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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Creating an Artists Restocking List

Once you have your inventory complete, you will notice there are items in your artist studio that you use more often than others, and it is important to create a want list for supplies that will be running low. This is crucial, as I have found that when entering an art supply store I often become so overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices that I can no longer remember the exact color or media I came for. This will help keep you from making necessary purchases, and make honing in on the right product alot easier.

Using your inventory list, create another list starting with the supplies that you go through the most. You will probably know what these are without really doing much searching. For me its paper and tube watercolor, but for you it may be gesso, painting medium or a particular color pencil. Whatever it is, you should top the list with your most oft used supplies.

Next on the list should be supplies that are on their way to going bad, or have already gone bad.  For me its that seldom used, but useful masking fluid that likes to turn into hard rubber before I get more than a few uses out of it.  In this category you will need to decide whether you want to purchase the supply again, or turn to a similar supply that may have a longer shelf life.  This is also a good time to think about how the supply was stored.  Was it left in conditions that contributed to its early demise?  Address any storage problem before repurchasing the supply.

On your list make a column for cost. This you may not find out until the supply is purchased. This is helpful for tax reasons, and don't forget to save your receipts as well. 

Finally you should make a wish list of the supplies you would like to try. These too should be ordered in the likely-hood of you actually making use of them.  Certain items on your list may stay on your list indefinitely.  I personally have a longing for a beautiful hand tooled leather sketch book complete with hand made papers.  Do I need it? No. Do I want it..yes dearly, but I have no real use for it right now, and the money can be put to better use.  Other things I want to try will likely get purchased as soon as I'm ready to pursue whatever the project happens to be.

For ease of use you will probably want to create a word processing document that can be readily printed out from your computer.  You can even include check boxes to make it easier to mark things off as you get them. Whatever method you use, you will find it a helpful list to make your creative life easier.

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