Back to School Checklist

For us art majors, it isn’t so much about the $400 books and 5 subject notebooks as it is the sketchbooks, art supplies, Adobe programs, and having enough coffee to last us the entire year. In light of (the dreaded) hours and vast amounts of money spent back to school shopping for supplies, room decor, etc., I have compiled a list of the top necessities art majors should acquire for the ensuing year.

Top necessities for art majors

  1. PAPER. Lots of paper. Sheets of it, and a lot of it, in all sizes. You never know when you might be inspired to draw a life-size horse, OK?! But in all seriousness, inspirations can come to us out of nowhere. Having supplies around like paper and canvasses to express these ideas in whatever size we choose is always a plus.
  2. SKTECHBOOK. My sketchbook is my lifeline at school. I draw, I write, I personalize. My sketchbook goes with me everywhere. I actually have two, one for my personal stuff and one for classes. I don’t like to buy one for each class because having too many to keep track of flusters me. I section off one thick sketchbook for each art class that semester, and there is plenty of room to work with. My personal sketchbook is the one that fills up fast.
  3. ART SUPPLIES. Pencils, paint brushes, paint palette, kneaded erasers, ink pens, Adobe Creative Cloud- the stuff that gets the job done. You’ll thank yourself for having this stuff on hand whenever you might need them.
  4. READING MATERIALS AND BOOKS. And not the books required for your classes. You’ll need those too, but reading books you love or have great interest in will keep you sharp and will in fact boost your creativity (no need to take my word for it, there have been studies). It will also decrease your stress level and temporarily take you to another place, allowing you to release any tension built up from your day. I find it incredibly soothing and essential to doing the best I can, especially when I feel that I have hit a creative “slump”.
  5. INSPIRATIONAL DECOR. Canvases, tapestries, anything that will make for a creative environment. I find that I do a lot of my work in my room and it helps to set a certain mood with decorations and perhaps by lighting candles. This might seem trivial, but the environment you are in almost 100% has an effect on your work so you might as well make it a good one!

These are just a few tips to guide your back to school shopping. Some of the above are obvious, but I felt the need to restate the importance of them so that they don’t slip anyone’s mind! Even though back to school shopping can be dull (and depressing… goodbye to all the money I earned this summer!) it’ll only be a matter of time before you’re doing what you love everyday.

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