Tools I Use for Creative Practice

You find your creative voice by experimenting with tools and techniques. The ones that help you refine, reflect, and convey your voice are the ones you’ll probably stick with over time. There are many tools one can use for being creative, and it depends on what your doing or what your end goal is. For me, I use a lot of different art supplies and tools when practicing creativity. I’ll share a few with you today.

I’ve already mentioned the kinds of creative practices I like, and you can read more about that here . One thing I’ll encourage you to do before you drop a lot of money on supplies you may never use, is to use what you have on hand or purchase student versions. I’d rather spend less on experimenting and finding I don’t like an art tool than wasting money only to find I won’t use the tool. Trust me. That is not fun and a waste of resources. I list the practice and then the tools I use.

Hand lettering/Sketching
One of my favorite things to do is letter because it’s fairly quick. What I like most is playing with techniques using a variety writing instruments. The basics tools I started with were thin lined Micron Pens and Sharpie pens. I also use regular pens, mechanical pencils, and different kinds of brushes. This past year I’ve been experimenting with dual brush pens because you can do so many things with them. While I am still learning, it has been and continues to be an enjoyable activity. Brush pens are an investment, but over time, I think they’re worth it.

Some brands I’ve practiced with are: Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Zebra Pens, Pentel Brush Sign Pens and Aquash brushes, Brea Reese prefilled brushes, Sakura Gelly Roll/Micron pens, Ecoline Brush Pens, watercolors, Uchtam Glitter Gel Pens, Uniball Signo, Paper Mate Felt Tip Pens, Le Pen by Marvy Uchida, and Artist’s Loft Brand markers (at Michael’s Stores) colored pencils, and Pentel Energel Pens. WoW!! That is one long list of pens, but I’ll also tell you I use them for letter writing and note taking too. I write on blank copy paper 28-32 pounds. I know one thing for sure, with dual brush pens, use smooth paper or you’ll ruin your brush tips. I have found Amazon to be most cost effective. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s often have couples and sales, so keep an eye out.

Mixed Media/Painting/Altered Books
I’d say almost anything goes for mixed media because it’s a more personal practice. That said the items I use most in mixed media are sketchbooks, mixed media, vellum, or Bristol paper bound journals. The media I use determines the paper, canvas, or other hard surface I’ll use. If it’s heavy paint then I’ll use heavier weighted paper like watercolor 140 pounds.

Some of the other things I use when making mixed media are: acrylic paint, gesso, , different sized paint brushes, various types of scrap paper, tissue paper, magazine or book clippings, embroidery floss, yarn, gel medium, Modge Podge, palette knives, and books I want to recycle.

Found/Cut Out/Black Out Poetry/Gluebooks
One of my other go-to activities for relaxation and play is making found poetry. I don’t think it’s hard to do, and I’ll be sharing a how-to post on it later in this series. I think this is the simplest of all my lists, and the plus is that you probably already have these supplies in your home.

Here’s what I use: magazines, newspapers, books I’ve enjoyed reading but don’t want to throw away, composition book, pencil or other favorite writing tools, glue sticks or other glue you have on hand, copy paper or whatever paper you want to glue your words on, and scissors.

A bonus supply is washi tape – that is a whole other rabbit trail, but so much fun to use in gluebooking or adding extra pop to pages.

These three categories are not an intensive, all-inclusive list, and I’m sure I’ve left some things out. I’ll try to remember to include them in any how-to posts I share in this series. I want to encourage you to take time to explore your creative side with whatever supplies you already have. There’s fun to be had in the messy-making process. Also you can find other creatives in different online spaces if you want to learn more like, Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook. Use the digital medium that works best for you.

Tell me your favorite creative practice supplies. I’d love to hear from you. Happy creating!

In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary, everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.


Share your thoughts.