Useful Tools of the Trade

Sketchbook    Notebook    16-32 GB Flashdrive    Backup Flashdrive    Wacom tablet    Digital Camera    Adobe Creative Cloud    Tracing Paper    Color Printer    Headphones    Personal Reference Library    Portfolio Book    Portfolio Website    Computer/Laptop    Organized Workspace    External Hard Drive    Ethernet Cable

Suppliers: SanDisk, Corsair, Kingston, PNY, Lexar, Wacom


Graphic Designer/Illustrator Toolkit

Pantone Swatch Booklet    Drawing Pencils    Watercolor Pencils    Fountain Pens    Sharpie Markers    Dry Markers    Pastels    Calligraphy Tools    Letraset    T Square    Ruler    Triangles    Magazines    Desk Light    Adobe Creative Suite    Drawing Tablet    Scanner    X-ACTO knife    Cutting Table    Airbrush    Respirator    Gouache    Vellum    Transfer Paper    Textured Paper    Inkjet Printer

Suppliers: Pantone, Henco, Adobe, Blick, Hewlett-Packard, Eberhard Faber, Weber Costello, Sanford L.P., Strathmore, Grumbacher, Wacom, Huion


Animator Toolset

Sketchbook    Scanner    Lightbox/Light Table    Acetate Cels    Non-photo blue pencils    Drawing Pencils    Pegboard    Gloves (for Inking)    Acrylic Paints    Glass plates    Mirror    Reference Library    Cintiq Tablet    Art Books    Anatomy Books    Maquettes and 3D Models    Brushpen    Exposure Sheets    Pinboard    Sticky Notes    Grease Pencil

Suppliers: Lightfoot Ltd., Cartoon Supplies, Huion, Wacom, Blick, Prismacolor

DIY Light Desk


Video Equipment

HD DSLR Camera Tripod SD Video Card Portable Lighting Equipment Lenses Sound Equipment Celluloid Film (caution: Flammable) Clapboard Slider Dolly Track Travel Kit Lenses Lens Filters Green Screen Handheld 3-Axis Camera Gimbal Shoulder Mount

Suppliers: Nikon, Kodak, Canon, Sony, GoPro, Rode Microphones


Photography Equipment

HD Camera Tripod GorillaPod SD Card Portable Lighting Equipment Lenses Sound Equipment Darkroom Photo Emulsion Black Granite Tile Underwater Camera 360 Degree Camera Drone Camera, Darklight

Suppliers: Nikon, Kodak, Canon, Sony, Adorama, B&H Photo, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Ricoh, Olympus, Joby


Stop-Motion Animator Tools

Wire    Epoxy    Plaster    Talcum Powder    Silicone Rubber, Urethane, or Foam Latex    Polymer Clay    Plasticine    Milliput    Pliers    Soldering Iron    Foam    3D Printer    Tripod    Camera    Calipers    Graph Paper    Motion Control Rig    Stop-Motion Puppet Rig    Winders/Rack & Pinion Rig    Ball and Socket Armature    Hot Glue Gun    Heat Gun    Tie-downs    Animation Stage    Clay Tools    Clamps    Drill

Suppliers: Dragonframe, Smooth-On, Inc., Sculpey, Animation, MakerBot Industries, Animation Toolkit, Armaverse, Berkey System


Sound Studio and Recording Equipment

DAW/Audio Interface    DMX, XLR, and lots of other cables    Microphone    Closed-Back Headphones    Mic Stand    Studio Monitors    Sound Mixing Board    Channel Box    Power Conditioner    MIDI Controller    DAW Remote    Magnetic Film Strips

Suppliers: Bose, Polk Audio, Yamaha, Sennheiser, Toshiba, Dolby, KEF, Klipsch


Print and Type

Screen Printing Press    Letterpress    Cylinder Press    Rotary Press    Linotype Machine    Screw Press    Steel Engraving Tools    Composing Stick    Stamps    Punches    Dies    Matrices    Typecases    Woodworking Tools    Metalcasting Tools    Ink Roller    Sandpaper    Calligraphy Tools    Ink    Toner    Woodblocks    Intaglio Zinc Plates    Quality Printing Paper    Grid Paper    Drying Racks    Metal Corrosive Acid    Photopolymer Plates    Stationary    Foil    Embossing Tools    Heat Press    Block/Clam Press    Dip Tank    Squeegee    Cleaning Supplies    Flash Dryer    Emulsion Remover    Silk Screens

Suppliers: Heidelberger, Vandercook, Mergenthaler Linotype, Briar Press, Koenig & Bauer, Blick, Ryonet, Vastex, Antec Inc., M&R


Electronics Kit

Starter Kit    Wirecutters    Wire Strippers    Soldering Iron    Multimeter    Screwdrivers    Pliers    Disk Drive    USB    Magnifying Glass    Circuitboard    Breadboard    Motherboard    Jumper Wires    Motors    Resistors    Variable Resistors    Capacitors    Electrolytic Capacitors    Transistors    Diodes    Integrated Circuits    Inductors    Transformers    SMD    Storage Cabinet

Suppliers: Newegg, PC Part Picker, Arduino, MaKeyMaKey, AdaFruit Industries Raspberry Pi, Sparkfun, Maker Shed, L3D, Lego MindStorms


Gaming Rigs

Laptop fan    Coolant System    GPU    Gaming Mouse    Gaming Keyboard    Custom Gaming PC    Console    Controller    Web Cam    Microphone    Triple HD Monitors    Surround Sound System   Acoustic Foam

Suppliers: AMD, Nvidia, Razer, Alienware, Oculus, HTC, Steam, Newegg, PC Part Picker, Sony, Nintendo


DIY, Makeup, Cosplay, and Practical Effects Supplies

Hard Foam/Styofoam    Soft Foam    Paint    Makeup    Sewing Machine    Ventilated fabric    Chicken Wire    Cardboard    Plaster    Safety Goggles    Gloves    Ventillation Mask    Ear Protection    Clear Protective Varnish    Spray Paint    Modeling Paste    Worbla    EVA Foam

Suppliers: DAS, Goodwill, Dollar Store, Amazon, Local craft stores


Multimedia Supplies

LEDs    Arduino Circuits    Newspapers    Drawing Supplies    Easel    Tackboard    Cardstock    Foamboard    Legos    Magazines    String    Glowsticks    Mirrors    Transparencies    Projector    Film Splicer    Paint    Camera    Plexiglass    T-Square    Drafting Tools    Lightboard    Ruler    Triangle    Mini-lamps    Mirror    Clamps    Magnets    Mahl Stick    UV Paint

Suppliers: Golden, Amazon, Michaels, A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts


Street Art Supplies

Spray paint   Paint   X-acto Knife   Respirator   Gloves   Thin Cardboard   Markers   Mop Markers   On the Run Markers   Fun Painters   Ink   Ladder   Safety Goggles   Cutting Board   Backpack

Suppliers: Bombing Science, Art Primo, On the Run, Molotow, Oink Art Ltd., Rust-Oleum, Montana Colors, Dollar Store


Budget Tips

Supplies are an expensive but necessary investment.  Not everyone can afford top brand software and tools that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. It’s said that scarcity breeds creativity, so don’t worry if you don’t have all the latest name-brand equipment that the top studios are using. Just focus on getting the basic tools you’ll use.

Building up a collection of equipment and tools is a gradual process.

Save money any way you can. Take advantage of discounts and used bargains, or make your own equipment. Be cautious of online deals that seem too good to be true. It generally isn’t recommended to buy cheap equipment of lesser quality. Research the brand of the item by reading customer reviews.