Smart Art Subscription Box Review – August 2015
Smart Art is a fine arts subscription service that sends a new project every month and all the supplies needed to complete it. My husband and I are both artists, so we were very happy to have the opportunity to try this box out!
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Smart Art
The Cost: $49.99 per month with free shipping
The Products: A fine arts project, complete with instructions and supplies
Ships to: US only
Good to know: It’s a different project in a different media every month, using different techniques!
When I opened the box, I saw this little card attached to the inside lid. Subscribers can upload a picture of their finished project to Smart Art’s Facebook page for a chance to win a free box! That’s really cool! On the other hand, our projects usually take forever, so we always seem to miss the boat on this contest.
This month’s project was painting a Van Gogh landscape! With oil paints! Which I have never used before! And my husband was too busy this month to do the project! So I had to do it myself, and it was very, very intimidating to me. Just know that upfront.
This is the inside of the booklet that Smart Art sends every month. It includes art history related to the project, a list of the included supplies, project pointers, and instructions.
Here’s a closer look at the instructions. They are pretty loose, but I like that. I wouldn’t want instructions on art to be too much more detailed. I think most artists would appreciate the lack of rigor. This exact landscape, however, didn’t speak to me. So instead, I decided to turn to this for inspiration:
The greeting card picturing Mt. Jefferson that came in my Cairn box this month! We also just saw Mt. Jefferson when we were in Oregon earlier this month visiting my in-laws, so I was really feeling it.
This turned out to be a big mistake on my part, but we will get to that in a moment.
These are the supplies that were included for the project:
Pro Stroke Red Sable Brush Filbert Size 6 – Value $10
Creative Mark All Edge Media Cotton Canvas 8″x10″ – Value $12.58
Creative Mark Painter’s Edge Painting Knife 2″ – Value $3.99
Soho Urban Artists Colors, 4 50mL tubes – Value $2.69 each
Chelsea Classical Studio Lavender Brush Cleaner – Value $12.79
A couple of notes on the supplies, first, I think I stumbled upon Smart Art’s wholesaler when I was looking up the values of these items. These are the sale prices, but the list prices are obviously higher. Second, I am so happy to see a non-toxic alternative to turpentine for the brush cleaner!
And now for the reveal:
Voila! OK, I am trying to not be too hard on myself, so I will say I think it turned out pretty good for my first ever oil painting. I wanted so much to get that whole psychedelic Van Gogh vibe, but every time I tried it looked like a child was painting it, so I kept “fixing” it. So, while it does look like an insane person painted it, that person was clearly not Van Gogh.
The Verdict: This was my second project from Smart Art, and I loved doing it! I loved learning how to oil paint, I love the creative process, and I loved learning more about Van Gogh, he’s one of my favorites! I am not totally in love with my finished product, but I think this will also make an excellent gift for someone who loves me enough to overlook my artistic shortcomings. In terms of value, I think the value was really solid this month, as the sale prices just about break even with the cost of the box. On top of the supplies are the instructions, the curation, etc., which is really what I want from an arts or crafts “kit” such as this one. So far, Smart Art’s curation has also been excellent. This was a blast!
What do you think of Smart Art?