I know in the last few years, we have been hearing off and on about the term Bug Out Bag
as it pertains to apocalypse and survival scenarios.
But, I think it would be funny to have an interesting light hearted analysis of what would you have to pack as an artist.
- Wood Core Pencils
- Color, Pastel, Watercolors, Chalk, Inktense, Graphite. These things although berated by the newest generation of smart tech bound artists as children's art supplies, are practically indestructible except for the inner cores; and you can now get pencils that have no-break cores!
I had some color pencils last over 15 years, if not 20 years. [Just keep the termites out of it.]
- Caran D'Ache - Luminance 6901 Pencils- extremely expensive almost $8.00 a pop. What you could consider an archivists color pencil highest standard for light resistance, and extreme color pigment concentration. Also very high quality wood and core construction. Worth the Cost.
- Caran D'Ache- a very wide family of color pencil types extremely high quality and expensive; takes a little getting used to. But the high quality of the pencils makes them last longer.
- Staedtler-Especially for Anti-Break Cores [They cover the whole waterfront of pencil application.] German Engineering at its finest.
- Prismacolor-Verithin and Scholar have more resilient cores, Premiere and Col-Erase [erasable] are softer and problematic, get a container for these.
- DerWent- just for variety of applications possible
- Generals-generally ho hum but durable, nothing to write home about the colors.
- Faber-Castell- a lot more dense Pencil but very useful and comes with a nice range of colors.
- Koh-i-Norr- mentioned due to it having woodless color pencils. Very high quality, but has some fragile components. I only mention it because these have shavings from the woodless that can be used to make homemade hill-billy markers with rubbing alcohol or moonshine. [take pencil color shavings and mix well with alcohol pigment comes out in the alcohol!]
- Stabilo- fairly uncommon but you can get a very unique set of pencils that colors on metal, plastic, glass, wood, and underwater!!! [Perfect for your Post Apocalyptic Map Making Skills on that wrecked plane tail section.]
- Roseart/Crayola-fairly generic but very common and in massive bulk sets.
- Special Note: Color Pencils come in various kits and per cost are fairly easy to get your hands on.
- Knife is kind of no brainer, multi-tool. Can be used in a survival situation, but also allows you to sharpen various art items or make art items.
- If you are lucky a special wood carver, craft knife kit is a really cheap and good purchase covers all bases.
- Pencil Sharpener- preferred multi hole ones. I have a preferrence for German or Japanese Equipment. Czech if I come across it. EMPHASIS on MULTI-HOLES, because you might have odd dimensioned pencils or you have triangulars or in my case odd tri-hexagonals.
- Architech Pencil Sharpener- for rectangular pencils that are commonly available from most hardware supply stores, sometimes some artist kits.
- Scissor- to cut up materials, but the knife with practice will do.
- Paper, Sketchbooks, Journals, and Notebooks/ Note Pads
are the bread and butter and ways to store ideas, info, stories, and drawings that your post-apocalyptic smart tech will not be able to store is rendered inoperable. Heck look at the Egyptians and other cultures, info on tomb walls survived alot better than paper and doubtless probably better than an Iphone without power. [Granted a future archaelogist would know how to recharge a mummified Iphone without blowing it up.]
- Paper- Bulk Copypaper will do, just don't get photo paper or high gloss because most artistic materials will not bind to them.
- Paper- Notebook Paper in Bulk is cheap as well, but overall resiliency is very low, but if you are going to write down the terrors and tribulations of your apocalyptic artistic career I suggest archival paper and archival rated non-bleed pens. Wide or College Ruled is dependent on your writing style.
- Notebooks- Normal Lined Books are dirt cheap and in bulk, however they are horrible at resiliency. [Same as lined paper.]
- Sketchbooks- Archive/Artist Rated, are more expensive not easy to find. But buyer beware the quality of such things is dependent on manufacture. So consider what you are buying, ESPECIALLY test the spine of the book, I can't tell you how many sketch books break down in under a month due to horrible spine manufacture. (Also for your Post-Apocalyptic needs study ways to make your own sketchbooks, very very handy skill.)
- Journals like the Sketchbooks have the same downsides. And usual designs on the books may attract unwanted attention to your projects.
- Blank Books- hard to find, generally a whole quality level above bar, but extremely expensive. But if you want your work to survive until a new millennium probably a good choice.
- If you are feeling extremely into the act as a post-apocalypse artist. Get Scrolls they do sell these, and they are actually cheap for the amount of materials you get. Chinese Rice Paper Scrolls are fun, there are vellum scrolls and books around. Bamboo Slat Scrolls and Papyrus too! [Hey its as low tech as low tech you can get, besides building pyramid news stands to carve on.]
- Ink, Inkwells, Inkstone, and Instruments of Scribing Torture. If you know how to read and write nicely, I can be pretty good you are guaranteed a job in the post apocalypse. (You know somewhere some warlord on the road, wants his exploits written down you know
. Word of the Wise, Dictators like Dictation, so make sure to you right it all down right the first time! There will be no chance for proof reading.
- As a back up. Stock up on Chinese Ink Blocks and Ink Stones. Really Really Simple. Hey if it worked for over 5000 years. I am inclined to prefer this item just for dirt cheap and long term usage and storage advantages.
- A quart bottle of India Ink or Sumie Ink make sure its archival rated. Gallon if you are so inclined.
- Colored Inks if you want to, less useful. [Chinese/Japanese Watercolors are a better choice storage wise.]
- Watercolor Inks - unique materials that are available; can be aquired but cost is relatively high. Can be drawn like normal ink, then manipulated like watercolors.
- Scribing Implements- various types of inkwell pen materials are still running around. Take your pick between simple sticks, bamboo stylus, ink well pen nibs, calligraphy pens, Chinese brush art brushes, paint brushes. Or if you are really into being the bad guy use the bones of your enemies.
- Consider a Brush Pen or reloadable Inkwell Pen. Both can be reloaded with new ink or ink cartridges. I prefer brush pens since they don't break as much as the other option. Although it takes some experience to use either effectively. But they both last very long amounts of time.
- Special Note 1- manufacture of black ink, is actually very easy. The simplest ways would be to use charcoal and water, a ground down mineral, or the ink of squid or octopus. [Although having a living pen wouldn't be the wisest move though, tempting but not wise. Darn no Blue-Ring Octopus for writing!]
- Special Note 2- color inks can be made two ways. Using berries, sap, minerals in an emulsion, insects, etc. Or use The Chinese Brush Art method of mixing Ink and Chinese Watercolors together. Also test your inks, sometimes black ink, isn't black. Over concentration of a color can get you black.
- Paints. Useful but highly problematic for lasting power and materials. Many paints require special papers, tools, and materials to either work, display, or preserve. They can be useful in other ways as well. Painting skills are useful in camouflage, intimidation factor, deception, and rebuilding. But, unless you are a genius, having a patron who won't kill you the first time you don't flatter him, would be preferable
- Gansai Watercolors-highly recommended, expensive; but if stowed away properly these high concentration Japanese watercolors will last alot longer than most watercolors. The motto with these is, a little goes a long way. Literally. These are dry goods, so keep these dry at all costs. They come in little cells in their package, which means with some creativity they can be repacked in a smaller container.
- Winsor-Newton-highly recommended, expensive; but for different reasons than the Gansai. These come with pre-packaged "sketch-kits" or "travel-kits" So a wide variety of useful kits that come fully equipped with materials that normally you would have to buy seperately at great expense. One unique benefit, they have watercolor, oil, and acrylic based kits. So you have a selection, watercolor would probably be the best choice.
- Chinese Watercolors- highly recommended, inexpensive; these colors are in high concentration and a little goes a long way. Remember that these work optimally with Chinese Brush Art Techniques. So their length of usage goes up.
- European Watercolors-depends on manufacturer, and the way the watercolors are sold. Dry Watercolors are a good choice easier to store, Wet Watercolors in tubes or containers require some vigilance due to the potential of drying out if stored improperly.
- Gouache Watercolors-these are rather unique watercolors somewhat like the Gansai, but their painting style is in the opaque sense. I don't have much experience with this material, but it would be a fairly good choice for their high concentration of pigment
- Acrylics- easy to clean up while working with it, and becomes water resistant when dry. Good to have a small stock, but they are a modern high tech item; and as such in the post-apocalypse would probably go extinct as a paint; until replacement technology to make it comes back around.
- Tempera- probably the first paint style to make a return, since it is normally egg yolk, another ingredient [wine or vinegar] and water mixture with a pigment. Having a few tubes wouldn't be that bad. But it would be the first paint system to be reborn.
- Oil-highly specialized, requires chemicals to work or clean. Many times the paint and the chemicals are toxic and flammable. Would probably be the second tier of reborn paint techniques. Not recommended.
- Paint Brushes- Use what you are comfortable with, but these can be easily made in field. Stick + Hair is rather easy to come by. [Just don't take off with your lady friends hair, and say its a memento and then put it into your paint brushes.]
- Wood, Metal, Leather-working, and Pottery Tools. Useful but requires some skill and knowledge of materials to be of value. However, these selections will provide for work and food on your table.
- There is a huge variety of metal working tool kits available, and in many cases they cross over into the other crafts making them highly valuable.
- Leather-working Kits are available, just requires knowing where to get them.
- Woodcraft Kits are relatively cheap to buy and can be of some use in other ways besides wood working.
- Pottery Kits are kind of hard to come by, but their tools can be used for other materials. Like Paint Brushes and Sponges can be used for Painting as well.
- Both items use natural raw materials in the environment, so you can travel light.
- Markers usually made with a pigment and alcohol mix, however, due to the nature of their manufacture and design especially with more modern expendable markers, these will either be used up or dried up within a very short time period. But here are some possible selections; but remember they are not durable, and probably will dry out and you probably will not find reloads or recharges any time.
- Copic-probably the most popular of the alcohol markers to date; however, due to some inexplicable poor business planning. Retail usually does not stock the refill charges. If you are lucky to find or own them, these can be reloaded for quite some time. 3 drops of the refill will lengthen the life span of these markers.
- Prismacolor-considered inferior to Copic but with a very wide range of colors. Older Models the Wedge/Nib type have alot of ink and pigment mix and can last for extremely long times. Newer models have a bit less in them. Especially the newer Brush/Nib types. But their on board ink reservoir have a lot of ink, however this is dual chambered so overuse of one side means one side will be dried out.
- Pro-Marker-Winsor-Newton- once considered bargain basement of markers, until Winsor-Newton bought them out, much higher quality and higher pigment concentration. Cheaper than Copics and Prismacolors generally but preferred.
- Winsor-Newton Markers- Sadly this relatively common recent marker is Winsor-Newtons challenge to the nearly ubiquitous Copic in the artist world. Very Good Colors and Pigment, but one little itsy bitsy problem. They work best on a specialized Winsor-Newton paper designed for that particular marker. Which is one of the reasons this marker has kind of bombed at its price point. [aka cost of a Copic without the potential to reload, and having to buy special paper to boot.]
- Sharpie/BiC/ assorted Permanent Markers- useful, but they can not be reloaded and therefore are expendable. The tips are also prone to breakage or collecting dirt and dust speeding up the process of drying out or being useless.
- Watercolor Markers-unique in the fact they can be used to apply watercolor materials, more of a novelty but they tend to dry out even faster than normal markers.
- Paint Markers- highly specialized markers that are dispensers of a paint emulsion. If properly stored, they can last for very long times. However, once opened they tend to quickly dry out. Due to their metal bodies, the contents if not opened will be preserved.
- Consumer Grade Markers- inferior to other artistic markers, but their bulk amounts is a quality of its own. But these are even more expendable.
- Overall if it isn't a Copic/Prisma-Color/Pro-Marker/Permanent its probably not worth the time to haul it around. Most of my artistic markers have lasted between 5-10 years. With the Copics kind of padding the time due to reloads and replacement nibs.
-Electronic Systems will be nigh useless in the post-apocalpyse. Even if you have a solar charger for that 5K touch screen art system, how are you going to profit from artworks stuck on that system?
I still to this day, question the sanity of an artist to fully embrace technology 100%. Its great you can draw everything on that fancy touch screen, but how do you print out that drawing for your client? And can your electronic manipulation skills transfer to the real world? This is a serious problem that needs to be thought out. Besides the fact that working tech will attract thieves, and if you ain't packing they be packing you up!
That said, the only thing an electronic device would be good, is in a possible non-EMP event, as recording device and data-base of downloaded materials.
- Example is Wacom Inkspace app. There are multiple Wacom systems that use Inkspace, which also real time recording of actual sketches and drawings into Photoshop, Vector, and a whole host of electronic programs. BUT that said it requires very special tech and in an event where you can't get power or replacements this can quickly become useless.
- If desperate, just make all the electronic devices you can collect into a post-apocalyptic version of a modern art exhibit. I am thinking a tree of smart tech devices called Pride of Yesterday.
9) Not Needed Because Available everywhere. Charcoal- probably the cheapest, if not free item for an artist. Burn a few twigs or different wood, and presto. Charcoal! One note, test out different wood materials to get the different grades of charcoal. Be cautious with certain plants due to toxic or even poisonous oils, gases, or smoke they give off.
I hope this humorous idea, gets some gears rolling in artists heads. And just think out your choices.
Well excuse me, I have to go do some zombie portraits and pose drawings. BRAINS. No Igor you are to stay still on the podium!
Fast Art is not as much fun as Fast Food in the Apocalypse, when everthing is trying to eat you. Seriously.