When I was 16, and finally took my first formal art class in high school, I was beyond excited to receive my first semi-professional tin of Prismacolor colored pencils. I could not get enough of them! They were so smooth and rich in color, and I wanted more. So, I went to an art store, ready to buy them, and to my surprise (and slight horror) they were expensive! I wanted the biggest set the had to offer, with about 70 colored pencils, and they cost $80. Sixteen-year-old me could not afford a set of $80 colored pencils (and 16-year-old me also did not know she could get them for so much cheaper online. You live and you learn).
After taking the drawing class, I took a painting class, and was equally excited to be using all these new types of acrylic and oil paints in class that I had never used before. I decided that this was going to be my new hobby, and again went to the art store to buy myself some professional paint.
I totally believed that I was a professional, and painting would be my "thing." Therefore, I wanted the best-of-the-best oil paint, but one tube of color cost $30 dollars. Thirty dollars for one color! And other sets were just as expensive, but only came with tiny amounts of each color.
I could have bought the tiny set, but my pride was broken. I could not afford the $30 tubes of paint, and I was upset. Either way, painting did not become my "thing," so it all evened out in the end.
The following year, when I was 17, I learned what graphic design was (Spoiler Alert: this became my "thing.") I took a couple classes, fell in love with it, and wanted to practice with the Adobe programs outside of class. But, again, the Adobe programs were too expensive for me-for $600 a year, I could not afford to have all the Photoshop and InDesign access that I wanted.
The more I got into graphic design, the more interested in photography I became. I decided that I wanted a DSLR camera. But this time, I was not surprised to learn that DSLR cameras are expensive-just let down again. DSLR camera bodies alone can range from $300 to $1,000. And the lenses are sold separately, again ranging from $300 to over $1,000, depending on which type you decide you need.
Art is an expensive investment. Today, I have learned that I can buy colored pencils or oil paint online for much cheaper. And with a University ID, I can purchase all the Adobe programs for a much cheaper price. Cameras, however, will remain expensive, especially because I choose to want ones of good quality.
Any art medium of good quality will be expensive, and that is the sometimes unfortunate price to pay to make art. People need to realize how much really goes into creating art, financially. Of course, a large amount of time and detail is needed to create art, but when looking at an art piece, we often forget how much money goes into creating it.
When I draw a picture using Prismacolor colored pencils, paint a scene using oil paints, take a photo of the city skyline, or create an image using Adobe Illustrator, I am not only putting a lot of time and effort into my art, but I am putting a lot of my money into it as well.
Creating art makes me happy, and if I have to invest something, I would like to invest in somehing that makes me happy!