The saying "practice makes progress" may be overused, but for good reason – because it really does work!
But also we know how hard it is to consistently create new artwork, so we’ve developed stress-free challenges to help you always stay motivated and inspired.
Take the guesswork out of what to draw with our sketch idea generator.
As mentioned at the top of the page, some of the links below are affiliate links. That means we'll receive a small commission if you purchase something after clicking – but I'd never recommend something I don't love or use.
And since 2020, I no longer affiliate for Amazon. My decision is based on their history of racist practices and dangerous warehouse conditions. For art supplies, we now proudly affiliate with Dick Blick and for books, we support Bookshop.org.
Winsor & Newton (gouache)
Holbein (acryla gouache)
Posca Paint Pens
Princeton Heritage 4050 Series
Simply Simmons Synthetic Brushes
Butcher Tray Palette
Rectangular Porcelain Palette
Over & Over: A Catalog of Hand-drawn Patterns by Mike Perry
Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns
by Susan Meller
Pattern Pulse: Exploring the Art of Australian Surface Designers by Rachel King
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
Craft, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Successful Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
Graphic Artists Guild Handbook currently in the 16th edition
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
by Seth Godin
Real Artists Don't Starve by Jeff Goins
Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (& Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland
Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley &
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Although not the cheapest show in town, the quality of their product totally makes up for it! We get all my printed marketing (business cards, postcards, you name it) printed here.
There is truly NO better place to get your trade show banners! Not only are their products beautifully printed, but they provide top-notch customer service.
Great when you need a single book, but especially handy if you like to get new portfolio books printed each year. They even have a preview option you can share with clients…oooh!
Want to dip your toe into selling physical paper products? They offer fantastic printing and wholesale price points.
If you need invoices for trade shows or a multi-layer receipt book for in-person craft shows, they are an affordable option.
You can get t-shirts, leggings, and more printed here and the quality is actually great (unlike many POD sites we’ve tried).
Our go-to vendor for trade show giveaway items. You can get 100 buttons for less than $25 – oh yeah!
A sister vendor of Pure Buttons, so you know they’ll have the same high quality products at a super awesome price.
Besides your portfolio, the other must-have in my book is a nice website. And although there are lots of free options, nothing matches the beauty and functionality of Squarespace for us.
We truly believe that every artist needs a newsletter. But you don’t need a bunch of bells & whistles and that’s why we love Mailchimp – it’s simple to set up and easy to use.
With this one app, you can organize & keep track of your portfolio, contracts, clients, calendar, and more. It’s a TOTAL game changer – we even have a class on how to use it!
Jumping directly onto the ‘gram to post is fun, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break. And that’s when setting up your posts in advance really comes in handy!
This free service not only lets you send invoices directly to your clients & allow for online payments, it sends reminders for you too – no more tracking down payments, yay!
If you’re typeface hoarders like we are, you know how much they can slow down your computer. This software organizes and streamlines them so it’s a win-win.