My Art Essentials: get equipped!

At the start of 2021 I was supposed to be meeting new creatives at the Liverpool Collage Club, but alas, the world had other plans.

So for this week's blog I thought I'd answer a question I often get asked by newcomers,

"If I want to start making more art / collage at home, what would you say are the main essentials?"

It's an absolute pleasure meeting newly creative people, they haven't been overly moulded by art educations or other people's opinions, they are sponges and follow their instincts! Don't get me wrong I learned a lot from my art education, but also had to unlearn a lot from it too. So I get a real kick out of meeting people who haven't internalised what our education system deems "good art", they often just want to play and see what happens, it's magic!

So to honour all creative champions, especially those who have found art & creativity during lockdown here is a list of what I consider absolute essentials to get you going, especially if you want to keep a log of your creative process over the coming year.

Of course you can spend mega bucks on art materials, but I'm here to show you in order to get going, you really don't need to.

Hardback sketchbook

Now I've got a few favourite brands of these, but you can't go wrong with a hardback, plain black A4 cartridge paper sketchbook. Make sure you're not buying nasty white printer paper sketchbook, cartridge is better for using for a wider range of activities.

Black fine liner pens or biros

Drawing in pencil alone is overrated, having some pens is a brilliant way to add some range to your sketchbook pages, but also for outlining and adding layering to drawings and sketches. Now you can watch the pennies or go big with pens, so I've popped a range of options below:




Top tip, you can also buy black biros from medium/ large supermarkets or pound-shops - and they are even cheaper. I prefer BIC biros, but that's just me.


You will find things in books/ magazines/ leaflets/ flyers that you like and you want to keep safe. This could be anything from a word in a cool font to an awesome picture. Without cutting them out, attaching them to something, or keeping a 'bits and bob's box' you will lose them or end up with a huge pile of items you haven't the space to store. So get some decent scissors, cut things out, and pop them in your sketchbook or a box for safe keeping.





This may seem only appropriate for collage artists, but I count it as an essential for everyone, I prefer pritt sticks, recyclable ones if possible. Even if you don't collage, you may find you want to keep 2-D artworks you make safe, sticking them into your sketchbook is a great way to do that.


If you can get a set awesome, if not below I've listed the ones I couldn't live without and you can usually buy them individually from art shops online:

2H, HB, 4B, 6B



No brainer, you wanna use pencils, you need to keep your pencils sharp. Case closed.

If you have these items in tow you've set yourself up well to kickstart a regular creative practice!

Stay safe and keep collaging.

Love always, Catherine

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