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Smart Art Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


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. Discounted 3, 6 and 12-month subscriptions also available.

COUPON: Use code MSA20 to save 20% off your first box

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!

Check out all of our Smart Art reviews and the Craft Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


This month’s project was drawing manga! My husband strongly dislikes this style of art, and I’m no good at drawing, so this was a scary topic! This is 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.

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 is the inside of the booklet. On the left are the art history and project pointers, and on the right there’s some info on different inks plus the supply list.


The instructions are printed on the back of the booklet. They are easy enough to follow, but not so specific that they crush one’s creativity.


Here are the supplies that were included for this month’s project.

Sakura Micron Pens (7 pcs) – Value (about) $15

Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Pad 6″ x 8″ – Value $2.87

Alvin Draft Line Pencil 0.5 mm – Value $7.19

Touch Five Twin Brush Markers (3 pcs) – Value (about) $14

Creative Mark Art Stroke Eraser – Value $1.19


The first thing I did was to check out all the drawing utensils. The paper is so nice; it’s like a fine card stock. The pens were all black, the only difference being the thickness of the lines. I was really impressed with the pencil, and the accuracy of all the implements. This photo shows the outputs of all the different pencils, pens and markers. I used this for reference throughout the project when trying to decide which pen to use.


Here’s my completed manga drawing! It’s a (very flattering) self-portrait. It looks pretty rough, but I kind of like it! I think it turned out really good for someone like myself who can’t draw well. Using high quality art supplies really does make a big difference!

Verdict: My husband and I are both huge fans of Smart Art! This month was a little intimidating for me, but it turns out I can draw better than I thought thanks to quality supplies. The value of the included materials is about $40, which falls a little short of the cost of the box, but when I factor in the curation, project selection, material sourcing, instruction, the material sharing aspect, etc., I find that Smart Art is a wonderful value. We love it!

What do you think of Smart Art?

Written by Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez

Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn’t become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Anna, your drawing is really good! You should post it on the SmartArt fb wall. You might win. I agree with Gabbi about the value of the items in this box. I looked for prices on the pens and the individual pens that I found were priced $2.50 and up. Prices were better when bought in sets, but I didn’t see any packages with seven pens. Although I’m not a fan of manga, I loved this box! I love drawing and I’m glad to have some quality supplies. I’ll be looking for your drawing on SmartArts page. It’s still early so you have no excuse. lol . Good luck!

  2. I think the box’s value falls short because the values you assigned the supplies are really, really under retail cost. For someone who buys the Micron pens regularly, they cost about $1.99-2.50 each, depending where you get them. That paper pad is about $6, as well. Using those numbers, the value exceeds the cost of the box.

  3. It looks so good! Very impressive.

    • Thanks Nicole!

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