Jun 29 Cheap art supplies?
In my previous post, I’ve mentioned Michael’ arts and crafts store and their value brand, Artist’s Loft, just briefly. It is like Kirkland at Costco and Up&Up at Target — Quality value brand. From what I experienced, I’m hesitant to say that Artist’s Loft’s products are qualified as “quality”. Most of their art supplies are marked for “academic” use and I think that means for kids under high school. I’m pretty sure anyone who is serious about art won’t buy anything extremely cheaper than the name brand products.
When I just got interested in doing art as a hobby, I had a lot to buy. Also, I wasn’t sure whether I would like it or hate it. So, I chose cheap options for certain items during my trial period.
I’ve bought Artist’s Loft’s canvases before. I think the Etsy artists who have to sell their paintings at low prices… using their cheap canvases is one of the ways to keep the cost low.
I’ve bought miscellaneous items such as erasers, water bucket and art paper clips, etc. Those were fine.
I wouldn’t recommend any of their mediums, like Acrylic, watercolor, pastel or colored pencils. I don’t trust color vibrancy or toxic level. I’ve used second tier mediums vs. the top tier ones, just for the obvious cost reason. Every time, I always find huge differences in quality.
The worst items from Artist’s Loft are brushes. They were absolutely unusable, I thought. The bristles fell off almost at every stroke. I would give 0 star out of 5, if I could. By contrast, I’ve never had one strand of hair come off from my expensive brushes. Some of the nice brushes of mine cost me $26 for just one, but Artist’s lofts complete brush set is like $6.99 or something like that. I thought I saved big bucks by choosing the value pack, but I ended up dumping $6.99 to the trash immediately.
Be careful with cheap brush sets from Amazon, too. Don’t be fooled by the 4 star rating when the price is just $10 for multiple brushes. Of course I’ve bought one, and they straight went to the trash.