A little bit about bags, portfolios and straps, etc. Save your money and shop around
As an art student one needs to pinch pennies when they can and as most of us know the local art store can be a ridiculous rip off! So here's a few tips about shopping. I'll do it by where and then run off on a list of what can be bought and how it can be used. There will also be a pencil tangent at the end.
YOUR LOCAL CHAIN HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE(HOME DEPOT, LOWES, ETC):
Giant Sponges (multiple uses: cushion, brush protector...), palette knives (large ones), buckets (normal, compartmentalized), boards (wood, masonite, eucalyptus board and hella cheap! When combined with clips they make a good cheapo drawing board), giant rulers (and normal ones which could be modified easily to make ghetto but highly effective artists' bridge for painting straight lines), giant t-squares, nail guns, tools in general, tool boxes or bags of various sizes for art supplies at reasonable prices, gauge wire, spray paint, paint markers, china markers, carpenter pencils, mud box (think of a metal oblong version of a butcher tray that is a few inches deep), painting pans, storage(customizeable metal wire shelving, bins, taborets which are just metal carts with wheels and at a better price at your local hardware chain), giant roll dispensers or just some rope and a pole(there may be some drilling required or use of wood glue to make some knobs at the end), drills ,giant rolls of craft paper, cutting tools (saws, scissors, knives, blades also can be bought in bulk reasonably), lighting fixtures (when combined with boards and some inginuity one could make a kick-ass ), pliers, wire cutters, spray bottles (normal sized ones look online for small ones at good prices), acrylic sheets which can be painted on with some primer or gesso (do your research and do test patches), sand paper, clips to hang things on and hangers, some triangles but they will be metal and large probably
ONLINE RETAILERS(jetpens, amazon,isbnsearch, etc. Do the task of online shopping due justice you can find a deal I believe in you!)
Jetpens -mechanical pencils, pens, expesive bags and japanese novelty items, the sketchbooks are cheaper if bought in bulk but I never had a reason to buy them ask your friends or look at the ratings and comments section before you buy something you're unsure of, I recommend the 0.7mm pilot enox lead it's eraseable with white vinyl erasers up to the point in comes in a bunch of colors: blue, red, yellow, violet, orange, green, pink but it gets expensive at 6 for $1.65 I prefer violet the most but blue and red are pretty good too
AMAZON is where you can get a plastic covered metal stand that is adjustable instead of some proprietary over-priced tablet stand,vials (plastic tubes or glass ones for anything you want that fits in them), small spray bottles, some squeeze bottles (shop around you may have to buy in bulk so sell the excess to classmates or split the cost or hoarde them if you please, bags( shop around different retailers and save coupons for brick and mortar don't blow your wad of cash on stuff you can just get later or MacGuyver a solution just think a little bit, kay?).
Here's an example for you; A design student that uses markers often usually has paper pads in excess of 14x17, did you know they make these sports bags (durable, waterproof, handles and shoulder straps that are adjustable) intended for 6 inflateable volleyballs and it takes up a space of 17 inches high, 24 or so inches wide and about 8 inches deep you could fit a bunch of markers (loose, rubber banded or in a bag/bags) with a bunch of 14x17 pads ( marker , tracing paper pads, layout bond paper pads and the like), there are also these giant insulated cooler bags that come in sizes that easily accommadate jumbo marker pads and markers or you could get a tote for the pads and a giant makeup bag, mesh bag, cooler bag or jumbo lunch bag, and by the way giant or super durable freezer bags make great, water proof storage. Freezer paper is a decent alternative to pallete paper and when combined with a good food container with a latch or locking mechanism, wet paper towels or sponges and figure out a way to fasten it to bottom of the container or pin it with measured, cut and glued pieces of plastic to the top of the box to keep the palette from moving or getting smushed, portfolios and other art tools at competitive prices,acrylic parallel rolling ruler with metal roller instead of those cheap plastic ones, there is definitely stuff I haven't thought of yet.
Invest in a wand scanner (it costs half as much as inkling if its a premium model, scans at 8.5 inches by a couple feet potentially, scans in color, black and white, or greyscale at 150-600 dpi according to specs) because it's useful to the digital painters who still feel more comfortable drawing the old fashion way and it can help you display sketches in a more professional way. For instance, you were hit by sudden inspiration (or doing some last minute stuff at a coffee shop but you're too far away from home to go back home and scan it and put on some kind of mobile device or website or email) and you'd feel it a bit too amateurish to show a sketch in the context of a sketchbook to a potential client or colleague. It's pretty handy and I use mine all the time because who has the energy to stand up and walk to the scanner at school/work/studio if it's just a little sketch and not even final pencils.
ISBNSearch- title says it all look up that crazy expensive textbook on this site and you will get the cheapest price but make sure to also price compare you never know when a peer of yours is willing to part with their book at a better price than what they would get at the student bookstore (also don't underestimate the library but find out the what the reading material is early on)
Ebay - I'm a pencil collector so I wouldn't recommend this if you just want something that functions or if you don't want something rare/valuable
I recently got accepted to the product design dept. at my school and we have these idea books we use to show our inspiration, market research, usage patter and value write up and sketches but they cannot be smudged or otherwise compromised or damaged. So we make use of usually indigo blue verithins but I like to use some col-erase and other colors as well. Problem is that I hate having to constantly take out broken lead from my sharpener, buy a decent mobile one and add extra weight to my bags with spare batteries and cords and such, or lug a bunch of them around and would like it so much better if I had a bunch of cores but unfortunately color lead cores are either crazy expensive if they are of quality or the cheap ones are crap. So I took it upon myself to whittle down the wooden part and expose the core, break it in half and use them in my leadholders/clutch pencils. If you are going to attempt this be patient, don't cut your finger tips off(I got some manly scars in the process at first, manly scars may cause some swooning for persons of interest if enticed, pay attention and use the leadholders with the claws not the automatic dispenser ones. The verithins go with 2mm leadholders and I personally recommend teh Koh-i-Noor technigraph brand but the turquoise blue ones are okay. The col-erase are slightly smaller than 3.15 and will fit only in the 3mm range of lead holders and for that I would highly recommend investing in a CaranDache' fixpencil 3 (black barrel and different colored tops that are also sharpeners wih metal inside so they don't wear down). I would still invest in a decent lead pointer but I caution to not buy the rotary one's as they will eat and break that color core. Use a stationery sharpener like the KUM brand ones but you will need only the 3mm size part as the verithins are a little bit oversized for 2mm and will break but too large to put inside of a leadholder of the same size as the sharpener. Amazon has some decent prices on them and the cheapo brand one works just fine I got 3 of them(It looks way too much like the staedtler one!).
There's my two cents for what it is take it or leave it. I'll just take this oppurtunity at the end of my post to let you know that I didn't just happen on to some of this information because my thrift-genius or anything I'd like to thank James Gurney for his ever-inspiring posts and cool tips at gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/(check it out!), comictool.blogspot.com/ (not updated), blog.drawn.ca/ (check it out!) and last but not least thetoolsartistsuse.com/ (check it out!).
If you like the post you can repost this anywhere. I don't care what is important is that we all have alternatives as artists and it's not that I'm against art supply stores but it's best to shop around if you can help it because the economy is tough and we got to work just as smart as we are working hard to improve.
Forgive me for any grammatical no-no's, I'm not an English Major I'm a Toy Design Major.
Last edited by Anubis523; March 29th, 2013 at 06:44 AM.
"I MUST SUCCEED" Hero-Boy
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.” Confucius
Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile. Hippocrates