I read a very interesting article today. http://artbistro.monster.com/news/articles/10357-15-things-an-artist-should-never-say
I wonder how many of these things we really thought about? Especially concerning: affording supplies, networking, promoting and business acumen. It is a wonderfull gift to be creative no doubt, unfortunately unless you are very successful and possess name recognition and can price based on that most of us cannot afford to hire someone to do the business processes and leave the art to ourselves.
Getting supplies for nothing (or next to nothing) is covered in the "15 things.." article linked above. I have invested several thousand dollars in making sure I can get my media - specifically dead and down/"waste" timber available locally. I also ran out of paper or canvas and I do like to paint as well...the need drove the solution....recycle old windows and paint on the glass. The glass is suffeciently large, smooth and blank. Finding paint that not only sticks but allows the effects I wanted was trail and error, but in the end worth it. I now have two media that cost very little or nothing. The little box pictured in this post was made from "free" supplies. It only took a little research to find the equipment necessary to harvest the local wood that would otherwise have been left to rot, and a little desperation led to the window idea.
Challenge yourself - maybe you can reduce the cost of your supplies, maybe even find alternative supplies that cost nothing because you'r recovering them from what would other be waste?