Artistic creation can be daunting. Why not get the inspiration flowing with some suitably artsy shopping? There's nothing like acquiring new things to add a dash of enthusiasm and experimentation to our masterful artistic creations.
Here is a list of the major art retailers in the Inner Sydney / CBD area.
Eckersley's is a good starting point for all your general art and craft supplies. They have art diaries, craft papers, cardboards, painting and drawing media, starter packs, and some basic drafting equipment. There is a small selection of everything, and it's perfect if you need a lot of different things but are not too specific about it. It's a good idea to check back regularly to see what's on the ever changing discount table.
Eckersley's is very accessibly placed a block away from the QVB on 93 York Street, as well as in other locations throughout Sydney.
If you are around the Newtown area, this would be the place to go. Newtown Arts is great all-rounder while having a much larger selection of brands than Eckersley's. They also cater for some more specialised areas like airbrushing and screen printing. Painters will note that they have a canvas stretching service, and supplies to stretch your own.
Newtown Art Supplies is about two minutes from Newtown Station on 15 Wilson Street. However if you'd prefer to stay right where you are, they offer a 10% discount to online buyers.
Oxford Art Supplies Oxford Art forms one point of a triangle of which the other two are arguably Sydney's best art colleges (The College of Fine Arts and the National Art School) - so it knows what artists need and provides it. The store is large but not spacious; it is crowded with goods. Aside from a very generous selection of whatever thousands of art students might need, it has some unique advantages: its variety of art papers like handmade, Japanese, and rice paper.
surprising finds such as Letraset sheets a section for art and design books. Oxford Art Supplies is at 221-225 Oxford St, Darlinghurst.
The Sydney Art Store is for serious artists working in the more traditional mediums of painting, drawing, and printmaking. It contains such a wide collection of discerningly selected fine art brands that you will be seeing double rainbows. The prices here are not as cheap as the other stores, but only by a fine margin. This place is for artists who are looking for that very specific brand of gouache, that rare neon orange ink, and only use paper of a specific weights. They even have etching presses.
The Sydney Art Store is at 940 Bourke St, Waterloo
Sydney Art Store
Parkers Sydney Fine Art Supplies
Parkers, too, specialises in serious art making. They have an extensive range of all the big drawing and painting brands, but importantly, printmakers single them out as the place in Sydney to buy Charbonnel etching inks. They are easy to get to but hard to find, sitting in a tiny niche on the Corner of Argyle & Cambridge Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
Barnes is for sculptors, model makers, and anyone making anything in three dimensions. They have everything you need including clays and plasticines, sculpting tools, casting supplies, and resins. They also have things you haven't even heard about but would like to put your hands into anyway, except maybe the acetone. They are at 6 Homedale Rd, Bankstown. A bit further from the city, but worth including on this list because they have things which you can't find elsewhere.
House of Jewellery
Jewellers and small scale metalsmiths will already know about House of Jewellery, one of the biggest retailers in the Sydney CBD of anything jewellery related, from sheet metal to hand tools, to entire work benches. Anyone wishing to involve themselves in these fields may have trouble finding it, as it is virtually unmarked: the address is 89 York Street, Sydney, and you have to take the elevator to level 6.
Reverse Garbage is for creatives of all kinds looking for extremely cheap, ethically sourced bric-a-brac. All their goods are pre- and post-consumer waste which would otherwise have gone to landfill. If you're looking for something different and maybe something more grungy, a visit here is a must. It has its own article by Laura Hartley here.
These are the major retailers in Inner Sydney. The suburbs undoubtedly have their own treasures, so do check your local area and share any good finds. Happy art making!