Today's economy can challenge any artist's creativity and resources - let's face it, art supplies are expensive, especially professional grade materials. The tips below may help!
1. Keep materials and supplies clean and organized. They’ll be in good shape when you’re ready to go plus you’ll be able to easily find just what you want. Knowing what you have means that you’ll be able to use it! Taking care of brushes will extend their life. They should be cleaned well and dried flat; never leave them standing in water or solvents.
4. Trade with another artist. We all have something we bought at one time that we've used seldom or never. Swap supplies with someone else!
6. Investigate other art forms. Have you thought about creating small pieces, such as ATC’s (artists trading cards)? Collage is a great way to explore dimension and texture, and lends itself to found materials readily – so do altered art forms. There are hundreds of online resources on altered books and journals, and repurposed clothing and accessories. Consider printmaking techniques such as leaf monotypes, or printing with leaves, gelatin, or fish.
7. Let accidents happen. I learned this one great thing from a fellow artist – if you make a mistake in your journal or sketchbook, don’t throw that page away. Make it into something else or cover it up with a square of paper and continue drawing or painting. Let an accidental splotch or puddle lead you into a new area of exploration, you have nothing to lose! Learning to utilize “happy accidents” loosens us up and expands our vision as well as saving paper.
You can click on each image to view it larger on my Flickr photostream.