10 Best Art Studio Essentials
The list of items below I use on a daily basis in my Art Business. I'd be a little lost soul without them scattered throughout my studio. These are not a must-have list if you are running your own small business, but they have made my professional life easier. I am often asked which products I use, so here they are...
Epson Projector Every time I explain how I project massive stencils up onto brown paper to cut out, the next question I am asked is 'which projector should I use?' I have had my projector for over ten years. So the exact model is no longer available, but the same brand, Epson is still manufacturing outstanding quality. I have used my projector to project designs on to two story homes, to create 6 metre high stencils and to transfer designs onto tiny 10x10cm canvas. My Epson projector is normally parked in the centre of the studio patiently waiting to be used. I highly recommend this projector for any artist.
Stencil Paper The next most popular question I am asked is, 'what paper do you use for stencils?' I have three massive rolls of brown kraft paper in my studio. One roll is 1.5m high, the next is 1.2m high and the final size is 1m. These rolls are heavier than I am! I use the different sizes for different sized stencils I create. These rolls last me a few years, depending on how many stencils/murals I have on that year. There are a number of size options to choose from, but this is my favourite because it's not so massive you can't lift it (yes, there have been some large roll incidents). The rolls are also great to tear off and scribble down plans or to use as drop sheets or last minute materials to create that 'Book Week' costume.
Ring light With the rise of social media comes the necessary evil - documentation. I purchased this ring light about 18 months ago and I use it constantly. I pop my phone in to film or photograph in the studio while I am painting. I use this content to create reels. I often use the light by itself down the painting end of the studio as it gets rather dark later in the day. I also use the tripod on mural sites to film time lapses and to use the Mural Maker application. I also use it for the obvious reasons, to film videos and to act as a dance partner when the music is kicking in.
Apple MacBook Pro My second husband. My MacBook Pro. There is a social media photo of me floating around the day my last Mac died - I was almost in tears. Not a day goes by that I don't poke my trusty laptop. Trained on Macs at University, I have used them ever since. I am currently using the MacBook Pro 14 inch. One of my priorities when buying a laptop is that it will be fast, the last thing you need is a computer slowing down your process or interrupting your flow. This is where I invest my money.
Apple iPad Pro My third husband. My Apple iPad. I initially bought the iPad to take to university when I was teaching. I didn't want to lug my laptop around and wanted something I could check emails and access basic Adobe software. Then I discovered Procreate. 90% of the time I am on the iPad is to draw and create in Procreate. My eight year old son is always jumping on to draw too (I'm not sure if this is a good thing). The other 10% of the time I use my iPad is to peruse Pinterest and watch the NBA on Foxtel.
Apple Pencil An iPad without an Apple Pencil is a bit 'meh'. I actually have two Apple Pencils. I once lost one. It fell out of my hair (where I often store my pencil) at a clients home. I had a deadline to meet and my finger drawing wasn't cutting it. So I invested in another Apple Pencil. Now I have two. It is good though, because one of them is often lost between couch cushions or down the side of the drivers seat in the car. I must admit, I had secretly hoped that writing with the Pencil would be the same as writing with a pen on paper. It isn't. I'm unable to transfer my diary to the iPad yet. I do love drawing with the Apple Pencil though.
Tyyp diary / Moleskin diary
Speaking of diaries. I adore my diary. It must have so many germs all over it because I take it with me everywhere. It is my brains. It has my up-to-date to do list in it with every appointment. I love the paper, I love the look. The diary I use is week to a page and a page for a weekly to do list. I've used this style of layout for 15+ years now. I have been using a handmade in Germany diary for the last 6 years. The brand is Tyyp. It's not the cheapest diary, but it is beautiful. Everything in it is written in German (lucky I spent 3 years of high school learning German) and you can customise the colour of the spine. This recommendation has no affiliate link, I am just in love with the brand. If the price is a little too much (mainly the shipping from Germany), then the next best thing is a Moleskin diary with the same layout. Prior to Tyyp I used a Moleskin diary which I adored too.
Oil diffuser This is a bit of an odd one, but smell plays such a wonderful role in our mood and mental health. I have oils for every possible mood. Every morning I walk into the studio and it smells like building supplies (which I love). I sit down at my desk and I put on the oil diffuser and add the oil I need for the day. The smell wafts through the space and it really lifts my mood.
UE Roll 2 Bluetooth Speaker I can not deal with silence. Nope. I like noise in the background when I'm working. If I'm painting I like music blaring at max volume. If I run a workshop I'll pop some music on to lift the energy in the space. If I'm painting a mural I'll always have the music pumping. I have had my UE Roll 2 Bluetooth Speaker for 8 years now and it's never glitched. I plug it into power at the studio and the first thing I do when I arrive at the studio is to connect it to Spotify. I unplug it and take it to workshops, murals and weekends away with the family. It's so good that we have two more at home.
Cricut The Cricut is a craft cutting machine. It can cut, score and draw on a number of items. I don't mind cutting stencils, but sometimes I need a machine to do it for me. Some smaller stencils are pretty intricate, and sometimes I just can't be bothered cutting stencils - cue the Cricut. The Cricut can cut up to 30 x 60cm stencils. I also use the Cricut for random ideas such as iron on transfers, cutting out paper to make flowers, foil transfers for fancy invitations and stickers. I often use the brown paper mentioned above, plus my MacBook to design the stencils/stickers/transfers and combine them all together and create amazing outcomes. The machine can be a hefty investment, but it's paid itself off with the amount of time I have saved.
Creative Business Development Book I couldn't forget the Creative Business Development Book. I carry this book with me everywhere and scribble down any new ideas or thoughts for my business. I pop in content creation ideas and social media posts I need to schedule. It has an extensive to do list for me (and one for my assistant), my yearly business goals and a list of blog posts to write. I have just ordered the updated book to start planning and goal setting for the year ahead.
What are some of the products that you use every day in your studio?
*NB: I am an Amazon Associate and I may earn from qualifying purchases. Please remember I would never recommend a product I don't use and love myself.