Sometimes I buy into this shameful little lie that if I have more "stuff", I will be a happier artist.
One of 2 things then happens: I either ache with envy for the things I don't have, or I buy *way* more junk than I need.
It happens occasionally when I am looking over beautiful blogs and see artists in their beautiful studios. I think to myself, "I must not be an artist, because I'm working from my lap."
It happens when I wander into art stores without a shopping list. My eyes light up, and I wind up buying things on a whim. After the thrill of opening new supplies is gone, I shove the stuff I don't need into storage containers... and then I feel like a hoarder for having so much clutter.
That kind of thought process takes the wind out of my sails. Not the way to go!
So whenever I fall into "poor-me" thinking, I try to remember one of my favorite cheesy little phrases:
(I first heard it here. :) I've said it before that my husband teases me for my chick music.)
Here are a few pointers to go along with that. I try to use them whenever I feel down-in-the-dumps:
Make the best of what you have. If I feel like I don't have enough stuff, I take inventory of what I do have. I literally take out a pad and pencil, go through my supplies, and write a list of what I have "in stock." It might be nerdy, but it helps me realize that I have more than enough to make things work.
Challenge yourself to use supplies in a new way... or tap into old supplies that you haven't used in a while. I have tubes of acrylic paint that don't use very much. I like to pull out a small canvas every now and then and play around in the thick paint. Wakes up my braincells.
Make a wishlist. Amazon.com has a Wish List section, where you can browse supplies on their site and then save items to your account - without buying them. (Sometimes I'll visit my wish list a month later and remark, "What the heck was I thinking? Why would I want that?")
Make a budget. This is one that has helped me tremendously. Mint.com is a great place to start tracking your expenses and income. You can put aside a set amount each month for fun stuff. If I run out of my "fun money" for the month, I know to not step foot near an art store.
Consistency over novelty. Remember that the most valuable resource anyone has is TIME. What you do with it is most important.