In the Linuxville downtown there is a landscape of tall and short distros. Each one almost a world in itself. Standing on the curb you see regular faces going in and out. Normally folks don't venture outside their chosen trek. I am a jumper, so I investigate because grass is always greener in the other side. Don't take my word for it, get a blade of grass, it really is greener on the other side. How do they get the greener side to face you when your looking at it is a mystery?
In the test kitchen I downloaded various Linux greenery. Mind you now, we are looking for Linuxes made for artist and favoring the visual graphic bent. I have a laptop on life support, one with a quirky graphics card and my desktop. Then I have distros: Dyne:Bolic 3 Beta, Pure Dyne, gnuArtist, Artist-X, Puppy Photo Artist Workshop, Racy Puppy, Dream Linux. There are others but they emphasize audio/video production.
These are all live-CDs or live-DVDs. This means they will run off the disc by loading and running in RAM. You must have adequate RAM for good performance. Dyne:Bolic and Puppy especially work the best with low RAM, but graphics are RAM intensive. You must have a PC that can boot off the CD and or Flash drive. Flash drives are wonderful because there are no moving parts to slow you down. There are procedures to make bootable Flash drives. The beauty of the above is that you can transform an average MS Windows PC into a Linux Artist workstation with two Flash Drives (at least 4 or 8 gigs each). And when you pull them out, it's still a MS Windows PC.
The distros have similar applications, I mostly look for Blender, My Paint, GIMP and Inkscape on the same distro. If you install the distro on one computer then you can add what you want, then construct a new Live-CD. This is called remastering. This is why there are so many versions of Linux. I will try to say things about what I found. But I want to set the user stage.
An artist tool set doesn't change much. If you got a good set that works for you why change it. The constant urge to upgrade to the latest has to be set aside. I would recommend getting use to working offline. Thats no upgrade fever, no online. Then using an unchanged live-cd distro if you can, remaster if you must. So, your tools are your tools and changing is squashed to a minimum. Distractions leads to no action. You can now put your art studio on two flash drives mounted in a violin case, gangster in and blow any PC into art production. Details are coming.