I don’t know about you, but I always get excited when the mail comes. Especially when there are packages with your name on them. And now, with my room half-filled with empty boxes and packaging materials, I can show you some of my new supplies.
Logitech c920 Cameras
My priority was filming quality. The video recording and lighting are important factors. My phone was easy to film with, but the quality was definitely lacking. I haven’t used the cameras much yet, but so far they seem great. Using OBS I can change different settings to adjust the picture. Plus, they will work for both YouTube and Twitch livestreaming.
For lighting, I bought the Lightblade 1500s. Originally, I was planning on an Ottlite. But the reviews on Amazon were so positive that I decided to give it a chance.
Blue Microphones NESSIE Adaptive USB Condenser Microphone
I want to do voiceovers for the videos, so I bought the NESSIE Blue Microphone. I’ve seen people on Twitch use them, and the Amazon reviews were also good.
Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner
Lastly, the scanner was another necessary purchase. Previously I had only taken pictures of my artwork, but they’re nothing compared to the quality of a scanner. Personally, I would have preferred a larger one, since I like doing bigger artworks. This was the best I could get for my budget, as the other ones I looked at were about $2,000 and up. Upon letting out a cry of shock and slight despair, I decided this $99 Canon scanner was the best option. I’ll figure out what to do with big drawings when I need to.
Are filled with glee at the arrival of packages and equipment upgrades?
I recently went to a well-known artist haven: Michael’s. Amidst the fragrant wood projects and fluffy brush bristles, one can’t help but be inspired. Unless you return and see once again that they have no Copics in stock. Sigh. Much sadness.
The Haul Overall
Nevertheless, it was still fun. I had gone with the mission of finding storage for pinback buttons and a shelving unit for 50% off. It was a success! The containers for buttons I actually found in the jewelry aisle, but they look like they’ll be a good size.
I picked up a few miscellaneous things as well. I desperately needed new scissors, as the ones I had were bent and dull. My mom was with me, and she picked out a nice portfolio for some of my larger drawings. They had just been sitting in a pile on my desk collecting dust, so it’s nice to have a safe place for them.
The Sakura Gelly Rolls were intriguing to the point where I felt I had to get them. So far I’ve been pretty impressed with Gelly Rolls as a whole, especially given their fairly low price. There are different types, and I believe these are the newest ones. They’re called Gold Shadow, and are described as “gold with color outline.” I was curious to see how well they work (stay tuned for a review!)
The sketchbooks, oil pastels, highlighters, and clips were also somewhat impulse buys. I’m pretty close to finishing my current Canson Mixed Media book, so I was already considering which one to get next. These Artist’s Loft sketchbooks have the thinner paper I wanted, plus it’s about time I have some with nice covers.
The sketchbook on the left says “Imagination is more important than knowledge. -Albert Einstein”
Michael’s was having a lot of back-to-school sales, so the candy highlighters and clips were super cheap (and cute). The Artist’s Loft oil pastels were only $5 for 48 colors, plus an additional 20% off in sales. I’ve been liking Artist Loft a lot lately. Their products somewhat reflect their cheap prices, but it provides a way to test out a type of media without investing in a high-quality ‘artist’ brand.
What’s your favorite thing to look for in craft stores?
Following up from the last blog, I think I may have found a solution to protect my desk. Apparently those mats I had seen other people use are ‘cutting mats’, and are meant to be resistant to, well, cutting. Unless you want to carve your work surface with X-acto knives and boxcutters, they are a great way to fearlessly continue with art projects on your desk.
When searching on Amazon, they all looked about the same. Sometimes they had different colors, or different gridlines to measure your cuts by, but overall they seemed pretty indistinguishable from each other. Until a certain product title caught my eye.
“Self Healing Plastic Mat” is proudly proclaimed on the listing. It also says, “Thick Double Sided Cutting Mat Re-Seals After Every Cut.” Plastic that heals itself. What? Reading the description told me that it “possesses UNIQUE SELF HEALING properties” that allow it to do so. But what could these magical properties be?
After further investigation, it turns out many people were also perplexed by this vague claim. An article by Rain Noe on Core77 suggested it could be some type of special “thermoplastic,” or simply a marketing tool to convince potential buyers.
Unfortunately, I am not a chemist, nor engineer, nor anything that has to do with the proposed ‘Ultra-high-molecular-weight Polyethylenes’ and what they might be. Wikipedia tells me it is a “very tough material, with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made.” Sounds impressive.
Regardless of the mat’s mysterious compound, it is only about $20 with Amazon Prime for one sized 12 x 18 inches. Paired with its five star rating average from 942 reviews and bendy quality for transport or storage, it is certainly worth considering.
I’m not sure it is right for my purposes, though. I have yet to use a cutting material directly on my desk. A simple, hard plastic mat that won’t be damaged by alcohol markers or watercolors would be a better choice for me. The search continues!
Sold by Crafty World, the crafty healing mat can be found here.
Have you come across any magical claims for art supplies? Let me know below!
So, my desk is about eight years old, and has seen plenty of abuse in that time; various moves, stickers, and many spills have added lots of scrapes and stains. But after coloring a picture of the Pokémon Rapidash with Copic markers, I noticed something new.
When I went to pick up the paper a few hours after coloring, it seemed to stick to my desk. It pulled up without much trouble, and the paper did not rip, but underneath was a fairly subtle image of a Pokémon.
As you probably know, Copic markers are alcohol-based markers. As you might not know, alcohol, especially rubbing alcohol, can be very damaging to wood surfaces. Like an acid, it can eat through the varnishes or protective coatings on the wood. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that heavy blending with alcohol markers can have the same effect. Ironically, I recently learned that using a small amount of rubbing alcohol is a recommended way to remove ink stains.
I’d seen a lot of YouTubers who specialize with Copics use a plastic mat or other non-wood surface between their desks and artwork. I figured they just didn’t want to get marker or paint on their actual desks. In hindsight it seems like an obvious problem, but you know what they say.
So, now I am in the market for a mat myself. I think the reason this hasn’t really happened with my other Copic works is because I always rotated them as I colored them. For Rapidash, I taped it in place so it was upright for the video. Since it was static on the desk and I seriously blended its mane with a lot of ink, it had time to soak in and make a noticeable impact.
The marks are more subtle on camera, and the reflection from the lamp and the pre-existing stain from a receipt (long story) make it harder to see. I’ve outlined it, so hopefully you can see where it is. It’s more noticeable in person.
Do you use something to protect your desk or work-surface? Let me know in the comments!