Managing your Expenses as an Artist

How to Not Waste Money




From top to bottom, the price of good colour pencils, smooth paint brushes and a packet of Lays.

Being an Artist may be a very cool job but it is also very expensive to remain one due to the excessive amount of strain that art supplies put on one’s wallet.

As artists, we know that a trip to the art supply store can be expensive. Shopping for one item can quickly lead to a full cart, and it’s exactly these careless habits that can become dangerous, especially for artists trying to watch their budget or turn a profit. (As already artists are paid less, it is hard for them to buy the same best material again and again and they have to look for cheaper and affordable supplies). Ideally, established artists making regular sales should be able to purchase the finest supplies. But in today’s economy, it’s smart for everyone to be budget conscious.

The good news is, this does not mean you’ll have to skimp on quality or go without a supply you need just because you can’t afford it. Happily, artists of all abilities and tax brackets can find awesome deals on great art supplies — it just takes a little time, research and careful shopping. That’s where come in! We have done the research for you by gathering up the 10 easiest ways to save money on art supplies.

Art Supplies set out in a Circle for aesthetic purposes.

According to Lori Mc Nee here are 7 tips to save Money on Art Supplies

1. Be a repeat buyer:

If you’re a frequent customer of the same art supply store, ask if they offer a discount for repeat buyers. (Aray bhai. Yar thori si to kum karo na. Kya brushes hi hain. Itnay mehngay? If your go-to art store doesn’t offer such deals, it may be smart to look for one in your area that does — but only if it offers what you need and is within your price range. There’s no sense in driving farther, paying more or being disappointed with your purchase.

2. Don’t overdo it on paint:

Not using as much paint is a great way to keep costs down and avoid unnecessary waste (KEEP CHILDREN AWAY FROM YOUR ART STUFF . THESE THINGS COST MONEY). When portioning out your paint colours, be mindful of how much you’re using, as well as its intended use (Kanjoosi full) Mix colours as you go and try to reuse or use up the paint you’ve mixed for previous works (don’t be a lazy person who lets the paint dry before you even use all of it!).

3. Stretch Your Own Canvas:

There’s no way around it — since most artists agree that canvas is the perfect medium, stretching your own canvas can be a really fantastic way to save money and allow for more experimentation as an artist. By stretching your own, you’ll have more surfaces to play with, and you won’t be hoarding expensive canvas for only the “good paintings.”  

It’s quite easy to stretch canvases. Here’s a youtube video for reference:
Strecthing Your Own Canvas


4. Buy in bulk:

Artists who properly care for their supplies (ahem ahem) do not need to buy again and again. If you have space and know you will definitely use the product, it’s a good idea to buy a lot of it at a decent bulk price, especially since that means a higher profit for you when it comes time to sell your piece. However, don’t buy it if you’re not sure you’ll use it or have never tried it! (NO EXPERIMENTATION IN THIS THING)

5. Keep your existing supplies in good condition:

Well-kept art supplies can last for years. Unfortunately, many artists don’t properly maintain their supplies and this frivolity leads to the loss of hard-earned money.

Direct Help from Miss Lori Mc Nee (just like Zubaida Appa kay totkay listen well)

  • Carefully clean all utensils with soap and water or turpentine (for oils only) after each use.
  • Always shake the water out of the brushes and pat dry with a towel in the direction of the bristles.
  • Double-check that paint lids are on properly and stored at mild temperatures. And, never mix paintbrushes! If you’ve used it with oil-based paints, it’s only an oil-based paintbrush. This goes for water-based paintbrushes too.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep your studio neat and clean since it’s where the majority of your art supplies are stored. A clean space enables your supplies to be properly organized, accessible and easy to put away once you’re finished. Keep your workspace neat by laying down old sheets or plastic tablecloths and have multiple trashcans on hand.
If you buy expensive stuff, don’t just stuff it into a corner to never use it. Use it, albeit, more carefully at first and slowly.

6. Evaluate what you actually need:

Being a profitable artist means deciphering between the supplies you need, the supplies you want and the supplies others may need but you can do without. For instance, if you paint better with your canvas lying flat on a table, don’t buy an expensive easel that will never get used. (Paisoun ka zya kyun?)

7. Splurge once in a while:

No artist, or person for that matter, can be budget conscious always. There are just some supplies and tools you need no matter the cost. Items like this should be purchased occasionally and with much thought (Do I realllly need it that bad?). That being said, sometimes it’s best to buy quality materials, but in smaller quantities. 

When it comes to art, money is an unimportant detail. It just happens to be a huge unimportant detail ~  Iggy Pop

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.