The following article was written by Keegan Baur.
Art is about self-expression, beauty, and stress relief. But, in my opinion, it can only be those things if no animals were harmed as a result of an artwork’s creation. Unfortunately, I haven’t produced many drawings or paintings since my college days (which were before I went vegan), but I’d like to get back into the hobby. As a result, I recently pulled all my old supplies out of a dusty corner in the back of my closet and wondered if they were cruelty-free. The products themselves didn’t seem to contain any ingredient lists, so I became even more curious. I then began doing some online research and quickly discovered how careful one has to be when purchasing art supplies! Just take a look at this abbreviated list of vegan and nonvegan products:
Cochineal (scarlet dye)
Gelatin (gesso and watercolor papers)
India ink or Chinese ink
Natural hair brushes
Ox gall (watercolor paints)
Rabbit skin glue (sizing oil-painting canvases)
You can check out the complete list at EmptyEasel.com or purchase your supplies directly from a certified vegan company such as Colors of Nature.
I was relieved to see that soft pastels and most Krylon fixative sprays are cruelty-free, as these were my preferred medium while I was in college. However, if I decide to expand my repertoire and purchase new oil or watercolor paints and brushes, I will certainly have more research to do and lots to keep in mind! As a vegan and fledgling artist, I know that I’ll only be able to find beauty in my future creations if my arsenal of art supplies is free of animal products.
Is compassion part of your palette? What are your favorite cruelty-free art supplies?