Organizing your Home Art Supplies

Jan 08, 2017

It's a new year and we're all feeling the urge to declutter and review what we use in our everyday lives. Art supplies are no different. If you're anything like me, I can get lost in my projects, and my tidiness suffers. A lot. The reality is, storing and caring for your supplies will go a long way toward how long they last. Plus it's just a big time saver not having to dig around looking for your stuff. In Alton Brown's words, "Organization will set you free!"

Storing Paint and Brushes

There are a lot of great ideas out there on how to store paint brushes including re-purposing a toothbrush holder, making your own with a drill and wood if you're handy with tools, or even toilet paper rolls. I keep my most used brushes in a canvas rollup. Life's just easier that way. I'll talk about that more in another post on traveling with art supplies. My less used brushes, palette knives, and other random tools I keep in a couple of fancy tea tins. It's a pretty easy and attractive solution. Have your tea and storage too!

I used to keep my paint tubes in a small bin or grocery sack. That gets frustrating fast! I've seen many artists hang them on the wall with overdoor pockets meant for shoes, on peg board with hooks (if the paint you use has holes to hang them), or spin racks. I prefer these long flat drawers from the craft store. I don't like them out on display. The shallow length of the drawer really helps to see all your tubes quickly and easily. I organize them by color as well.

Storing Drawing Supplies

Drawing materials are usually smaller and easier to manage. I find a fishing tackle box does the job nicely.

There are good products available specifically for this stuff like Artbin. I'm not sponsored by them, but I love what I have from them. They're usually at main-chain craft stores. A shoe box will work just fine too.

I keep the charcoal, graphite pencils, erasers, and sharpeners all together inside the tackle box with Ziploc bags. I'm sure there are more attractive options out there like re-purposing make up bags, but this stuff is messy! You'll get shavings all over it in no time. Ziploc does have decorative bags available if you prefer blinged out storage.

I keep my hazardous paint and drawing supplies up high and locked away on shelving since I have small children. Be sure to read the labels and store them at the proper temperature. It's a good idea to keep them away from any thing that could spark a flame. Yadda yadda. But cautious with this stuff.

Canvas and portfolios take special considerations too, but I'll save that for another post. Happy 2017!

Last Minute Gifts Ideas for the Artist in your Life

Dec 22, 2016
Art Desk

So you have an artsy family member or friend but haven't made up your mind about what to buy them this Christmas. I've got your back. All these products are $20 or less, all recommended by artists, for artists.

For the cartoonist or anime artist

You can't go wrong with copic markers for cartoonists. Manga pens should get good use for an anime fan... no they're not any different from other artists pens, but anything with anime on it should thrill this person. Throw some Asian candy in there too...they love that.

For the painter or fine art artist

This sythetic paint brush set has lots of variety. I personally use and love this set for my acrylic paints from Target, the most unlikely of places to find quality art supplies.

For the mixed media/collage/upcycling artist

This is the best one..these guys love scraps of nice papers, things with texture like cardboard or bubble wrap, scraps of fancy material, even wood or bits of interesting metal. Dumpster diving for this stuff is just fine, make sure it's cut nicely and well wrapped..and clean please. They may also like a rubber stamp carving kit. They're a lot of fun and possibilities are endless.

The art student

These people are on the go, and always need to transport their material to and from classes. Art bins or a portable art portfolio will help a lot. These guys will take just about anything really. Art supplies and school aren't cheap.

The stressed artist

Adult coloring books are still art in my book. Us moms especially like a throw back to our carefree-little-girl-coloring days. There's also Wreck this Journal for anyone with creative/destructive tendencies...or just likes to scrapbook or journal. Add dark chocolate to this gift for extra brownie points.

The artsy-fartsy children

Hands down, I recommend a Boogie Board. They come in pink/blue/black and kids love them! My son likes to doodle all over this and it instantly erases to a fresh new screen whenever he pleases. It's fantastic for schoolwork too.

For any type of artist, or the artist that already has all the above

All artists new or pro needs daily practice to improve. Gift them 642 Things to Draw and it should keep them occupied for awhile. Then gift 712 More things to Draw the next year, then 642 Tiny Things to Draw, the year after that... 642 BIG things to Draw ...yeah... just keep going with it, there's plenty more. They need the practice.

Happy holidays everyone!