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  1. #1
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    average cost of supplies

    What is the average cost of supplies for attending art school? Obviously it will vary by major. I would appreciate it if anyone has a rough estimate for film/video, computer art, fine arts, painting, or photography. How does it vary between years?

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    I'd estimate first and third years are the worst. First yr you have to pick up all your foundation supplies (some of which you may never use again if you are strictly film/computer/photo), third is when you hit the majority of major classes and it's a whole 'nother set of ugly.

    I couldn't give you a direct $$$$ estimate though as I didn't take those majors (photo/film/computer are the WORST with equipment/print fees) and I saved money whenever possible. Always attempt to buy used stuff (craigslist, school networks, etc.) including books (half.com it and use the library's ref copy until it comes. Always try to buy the edition just before the one you need). See if your school has a rent/check-out program for film or photo and use the labs. Figure out when your local art stores have their usual sales (corp ones typically list stuff on their site...like Michael's does a bi-weekly 40% off one item coupon that you can print out).

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    I've heard the estimate two hundred dollars per class before. Obviously it will vary massively depending on the class and what supplies you already own.

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    Do students usually purchase professional quality supplies? For example, if your professor assigned a marker project, and you didn't have any markers, would you go out and purchase a limited set of Copics or go for the less expensive variety. Obviously in some classes, such as photography or computer, this would method be cost prohibitive, but I am concerned with the less expensive supplies that have the ability to add up quickly.

    In your own experience, is it worthwhile to buy the higher quality stuff in terms of time/effort savings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvgig View Post
    Do students usually purchase professional quality supplies? For example, if your professor assigned a marker project, and you didn't have any markers, would you go out and purchase a limited set of Copics or go for the less expensive variety. Obviously in some classes, such as photography or computer, this would method be cost prohibitive, but I am concerned with the less expensive supplies that have the ability to add up quickly.
    While at pre-college programs, our teachers would say what quality of supplies was required.

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    Agreed. Most profs will specify exactly the brand they want and MEAN it. I saw kids get their projects bounced, or sent home from class for bringing in something offensively bad (ie crayola watercolors, colored pencils, markers, craft paint instead of canvas paint, etc). There is a difference in quality of supplies so there isn't an "off-brand" that would be comparable in most cases.

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    That's true. Try using cheapo water color paper for a project. Not very pretty results.

    Sketch page coming soon.
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    That does make it easy if the prof tells you what you need. I did not know that.

    I was not referring to an off-brand, but the next step down. Using the example of water color paper. Would students buy 140# or 300#? I have used both and the 300# is definitely easier to work with and requires a bit less prep work, but at the price premium, is it worth it for a classroom environment where the costs cannot just be passed on to the client?

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    That is something you'd have to take up with your prof since even when I did watercolor I was told the poundage, press type, and brand of paper to use.

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    Max the Mutt has a deal with a local art supplies store, so that you can buy one kit with pretty much all you need in your first year, for about $400 plus a taxi ride to get everything home (that includes a nice discount and saves you a lot of time) So far, I've spent only about $50 on things missing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvgig View Post
    Do students usually purchase professional quality supplies? For example, if your professor assigned a marker project, and you didn't have any markers, would you go out and purchase a limited set of Copics or go for the less expensive variety. Obviously in some classes, such as photography or computer, this would method be cost prohibitive, but I am concerned with the less expensive supplies that have the ability to add up quickly.

    In your own experience, is it worthwhile to buy the higher quality stuff in terms of time/effort savings?

    When I tell my students to buy a particular brand of material, I mean it! It's usually from my experience of trying out all of the other cheapo brands that don't produce quality results. Don't think that we haven't tried to cut corners too as pros by using some of the inferior brands! Even when it comes to basic supplies like T-squares- I try to tell my students to buy the higher end stainless steel ones as opposed to the aluminum t-squares just because I've ruined my fair share of them by cutting along them and scraping off a sliver of aluminum with my stainless steel X-acto blades. Buy quality long term use tools- like t-squares, rulers, templates, etc..

    If your un-sure- ask your instructors if an off-brand is okay, but more times than not, there's a rationale for why we request you guys get certain brands for certain results. And it's not like any of us are getting kick backs from the manufacturers (or at least, I'm not! ).

    As far as academic books go, I always suggest getting to the used book store as soon as possible and buy a used one that's got all of the important stuff highlighted for me! Take advantage of someone else wading through all of the hard stuff!

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