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I get a lot of questions from other artists, both new and experienced like “What paint do you use?” “Where do you get your stretcher bars?” “What accounting software do you use?” “What inspires you?” I thought I’d make a comprehensive list to hopefully preempt some of your questions and help inspire your work. This is a list of some of the resources I use both products and educational resources. I use everything on this list so know that if you choose to use any of these resources, they come with my recommendation. Of course, I also buy specialty products from time to time, like in the header image, I was shopping for paper, pastels, and brushes at Sennelier in Paris last summer.

Painting Supplies:

Paint
I buy Golden Brand Paint and with the exception of metallic paints I paint from primary colors and like to mix my own colors.
Gesso
Big fan of this gesso.
Stretcher Bars
I buy heavy duty stretcher bars. I’d like to eventually make my own stretcher bars for a wider bar, but until I get a workshop for this I stick with the heavy duty bars.
Primed Canvas
I buy large canvas rolls, either primed or unprimed and stretch my pieces myself most of the time.
Staple Gun
Gotta have something to staple the canvas to the frame right? yes. I use this staple gun.
Tape Measure
You know the adage, “measure twice, cut once.” Sometimes I need a longer tape measure than this, but this usually will do the trick.
Brushes
I have hundreds of brushes, I’d actually consider myself a hoarder, as I find them all over the house. You need all kinds of brushes for different techniques, (hence the thousands of brushes) but here are some that I like if you’re just getting started, I usually like coarse brushes.
Drop Cloth
Even though I have a million drop cloths, there are still little splatters of paint all over the floor of my studio… better than nothing though I guess.
Easel
I end up painting all over the place, on the wall, on the easel, on the floor, but I do love a heavy duty easel.

I didn’t include varnish in this list because for me varnish is hard to settle on. I haven’t found one I 100% love and bounce around between brands. I cannot reccomend one that I’m a huge huge fan of.

Packaging Materials:

Brown Paper Wrap
I use this to wrap up pieces for shipment makes them clean and its another layer of protection.
Bubble Wrap
Go for the big bubbles if you can, they are always better at protecting for shipment.
Packing Tape
Dude, I buy the 12 packs of packaging tape I go through so much tape it’s not even funny.
Fragile stickers
Who knows if any shippers actually pay attention to stickers, but it makes you feel a little better.
Shipping Boxes
Often times I’ll have to end up making my own boxes when my pieces are too big, but for smaller pieces these do nicely.

Business Tools:

Business management software: Xero
I use this to help with accounting and to makes taxes a lot easier to sift through.
Mileage Tracker: Mile IQ
I use Mile IQ to track my miles when driving around for work related trips and I can write of my miles during taxes.
File storage: Google Drive
I use Google Drive, that way I can access at all times from any device and I don’t have to store hard drives or have to try and remember what files is on what HD. I currently use 108 GB of storage and pay for 1TB.
Business email: Google Mail
I also use Google for my business email, I’ve never had a problem with it, and it’s really really simple to set up and maintain. That way I can get my email at my own domain name e.g. info@christineolmstead.com
Scheduling Pinterest Posts: Tailwind
I use Pinterest A LOT I use Tailwind to schedule all of my posts, and keep the content flowing smoothly.
Adobe Suite
I use Photoshop, Ilustrator, and InDesign every single day. I use this to prepare files, touch up prints, create contracts, so so many things. I use the Adobe Suite every single day and couldn’t live without it.
Website/Web Hosting:
Distillery Creative My mother owns a graphic and web design firm called Distillery Creative. I freelance for her and her team and couldn’t imagine a better group to help me with my web stuff, thanks mom! Love you!

 

Motivation and Educational:

This list is in no particular order, nor is it exhaustive, it was what I could think of on the fly, and I’ll probably be adding to it as I remember more pieces I’ve enjoyed.

Books:

Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa
In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gillbert
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins

Podcasts

The Lonely Palette
A Piece of Work 
Bad at Sports
The Jealous Curator
Death Sex and Money (This last one has nothing to do with art… but I’m endlessly fascinated and inspired by it)