Transcript: Afra’s art studio hotspot activity

Eco-friendly solvents

“Sometimes I use oil paint in my artwork, which means I need a solvent to thin out the paint and clean the brushes. Some solvents can be pretty toxic, because they contain harsh chemical components, but I always use eco-friendly alternatives that are made from natural and non-toxic ingredients.”


Recycling and upcycling material

“You already know that the sculpture I created is made from recycled materials. A lot of my work includes recycled materials like wood, paper, and old clothes. My easel is second-hand too! And I don’t only use old things in my art – I collect old fabric and rags for wiping my hands and cleaning canvases. I also wear second-hand clothes when I’m working, and sometimes I use flat pieces of wood as palettes. I reuse old canvases as well and keep old tins, jars and containers to hold my brushes and pencils.”


Ethically-sourced paintbrushes

“All of my paint brushes are vegan and have handles made from recycled wood or sustainable materials like bamboo. I’m not comfortable using brushes that have animal hair, as some brands that sell these don’t pass ‘cruelty-free’ standards.”


Natural and non-toxic paint

“As you know, paints can sometimes contain a lot of bad things, like toxins, which can harm the environment (for example, washing your brushes can cause paint toxins to enter the water system). There are many kinds of non-toxic paints online or in art supply stores. I don’t buy paints with VOCs. That stands for volatile organic compounds, things like formaldehyde and acetone. I try to use paints with natural pigments that are made from plants. Before washing my dirty brushes, I wipe them against the palette and use a special comb to brush out the extra paint. This means less paint ends up in the water system.”


Sourcing local

“Salty Creek has a small, but very good art store that I go to a lot. I try to buy most of my supplies from there instead of ordering from overseas. It reduces my carbon footprint because I’m not getting things delivered from far away, and also I’m supporting a local business! If I do need to order something online, I choose sustainable stores. I also try to buy in large amounts, in bulk, if I think I’m going to use something a lot, so that there won’t be so many deliveries.”


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