Environmental degradation is one of the most pressing urban problems today. Unfortunately, most of us have left the responsibility of safeguarding the environment to activists. However, the fault lies in all of us. If everyone played their role by adopting environment-friendly practices, we’d make more significant strides in curbing this problem. However, for some people, the dos and don’ts aren’t clear.
For instance, as a new artist, you may not know which practices to adopt to become an eco-friendly artist. You’re not alone. Many artists, including established professionals, struggle with this. That’s where we come in. We’ve shared five eco-friendly practices for artists that will go a long way in helping you take a stand in safeguarding the environment. Let’s get this show on the road.
1. Learn Eco Friendly Art Marketing Practices
Art marketing is a crucial part of becoming a successful artist because people need to see your work to purchase. Besides, you need to keep building your brand to open new doors of opportunities in your career. In most cases, artists prefer holding events to get prospective buyers and investors into their world.
If you want to be an environmentally conscious artist, this is one of the areas you should prioritize eco-friendly choices. Some of the best eco friendly art marketing practices include:
- Using biodegradable envelopes
- Sending e-invites instead of paper invitations
- Reusing packaging materials for shipping art
- Using business cards made of biodegradable materials like
2. Use Ethically Sourced Brushes
Artists prefer brushes made using animal hair. These types of brushes are believed to yield better results and have established their credibility in the market. However, using these types of brushes does more harm than good for the environment. Not to mention, it encourages animal cruelty.
A better alternative would be to opt for high-quality synthetic brushes. Today, you can get quality brushes made from synthetic materials that give you similar results as you would get from a brush made using animal hair. You may have to test out a few brushes to find the best one, but it will be worth it.
3. Dispose of Art Waste Properly
You’ll probably need a lot of materials to create a masterpiece. Most of these materials are known to end up in landfills and sip slowly into the ground. It’s crucial to ensure you have proper waste disposal practices to prevent this from happening. The following practices will go a long way in reducing the amount of waste your studio emits into the environment.
- Wiping down brushes before rinsing: Doing this reduces the amount of paint and chemicals in water bodies.
- Dispose of acrylics in solid form: When the paint is solidified, it forms a film that locks in the pigments, preventing them from slipping into the ground or water bodies.
- Dispose of empty containers in the trash
- Avoid pouring hazardous water down the drain
- Take toxic chemicals to licensed landfills
4. Recycle and Upcycle Materials
Sustainability entails conserving an ecological balance by preventing the depletion of natural resources. The best way to do this as an artist is to recycle and upcycle materials. For instance, instead of using a new canvas each time, you can reuse an old canvas by applying gesso on it.
If you’re an experimental artist, use materials like wood, household items, papers, cardboard, and other items that would have otherwise been disposed of to create your art pieces. You can also ask your friends and neighbors to share these items with you instead of disposing of them so that you can have enough supplies for your masterpiece. Most importantly, you’ll be reducing waste and taking steps to safeguard the environment.
5. Use Eco-Friendly Colors and Solvents
Contrary to popular belief, colors don’t have to be cadmium to be vibrant. Cadmium is a toxic chemical that can sip into the ground and contaminate water bodies if not correctly disposed of. So, if you want to create sustainable art, the first step is being mindful of the materials you use.
Today, manufacturers make eco-friendly colors using non-toxic materials that give you the vibrant effects every artist seeks. You should also consider using colors made using plant pigments. This choice of colors helps you take a stand against animal cruelty.
The type of solvents you also use matters. Ensure your solvents are toxin-free and environmentally friendly. Avoid oil paints, mineral spirits, and turpentine if you can get eco-friendly options. These solvents have toxic chemicals that sip into landfills and contaminate water bodies if not well disposed of. Again, you may have to try a few products to see what works best for you. Read reviews and get recommendations from eco-conscious artists.
Although sustainability involves conscious efforts from the manufacturing to the consumption stage, you can take a stand as an individual. Go for eco-friendly art supplies, dispose of your waste properly, and find ways to recycle and upcycle to minimize waste.
When you’re doing it, it may not seem like much. However, your audience will pick up on your practices, and it has the potential to ignite a spark for them to do the same. So start small; when we all come together, great things happen.
Author: Lisa Dinh