Smart Art Subscription Box Review + Coupon – October 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
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!
This month’s project was creating La Calavera Catrina! We always called them “Day of the Dead brides,” but that doesn’t sound nearly as snazzy. 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 is the art history and project pointers, and on the right there’s some info on working with polymer clay plus the supply list.
Here’s a closer look at the instructions. They are easy enough to follow, but not so specific that they crush one’s creativity.
Super Sculpey Firm Polymer Clay (1 lb) – Value $12.49 on Amazon
If you’ve never worked with polymer clay before (and I hadn’t), it’s *really* hard to work with. You have to knead it forever to make it pliable. I looked up tips and tricks on the internet, and most of the time they just said, ‘buy softer clay.’ So I’m not sure what the advantage of sending firm clay is. Anyone?
PTK Pottery Tool Kit – Value $17.95 (on sale at Jerry’s for $8.99)
This is a really nice tool kit! I think this would work better for regular clay, though. Polymer clay is a kind of plastic, so water in a sponge doesn’t have much effect on it. I can also see these tools being really useful with a pottery wheel.
Creative Mark Armature Wire – Value $4.29 on Amazon
Armature wire is what I had to use to build the structure of the figure (under the clay). This wire bent easily and held its shape well.
Richeson Boxwood Tools Kit – Value $6.04
This is another great set of modeling tools! So many to work with! I did try almost all of the tools from both sets, but in the end I found it easier to do most of it with my hands.
This skeleton template was included to help you size your components. It came in very handy.
Now for the big reveal:
Here she is! My very own Catrina! Both the sculpting and painting were pretty hard, and I had to supply my own acrylic paints (or leave her unfinished). I think it was worth it, though. She doesn’t look super traditional, but I was reading in Smart Art’s art history section that La Calavera Catrina was originally intended to be super fashionable, so I decided to try and keep with that tradition. I kept the rose motif but gave her a style upgrade with the draped back gown and fascinator. It shows off her collar bones!
The Verdict: My husband and I are both huge fans of Smart Art! Even though this project was hard, it’s a really cool piece to keep for Halloween. It’s not perfect, but I’m proud of it. This month’s supplies were a little on the low side in terms of value at around $40. I wish they had included some small tubes of acrylics and a brush or two. But as I’ve said before, much of the value to me is in the curation and instruction. I’m sure I would have spent much more than $50 on time, effort and supplies if I had to source them all myself.
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