Building Your Creative Toolbox: My list of Must-Haves

Over the years I’ve tried many tools and techniques to create my designs, patterns, cards, and fonts. In this post, I’m sharing my absolute favorite tools. the ones I can easily recommend to you in case you want to get creative and get off the computer for a while. Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

Ok, I’ll begin with the tech things first:

Ipad pro + Apple Pen

The best investment I’ve made in years. I remember I was hesitant at first about buying this combo, but Richard convinced me to go for it. He told me it was a good investment for my business, and he wasn’t wrong. Having the Ipad pro in combination with the Apple Pen is like having brushes, markers, pens, and paper with me anywhere I go, so I can literally work on any creative project when and where I want.

Here I have to mention my favorite app: Procreate! It’s the most powerful and friendly app out there for drawing, sketching, and painting. Anything you can imagine and trace on paper you can do it here, too. I use it to illustrate my glyphs when creating a font, hand lettering, and illustrations in general.

Another app I use is called Paper by WeTransfer. It’s not as artistic as Procreate, but I’ve used it for notes, business sketches, doodles, and organizing my ideas and projects. I use it in the same way, I would use a notebook.

Markers

Having a variety of markers in my tool kit has being a must while doing lettering or creating fonts. These are some of my favorites:

My Calligraphy stuff

I learned to do calligraphy in an online course with Melissa Esplin in 2013. I fell in love with calligraphy during the time I was about to get married. Because I’m addicted to learning new things, doing the calligraphy for my wedding invitation envelopes was the perfect excuse to learn a new skill. These are my favorite tools for calligraphy:

Watercolor painting

Since I can remember  I’ve loved to paint. My mom always had painting projects for me and my sisters since we were little. But, I had yet to try watercolor until I took an online class with Yao Cheng on CreativeBug. Check it out!

Since then, I’ve loved to make my own watercolor backgrounds, patterns, and florals for my card and albums designs. I’ve tried several watercolor paint brands, but in my opinion, nothing compares to Winson and Newton. The vibrancy of the colors combined with the highest quality is like no other. These are the exact tools I have in my studio.

Gouache

Gouache has been one of my favorite discoveries. It’s like everything in one technique. It can be solid like acrylic and fluid like a watercolor at the same time. I fell in love with gouache because of Anna Bond...I think every girl in the world is hooked on her as much as I am!! The quality of Gouache paints is essential when you want pretty colors and a smooth finish. I found the best quality is, again,  Winsor and Newton. I have a ton of different colors because they sell the colors separately, and I fell in love with all the swatches. There is also the option of a great Gouache kit for starters on Blick.

Brushes

I have a big collection of brushes for different purposes. I use some of them for patterns or textures, some specifically for lettering, some of them for watercolor (those are the ones I take care of most), and some for gouache painting. It’s always helpful to have different qualities available to use appropriately for each project. These are my faves:

Paper

There are a lot of different types of papers. Some of them are extremely expensive, and I prefer to leave those for the top artists. As I digitize all my creations, I prefer to use thick papers with not a lot of texture to save time in post editing work. These are my go-to papers:

Painting palette

If you want to keep your paints fresh, this is the palette! I love that it’s hermetic, that means that if you have to stop your workflow, you can close it, then come back after hours or days to see your paint fresh just where you left it. I’m also including a few other palettes I use in  my studio

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