My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school in two years. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program last summer, which exposed her to many different art supplies. Her favorite birthday gift from us these past few years is an annual subscription to art supply box ArtSnacks which is how she discovered Copic Markers. These days she watches arty kids wax poetic on YouTube with their favorite art supplies. Today, she does the same here.
Grasshopper and Sensei at the RISD Pre-College Art Show in front of her piece.
She has tried everything on this list — and more — to hone down her favorite art supplies for serious arty kids. She thinks this list is for high school students, but I’d suggest using her suggestions for your arty kid as the situation warrants. For example, her brother, now 12 years old, started out drawing stick figure comics using pencil and spiral bound lined notebooks when he was 9 and 10. He progressed to sketch books and inexpensive Crayola markers that I bought from Target, and his art became more manga based. For his 12th birthday, he requested a small set of Copic Markers and Rendr Paper Sketchbook which does not bleed through. His manga art, self taught through YouTube videos, has now included more anatomically correct manga figures.
Her best work from the RISD Pre College Summer Art Program. It’s seed pods rendered in pencil.
In this list, my daughter who is very price conscious since she buys many of these materials with her own money, suggests different options: INVESTMENT, INEXPENSIVE, SPECIALTY, and MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I hope this helps you find the right art supplies for your seriously arty kid!
p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:
Art Activity Books
10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids
Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading
Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids
Art Supply Gift Guide for SERIOUS Arty Kids
This is a monthly subscription kit in which you will receive 4-5 full size premium art supplies including unique items that are not available elsewhere. They are starting to make their own art supplies as well. My daughter gets really excited about the kit every month! When she was at RISD, she discovered other students who also subscribed to ArtSnacks from the stickers on their stuff and it was a bonding moment for her!
Alcohol Based Markers for SERIOUS Arty Kids
Investment Refillable Markers for Arty Kids
Copic Markers, about $8 each and also come in sets.
They are really expensive but they are worth it because they are refillable and have the best brushes and nibs. The ink is also very high quality. These are alcohol based professional markers that you can use for a lifetime.
As long as you take care of your Copic Markers (store horizontally NOT vertically) and don’t press really hard on the nibs, they should last a lifetime. You can REFILL each marker and the ink is readily available. You can also start out with a small set and keep adding over your lifetime.
Here are two starter sets: the first is just basic colors, the second is skin tones. If you have both, you can draw manga figures though you might want to fill in specific colors that you use most and in several hues.