Smart Art Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2018
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, and we have been having a blast with our Smart Art subscription!
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
About Smart Art
The Subscription Box: Smart Art
The Cost: $49.95 per month with free shipping. Save with 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions.
COUPON: Use code ENJOYART to get $5 off your subscription!
The Products: A fine arts project, complete with instructions and supplies
Ships to: U.S. only
Good to know: It’s a different project in a different media every month, using different techniques!
Smart Art April 2018 Review
This month’s project was hand lettering! 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 Yasutomo Watercolors plus the supply list.
The instructions are printed on the back of the booklet. They are pretty clear and easy to follow, but they still allow for as much creativity as you like.
Here are the supplies that were included in this month’s box for the project.
Tombow Beginner Lettering Set – Retail Value $15.99
Hahnemuhle Hand Lettering Pad 8″x5″ – Retail Value $6.95
Princeton Snap! Gold Taklon Brush Round 4 – Retail Value $6.99
Yasutomo Niji Watercolor Set – Retail Value $15.99
Please note that the values listed here are list prices. Almost all of them can be found for less at most online discount art supply stores.
I have to say, right off the bat, neither my husband nor myself have any experience or expertise with hand lettering whatsoever! He doesn’t have much interest in it, whereas I feel like my handwriting looks like the written equivalent of an otter barking. But, I’m always willing to try new things, so I took this challenge on! I started by following the instructions, but I found I was so clumsy with the writing implements that I had to spend some time just practicing using them. These are my practice doodles.
My first actual step was to do a pencil sketch of what my lettering might actually look like.
I used a variety of techniques to create my lettering. The first technique I tried involved using the medium tip pen. Instead of making a strong downstroke and a light upstroke, I used the “fake lettering” method the instructions describe, wherein I made two strokes for the downstrokes and one for the upstroke. I like the effect.
Here I used the big end of the dual-tipped black pen to try the standard lettering method. In this method, I put a lot of pressure on the downstroke and no pressure on the upstroke. I never really got the hang of it, and I started running out of room toward the right of the page, but it’s okay for a first try.
I used a similar method here, but with upper case lettering instead of the script. I also included a flourish below. The lettering pens were of remarkable quality! The ink flowed at exactly the right volume and was very responsive to the pressure I was applying.
Even more remarkable was the eraser that was included in the kit! I don’t think I have ever gone back over any painting to erase pencil marks before where the marks were erased so completely, and with no damage to the paper whatsoever.
This is my completed hand lettering sample. My final step was to “add some color” with the watercolors, so of course, I painted in some sizzle! I was pleased with how vibrant the watercolors are, and the texture and consistency of the paints were really nice.
The Verdict: My husband and I are both huge fans of Smart Art! I enjoyed trying something new this month, but as expected, I am not that good at hand lettering. It looks better than I thought it would. The value this month was a little less than the cost of the box, $46 worth of materials for $50, but that’s about right for a fine arts subscription box. Plus I feel that the instruction and curation add to the overall value.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the June box. From Smart Art:
Sign up on or before the last day of the month to get the current box that will be released on the 1st of the following month! All orders processed after the last day of the month will ship the following month. For example, a purchase made on April 30th will be shipped May 1st.
Coupon – Use code MSA20 to save 20% off your first box
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
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