Part 3: On Saving Money in the Studio

Robert C. Williams Paper Museum Reproduction o...

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My previous two posts, How To Save Money By Making Your Own Paints, and More Tips On Saving Money in the Studio brought such enthusiastic comments from artists on Google + and other social media sites that I decided to write one more–Part 3: On Saving Money in the Studio.

Buy fine art paper in bulk 

Did you know that you can get many fine art papers directly from paper manufacturers at greatly reduced prices? For instance, Thai Unryu paper, (25 x 37 inches) sells for $4.00-6.00 dollars per sheet at this US artist supplier and this artist supplier.  I purchased the same Thai Unryu paper (25 x 37 inches) in packages of ten sheets, and paid about $00.25 cents per sheet purchased directly from paper manufacturer in California. ( I calculated the shipping cost and added it to the amount I paid per sheet for the price I mention above.)

As you can probably guess, that paper manufacturer had other fine art papers including fine drawing papers and print-making paper such as Coventry Rag, as well as digital print papers at low prices. Check their overstock store. Not all papers are available at all times so check back often.

In the book, Living The Art World Dream, Alternative Strategies For Working Artists, written by sculptor Eric Rudd, the author includes a page or two on buying paper in bulk from paper mills. He suggests taking a tour of a paper mill, if one is nearby, as an “eye-opener.” Rudd said that he purchased 1,000 sheets of drawing paper for as little as $100. Since he lives in a large warehouse studio he had space to store large quantities of paper. He also makes the point that artists may be more cautious and less productive when working on paper that they purchased for $1.00-5.00 per sheet. That having so many low-cost sheets of fine art paper in his studio made him much more productive–he did many more drawings!

If you belong to a group of artists, you may be able to jointly divide a large paper purchase. Research paper manufacturers in your region. You may be surprised at how many such companies exist! Not all produce fine art papers but some make acid free papers also used by artists.

4 thoughts on “Part 3: On Saving Money in the Studio

  1. Buying in bulk always requires the correct storage space. Quality printmaking paper/drawing paper has very specific conservation needs that really can’t be ignored. Yes, you can save on purchase and shipping prices, but make sure you have the correct storage space available before placing your order.


    • Good point, Janis
      In the book I mention in this post, the artist included an image a cubby-hole shelving system he created to store stacks of paper. I keep my bulk paper inside the plastic sleeves they arrive in.


  2. Pingback: Part 4: Ways For Artists To Cut Down On Studio Expenses – Artist Marketing Resources

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