Helpful Tools & Resources for Artists
I receive lots of inquiries about what tools I use in my business,
so I thought it would be helpful to put together a page of my favorite resources.
Please note that many of the below are affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission on them. However, everything listed below are items I love – I’d never recommend something I don’t believe in or personally use!
Favorite Drawing Pens:
Eraser: Staedtler Plastic White
Sketchbook: Canson XL Drawing Pad
Tracing Paper: Canson 9x12 Pad
Light Box: Huion LED Adjustable Light Pad
Want to hear about why I like these supplies? Watch Video 3 of my Sketching for Surface Designers class on Skillshare to find out more.
Admin Software & Apps
Portfolio Organization & Client Tracking: Airtable
The single most important application I use for my business. It’s helped me organize and keep track of my portfolio, clients, emails, expenses, projects and more – I can’t recommend it enough!
Accounting & Invoicing Software: Wave
I just started using this in 2019 and have been very happy with it. Not only will it send invoices directly to my clients, it can also send reminders to them too – no more tracking down payment, yay!
Social Media Scheduler: Later
Most of the time I jump on Instagram to post, but when I know my time will be limited or I have a art challenge where I’m posting daily, I love using Later to set them up in advance. It saves me a lot of time!
Email Marketing: Mailchimp
Every artist needs to have a newsletter – I truly believe that! I’ve been using Mailchimp for almost a decade and it’s never let me down. It’s easy enough for non-coders to use, but robust enough to give me lots of options and analytics.
Software & Equipment
Portable Tablet: iPad Pro
I recommend buying the largest size you can afford.
Drawing Tablet: Wacom Intuos Pro M
If you’re looking for a tablet that isn’t it’s own monitor, this one is fantastic! I use it almost every day in Illustrator.
Design Software: Adobe Creative Cloud
I’ve been happily using their creative suite for over 15 years and I still love it! And I know paying for a subscription isn’t for everyone, but I approach mine as a continual investment in my business.
Font Management: Suitcase Fusion
If you’re a type junkie like me, you have 100s of typefaces, but that can mean lots of time wasted searching for the right one or because having them all turned on slows down your hard drive. This is the best software I’ve ever used for managing my entire font library!
Scanner: Epson V Series
Computer: iMac 27inch
The large monitor size was such a game changer for me and now I can’t live without it!
Trade Show Materials
Show Insurance: ACT Insurance (US only)
I didn’t even know show insurance was a thing until my first time at Surtex in 2017. Luckily a friend of mine recommended ACT and I’ve been using them ever since as they usually have the lowest rates.
Carbon Copy Printing: Lighthouse Printing
An important, albeit sometimes overlooked detail at trade shows. If you bring invoice forms to a show (which you always should), then they SHOULD be printed on carbon copy paper so your client can take a copy with them.
Banner Printing: Smartpress
They have some of the best customer service I’ve ever come across and their product is beautiful. They will ALWAYS have my business!
Portfolio Book Printing: Blurb Books
I have all my vacation/family albums printed here too.
Promotional Material Printing: Moo.com
Every year, I get all my marketing printed here which includes business cards, postcards, and stickers. I especially love the gloss coating on their one-sided gloss postcards.
Giveaway Buttons: Pure Buttons
These guys are quick, customer friendly, and put out a great product that doesn’t break the bank. I make new buttons every year as my trade show giveaways because people still love them.
The list below is only the products I’ve ordered & liked
Class Creation Tools
Microphone: Blue Yeti
Simple, yet effective. I’ve been using this microphone for years, before they introduce it in pretty colors like they have now.
Pop Filter: Auphonix 6-Inch
I can have a very percussive voice at times and this little guy does exactly what he’s supposed to so that you don’t hear it on playback.
Camera Stand: Arkon Phone Stand
I use this for all my live demo and talking head videos. It can be a little awkward getting the arm into place, but once it’s fully setup it’s rock solid – I really love it!
Lighting: ESDDI Softbox Lighting Kit
This isn’t a fancy setup, but it’s great as a beginner setup, so I no longer have to wait for a bright, but cloudy day to shoot.
Video Editing Software: Screenflow (MAC only)
Once you learn the basics of this program, it’s incredibly intuitive. I record and edit almost every aspect of my classes using it.
Royalty Free Music: Bandcamp
It’s hard to find good music that complements my classes, but this website has such a wide range to choose from. Plus side: you get to support your fellow artists who receive payment directly from the site.