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Unlimited art on a limited budget, how to be a creative cheapskate

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When it comes to Boston, the term ‘melting-pot’ is employed more than it’s artists are. It is one of the bitter jokes that we often have to spend a lot to earn a little. It can be particularly disenchanting to find oneself out from under the wing of diligent professors, fellow artists and patient peers. It is easy to feel stranded and left alone with a few grubby canvases, a packet of ramen, and a fistful of ideas. But there is hope yet, for our demographic has not gone unnoticed as a market.

Here are some sites that ought to keep your art growing, and meat on your bones.

FOR PAINTERS

1. Nova Colour - $$$$
If you prefer working in acrylics, take a look at Nova Colour. Their paint comes wholesale and you can buy in bulk without travelling to shop every time you run out of Cadmium red. The photo accompaniment to this article features Landon Richmond of Know No Truth, a regular user of Nova Colour.
http://www.novacolorpaint.com

2. The Paint Store - $$$$
The Paint Store is a great source for the accoutrements and oddities of painting, such as spray paint and rollers. Not much by way of fine art, but rags don’t need to be fine.
http://www.thepaintstore.com

3. Art Supply Wholesale - $$$$
Art Supply Wholesale is really for everyone, but has some particularly good deals for painters. To give an example, a 170 ml tube of SoHo artists oil paint goes for $3.40 to $5.99. Here’s the catch with ASW, membership fee of about a $100 a year is required for their better deals, but if you are planning on buying some particularly costly items it may be worth considering, given that the membership fee is waved after $5000 worth of spending.

FOR SCULPTORS

1. Sculpture House - $$$$
Sculpture House has everything from stone carving tools to specialised rasps, and even magnifier for detailed work. They also have a selection of sculpture books, with a respectable number dedicated to figurative sculptors. http://www.sculpturehouse.com

2. Clay-King - $$$$
Clay-King aptly knows the meaning of the phrase 'dirt cheap’. They have everything from dollar clay cutters to pottery wheels, to kilns.
http://www.clay-king.com/tools_wholesale.htm

FOR EVERYONE

1. All Art Supplies / Discount Art Supplies is likewise a good bet for buying in bulk. Some of their deals are better than others, but digging for them is half the fun. They have particularly good supplies for children, if you are looking for a gift to encourage creativity.
http://www.allartsupplies.com/index.php

2. Art Supply Warehouse has a lot of materials for the craftsperson. They are a good bet for framing, fine writing, airbrushes and book binding. If you are sick of paying out of pocket for speciality items than this might just be the site for you.
http://www.artsupplywarehouse.com/index.php

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