My Studio Supplies List - Vegan Style

To keep with my vegan lifestyle, I double-checked that the supplies I use in my projects were in fact vegan. I found that I will need to edit some of the products already residing in my studio. Going forward the list below will guide the buying decisions for my studio supplies. I ran accross this website that did the product investigation already, so all I needed to do was to confirm what in my existing stock was vegan and make a purchasing plan for future supplies. I like keeping things simple, so I looked for brands that were consistently vegan in their philosophy and products. That turned out to be more difficult than I originally thought as many brands had exclusions to this or that. By the way, most Ivory Black and Paynes Grey are made from charred cow bones.

Here is my supply list of preferred brands that are vegan.

Acrylic Paint
-Winsor & Newton

Acrylic and oil: Mimik Hog Professional Synthetic Hog Bristle Brushes
-Watercolor: da Vinci Watercolor Series 5386 Casaneo Paint Brush Set, New Wave Synthetics

-Blick Premier Artists' Panels and Gallery Wrapped up to 16 x 16
-Still looking for a stretched canvas for sizes 18 x 18 - 40 x 40

-Winsor & Newton Artist Vine Charcoal Sticks

Encaustic Pucks
Colors of Nature

-Natural Earth Paint-Eco Gesso Kit [The full kit makes 50 fl. oz. of gesso, which is enough to prime about 10-15 medium-sized canvases]
-Golden GAC Acrylic Polymer Mediums

Masking Fluid
-Talens Royal Liquid Masking Film

Oil Paints
Colors of Nature

Colors of Nature

Colors of Nature

-Gamblin PVA Size. [More archival than rabbit glue]

-IPG White Artist Tape

Colors of Nature
-Kuretake Gansai Tambi
-Maimeri Blu [except for 484 Van Dyck Brown, 486 Sepia, 514 Payne’s Grey, and 535 Ivory Black]

Watercolor Paper
-Legion Stonehenge Aqua Watercolor Paper
-Moulin Du Roy Block 140Lb Hot Press 

The Making of a Studio Part One

No one really tells you how to do this. Or maybe that was just my experience. #Instagram shows lovely studios by working artists and it seems so effortless and magical. So what really happens when you decide to set up your studio?

First you need to find the space

It happened for me this way. This past summer, I was at an arts conference and happened to mention to a friend and fellow artist that I would love to find an affordable space to make art. You know some kind of space that could be called an artist studio. I was flexible and wasn’t too picky, or so I thought. We chatted about that and a few other issues and said goodbye. A few days later he messaged me and said he had a friend who was leaving their space and would I like to take a peek at the space. He said “oh yeah, it’s also affordable”. I made the call.

My studio wish list

I’m a pretty flexible gal, so at first my wish list looked like this:

  • 10x10 space at a minimum

  • Heat and A/C

  • No more than a 10 minute drive from home

  • Easy access to water

  • Safe

As I investigated the options I came to realize a few things.

If 10x10, my goodness, I needed a window with some natural light. I have a sensitive nose, so the space had to pass the nose test. I didn’t care about the walls or the floors, I figured I would be messing them up anyway. Noise. Ok I had not even thought of this let alone have it on my list! So my updated list now looks like this:

  • 10x10 space at a minimum

  • Heat and A/C

  • No more than a 10 minute drive from home

  • Easy access to water

  • Safe

  • Smells healthy

  • Window

  • Low noise (no industrial drills or loud music)

So back to my investigation for the space, I found the gentleman who was renting a few offices had a few choices. One space had a sink and water, but no window. It felt a bit like a jail cell, so this freaked me out a little. The other space didn’t have a sink or water, but was next to the ladies bathroom, and it had a window! The floor was crappy, ok. And they had painted the walls bright white. OK great! The window needed an updated shade, no biggie. I was pretty satisfied that this space would work for me. Then I heard the drumming.

It turns out the guy down the hall practices with his drums. As in rock band drumming. The agent told me he only came to the office during the evening hours, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Mmmmmm.

Sealing the deal

I was ready to make the deal happen. It took several months before I could officially move in. In that time, the office I thought I was getting, ended up being a different one, which was fine since it had 2 large windows that suited me just fine. They installed some manufactured wood floors, very nice, but yikes, now I had to protect them! And they also installed some very nice vertical blinds. In addition, this office was located next to a storage place, so I also got a 10 x 5 unit to store all my extra art supplies that didn’t fit in my studio space. This is how my final wish list looks now:

  • 10x10 space with 10 x 5 storage unit nearby

  • Heat and A/C

  • A 20 minute drive from home

  • Easy access to water in the ladies room

  • Safe, I have to keep my wits about me

  • Smells great in office. The storage unit has an odd smell, but not that bad

  • 2 Windows

  • New flooring

  • New vertical blinds

  • I have a neighbor who plays the drums during the day. Luckily he is good!

  • A business address

I moved in Nov 30, 2018. This was by far the best action I took in 2018 to move me forward in my work. I love having a special space for making art. I created the space so it can be flexible so I often do the business side of my work in the studio too. So far this little space works for me.

In part two of The Making of a Studio I’ll talk about how I actually set up the space.

Tips to Use Instagram for Business

Why use Instagram? Or any social media channel for that matter. Back in the day, the Yellow Pages was the go-to place to find a business. Now, we have lot's of channels and the questions you may want to ask are "Are my customers looking for me here?", "Can I afford to skip this channel?" and "Does this support my business goals?"

3 Key Steps to Event Success, Plus See Our Numbers!

We often get asked which tools we use to promote our events. Questions like "Do you use Facebook, linkedin, or Twitter?"  or " Does social media really help drive registration?" or " What tool do you use for registration?" If you plan events, and maybe have had these questions also pass through your mind, this post may help. Keep in mind many of our events are designed for under 200 people and have a low ticket price to entry.

To Have, or Not to Have an Email Signature?

Has this ever happened to you?  You try to contact the person you may have a meeting with or perhaps you need to discuss something with this person and you do a quick search in your email and you find their email, boom! Success and so quickly, gotta love gmail :)  Then a quick scan of the email finds absolutely no mention of a phone number for this person. My glee turns quickly into frustration. Have you experienced this?

About our Creative Director

As a creative entrepreneur, (that's the term Cyn uses to describe herself) she provides beautifully designed and cost-effective marketing solutions to business owners. As Creative Director at Cynergie Studio, Cyn works hard to align business messaging with appropriate business graphics, marketing strategies, content management, blogs, videos, and social media channels to help clients build business and earn revenue.

The Anatomy of a Book Cover

Dust Jacket:

This is a printed paper wrapper to cover a hardback book. Each end folds inside the book itself to protect the cover, which in the older days might have been made of fine leather and linen cloth with a simple embossed title on the front and spine. Today, a dust jacket might be more important than the embossed cover, as it is designed to be eye-catching and to project a meaningful message about the contents.

I Design Book Covers

It's true, I DO design book covers, book jackets and interior pages for publishers and authors. Like the cover here, Beginner's Finnish, for example. I've done this work for many years and I simply love it! I like the feeling I get when I walk into Barnes & Nobles and see the titles I designed on the book shelves. It's an "I made this!" moment. Of course it takes many people to get a book from concept to bookshelf, but I am proud of my little corner of the process. I also get a real thrill when I visit a friends home and find a book I designed on their bookshelf.

Conversation with Carrie Knowles

This article written as a guest blogger for Triangle Artworks, is the second in a series of “Conversations With”  members of the creative community in the Triangle who are thinking big, working hard and making a difference in our Region.

I met Carrie Knowles at her studio off Bloodworth Street in downtown Raleigh. The quiet neighborhood and her comfortable studio was the perfect spot to catch up with this busy writer and artist. We talked about her writing, visual art, the importance of collaboration, and her most ambitious and exciting project to date, the Cary Cross Currents Chamber Music and Arts Festival.