Who Am I? An Art Supply Poem

By Nicole Tinkham

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Stroll down aisle 3 and you will see
An array of colors lined up perfectly
I may not always be sharp, but can be BRIGHT
I’m easy to lose, so keep me in sight
For I like to roll away, left and right
I’m also fragile as you will find
Please don’t drop me, just be kind
Don’t be fooled by my tough outside
I’m very delicate on the inside
Do you know what I am yet, am I being clear?
If not, keep reading and have no fear
You will get this, for this I know
Help me make my POINT and I will show
Just grab my friend on the shelf below
If you want me, you can’t just leave with one
Take my friends too for some more fun
If you’re serious about your art
Grab the set for a great start
Beware, you can’t use me alone
So head back over to aisle one
Choose a book or a sheet
Doesn’t matter, both are neat
If you don’t like a blank page
Adult coloring books are all the rage
Pick up me and some of my friends
I can assure you the fun never ends
Until of course I am no more
Then you’ll have to head back to the store
Don’t worry, I’m long and slender
I last awhile but not forever
So have I given you enough clues?
Am I the one you would choose?
If you know what I am, let me know
By leaving a comment in the box below

Our Top 17 Favorite Art Quotes That Only Artists Would Understand

By Nicole Tinkham

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Have you ever seen a quote that just makes so much sense to your life in that moment? One that hits you right in the sweet spot? That’s exactly how we (and our artist friends) feel about the following art quotes. These are just some of what we’ve been sharing on our Facebook page to connect with and inspire other artists. Some are a little goofy, but all speak the truth. Read on for our top 17 favorite art quotes that only artists would understand.

1.    “Art Attack: The overwhelming feeling of having so many creative ideas at once and not enough time to do them.”

2.    “I don’t always paint but when I do, I get it all over my clothes.”

3.    “There’s no greater joy than that of new art supplies.”

4.    “Some women buy handbags. Some women buy shoes. I buy art supplies.”

5.    “Don’t judge an artist by their art room.”

6.    “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” –Edgar Degas

7.    “The ‘Earth’ without ‘ART’ is just ‘EH’.”

8.    “Buy me art supplies and I’m yours.”

9.    “Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy art supplies. That’s pretty much the same thing, right?”

10.    “When life gets complicated, choose to create.”

11.    “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” –Albert Einstein

12.    “Too many ideas, not enough time.”

13.    “You did not wake up today to be mediocre.”

14.    “Let’s escape. Let’s do art.”

15.    “My art doesn’t ask silly questions. It understands.”

16.    “I was created to create.”

17.    “I’d stop buying art supplies but I’m not a quitter.”

Do any of these art quotes relate to you? If so, save this blog and take a look at our 17 favorite art quotes for a little motivation, or a good laugh 🙂 Artists have to stick together. We are a unique community of people and not everyone understands us. But that’s ok because we understand each other! If you have any great art quotes for us to add to our list, please leave a comment below.

7 Ways To Have Fun With Your Art Again And Why It’s So Important

By Nicole Tinkham

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It’s possible you got started on this art journey for one reason: To have fun (so we’re guessing anyway). That’s how many artists begin their art career. They have a passion for art and they take the leap and start creating to earn an income. Doing what you absolutely love for work is the ultimate dream. But what happens when it begins to feel more like “work” and less like fun? We all get into these ruts from time to time so don’t get down on yourself for feeling this way. Maybe you’re stuck on a particular project, can’t think of any creative ideas, or just lost your spark. Don’t give up on that dream just yet. Before doubting yourself thinking you just weren’t cut out for the art life, read on for 7 ways to have fun with your art again and why it’s so important.

1.    Try something new

When it comes down to just trying something new with your art there are endless ways to mix things up. Need ideas? We got ‘em!

Try a different medium, take an art workshop, paint a different subject, work outside, work with other artist friends, learn a new skill or technique, change up your color palette, listen to music while you work, work in silence, work on a different size canvas, create something just for yourself, watch some art YouTube videos, pick up a new book for inspiration, take on a new challenge (like a 30 day sketchbook challenge), find a new tool to try out, sit rather than stand when creating, change your environment, work from real life versus a photo, and our list goes on and on..

One of the main reasons why you could be feeling less than enthusiastic about the work that you’re doing is because you’re burned out. You’ve been doing the same things for far too long and it has simply gotten boring. Any little shift in the way you work or what you’re working on can bring new creative inspiration and joy into your artwork.

2.    Work in a creative atmosphere

As we mentioned above about doing the same things over and over again, being in the same environment day after day can also wear you down. Your environment has a huge effect on your feelings and your feelings have a huge impact on your artwork. Maybe your studio needs a makeover. Rearrange things so your space makes you feel happy. You’ll notice a huge difference not only in your attitude but also in the quality of your artwork.
Our biggest suggestions when making adjustments to your art space are to get organized (yes, you may have to get rid of things you no longer use!), have plenty of natural light, lots of colorful inspiration, and some plants. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re comfortable in your space.

3.    Take a vacation

Just because you work for yourself as an artist doesn’t mean you can’t take days off! Plan vacations, weekends, and random days off. Do something new or something that you really enjoy outside of the studio. This gives you something to look forward to so you’re not just going through the motions every day and a nice break can bring on fresh, new creative ideas.

Be sure you get away for a bit even if it’s for a day trip. This is so refreshing and you won’t have work sitting around to worry about. Shut off your mind and actually relax! Another important thing to keep in mind is your daily business hours. Remember that you need breaks throughout the day as well.

4.    Loosen up and remember your why

Just when you’re about to give up and feel totally defeated, you must remember why you started in the first place. Remember that anxious and excited feeling when you were first starting out? You had so much joy and big goals for yourself. You started out loose and creating artwork for fun which showed in your work. As you go, you may become strict with your artwork and put more pressure on yourself. This is when the mood about your artwork shifts. You may start to resent the work that you’re doing. Instead, get back to the good ole days, create for the fun of it, and loosen up.

5.    Be yourself and trust your inner voice

It’s incredibly easy to slide out of your true personality and start acting differently once you get your art business rolling. You start to conform to what you think others want and what you see other artists doing. But it’s so important that you remain true to yourself. For starters, you’ll have fun being yourself. It’s much more difficult, draining, and time consuming trying to be someone else. Also, people need what you have to offer specifically. You were born to bring something special to this world so don’t just be a copy of someone else. Be your own unique self.

We recommend sitting down and really thinking about who you are, what your values are, and what you want to give to the world. Check in with yourself frequently to make sure you’re on point with your priorities and goals.

6.    Smile while you work

You don’t have to wait for something good to happen before you can put a smile on your face. Wear a smile no matter what, even if you’re having a terrible day. It tricks your mind and actually does put you in a better mood. Don’t believe us? Go ahead and try it 🙂

A simple smile makes you happy which helps you have fun in whatever you’re doing and also puts others in a better mood as well. You can attract better, more positive clients and just be happier in your business altogether.

7.    Work with people you love

You may think this sounds totally crazy but you do not have to work with negative clients who stress you out. Choose to work with the people you get along with and who make you happy. It makes dealing with clients much easier and a happier experience for you both. You can also gain a strong lasting relationship and build trust with them. It’s much better to have quality clients who stick around than flaky ones who cause you stress.

Why is it so important to love what you do?

Would you wake up on your days off, weekends, and vacations to scrub the bathroom floor and spend the day doing other miserable things you hate doing? Yes, these things need to be done but chances are you won’t be doing these things all day long on every single day you have available. With that being said, why would you wake up every day and spend your time doing things you don’t like even when it’s for work? What we’re trying to say is life is just too short to not like what you do and by the way, you do have a choice. You chose to be an artist for a reason, because it excites you and you enjoy it. Just because your flame may be going out doesn’t mean you should give up on that dream. You can easily bring that spark to life by applying the 7 ways to have fun with your art.

Remember, you were born for more than to just go through the motions of every day life. You may have to tweak your path but you should never give up on your dreams.

Spring Clean Your Mind – 4 Methods To Getting Creative Ideas On Paper

By Nicole Tinkham

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We hear it just about every day and although we like to joke about it, it’s a serious struggle among many artists. Do you ever feel like you’re too creative? It may sound odd but there are simply not enough hours in the day to get all of those creative ideas out. Sometimes you’re in the middle of a project when new ideas strike or they pop up right when you’re trying to fall asleep. It’s really a blessing if you think about it, but we also know how frustrating this can be. We like to think of this overwhelming feeling as an art attack. So many ideas flood your mind at once and it becomes difficult to keep track of everything. However, we’ve found that getting it all out on paper helps to ease the mind a little and make room for even more brilliant ideas. If you’re familiar with spring cleaning, this is something much more fun. We’re going to show you how to spring clean your mind! We’ll walk you through 4 different methods to getting creative ideas on paper so you can start thinking clearly.

1.    Write it.

Have an hour or so long date with your sketchbook or journal. Start jotting down all the projects you’re currently thinking about and any details that go along with them. These are fresh ideas in your head right now. Now think back to some ideas you had awhile back (if you can remember them) and jot those down. From there, just open your mind up to creative inspiration and write down every single thing that pops into your head in the moment.

2.    Record it.

Are you a talker? Sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to talk aloud what your thought process is. If that’s the case, use a voice recorder. Use the same steps as above but instead of writing everything out, just record it. Later you can have it transcribed or transcribe it yourself. Sometimes it’s helpful having it physically on paper.

3.    Brainstorm it.

Get together with some artsy friends and have a brainstorm session. This will help produce new ideas you may not have thought of before, a new perspective on the ideas you have floating around in your head, a direction for where to start, and most likely brand new ideas to write down. Get everything written down or recorded during your brainstorm session. Remember, the whole idea of spring cleaning your mind is to get those idea OUT OF YOUR HEAD!

4.    Schedule it.

Getting the ideas out of your head and on paper is step #1. Now if you want to actually produce those creative projects, they need to go right in your schedule. Make time for your art or your ideas will never get done! Prioritize your projects and get started on them right away.

We know spring cleaning your home can be a hassle but there’s opportunity to have fun when spring cleaning your mind. Getting all those creative ideas out will free up you mind for even more ideas. Trust us this is so incredibly refreshing to do! No matter if you’re a “write it down” kind of person, a talker, a social butterfly or super organized, you can brain dump all of those ideas and actually begin to make them happen using the methods mentioned in this blog for getting ideas on paper. Now the issue of actually getting them done comes in. Don’t worry we have a blog for that too 🙂

18 Office Supplies Every Artist Needs

By Nicole Tinkham

Office-supplies
Fun fact that you may not know about Keeton’s: We provide both office supplies and quality art supplies. Most people think we do one or the other but we’re actually very passionate about both areas. First of all, who says an office worker doesn’t have a creative side? And who says office supplies can’t be used by the artist?? To prove our point, we’ve created this list of 18 office supplies that every artist needs and how to use them in your next project.

1.    Tape

Masking tape works wonders for holding down your watercolor paper.

2.    Scissors

Every scrap booker knows that quality scissors are a must!

3.    Trimmers

These make life so much easier when working on paper art.

4.    Adhesives

Super glue, glue dots, glue sticks, rubber cement, spray adhesive, and hot glue can all be helpful in your art projects.

5.    Sharpies

With SO MANY colors, why are these even considered an office supply?? In the art world, they are solely for the purpose of creating 🙂

6.    Cardstock

A heavier paper is ideal for handmade cards.

7.    Colorful paper

Brightly colored paper makes any stamper or paper crafter happy.

8.    Pencils (& sharpeners and erasers)

You may not have as many options (HB is the standard) in office pencils but erasers and sharpeners are also a must!

9.    Bulletin board

Instead of office memos, use a bulletin board to post all of your creative ideas.

10.    Rolling storage crate

Business professionals use these to lug around catalogs and samples. You can use them to easily transport your supplies to workshops and art shows.

11.    Planner

Some artists love using a planner and others don’t. We think it’s a great way for anyone to keep track of their daily tasks and be more productive.

12.    Thumb drives

Whether you’re a computer artist or hands on, you’ll need at least one thumb drive. Use it to store creative inspiration and photos of your artwork.

13.    X-ACTO knife (& cutting mat)

If you’re cutting any type of heavier paper, an X-ACTO knife is essential.

14.    Notebook

Notebook, sketchbook, or journal.. No matter what it is you use, it’s important to get your ideas on paper.

15.    Packing supplies (boxes, tape and bubble wrap)

You may not think of these supplies but what happens when you sell a piece and have to ship it?? It never hurts to have packing supplies on hand.

16.    Sticky notes

We cannot stress how important it is for EVERYONE to use Post-it Notes! As ideas pop in your head, write down little reminders. Get assorted colors to make it fun.

17.    Photo paper

You can get quality prints with your home printer and quality photo paper makes all the difference.

18.    Ruler

A basic ruler is a must for every artist whether it’s used for measuring or for creating straight lines.

Here’s a little tip for you. Sometimes you’re better off getting certain supplies through an office supply store (like us) rather than a specialty art store. You’ll get a much better deal on masking tape through office supplies than if you were to get art specific tape that does the same thing. This is why we love having the best of both worlds. Are there any non traditional “art supplies” you use in your work? Let us know in the comments!

5 Questions To Finding A New Art Medium To Work With

By Nicole Tinkham

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Are you a brand new artist and have no idea where to start? There are so many different mediums you can take up from colored pencil to acrylic painting. How in the world are you supposed to choose? Or maybe you’re an experienced artist who wants to experiment with something new. You’re so used to what you’ve been doing and don’t know where to go from there. No matter what type of artist you are, these 5 questions will help you figure out what art medium you should work with next. Read on to discover your path!

1.    What is your goal?

Before starting anything new in life (art related or otherwise) you must think about your goals. What do you plan to accomplish by getting started in a new art medium? Are you a brand new artist looking to explore different avenues of the art world? Or are you an experienced artist looking to try something new and improve your skills? Will you be selling your artwork, keeping it for yourself, or using it to expand your art portfolio? Think of all these things before making your decision.

2.    How much are you willing to invest?

When we talk about “investing” we’re referring to time, money, and space. Space may seem like an odd thing to consider but one of the most common struggles among artists is not having enough room for their supplies. Although, this doesn’t seem to stop artists from gathering more and more supplies 🙂 Before you jump into anything, look around your art studio and house. How much extra space do you actually have? Some projects will take up more space than others so you’ll either want to make room or choose your art medium carefully.

There’s also a huge difference in time spent between Zentangle doodles and an oil painting. How much time do you have dedicated to work on your art? The main reason why people get started in something new only to quit shortly down the road is simply because life just gets in the way. Maybe you have a goal to spend more time on your art and that’s fantastic! Just make sure it’s a realistic goal so you don’t become overwhelmed or frustrated when it doesn’t work out.

You also need to think about the money you plan to invest in your artwork. Many mediums require several supplies and if you’re serious about your artwork, investing in quality supplies is key. If you’re just playing around for fun on the side and don’t feel the need to invest in quality supplies, that’s fine too. You’ll just want to choose your medium wisely and budget for it. Trust us, there’s nothing worse than starting a project and not having the supplies you need to finish it!

3.    What pieces of artwork inspire you?

Whether you’re looking to get started on your art journey or just exploring a new medium, there’s most likely something that inspired you to do so. Think to the most recent piece that you thought was absolutely brilliant. Now do a little research on the artwork as well as the artist. Find out what medium and tools were used and any special techniques the artist did. If it inspired you to jump into something new, take that passion and do something similar yourself!

4.    Where do your skills lie?

If you are just starting out and are a total beginner, think about the areas in which you are strongest. Do you have an eye for color? Are you detail oriented? Figuring this out will help you choose a medium that you’ll be great at right from the beginning. This is important because as a beginner, it can be very frustrating if you just can’t seem to get it right no matter how many times you try. When you first start out, you want it to propel you on this journey, not hold you back.

We feel the opposite is true for experienced artists. You’ve already gone through the struggles of getting started and now want to learn something new. This is where you can really challenge yourself. Think about areas that you are weak in. This will give you an opportunity to grow. Remember, if you’re the best one in the class you’re in the wrong class. Keep learning new things to improve your skills.

5.    How do you learn best?

We always encourage artists to learn from others whether that be through various art books, DVDs, artist friends or an art workshop. When it comes to a totally new medium, please don’t just wing it! Start off on the right foot by learning from others. This will prevent a lot of frustration. Now the real question here is how do you learn best? Some people are more hands on and others rather read from a book. It doesn’t matter what type of learning you choose as long as it works for you. Think back to the last time you were trying to figure something out and sought outside help with. What did you do and how did it work out? Once you have this figured out, you can find which resources are available to you. This could influence which medium you decide to go with.

If after you ask yourself these 5 questions and still don’t know if you made the right decision on what art medium to work with next, there is one final question to ask yourself. Is this something you’re passionate about? Does this medium light your fire and excite you to get started? If not, you need to do some research. You may even have to play around with a few choices to get a feel for them before making a commitment. This is where having artsy friends becomes handy. Borrow some of their supplies to play with or take a quick art workshop. This should also be fun so don’t overwhelm yourself with the many options. Sit down and ask yourself these 5 questions to determine which medium you should get into next and leave a comment below letting us know which one you’ll be choosing!

9 Ways YOU, The Artist Can Change The World

By Nicole Tinkham

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Can we take a moment to show you some love? We feel that artists (like you) really don’t get the credit they deserve. You are absolutely incredible! Sometimes people who don’t fully understand the impact art makes on our lives, assume that being an artist isn’t a “real” job. This can get any artist down but our goal is to lift you back up and let you know how much of a difference you really do make. Your artwork isn’t just something pleasant to look at. Your artwork HEALS. It challenges and inspires us. It provides peace when everything else is in chaos. It’s truly incredible just how special your talents are! Read on for 9 ways that you, the artist can change the world.

1.    You inspire

You inspire more than just the artist. You inspire everyone to do something they’re passionate about. Others see you and your love for art. They see you having fun, enjoying what you do and they want to feel that way about something in their lives too. Your artwork can encourage them to take the leap and try something new.

2.    You make the world colorful

Literally! Can you imagine how dull the world would be without art? Even gorgeous buildings have a creative architect behind them. Art floods the streets in billboards, museums, graffiti, signs, fashion, and so much more. It’s something not everyone appreciates enough (being too busy in this hectic life) but if it weren’t there, we would all notice.

3.    You make people happy

It’s not just those crazy sand sculptures or chalk art events that make people happy. It’s anything that the viewer can relate to. It’s bright colors, something clever, something useful, something they just get. It doesn’t matter what type of art you do, you’ll always have the power to make others happy if you choose to.

4.    You heal

You may not have a doctor title but you’d be surprised by how much artwork can heal. We just mentioned that you make others smile. That alone has healing powers not to mention other emotions that artwork can bring up. When people are dealing with depression, your artwork can help them cope. Again, you are improving the lives of so many people.

5.    You make people think differently

Your artwork may portray your point of view and maybe the viewer is able to see that through your work. But maybe they see a different point of view and that’s ok too. No matter how it’s done, artwork that get’s people thinking differently is considered brilliant work in our books. It’s not always easy to do but it can be so powerful.

6.    You challenge others

As you get others to think differently, you’re also challenging them. The challenge could be finding a deep meaning in the artwork or relating it to each person’s individual life. Challenges are presented all around us. They allow us to learn and grow. If your artwork presents a challenge, it’s helping every single one of us.

7.    You share your story

The best way to connect and relate to someone else is to hear their story. You might not think your personal story is very exciting but you have no idea how much that story can change someone else’s life. When you open up to others and share personal things about yourself, others will realize they’re not alone. You’re proof to the viewers that they can make it through the tough times too. You are right there with them and when you can tell that story through your art, incredible things start to happen.

8.    You provide peace

Some artwork is peaceful and some aren’t but the really cool thing about being the artist is that you can decide what kind of emotions come through in your artwork. How incredible does it feel knowing that you can bring peace in someone’s life simply by creating? That just blows our minds every time we think about it!

9.    You give

When you produce your artwork, you’re not just giving to one person. You’re giving something of value to every single person who looks at it. People need what you have to offer! Stop hiding in the shadows and show your work off to the world. Not sharing it would only be selfish.

If you ever doubt yourself, which we all do at some point, grab this list of 9 ways you, the artist can change the world to remind yourself of the true power of your artwork. It’s so easy to forget these things and to forget why you’re an artist in the first place. You all have a huge heart and we believe that you create for others. You want to make a difference and you can do that through your art. You are capable of incredible things. Never give up on yourself.