What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for more than twenty years. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Art On a Budget

One of the most asked questions that I hear is where do I get my images? The majority of my images are from magazines or used books. I don't like to pay more than a couple of dollars for a book that I'm going to tear up.

I don't have a big budget or a large credit account. The majority of things that I buy are used in my classes by my students. I buy quality products that I know will stand up and out last cheaper crap. I only buy things to use in classes that I have bought myself, tested and loved. I will not recommend anything that I don't personally use and adore.

I'm very frugal with buying my books and magazines often frequenting my favorite used bookstore (my favorite shop, Iliad Books in North Hollywood has a $1-10 table that I LOVE) and local friends of the library sale. I also like to use images from free magazines and flyers. Sometimes I take my own photos. I also have swapped images with friends (they often know what I like and vice versa). It's all good and it works.

I'm a big fan of low budget art. You do not need a lot of money or a lot or stuff to do this. You need:

1. Passion-the desire and eagerness to express yourself.

2. Time- 5-15 minutes sprinkled throughout the day are just as good as huge blocks of time. Grab the time when you can. Use it.

3. Supplies-you do not need a ton of stuff to make art. Sure, the other stuff is fun, but no one NEEDS it. Look at Henry Darger who found old books and trash to paint on. Look at the plethora of avante garde artists. Hell, even Rauschenberg tore up magazines and newspapers.

You need-glue (glue sticks work), a journal (you can make one from cereal boxes, old books, cardboard, an old wallet, record covers, etc..., use scrap paper as pages, pens (find a pen you love and go for it) and paper to rip up and glue down. If you can cut, rip and paste, you're good to go.

Cut images out of magazines. Use half an image, part of an image. See how many different ways you can use the faces you find in magazines. Cut out magazine pages you like for their colors and textures and save them. Shred them, layer them and voila! Instant background! Draw, doodle, play with your pens.
You can make art on a budget without fancy gadgets or supplies.

Other ideas-

-Try freecyle or craigslist for art supplies cheap or free.

-Find a local teacher supply store (where you can get junk no one has taken the time to assess the true potential and value of it).

-Try scrap stores, thrift stores, stuff left on sidewalks, posters and flyers that are outdated and stuck on walls or telephone poles.

-Try looking at junk mail and flyers in a new way.

You can make art from anything. All you need is your imagination.

What's the most unusual thing you have used as an art supply?


kasia | szkieuka said...

I love unusual supplies :) I'm proud of my paper casts made from toilet paper, and there are other things I've tried to incorporate: egg containers, jeans, plastic netting from pizza boxes, strawberry baskets, tin from tealights, grocery bags, sticks, tree bark, used dryer sheets... The downside is that it's hard to throw stuff away and if it wasn't for my DH, who gently pushes me in the right direction, I might be buried under all these "supplies" by now :D

Maija said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nicole Austin said...

so true! you can make art out of anything! :) i can't recall the weirdest thing i've ever used in my art making, but i did make stamps once out of some wooden game pieces my daughter got for a gift and had left outside in the rain! the game was ruined, but the pieces were fine. i use them for stamps.

Sandy said...

I was working on a page one day and wanted to make some circle stamped images, no circle stamp. I found an empty toilet roll and used the end of it. Worked great.

Before I knew what punchanella was and even how to ask what it was I would use the bubble wrap that came in packages, cut it down to smaller sizes and paint whatever color I wanted on it and press on my page for a different background look. If you wash it off you can reuse again.

I've used the leftover gift cards to spread paint and make different backgrounds. I've make newspaper journals and gesso'd over the top of the print and painted and collaged on top for a journal. Added 3 rings and I have a journal.

I save the return envelopes or even the junk mail envelopes if the inside has a pretty pattern that I can cut out and make my own letters or a long border for a page.

If I don't have a glue stick I've used mod podge or even the adhesive from my scrapbook days until I could get to the store to get a good gluestick. I use a ruler to tear my paper now instead of cutting it and making my hand crap all the time.

I needed another certain shape for a stamp and I cut it out of a potato I had at home and made my own stamp, it worked great.

I get the leftover magazines at my library that no one wants anymore and cut the images out of them for my journaling and friends save their subscription magazines for me instead of throwing them away. Sometimes I have a magazine that I find nothing I can use in it and I'll go up to the local Dr.'s office and ask can I trade it out for one of their older ones that I haven't tried that I know will have some good stuff in. I also ask my dentist off to hold their older magazines for me and not throw them away and they call when they are ready and I go get them.

Gosh I could go on and on. I also pick up the little take out menu from the resturants we eat at and I've gesso'd those and stuck them down to make more use of just one page, it makes a fold out with so many options.

sorry for any typos.

Lori Wostl said...

My favorite so far - is also my pet peeve - plastic grocery bags. They are everywhere. BUT I made delicious journal covers and some accordion files by ironing several together and then sewing, painting etc. The journal covers get fairly tacky after a year, so I can't move them from journal to journal as I first planned, but a journal rarely travels with me for more than a year anyway. Next I'm going to try ironing the orange bag netting into the plastic to get a stronger bag bottom and have my own re-usable grocery/book bags. Thanks for the article to remind me to get on with it. LoriW at Art Camp for Women

laurie said...

thanks so much for telling us where you get all your cool images. my next question is where do you store all of them so that you know where to find specific ones when you need them?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Great ideas...your readers are 1,000 times more imaginative and thrifty than I...one of my favorite free supplies is the heavy, semi-glossy cardstock that many politicians use as mailers before an election. They are perfect for cutting stencils, the weight is good and they can be sponged off. An emery board can remove a stamped or ink-drawn mistake from non-glossy paper. Sephora mailers have great colors and useful images. And any company that still sends out type catalogs...a collage favorite. Oh, and the cards with paint samples from hardware stores, also good for journal pages and collage.

patq said...

I save the lids from all kinds of containers to stamp with. Like pill bottles, milk containers, jar lids, straws, paper rolls;even an old square coaster. The bonus is when I lost the old top of my glue stick, I had another in my cap packet!

Connie Saunders said...

I have used kitchen utensils like forks and a pizza wheel to make art.

violette said...

great list Kelly - i love getting stuff for free from junk mail or my Mom who is a scrapbooker - she often gives me her leftovers!

I love how you incorporate faces and people from magazines in your journal pages!

Kelly Kilmer said...

You guys are most awesome! Thank you for these fab lists!!!

Antares Cryptos said...

Band-aids. I ran out of tape.

crimsoncat05 said...

one of my newest (but old) crafting/painting supplies is a pizza cutter (the wheel typee). I used one in the painting class I took with Roxanne Padgett; roll it in the paint, then roll it on the paper: voila! lines!! I have also learned from my friend Sherry that printed newsprint makes a great background for painting and stenciling-- some of the pattern and text shows thru, plus it's thin, so it's easy to glue onto your project.

Dawn said...

The dog chewed my flip flop and as I was about to throw it out, I noticed that the sole had a great lined pattern in in. It became a background stamp. I also used the top, strap part.


Kid's shoes have great patterns on the soles. Check them out before you trash them.