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Where to Find the Essential Art Supplies as Artists

Updated on August 18, 2015

Take a look at the local stores

They might not be art suppliers, but local stores near you may have the materials you are looking for. If you choose to shop at local stores, you might find their prices to be a little bit more expensive than student prices.

Make a general use of your discount cards, coupons, and deals that may save you some money from the purchases.

The local stores that usually have the bare necessities:

  1. Your local bookstores might have the crayons, coloring pencils, watercolor, oil, brushes and even canvases of certain sizes. Large book stores don't necessarily mean they are more complete; small bookstores don't necessarily mean lower prices.
  2. The office supply stores could also have some of the items you are looking for. If you are looking for folders and portfolio cases, the office supply stores have a better chance at having them in stock than other stores.
  3. Local supermarkets and hypermarkets might have a variety of choices under the school supplies and office supplies categories. If they don't, they might order for you.

A complete physical inventory helps plan your shopping

Shopping for art supplies doesn't need to be confusing, even if you are just starting out.

As artists, once we set out to complete an art project, like any other projects, we would like to start with what we already have.

It is always a good idea to make an inventory of the art supplies that are available right now, and note on its current conditions.

  • Do we have a complete set of oil paint inside the artist box?
  • Do we have the brushes?
  • Are all the pencils in appropriate sizes?
  • Which crayons do we need more of?

Make sure to include all the necessary extra bits, too. Include all the medium that will be used in the work. Are you primarily going to be working with oil or water color paint, pencil, or charcoal?

Select all the supported materials that will be used in the project. Will there be an easel in the studio? Will you be stretching your own canvas or will you be needing larger rolls for the project?

If you already have an artist checklist for project, use it. Make constructive use of the additional materials that you already have with you and the team. Perhaps the cloth, leather, things for the crafts are still available from the team's warehouse.

Browse the local art supplies retail stores

This may sound a bit obvious, but an art supply store located nearby might have some or all of the items you want.

You can begin with the Yellow Pages website, where you can browse for the contact of businesses in a certain area. Include "art supplies" in your search and find the ones that are near you.

What is also a good idea is to call before you visit their premises, just to make sure that they have the items you are looking for.

A search for art supplies stores in Indonesia yields in a list containing 239 shops. Each store is accompanied with a map of the locations.

The stores in the listings may include a business phone number and a business fax number, and their categories, as one store may be listed under several categories.

Keep our artist supply inventory close when making the calls, so that you can ask them the specific items you would like to buy.

Art makes a good hobby

What is you hobby?
What is you hobby? | Source

Get your supplies

Where do you shop for your art supply materials?

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You can also do your shopping online

Many art supply stores have a website and a contact number on their websites, where you can get information on the details of your purchases.

Amazon Arts, Crafts & Sewing

You can shop for art supplies and supporting materials from related Amazon departments. The arts, crafts & sewing section contains featured categories that are organized either by brand, specific activity or the default arts & crafts categories, like drawing, scrapbooking, and many more.

Etsy Crafts

The Etsy craft supplies section sells supplies and artist's materials for a selection of categories. Including digital downloads, paper and items for DIY wedding! Check the store policies for shipping and payments. Most shipping usually is handled within 14 to 21 days, but you might be able to get your items shipped faster, depending on the store's policies.

They have also different store policy for each store, so be sure to read them prior to making an online purchase. Make sure that you also check for the shipping policies, returns policies and other details to monitor.

Opus Online

If you are in Canada, there is an option for ordering and shopping by phone and online through the Opus store locations. There is a membership option and business-to-business offers available, so it would be a nice option.

Everyday favorite decorative objects

Kitchen arts and crafts
Kitchen arts and crafts | Source

Keep an eye for eBay bargains

Another place to do your shopping for art supplies and stocks for your art projects is the eBay Crafts section.

You can access the categories included in the crafts section from the eBay website, which also includes handy guides on how to shop on the website.

There are specific categories within the crafts section where you might be able to find the materials that you need, including craft paper, craft supplies and daily deals.

Be sure to check for sales and events when you are on the website, because other than daily deals, there is also an option of sales and event special discounts for certain celebrations.

If you don't find the specific categories for your art supplies, go over the how to buy articles for more information on where to find the materials.

Artist communities are there to help

Aside from job postings and event postings, the artist communities are a great source of reliable information for your shopping.

It's also a fun way to support your local artists. See how they are preparing their art supplies and see how well they are doing with their projects.

Flickr is a useful photo sharing community being used by people of many professions. Other than that, there is also Deviantart, where artists, including 3D artists and those who focus on digital arts, share their works.

Another useful place to look for information from is online magazines that specialize on arts and crafts.

Social media for artists

With so many social media platform reinforcing social interactions, we have been categorizing and selecting without the details.
With so many social media platform reinforcing social interactions, we have been categorizing and selecting without the details. | Source

It doesn't have to be a snowman

Spend some time on your brands' websites

There are many ways you can get the materials that you need to create your masterpiece. One way is to look for them through the brand's websites, which may or may not allow for delivery to your area.

The nice thing is that you can ask for information directly from the brand on where to shop for their products. Some websites even include a store locator for your convenience.

The limitations may be to do with how much time you have working on your project. Browsing through a few of the favorite or recommended brands for artists can help you decide on which brands to use in your project.

Ask for student quality paints

In case you are wondering, art supplies do come in different qualities that you can choose from. If you would like to use the student quality paints, why not ask for them at the store.

Another way to get the best materials for your work is to find the brands that offer the quality you are after. Some brands are common names in bookstores, and they can easily be purchased in other bookstores when you run out of them.

If you don't have time to research the brands one by one, take the store attendant's words for it. Ask for recommendations from the store on which items are on sale, of certain quality, or are up for grabs for members.

Visit the gift centers

With the increase of online art selling efforts and government initiatives to get people to collect and appreciate art, gift centers are also going online.

Visit gift centers of museums that you are a member of, and they might have just the items you are looking for.

The best thing about visiting gift centers is there is a higher chance of you discovering guides to buying and selling your art.

Gift centers can be found in museums, art schools and online galleries such as:

MoMA Store

Paper Source

Artist Craftsman

The Metropolitant Museum of Art Store


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    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 2 years ago

      Hi Lovelli - I'm Here From Your Empire Avenue Mission - Thanks for Sharing This Great Hub-Page "Where to Find the Essential Art Supplies as Artists" -- I'm a Hubber as Well Stop Over and Check Out My Hub-Pages

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      billycamryn 3 years ago

      You will find great deals on Art supplies on Jerry's website: .They have great discounts on easels, art sets, drawing books, paints, furniture and much more are available Online at discounted prices. I never considered Etsy or eBay for discounts. Will give it a shot, but what bothers me is the quality. I have had bad experience on ebay for other products and got inferior products.