ArtSnacks review: Can the right tools make you an artist?

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ArtSnacks review: Can the right tools make you an artist?

This is the latest edition of our series, Lifetime Subscriber. From clothes to food to vitamins, we review popular subscription services and decide if they’re worth the price.

While I consider myself creative, I am not one to regularly pick up a pencil or paintbrush and create art. But is it because I never had the right tools?
ArtSnacks is a subscription box service of high-quality art supplies. ArtSnacks’ mission is to “inspire people through the discovery of amazing art materials.”

I was excited to unleash my inner artist using ArtSnacks. Here’s what I thought.

How ArtSnacks works

Each box comes with four to five “premium” art products (the kind you won’t find at a regular craft store), a small snack and an ArtSnacks sticker. A menu is also included, outlining how to use each product. The ArtSnacks website says each product has been tested to make sure they work perfectly together.

In my box, I received Sennelier Abstract Acrylic Ink, Copic Classic Markers, a Royal & Langnickel Zen Series 83 Watercolor Brush and a General’s Semi-Hex Drawing Graphite Pencil. The snack was a small piece of chocolate candy. The total retail cost of the items was $27.92.

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How much ArtSnacks costs

ArtSnacks costs $24 per month. There is also an ArtSnacks Plus box, which includes one or two additional art supplies, a full-sized surface to practice art on, monthly discount codes to the ArtSnacks online store and access to pre-sales and events. The Plus subscription costs $39 per month.

ArtSnacks review

I went into this review without knowing what would come in the package. Once I unwrapped all the items, I needed time to understand each one. I then experimented with each item.

I loved the ink. I used the watercolor brush with it, and it drew crisp, bright lines across the paper. Having never used bottled ink before, it was exciting to use this medium to practice drawing and writing. I should note: The ink stains easily, though my clumsiness and decision to wear a white shirt while using it also played a role.

With the exception of the graphite pencil, I would never have picked out most of the items myself. It was fun to play with the different tools, though there wasn’t much guidance about how to use them.

“Learn to sketch” has been on my resolution list for some time now, so I took a rainy evening to watch sketching how-tos and practice with the graphite pencil. This is definitely an item I will continue to use regularly.

Is ArtSnacks worth it?

For the experienced artist, ArtSnacks is a great way to try out new tools and experiment with different styles.

ArtSnacks also provides its users with access to limited edition tools, like collaborations and hard-to-find items (which are normally pricey). Dedicated artists may save money in the long run by subscribing instead of buying individual items each month.

But the price deters less experienced artists from participating. As a beginner artist myself, the $24 per month price tag didn’t feel worth it to me, especially since I can’t tell the difference between an $8 marker and a Crayola one. While the materials’ quality was great, I didn’t get much instruction or support on how to use each tool.

Image: Phillip Blackowl