Using my good art supplies for play / experiments. What if I ruin it all?

Ink lines on white paper and my cup

I have good art supplies. Great quality cold press and hot press paper by Arches. Luscious thick dreamy cotton paper that is so pleasurable to paint on it's almost scary. But, I keep saving it for that "one perfect revolutionary idea" that I will execute all too perfectly one day when the time is right. I take it out every once in a my hands over the beautiful bumps on it...and put it away for that one day. I also have quality watercolour paint with rich vibrant pigments. Each tube so precious. My fellow watercolour artists know how much a 5 ml tube of good paint costs. I have beautiful black ink!! To be fair I do use the black ink quite a bit. I can't resist. But, what about all those other amazing art supplies?

Even after all these years of art making I still struggle with using the good stuff without overthinking it at least a little....if not a lot. Do other artists struggle with such thoughts too? What if it doesn't work out? Is the idea really worth using the good stuff? What if I accidentally ruin the good paper? Waste the paint? What then? As if I am going to exhaust ALL the good paper in the entire world with my one idea. *eyeroll*

Good paper is expensive, yes. So is quality paint. Most art supplies...good quality ones anyway....are expensive. But, some of these great supplies have been sitting in my studio for 3+ years now. Unused. It's not like I've not used any art supplies...but I've surely been too thoughtful about using them. Too careful not to waste them. Saving them. What good are they if I don't use them though? All that unused potential. Shouldn't I just use it all instead and move on? Even if just to ruin them in the process of trying something new? Why is it so hard to do that? Do you also struggle with such thoughts? How do you overcome them? Do you just push through?

The fear is real. The doubt is real. The voice in my head telling me I can't do this is real. But, this voice must be overcome. Being precious with your art and art supplies is the quickest way to kill that flow state and urge to experiment. One way that has worked for me in the past is to cut up a variety of qualities of paper and trick myself into using the good stuff while I'm in the flow...when I'm not thinking too much about what I'm using...when I simply let my intuition dictate the next step. 

Let's try something new this time. I will challenge myself to use the good stuff as a part of an art challenge. 30 paintings painted with quality art supplies...but without taking myself too seriously.  #usethegoodstuff 

You know what inspired this thought? Rajiv Surendra. If you don't know him look him up on Youtube. He's the guy who played Kevin Gnapoor in the older Mean Girls movie. I've come to appreciate the videos he makes about appreciating the beauty around you in little things like old cheap antique glass jars....or your silverware. In his videos he often emphasizes not waiting to use your precious possessions. The good clothes. The good shoes. The good cookies. The good socks. The good lingerie. The good soap. The good china. The good glassware. Stoneware. What good are they if they sit in your closet gathering dust? You wanna use the good stuff you so carefully picked out. 


30 paintings painted with quality art supplies. Without taking myself too seriously. Let's see how this goes. :)

Ever the dreamer,


Back to blog

Leave a comment