What is the Difference between Artist & Craft Quality Supplies?

Ever wonder what the difference is between art and craft supplies? Watch the video to find out!

I think that it’s great to shave so many options at different prices, but it is also important you get what you are paying for. Below I will break down when I mentioned in the video and you can decide for yourself what is best for you:)

Artist quality

  • Artist quality supplies are generally made in house by the brand itself. Research and production is handled by the company. This expertise yields top quality products but the overhead makes them more expensive.
  • Also the fine art market is much smaller than the craft market so they have fewer customers to sell to.
  • Most of the countries that product most fine art supplies have stricter laws regarding emissions and other business practices including fair wages and benefits for workers thus making the product cost more. Many fine art products are manufactured in Europe or USA.
  • This quality control and sustainable business practice translates to you being able to replace a tube of paint reliably when it runs out.

Craft supplies

  • Are generally made for craft companies by 3rd party manufactures, often in China, so they can produce a quick to sell product that is on trend. This allows them to get a product to market quickly and efficiently without having to invest in research and development or a factory. The manufacturing facility can make product to their specs and even package them with their branding. This is why sometimes you see several companies come out with nearly identical product in the craft world.
  • Usually refills are not available for these products (but you can always refill with artist quality) and when a trend is over or a products sales decline they stop selling the product and move on to the next thing.
  • These products are priced to sell quickly, often the quality is nice for the price but contain more extenders and fillers as compared to artist quality BUT since they sell to a much bigger customer base you might find you get a better quality for dollar as they do not need as much markup as the artists quality brands need to make.

I don’t think one method is better or worse, pick the product that meets your needs and budget because the one good thing is that there are plenty of options out there! Let me know what YOU think in the comments below! Happy crafting:)


14 Responses

  1. Lindsey,
    I look forward to your bubbly videos and information. I am terrible at painting but signed up for Life Book and am having a lot of fun with the sessions so far. I did find that it is much easier to do a self portrait multi-media page when you use the print versus freehand (ha). I am using this to learn and improve -though very slow…

    I wanted to thank you for the information and reviews on products because that does help make better informed decisions. Keep up the GREAT work and the FUN manner in which you present it. It is never dull when you are on the screen!


  2. Love it! India seems to use afoot of colors and pigment, wouldn’t you like to see what is in their market? ??


  3. This was wonderful information, it helps me to get organized.

    I also appreciated realizing craft supplies are like fashion …. very temporary and you can get into accumulating far too much stuff if you don’t watch out. I think matters are bad enough when it comes to art supplies and sales …. I try to use coupons to buy expensive paper in advance so I can afford to use it but it would be even worse if paper and paints would come into and out of fashion regularly.

    Also it’s good to keep in mind I’m paying for quality AND research. I totally forgot about that aspect. Thanks a lot!


  4. I bought the Turner set after seeing it on your FB page last fall. They are awesome to use. The quality is nice enough that the paints don’t crumble after I squeeze them into my pans. They are a great compromise for me.


  5. For me, personally, I prefer quality over quantity. Meaning, I’d rather buy artist quality rather than craft quality. Thanks for answering this question.


  6. Great differentiation and guidelines. There is a time and place for both my Koi palette and my preshussss Daniel Smith. Or at least that’s how I justify having them both 😀


  7. Thank you for explaining this so well. You may have thought you were rambling,but, it made sense to me. The very best thing I am taking away from this is not to get anxious (chillax), there will be a new must have in 4 to 6 months. I am slowing down my buying of supplies and doing my best to use what I have. Still love your haul videos.


  8. Thanks Lindsay. that explains a lot about the difference in prices. Betty


  9. Very helpful! Thank you!


  10. I, too, really appreciate your explanation of the differences. I love to do crafts but am on a very limited budget. I’ve been guilty of getting caught up in the latest fad because I’m so new to things so that also was a great point for me.


  11. Thanks for the fact that you appreciate both craft and artist supplies.


  12. Great to hear you again, have been so busy with Life Book and GYOC that I have been neglecting you. But I am finally using my supplies thanks to you.❤💐


  13. This was a great video and the melding of the worlds is great. Make stuff, be happy, if a few tries don’t work no worries , keep playing with supplies, color, paper, cloth, etc. Your joy if wonderful and your common sense is perfect. Many thanks for your blog and YouTube Wonders! Great joy! Great job. You are delightful.


  14. Lindsay,
    I do a lot of collage work. Can you explain the difference between Mod Podge (probably craft) and gel medium (probably artist quality). I use both products to seal my work. Should I prefer one over the other? Thanks if you can respond.


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