How to Save Money on Art Supplies

How Artists Can Beat the Recession

How to Save Money on art suppliesBy Alina Bradford

Keeping a studio well-stocked with art supplies can get expensive. During a recession, an artist may think that they have to give up what they love to save money at home. No need. Artists can still get the art supplies they require without sacrificing their creative spirit or budget. Here’s how.

Mailing Lists

Email mailing lists are a simple way to save money on art supplies. All the artist has to do is go to the online versions of their favorite art tools supplier and find their mailing list service. Signing up only takes an email address.

Within a few days, the artist will start getting emails alerting them to sales up to 75% off on major brands. For example, Jerry’s Artarama has sales at least once a week offering free art supplies with purchase, drastic price cuts, free shipping or even reduced memberships to the Alliance of Professional Artists.

Here is a list of online stores that have mailing lists and how to sign up:

  • Dick Blick (look for email newsletter including special deals)
  • Jerry’s Artarama (look for the button marked “Email Specials”)
  • Cheap Joe’s (listed as “CJAS Art eNews”)
  • AWS Express (“Sign Up for Our Mailing List” form is on the left side of the page)
  • Utrecht Art Supplies (click on “Email Promotions” at the bottom of the homepage)
  • Pearl (when you go to the homepage a pop-up will prompt you to join the mailing list)

Join Associations

Thrifty artists should be on the lookout for associations and clubs they can join that can provide discounts on art supplies. As mentioned above, the Alliance of Professional Artists  has an alliance with Jerry’s Artarama and provides its members with a 20% discount on items bought through the company.

Trade and Barter

Getting art supplies for free is the best way to save during a recession. Most artists have art supplies that they never use. Why not trade them for supplies that will be used? Most online art forums will allow posts on art supply trades or the artist can advertise trades on online boards such as Craigslist. Artists can also use bartering sites such as The only thing the artist has to pay for is shipping.

Using these strategies, an artist can get the tools they need to continue their creativity in even the worst of economic situations.