Combining creativity and art with sustainable practices

In response to the needs of the earth, our environment and the living things around us, considering impact is a vital part of contemporary creativity, not to mention modern life. Everyone approaches art making and creative practice differently, exploring unique ideas, mediums, materials and concepts. As an organisation that serves to create for a purpose lowering our impact while inciting change through art is core to our everyday lives.

1.

Search for sustainable materials to use within your practice. By avoiding materials, paints, glue and other mediums that contain toxic chemicals and are created through unethical production lines, your creative practice can actively care for the environment. There are many sustainable options available such as German-made bamboo and cotton paper from Hahne Muehle; high quality, water-based low VOC* paint from ecolour and bamboo or recycled wood paint brushes. You can easily recycle wood boards such as ply or hardwood, which can be primed with fine sandpaper and priming paint. You can even learn how to make your own paper from recycled scraps and leftovers. recycled materials. Recycled paper, recycled board canvases a bit of sandpaper can be magic 

2.

Turn to nature for creative material: charcoal, clay, wood, water are all tools that can be used for drawing or creating. VOLVOX creates odour free paint from natural clays which is sustainable and high performing. If you can’t afford art materials or you’re looking for something to experiment with, nature has what you need.

3.

Support local art suppliers and small businesses to purchase your art materials. By shopping local you avoid the emissions and packaging required to post parcels. This also means you can build connections, ask questions and look at the product before you buy.

4.

If you live in a regional/rural area or far away from any art supplies, consider how you can reduce your impact through packaging and shipping. If you’re shipping artworks to clients or friends consider what kind of packing materials you use – cardboard, shredded paper, recycled cloth or newspaper are great ways to ensure everything arrives safely and doesn’t cost you or the earth. 

5.

Share resources! Got a friend you like to create with? Do you share a studio space? Sharing resources saves doubled purchases. Sharing things like base coat colours, tools and even ordering supplies (bundling together instead of separate purchases).

6.

Clean mindfully. Use environmentally friendly cleaning materials or make your own and wash your brushes safely, ensuring all paint waste or slurry doesn’t go in ocean waterways or soak in the ground.

7.

Think about art as a way to share a positive message.

WHAT IS LOW VOC?

VOCs are volatile organic compounds that can be released into the air for years after paint application. These can be harmful and are known to contribute to many health conditions including breathing difficulties, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and blurred vision. Low VOC paint is safe to use around asthma sufferers, pregnant women, children, pets and people. It is non-toxic.