Design in Store

Spring semester is right around the corner and that means a lot of things: new classes, lots of packing, shopping, driving, moving in, unpacking. Something a lot of people do not realize about college: you move and pack a lot! That also means having to “school shop” fairly often. Although we all get pretty good at this routine, and are pretty good at living out of suitcases sometimes, us art majors have a whole other issue to tackle: art supplies.

I have gone through a lot of supplies in my couple years as an art major! It is really easy to get swept away with everything especially when your “school shopping” includes….the craft store. This is a the best place and also the worst place. I go in for one pen and end up coming out with pretty much the whole clearance aisle. Although it is different for everyone, here are my essentials to pick up at the craft/art store before a new semester.

Craft store Shopping List

  1. Sketchbook There is nothing like a fresh sketchbook to start the semester off right! For fun, try a different size than you usually buy.
  2. Bristol Board/Heavy Paper I go through this like crazy! Everything you make feels better on heavy paper (even just doodles) plus you never know when you’ll need to make a sudden birthday card.
  3. Black Sharpies Aw, the Sharpie, will it ever get old? Well, yea, they do dry out and that isn’t fun so have lots because what is better than that deep black marker?!
  4. Colored Pencils Something that is pretty essential but I always end up losing them and having to buy more.
  5. Acrylic Paint (just some basic colors) Having a little bit of paint by your side is always a good idea. Whether you have some watercolors, acrylics, or oils sometimes a creative block can be broken by putting down the pencil and picking up a brush.
  6. Xacto Knife This should have been at the top of the list because it’s totally essential. You may not need to buy a new one each semester but you may need new blades. Got to have crisp lines!
  7. Wildcard Something that makes you feel creative. Even though the craft store can be a very dangerous place for our budgets, if you see a material that inspires you, buy it. I picked up some vintage, girly scrapbook paper on my last trip with awesome patterns and colors. If you’re already thinking of projects while holding it in the store, then it might be a good buy.

This isn’t the complete list of art materials for college and you will collect lots of different things as the years go by but it is good to figure out what materials you absolutely need before you go into the store, then have to pack the materials later. Especially when it rolls around twice a year!

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