Over the years I get similar questions asked of me and so I thought it would be useful to have those answers here for you and also links to some of the products I use in my art business that I recommend. These links are affiliate links so I will get a small commission if you choose to purchase them, this is income that helps my business to keep going, so thank you if you do choose to support me in this way.
When did you become an artist? I've been an artist all my life. As a child I was always drawing or doing something creative. I loved the Crayola kits and any colouring or drawing games. At school I was very creative too, so when it came to choosing what I wanted to do for my career I settled on being a self employed artist. The road hasn't been easy and I did try other college courses and jobs but I always came back to art.
How long have you been self employed? I have been self employed since 2004. I started with various different crafts and graphic design before moving into painting and illustration in 2007.
Did you go to Art School/College/Uni? I studied art at GCSE at school and then went to college and received my National Diploma in General Art & Design in 2000. I attempted a couple of art degree programs both at physical Uni's and distance learning but they weren't right for me at the time. I chose to run my business for many years and then when the time was right I began a degree in Illustration in 2016, distance learning, part time. I am currently studying for this degree and aim to complete it in the next few years. Studying as a mature student is a lot longer and harder when you have more responsibilities and other work commitments but it is doable and it was the right decision for me.
What sketchbook do you recommend? I use a variety of sketchbooks. I really like A5 sized or small square because they are easy to carry around. For mixed media I love Strathmore. Beautiful paper and can handle some wet media.
For general sketching, notes etc I love the new Royal Talen sketchbooks. They are hardback with an elastic, come in several pretty colours and the paper is off white and lovely to draw on.
What are your favourite art supplies? I have a lot of favourite art supplies that I use but my most used supplies at the moment are, acrylic paints, crafters paints, pencils, Micron pens and iPad with Apple pencil.
For painting I use a lot of different paint brands and mixed media on birch plywood and canvas. My favourite brands are listed below:
Amsterdam Acrylics: https://amzn.to/3j2Vb85
Liquitex Acrylics: https://amzn.to/3LE37J9
Deco Art: https://amzn.to/38vHD37
Winsor & Newton Galeria: https://amzn.to/3DEHQfR
For drawing I like these brands for the quality and line weight:
Papermate mechanical pencils: https://amzn.to/3r0cqLN
Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil: https://amzn.to/3x4qRSK
Palomino pencil replacement erasers: https://amzn.to/3j9Eh7D
Micron Finelines: https://amzn.to/3j6pAm1
What brushes do you recommend? I have a painting video on my Patreon showing the brushes I currently use and how I use them. Here are some of my favourites:
Winsor & Newton Cotman: https://amzn.to/3NNY8r4
Jacksons Art Red Shinko Brushes:
Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes: https://amzn.to/3x4qoQE
I get a lot of my art supplies from Jacksons Art and you can search for what they have here: (This is an affiliate link to the art supply shop and if you choose to purchase any items I will get a small commission which really helps towards staying a self employed artist, so thank you in advance! x)
If Jackson's Art don't have what I need or I am in a hurry, then Amazon always comes to the rescue. I have particularly enjoyed their Student Prime option, which has saved me a lot of money compared to the normal subscription costs. You get lot's of benefits for being a Prime member, including fast delivery and discounts off many items. If you are having to stay at home for any reason (during the height of the pandemic in particular, I have found Amazon to be a life saver for essentials) then you can order and receive your items within 1 -2 days.
Check out their current offers below:
What camera do you use for YouTube: I am using the Canon EOS M10 in white with flip screen. I find this a really good quality camera for photos and video. Newer versions are now available.What Music do you play while painting? I love to listen to music when I am painting or drawing. My tastes are quite eclectic and range from soft rock, pop, Christian worship, K-pop, and movie soundtracks. I recently watched the anime' Belle and fell in love with the movie and soundtrack. It's just stunning. You can sample it down below and if you're interested in getting unlimited music tracks via Amazon to listen to on any of your devices, consider trying Music Unlimited. I've been using this for years now and shuffle my playlists from there most days. You can even use it with your Alexa.