Sunday, February 15, 2009

Call me a paper snob if you want, but here's the deal...

092807 Flowers

All paper and art supplies are not created equal. Through all my research, that's as simple as I can state it.

If you have ever found yourself frustrated with thinking you can't do anything worthwhile with those colored pencils or watercolor paints that are sitting in your closet, it might be because the products may be of inferior quality, or you aren't using the best paper with your chosen media.

I'm well aware that some people are happy to use whatever is available, but there are also people that think they can't *do* something, and it's not necessarily for lack of talent.

Just today, I was testing two different brands of seemingly similar sketch paper. I found that despite them feeling similar to the touch, and being almost identical in weight, they performed quite differently when I tried using graphite pencils, colored pencils, Neocolor crayons and oil pastels. The one paper left me frustrated, and the other made me feel like I just wanted to sit and play with it all day.

So how do you know what's best for you? Start by asking a lot of questions, and do your research. Ask other artists their preferences - try the forum Wet Canvas or ask the people working at your local art supply store. Call Blick, or Cheap Joe's, or Daniel Smith. You won't really know if something works for you until you try it, but hopefully in the long run this might save you some money and frustration.

In my opinion, if you want to be creative, aim to select the tools that will enhance the experience rather than hinder it.


Shade said...

people always look at me weird whenever I talk about good pens.
Especially my best friend(s).
It comes down to this: if it stops and starts, and doesn't write well, and forces me to grip it too hard to write, or causes my hand to sweat, or generally leaves a really bad line on the paper, I don't really want to use it, or to write, for that matter.
So something that glides beautifully across the page in my journal and doesn't bleed through, or takes nicely to my index cards on which I organize my stories, makes me WANT to write more. I've got a habit of taking notes in classes, and writing in one of my stories in one of my smaller notebooks. I also take notes in classes incessantly, and beleive me, it makes you get really fed up with a pen if it's not working how you want it to work.
That's why I turned to fountain pens. Yeah, they might smudge some ink on your hand and you have to keep a bottle of ink, but writing with them is FANTASTIC and I look forward to uncapping them every time.

Biffybeans said...

Shade, I'm with you 100%. I have filled so many more journals since writing with a FP. It's just so much easier...

B2-kun said...

All good points! life is too short to use cheap art supplies ;). With all the information, forums, and review blogs available online, artists today can check a variety of sources and get educated before making any big investment in artist grade materials.

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