“Every artist was first an amateur”– Ralph Wardo Emerson
With the pandemic putting a halt to our usual activities, most of us are in our home with a lot of time in our hands. This brought both good and/or bad repercussions not only to physical health (ahem, ahem binge eating), but also to our mental health (depression/anxiety). Thankfully, these gave some of us time to revisit things that we wanted to do before that we couldn’t find time to do so because just the commute alone eats up most of our time. Some ventured streaming, some ventured vlogging, some took time to learn new skills like cooking, etc. Anything that would keep us sane, right?
On my side, I dare ventured the world of art — calligraphy, journaling and soon, watercolor/gouache painting.
Due to lockdown restrictions a few months back, most of us really turned Shopee/Lazada-holic (can also be Shopee/Lazada-dependent :P). With that, I made a comprehensive guide if you’re a beginner or could also benefit pro-art enthusiasts. If you’re looking into investing in some materials too like I did, may be you’ll get a tip or two. The total expense can be really shocking once you accumulated them, so please be careful.
Please keep in mind also that some may be out of date already or sold out but at least it will give you an idea of what to find and where to find it if you’re looking for them. I have divided them into sections about pens, papers, stickers/washi tapes, stamping, storage, miscellaneous, deals, and pro-tips. Feel free to jump into those sections — whichever would most benefit you. 🙂 This is going to be a long one I am warning you, so buckle up and let’s dive in.
Pens & Inks
If you’re a beginner in brush calligraphy, I highly suggest you try cheap brush pens first. There are so many drills that needs to be done and you can just try it first because you don’t want to over commit to something you are just testing the waters on. This hobby can escalate in your budget pretty quickly so you have to be wary of your expenses all the time!
I started with the two brush pens below. I like the Baoke more because I can refill it — you can find the refill by looking for Baoke ink refill.
- sunnystore.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/110874708/2055692736
- superhaha.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/196858736/4818703409
After I felt comfortable with brush pens, I tried branded ones. I learned so much about different brands by watching a lot of Youtube and Skillshare videos. I got my Tombow Fudenosuke through CalliPatty on Shopee. She’s the most coveted seller of Tombow Fudenosuke. Affordable, great quality. She sold thousands of those pens in her shop!
- Callipatty – https://shopee.ph/product/10420650/1323246631
I got this pastel color of Faber Castell Pitt Artist and their gray set too, here at essentials4men. They’re the most affordable store I saw that seems to be selling the real deal. I didn’t appreciate the colors and brush quality as much as I wanted to but it’s still a good pen to use when I want to color a large area with really small hint colors only, close to transparent even.
- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pen – essentials4men – https://shopee.ph/Faber-Castell-PASTEL-Pitt-Artist-Pens-Brush-Nib-(B)-6-Pc-i.45742395.2038187609
I was then inspired by calligraphy master Seb Lester to do italics. I have watched his Skillshare class about it and his pen for beginners is this Pilot Parallel pen in 3.8mm. If you’re a beginner, just get the 3.8mm. Most of it are sold out at Shopee already but the price point in my opinion should not be higher than P600-800. P600 in Asia but in US it can go way more expensive because of the import from Japan/China.
I just have to say, that this pen is best suited for “right-handed” people. If you are leftie like me, you may need to manipulate your paper angle. It’s not impossible to use for left handed but the alignment may be a huge challenge. However, you can order in the US @johnnealbookstore a special Pilot Parallel Pen for left handed. I have two in 3.8mm and 6mm sizes, respectively. I have six of these pens overall. You can buy their cartridges either all black, all specific color, or assorted. I have listed the shops I go to for these pens.
If you’re in an extra tight budget and you don’t want to spend on disposable ink cartridges all the time, then you need the following: dropper, silicone small air blower, toothpick, and any fountain pen ink of your choice. If you wanna learn about it hit me up I have linked all my socials below. 🙂
- stanleyso – https://shopee.ph/product/1873111/6805628423
- Heraklin – https://shopee.ph/product/30454215/607995287
I only got the fountain pen with ink below because I want to get the ink. But for P150 you get a generic fountain pen and an ink bottle rather than spending more on just ink alone so this one I deemed “sulit”.
Extra tip: If you’re into fountain pens, it’s best to invest on pistol cartridges so you don’t have to buy a refill anymore. They are only around P10 and you can see a lot in Shopee.
- cczzx.ph – fountain pen and ink – https://shopee.ph/product/158222857/3240191385
This set of Faber Castell Highlighter are just shouting cuteness because they have glittery shimmers in them. The store below is the cheapest one I found. I have the gold and the pearl rose which is just my favorite highlighter.
- Faber Castel Textliner 46 Highlighter Metallic – acreativehands – https://shopee.ph/product/12197904/4338769823
Last but definitely not the least, my own Shopee Seller Account in Shopee. 🙂 To give you a little back story, I have tried using Tombow through a friend and a lot of calligrapher I saw also swears by Tombow’s quality. However, they are pretty intimidating in terms of their price point, to be honest. I wasn’t a huge user of Tombow because its brushes are bigger and my handwriting are just too small. Luckily, I was able to find a supplier at that time that sells it for a price that would be beneficial to those who are in a tight budget. That gave me an epiphany to open my own Shopee store.
I bought most of the pens I saw before and have been selling them at the price I got it with and the coins (barya) profit goes to Shopee for the fee.
I lost count how many pens I have sold already but the stocks left with me are less than 10 and the next stocks are going to be Pentel Fude Touch (my favorite brush pen of all time). The stores’ ratings from buyers speaks to the quality of the Tombow pens. I hope I was able to help in my own little way to those young artists who wanted to own a Tombow but couldn’t afford it at P160. All the positive reviews and friendships made means so much to me. 🙂
I know a lot of people are asking if there will be more Tombow stocks and to be perfectly transparent, I can get it but not at that low price anymore. I have been scouting worldwide for affordable Tombow dual brush pens but sadly, the lowest that I can get it for is around P140. That’s why I’ve been looking for other brands that I can extend their quality products but will ensure everyone gets huge savings for.
PSA: Once it arrives, I will be uploading Princeton brushes, pentel fude touch brush pens’ new colors in sets and singles, and if you want to get the new Pilot Parallel Pen in 3.0mm and 4.5mm, I will have one of each.
- https://shopee.ph/cestlabby — #ITME!
Papers are really essential in art journey but it didn’t have to be expensive or branded. If you are just practicing your calligraphy drills or sketching skills, you can opt for scratch papers first. You also have to take note of the weight of the paper you’re using if you’re already doing some serious art works.
For brush calligraphy, 80gsm is already fine — it actually depends on the heaviness of the ink of your pen. Generally, I don’t mind it too much if it’s brush calligraphy. Most papers will do but you also have to get a smooth paper otherwise your brushes will easily fray.
Some of the notebooks I have used when I was starting (and even up to now) are below. They are very good for drills or just random works for brush pen calligraphy.
For parallel pen calligraphy, you would need atleast 100 gsm and a smooth paper. The most ideal paper for it are inkjet printer papers. The most affordable one I’ve found is through sticker online. The paper is smooth and thick enough to not let the ink bleed.
- sticker_online – https://shopee.ph/product/193554907/5517561164
If you’re starting on watercolor painting, paper might be a really huge bummer because watercolor paper tends to be a lot more expensive. There are different kinds of paper to look for too, hot or cold, 100% cotton, etc. For me, if you’re practicing still, best to get an affordable one with thicker weight like the one below. There’s also a watercolor paper I found that won’t hurt your wallets.
- cczzx.ph – sketchpad – https://shopee.ph/product/158222857/6338196759 – 180gsm
- Watercolor Paper – bnzsy – https://shopee.ph/product/126007816/6539681075
The rest of the papers you will find below are for bullet journaling or overall stationery. They add a different vibe to your art through their colors and textures. Some of the most affordable ones I found are below but do not limit yourself with these. Browse the stores themselves and see if anything suits your motifs. (That can be a rabbit hole, be careful. hihihi)
- Colorful Sticky Notes Planet Memo Pad – muyue.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/231506654/5119043149
- 80 Sheets Blank Sticky Note – muhan.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/170099046/7734876461
- Sticky Notes – muhan.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/170099046/2701424796
- 60pcs/set hand made scrapbooking paper – ssomzl.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/297783223/4048154938
- 200 sheets/set Creative Retro Mini Material Book – ssomzl.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/297783223/6648144135
- Memo – animefbc1.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/301440605/4651340973
Washi Tapes & Stickers
Oh, washi tapesssss! They can really be quite a stress reliever to collect — and stickers, too! (Raise your hand if you’re with me!)
I was really hesitant to start journaling before because I know it may lead to extensive purchases. But hey, no judgment here! Whichever gives us joy, right?
The stores below are the ones I’ve purchased it into, keeping in mind that I always want to get my money’s worth. At first, I was into solid colors and sets, however, I was shocked to see how little you get from it despite having so much colors. They aren’t as sticky as you would hope it’d be so I ended up using glue to make sure they stayed in place. You can still get them, sure, but there are affordable shops that sells at least 5m and has better adhesive.
Stickers are so fun to collect, too! The most affordable ones are muhan and imoda. You will see some stores sell the same designs for more than 50% mark up of their price in Imoda/Muhan. Crazy!
- Assorted Stickers – muhan.ph – https://shopee.ph/shop/170099046/search?shopCollection=19182657
- Stickers – muhan.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/170099046/2701186635
- ucky01.ph Solid Color Washi Tape 4 pcs – https://shopee.ph/product/259274094/4945254463
ucky01.ph 10 pcs washi – https://shopee.ph/product/259274094/4845116744
ucky01.ph Index Stickers – https://shopee.ph/product/259274094/3434947333
Assorted stickers – ucky01.ph – https://shopee.ph/shop/259274094/search?page=0&shopCollection=30698964
Assorted Stickers – Imoda.PH – https://shopee.ph/shop/295380063/search?shopCollection=42922096
Dot Stickers – imoda.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/295380063/3448141544
Washi tapes – muyue.ph- https://shopee.ph/shop/231506654/search?originalCategoryId=15807&page=0
- 6 pcs/pack Colorful Stickers – muyue.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/231506654/5019035669
- Washi Tape Cute Girls – mxm.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/106720206/2735791737
- 6Sheets/Set Kawaii Diary Sticker – mxm.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/106720206/1808437692
- Washi tapes – washiyard – https://shopee.ph/washiyard
- Vintage Washi Tape – winzige – https://shopee.ph/product/163965820/2789151388
- Washi tapes and stickers – hedao – https://shopee.ph/shop/203564266/search?shopCollection=42904506
Highly recommended: Washiyard and Hedao (not sponsored though, LOL)
You know your sticker game is going to a next level when you start looking for other stickers that aren’t common anymore in terms of the design or adds a different touch to your stationery-loving self. This one is already sold our in the store because I got the last stock but there are a couple of stores that sells them by piece. The keyword to find this is petal washi tape or petal tape.
Stamps are fun to do! It adds a different element to a plain paper and with the right coordination of colors and designs, would really make your journal more appealing.
What you’ll need are: Acrylic block, silicone stamps and ink pads.
- Acrylic Block – pairuitry.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/272832642/3642346610
- Silicone Clear Seal Stamp – loveit1.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/135511368/7801781365
- Flower Silicone Clear Seal Stamp – loveit1.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/135511368/5829613278
- Silicone Stamps – ciflying.ph – https://shopee.ph/ciflying.ph
- Stamp special ink – ssomzl.ph – https://shopee.ph/21-color-color-super-large-ink-pad-rubber-stamp-special-ink-pad-DIY-ink-pad-pure-color-gradient-color-DIY-accessories-i.297783223.7348141080
Extra tip: If you don’t have inking pad, use your watercolor pens instead — like Tombow! 🙂 Just put it in the silicon stamp and press it with the acrylic block and voila!
Having all these collections can make your work area a huge eyesore to look at it if you don’t organize them properly. I have listed a few things that you can consider to ensure they all look organized and tidy.
The Gridded PVC cards for washi tape sampler was my first option to store the massive numbers of washi tapes I got. My space is not big and I like spending some time rolling them into this PVC cards to kind of make a swatch out of them. I did this first because I know I will be moving soon and it’s easier to carry the washis like these rather than a huge storage compartment box, right? The store below is the cheapest seller of this PVC cards.
- Gridded PVC Cards for Washi Tape Sampler – beehappycrafts – https://shopee.ph/product/75703379/1728552319
I won’t explain anymore why you need a pen holder but there are a lot of sellers who sells way cuter ones. This specific design are for the pens I usually use.
When I was looking for washi tape storage, I found this dispenser that tickled my fancy. They aren’t as big though and if your washis are not even atleast 5m in length, they’ll look odd there as they are so thin.
- coconut01.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/267604146/7943568955
- Washi Tape Dispenser – https://shopee.ph/product/313319120/3554428371
This washi tape cutter I’ve also tried buying and they ended up being perfect for the super thin washi tapes. I have two of them.
- Washi Tape Cutter – betterylife.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/77433786/3530600616
Finally, I caved in and looked for compartmental storage for the washis. I have not received this yet but I bought mine in this shop. They will be for premium washis so they are all neatly stacked.
- 15 Compartments Clear Crafts Organizer Storage Box for Washi Tape – nikkishop.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/313909014/6457375669
The item below is what I am using at the moment to organize my stickers. They’re not as ideal because you’ll need a lot of it depends on how many stickers you want to segregate but they’re doing their purpose at the moment while I am waiting for the next item I will enlist after this. Please note that this item used to only be just P12 so you can look for another one. Keyword I used: calling card holder, transparent plastic name card, jewelry organizer
I was looking for a sticker book/notebook for so long because it’s easier to look for stickers to use for journals but it was a rare commodity. The keywords are kind of tricky too. I found them under release paper notebook but refer to the image below for the most value for your money. You can browse their shop for other designs and sizes.
- Release Paper Storage Book – animefbc1.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/301440605/5357408277
If you have a higher budget, this store offers rare but very high quality items but you know, it comes at a higher price, too.
- Calligraphy Source – https://shopee.ph/shop/5074546/search?order=asc&page=0&sortBy=price
Your lives will change with the tape below. Very perfect for stationery and journaling. No more messy glue — it has good adhesive but not bulky. Way better than glue stick, indeed!
- Double sided correction tape – winzige – https://shopee.ph/product/163965820/6145620616
Pencils are essentials be it calligraphy, watercolor painting etc. Keep in mind it has to be really really really thin/barely visible.
- Staedtler Pencil – jomararts – https://shopee.ph/product/273061015/3854591311
You’ll need kneaded eraser if you want to do water color art and you need to erase the pencil guidelines. Kneaded erasers won’t hurt your precious water color paper. This is not the cheapest on Shopee but since I also got the H pencil from jomararts, I got the eraser from him, too.
- Faber Castell kneaded eraser – jomararts – https://shopee.ph/product/273061015/4838786158
Random deals but you won’t be able to choose from their designs:
- Random 1 Sheet Stickers – winzige.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/163965820/7322209390
- Random·45Pcs Lovely Stickers Set – winzige.ph – https://shopee.ph/product/163965820/2705082361
- Random 1-2 pcs PET tape – winziege.ph https://shopee.ph/product/163965820/2640784260
For someone who has been constantly making purchases on Shopee, I always do the following to save money.
- Free shipping voucher 12 midnight and 12 noon. It grants up to P60 off of your shipping fee.
- Play Shopee Throw and get 15% off Shopee voucher.
- There’re a lot of discount vouchers monthly with a specific minimum amount spent.
- If you know you are going to buy something a little expensive (say close to P1000 or more than that), wait for Tuesday’s 20% coins cashback voucher. This will grant you coins you can use for future purchases. Huge purchase saver.
- Use ShopeePay because most vouchers are ShopeePay related. You can always report to Shopee’s customer support if anything in your product appears to be fraudulent. With the pandemic, limit CoD to limit contact with the delivery personnel.
- When looking for an item, don’t go right away with the recommended. Search from lowest price and also read reviews. Be vigilant.
- Leave reviews, it will help your fellow art junkie to know if a product is good or not.
I don’t use Lazada because they have way higher mark up than Shopee and their delivery fee are mostly not free, too! But if you have tips, we’re open to listen.
Do you have any tips and tricks so you get the most out of your online shopping experience? 🙂 Comment it below so others will be informed, too! 🙂
Thank you for taking time to read the entire post. Appreciate it! Hope I was able to impart something through this.
6 months worth of online shopping — with more to follow from overseas. Please keep in mind that your art work is not directly proportionate to the brand and quantity of your art materials. They are called materials for a reason, just tool. They are not the one that defines the artists so do not get disheartened if you’ll see others have more than you or if you cannot get as many art materials as they can. I wanted to reiterate, it. doesn’t. matter. 🙂 If you love what you’re doing, even if it’s just pencil, your soul will reverberate into it.
Happy creating! Looking forward to hearing from you.
Connect with me:
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/iamcestlabby/
- Join the group where we’ll nerd out on anything art and where announcements of new products will be posted first before Shopee — so first dibs! – https://www.facebook.com/groups/625328741496265/?fref=gs&dti=337860214164745&hc_location=group (the group is also inside the Facebook page)
- Where you can tag me with your art works too and see my baby steps in this art venture — https://www.instagram.com/callig.abby/