I do not represent any company that I may mention in this post. No company has asked or offered me money to give them my opinion. The only company I do represent is Original Things. I am doing this post based on my opinion and experiences in hope to help you all.
Now that part is done with. I noticed that most of the people who are participating in this Cheap Art Supply Challenge had also voiced their opinion on them. I thought I should do the same.
With cheap art supplies, it is a love/hate relationship for me. I love the price, but sometimes the quality stinks. So why do we use it? Money is one reason. When I was teaching, I used to show my students options of using less expensive supplies or doing it less expensively. I would tell them;
We are not cheap.
Almost everyone of us have bills to pay, rent, food, gas, and etc. So sometimes, we can’t afford to buy Coptic markers or Prism pencil crayons.
Second reason is experience. The best way that I can describe this is by this example. You had never driven a car in your entire life. You never taken any lessons or even been behind the wheel. And no, the video games that have driving are the worst example. I know a 3 year old who plays those games and she gets a kick everytime when she crashes into the wall or run over someone.
There is no way on this entire planet I am going to hand you keys to Lamborghini or an Aston Martin to learn how to drive. I will hand over keys to a less expensive car that may be considered a “clunker.” Because you will hit the curb, you will hit the cement bars in parking lots and etc. And don’t get me started on parallel parking. In my parents’ home, there is a dent on the garage door railing from me in my first year of driving. And our neighbour’s tree still has damage when I ran into it (that one, the brake pedal fell off).
It will be at least a year from the day you get your license before I even consider of handing you over the keys. And you have to know of how to drive in extreme weather conditions like blizzards and tornados.
So that basically why you would use cheap art supplies, to practise your skill and get the experience. I have been drawing and painting for over 30 years and I still use cheap art supplies. Yes, money has been tight. But I used them for my art journaling, sketching out ideas for cards and such. Or practising shading and coloring.
However back to the example, some of the “clunkers”cars are actually good cars. The rich and famous people may see my car is a clunker, and yes it does have a dent when I hit the sign last year. I should stop talking about my driving. Anyway, but my car is good, it is great on gas, looks nice (minus the dent), and it gets to me A, B, and C. Would I love to drive a Lamborghini, heck yes. But I do not have a couple of million dollars in my bank account. Nevertheless, I am willingly to bet you driving that car will feel and act the same as my car. Granted I never driven one, so I am just guessing.
In yarn world, there are good and inexpensive yarn like Vanna’s Choice, Bernat Supersaver, and Michaels Impeccable yarn. I have personally used all of those yarns and been very satisfied with them. There are yarns that are cheaper than the ones that I name, but they are so scratchy, and uncomfortable to knit and crochet with. In fact, I would love to use a flame torch on them and be rid of them once and for all.
In the art world, we have Artist’s Loft, Recollection, and even Crayola. Again, I used all of them and I have almost nothing against them. All good and less expensive brands.
But this is where the hate comes in for me. As long you follow the care instruction of the yarn, things should be ok. But with the art supplies, that is a different story. I cannot speak for Artist’s Loft or Recollections, but I have been told this about Crayola.
Crayola is not light safe. What that means in time, the colors will fade, even under glass. I am not sure if fixative will work.
So if I was doing a painting for my boyfriend, or for a family member as a gift. (By the way, that would make one great present) I would go with the expensive art supplies, the one that I know is light safe. I want 20 or 30 years down the road, someone points out my painting to someone, they can say, “Your grandma Lesley did when she was your age.” I want that painting to look the same as the day they received it.
I hope this helps you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.