paid for them, lugged them 1000 clicks across an international border only to be strip searched for stolen erasers!

View to the left

OK, I did buy a few bags full of paper, pens and other artist sundries while visiting New York City in the Spring of 1994 and we did get stopped by the border patrol on our way back across into New Brunswick, Canada. We had to take everything out of the van and report all that we did, bought and drew upon. Sadly I’ve never returned to the United States since then. 14 years passes rapidly when one is consumed with Chron’s Disease, going into remission, getting married, then divorced, succumbing to addiction only to recover and have your boyfriend leave you. My god.

Whilst those 14 years of joy and agony were, I lugged around an accumulated arsenal of artist materials. I drug them from Fredericton to Saint John, Saint John to Fredericton and back again only to fly and mail them out to Vancouver for five years where I resided and began drawing solely with black and occasionally red ink. I swore off pencil all together thinking it an unnecessary time consuming evil that could be cut from the creative process all together. And I began painting extra large wall paintings to break the cycle of fear of going big.

I bought fat black pens, phat black pens, skinny black pens, no name brand black pens and ultra-fine-grip no slip tip permanent eat your heart out black pens. I bought them all. I tried them all until they ran dry. At one point I was averaging two to three pens per week. That is a lot of drawing and writing folks.

Why did I buy them?

How could you not buy something that makes you happy. How can you not buy a tool to help you find that means to an end. I found an answer while in Vancouver. I discovered two brands of pens that to this day are still my favorites; the Viscose based Pilot G-tec C4 pen and the Archival Micron Pen; each costing $5.

View to the right

For the next 14 years I plan to buy more black pens. In the near future I’m buying an Epson printer and then…

Why?

When you purchase a good quality artist supply it will not deteriorate over time with proper storage, use and care. If your art supplies are becoming goopy, yellowing or drying up perhaps you should invest in that $30 paint brush or that $45 sketchbook. This standard does not hold true for all supplies but I will tell you this, those bags of paper I bought in New York 14 years ago, today remain in the same condition as they were then.

Last Week’s Tip – The Truth Behind the Struggle

Next Week’s Tip – Did you mix enough of that color?

Picture credits – The two pics were captured from the windows of my studio; one to the left and one to the right

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Artist Tip #11 – Why you should never put your art supplies away

Why you should never put your art supplies away

If you put them away they will not be there when you need them. What good are art supplies when they are shoved in drawers or packed in boxes in a room you’ll never go into to create in?

Leave them out, open and in an area where they are easy to access. If you don’t you will not create. You’ll become like everyone else who lost their inspiration a long time ago when they were told to clean up their mess.

And art supplies are not mess.

If someone in your household considers them to be a mess pack away their television, or library of books, game console and beauty products. A bit of reverse psychology never hurt anyone. In the place of the TV, place an easel. Replace the library with sketchbooks and journals. Where the game console was, line up your paintbrushes and paints. In lieu of the beauty products dump.out.the.contents.of.your.pencil.case.

Next Week’s Tip – How to dry paint faster

Last Weeks Tip

Artist Tip #9 – Where to find the best art supplies – a top five list

Where to find the best art supplies – a top five list

  • 1. DickBlick – one of the largest retailers of art supplies online I am learning. I have yet to buy from them but will be soon as I can’t find what I need locally.
  • 2. Your local flea market – great for found art objects, oddities and even inspiration
  • 3. Michael’s– Yikes! I let the cat out of the bag…
  • 4. Loomis Art Store – OH HOW I MISS YOU! This is where I shopped when I lived in Vancouver.
  • 5. Trade amongst your artist friends – I did a pen trade though mail with Shane Vorhaben (Illustrator Extraordinaire!) We each mailed pens to each other we could not buy where we lived.
  • Next Week’s Tip – Why you should comment on art blogs

    Last week’s Tip

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