Artsnacks February 2018 Box Review

I  recently decided to put my art supply obsession to good use and invested in an art supply box subscription. There are many great ones out there but unfortunately, some don’t deliver to Canada so that narrowed down my options to the ones that were available internationally. I decided to go with Artsnacks based on price point, amount of products in the box and the fact that they have a community forum to interact with other artists.

Here’s a little bit about the company from their website:
ArtSnacks is a monthly subscription service for the best art products around, providing artists all over with top-of-the-line art supplies. ArtSnacks is the creative brainchild of Lee and Sarah Rubenstein, a brother-and-sister team who are also behind EatSleepDraw, one of the largest user-submitted art sites on the internet.

PresentationI received the package directly in my mailbox and it arrived in about a week from the ship date. I got an email with a shipping link as well so I could track the progress of my package which was awesome. With international orders, it can always be a little bit of a waiting game so I was excited that I got this sooner than I thought that I might.

The box is pretty simple and standard and has the Artsnacks logo on the outside, which unfortunately my postman ruined by writing on. (Don’t they know I’m doing reviews!? Not a big deal at the end of the day. I’m just being whiney 🙂 )

Inside the box are the art supply items including an Artsnack logo sticker and an info card detailing all of the items inside the box. The card also includes information on the company’s YouTube channel and how to find them on social media. The items themselves were wrapped up a vibrant green tissue paper and sealed with a sticker encouraging you to share your unboxing with them. I love this added attention to detail. First off, it’s nice to know that there is enough value in the products they are sending you that they have taken the care to carefully wrap the items. This means that they don’t bounce around in the box during transit, which could possibly lead to damage and secondly, it allows for a fun reveal of unraveling the paper to the items inside.
Items in the Box

  • Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper 140lb (300gsm) (BONUS ITEM)
  • Raphaël Mini Precision Brush (Flat 2)
  • Faber-Castell Goldfaber 2H Sketching Pencil
  • Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor in Titanium White and Lemon Yellow
  • Sakura Pigma Micron PN
  • The Snack – Sweethearts (it is February after all)

I was really happy with all of the items that came in the box. The total combined retail value of the items exceeds what the monthly cost of the subscription is so that already makes it feel like you are getting great value for your purchase. I was familiar with some of these products from previous purchases but it was great to try them out in combination with each other.

For my test illustration, I decided to do a panda bear snacking on some bamboo. I mean, who doesn’t love a panda bear right?! The goal here was to create something using all of the items in the box together to fulfill the Artsnacks Challenge portion of the experience, but these items could easily be used alone or in combination with other products.

Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper
I believe this is a cold press version of the paper which is much more textured than the Hot Press version of this same brand that I use for almost all of my work. When the paper sample was wet it did warp and didn’t fully return to being flat once dry. In comparison to the Hot Press variety which does a better job of this, that was a little disappointing. Overall a good sturdy watercolor paper though.

Faber-Castell Goldfaber 2H Sketching Pencil
I previously purchased a small set of this line of pencils to do some storyboard illustrations and I was quite happy with the smooth feels and durability of the core. It definitely doesn’t seem to break as often and it being fully bonded to the wood is an excellent feature. I love 2H pencils for preliminary drawings because they are light enough that they don’t leave a heavy graphite residue behind after erasing.

Sakura Pigma Micron PN
This is another product that I had some previous experience with. Their ink is archival, quick-drying and waterproof. I hadn’t however tried anything with the PN which stands for “plastic nib”. I really enjoyed using this particular pen for that reason. One of my complaints about this brand before was that the tips didn’t seem to be durable enough for me, but this one is a champ! I didn’t love the feel of it on the Fabriano Artistco watercolor paper though. It felt scratchy and so a lot more care would need to go into your line work if you were to use this combination of products together.

Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor in Titanium White and Lemon Yellow
I’ve never used this product before, but I understand why they have a long-standing history of quality and excellence. This product was fantastic to use watered down and straight out of the tube. The texture was creamy and delightful. I would definitely invest in more of this product if I decide to take up traditional watercolor. This was an awesome change as well from using the water-soluble watercolor products I typically have been using.

Raphaël Mini Precision Brush
Like all things that are of high quality, you really notice the difference when you use one over something that is of lesser quality. This brush was forged by the Watercolor Brush Gods. (I’m sure that’s a thing) It felt great in my hand despite its small size, and the bristles stayed in perfect shape even after I used it for a wash and then later just the tip for more textural effects. Not one synthetic hair out of place.

QUICK TIP: I removed the sticky residue left behind by the barcode sticker on the end of the brush with odorless mineral spirits.

Here’s a look at the final illustration created using all of the products in the box. I’m so excited that I signed up for this experience and I can’t wait for my other boxes to come.

Want to enhance this review experience? Check out my YouTube video unboxing, review and see the step by step time-lapse video of me creating this illustration!

Sign up for your own ArtSnacks box by following the link:

Please Note: I am in no way being paid to promote this product. The opinions in the blog post are my own.

Barb Sotiropoulos

Barb Sotiropoulos

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

2 Responses

  1. I like the idea of the challenge to use the products. What a great way to encourage and motivate subscribers to actually use what’s in the box. That’s a lovely little panda!

    1. Yeah I think it’s such a great idea! It’s curated pretty well that way that you can actually use them all together and it’s not just a box of random things. I think it pushed you to be more creative that way as well and maybe mix media you normally wouldn’t together.

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Hey, I'm Barb!

I’m a Canadian artist and designer specializing in coloured pencil and mixed media. When I’m not creating art, I love helping other artists by sharing tips and tricks that have helped me. You can find me on all of my social channels @barbsotiart or check out my past Q&A articles for COLORED PENCIL Magazine or my co-hosting appearances on the Sharpened Artist Colored Pencil Podcast.

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