Monthly subscription boxes have been trending for a while now. Like a magazine, these subscription boxes send you a small selection of items in the mail which tends to be a surprise. From BirchBox sending makeup samples, BarkBox sending dog toys and treats and NatureBox sending healthy snacks, you can choose any type of subscription box. There are a variety of art related boxes for artists that sends tools, art supplies, new products and DIY crafts. This is a review of the subscription box Indigo Artbox.
Subscription Types: Monthly, individual, gift, party and kid subscriptions. A variety of holiday specials and discounts are happening currently as well.
Items: Full sized art supplies
Other Info: Ability to cancel at anytime and has free shipping
I searched around the website to find out more about why Indigo Artbox was called that and found a simple but sweet inspiration. Indigo, the 6th color in the rainbow, is a color that promotes creativity and meditation. Perfect for what I need! I just completing the largest exhibition of my career this fall and doing a project promoting meditation and creativity sounds great.
My Box: I received inspiration from Monet and was supplied with supplies to make two oil pastel pieces inspired by his work. I received my 8 supplies as the website claimed (pencil zip case, 2 pieces of tape, 2 tortillions, a rubber color shaper, eraser, and a full set of Pentel Oil Pastels. I also got an envelope with 3 sketch sheets of paper and 2 thicker mixed media papers. I also had a large sheet of butcher paper.
What to Expect: I received everything you would need for the project. Literally everything, I even received two pieces of tape needed to hold down the inspiration photo while I work in the project. The website claims that each artbox is 8 or more full sized high quality art supplies, art inspiration cards and storage case and that is exactly what arrived in the mail.
*TIP: Follow the set up instructions, if you are given butcher paper to lay down before you begin your project, do it! Most likely your project is a bit messy and it will save up on cleaning time.
How it Works: This box is a bit more complex than the other subscription boxes I have tried because there is an entire program and art history based curriculum that works alongside your box. Once you receive your box in the mail you go online to the Indigo Artbox website and watch a video. I watched a video on Claude Monet, the inspiration to the box I received, and there was an additional second instructional video as well on oil pastels. Its super easy to navigate the website to the coinciding videos while you make your project.
*TIP: Even for a seasoned artist, recreating Monet’s The Seine at Argenteuil is a bit daunting so I watched the videos. They give me some handy how to’s like blending oil pastels (which I haven’t handled since grade school)!
Positives: All of the supplies in the Indigo Artbox can work together and create the work show in the inspiration, or you can make your own masterpiece. I remember receiving masking fluid and a pencil from an art subscription box in the past and thinking this is fun new supplies but what can I do with this? Even for a professional artist, it can be hard to use supplies or get creative if you are not comfortable with a new medium in the first place. I loved being able to open my subscription and do the entire project with the contents of the box. What I also enjoyed was the size of the items. The supplies are large, and not samples!
At first, I thought the Indigo Artbox was only oil pastel projects but soon found that there are multiple boxes that provide various projects inspired by a wide range of artists and media. One project even uses clay! This box totally reminds me of an updated modern Art Masterpiece class. Remember the lady who would show up to your school once a month and you would have an hour with her and she talked about art from the local museum? Well my mom was usually the art masterpiece volunteer. I loved it obviously. So, this feels like a modern revamp of an “art masterpiece class” for any age and available to anyone. Even though I have a degree in Art History, I learned something by watching the educational video explaining the artist and art movement behind the work I was re-creating. Might be something to explore, bringing Indigo Artbox into the classroom?
There seems like much more thought put into the art history piece, or the “why” behind the artbox compared to any other artbox that I have opened. There is also very obvious attention to planning and curriculum with this artbox. The behind the scenes grunt work is there and it shows up in a clear concept and a curated artbox and seamless videos.
Critiques: Although not necessary, there is a video online you are suggested to watch to find the inspiration for the project. With the video you learn about the art history behind the project. A small bit of information on the back of the inspiration postcards would make the Indigo Artbox completely self-sustaining and allow anyone to learn without the need for internet access and a computer.
Taking inspiration from well know artists to teach art history is a great foundation for the Indigo Artbox. But how awesome would it be to use this artbox subscription to showcase the art of lesser known artists or even modern day artists? Could be a collaboration with local or contemporary artists to help pick out inspirations from their work and choose supplies the artists uses….Perhaps a separate subscription idea?
Recommendation: Seeking a bit of creative relief from my own studio work, and some well needed R&R this was a super fun project. I learned about art history alongside doing a fun project. Indigo Artbox gives you enough supplies to complete the project as well as explore your own creative path using the left over materials. I loved doing this project and would recommend it to all ages who are interested in artists and the history behind the work.