The Ultimate Gift Guide for Artists, Art Lovers and Creative People.
The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them the inevitable panic that arrives while trying to think of thoughtful, reasonably priced gifts for friends and family. Artists can be especially difficult to find a gift for – since many of us are artists ourselves, we can vouch for the sheer impossibility of selecting the exact brush size, paint collection, crafting tool, or canvas the recipient truly wants. So below, you’ll find a list of creative gifts that can be mixed and matched to suit any artist, art lover or creative no matter their tastes (and no matter your budget!).
Monthly Box of Art Goodies
The monthly box of items is a growing trend that started with makeup and has grown to include workout clothes, wine and lingerie. Even dogs have their own version, and thankfully now artists do, too. Art boxes range from a curated sample of product selections from Art Snacks, monthly art projects from Smart Art Box, or decorative pieces from Art in a Box. Most come with the ability to purchase an entire year or a few months depending on your needs. A creative gift that keeps on giving!
3D Printing Pen
Simple desk toys step aside, the 3D Printing Pen, like this one from Lix, is the next generation of doodling and stress relief. Even if the creative in your life isn’t a sculptor, they’re sure to be intrigued by the ability to draw (in color!) 3D objects and miniature designs in the air. The pen creates beautiful free-standing structures that look like drawings! One woman even created a dress! Better yet, because the pen has been around for a couple years, it’s no longer a huge investment.
Desk and Workspace Organization System
Every creative has a plethora of supplies – and our workspaces can often go from comfortably cluttered to undeniably messy. There are a multitude of options to clean up desk, table and studio space, from smaller pieces available on Amazon, Etsy and IKEA, to customizable modular systems like the Organize-It, which can be adjusted by the artist to best suit their needs.
Journaling is not only for writers, and an artist’s journal is a proven way to collect drawings, thoughts and ideas in one place. Go to Etsy for handmade journals, like this gorgeous one from Any of A5WRKSHP. Your local bookstore or art store will also have numerous versions for creatives, so you can choose from entirely blank journals, one with prompts, or even journals with inspiring quotes and images from a favorite artist. Better yet, pair the journal with a book on journaling, like the Artist’s Journal Workshop , or a Kindle download on how to best use an artist’s journal.
A Worthy Bag (For ALL of the Art Supplies)
These days, we carry laptops and tablets next to pencils, paints, and other sticky art supplies. Instead of having to lug three or four separate bags to ensure our electronics are safe from the messier products, consider purchasing a bag which can handle everything, like the Weber Ultimate Messenger Bag. For the fashionable artist, consider a stylish handmade bag, like The Charlie Art Bag, perfect for sketching or watercolor trips.
Museum memberships are an ideal gift for a multitude of reasons. First, you can choose a nearby museum that you know your artist would live in (if they had the option), and take away the worry of paying an entry fee for a full year or more. Secondly, a membership will usually allow the recipient to see new exhibits and shows free of charge. And finally, the best inspiration for creatives is the work of other artists! If possible, join the fun by purchasing an extra membership for yourself and plan to go together!
A Class or Workshop
If the creative in your life has an interest in artistic or professional development, sponsor a workshop or class to give the gift of learning. It could be in a media they’ve never tried before or a practical skill like documenting their work or creating a website. If classes aren’t offered in the area, go for a digital one, like an online course, book or DVD that teaches them new techniques or studio practices.
Personalized Photo Gifts
Many of the online personalization programs like Shutterfly are used to bring family photos to life on mugs, phone cases, blankets, furniture and more. For the artist, though, a better choice might be a rendition of their own designs, their favorite artist’s work, or even images from their social media accounts (Instagram is an excellent go-to for beautiful images). Any creative is sure to enjoy seeing their favorite work memorialized in a way they can enjoy daily.
Etsy Gift Card
Etsy is a hub of creativity, and the perfect way for artists to support their peers. The choices are endless, though, and finding the perfect Etsy gift for an artistic friend can be harrowing. Gift cards may seem less personal, but it’s sure to provide your Etsy fiending friend with hours of happy selection from finished art pieces, unique prints, handmade creations, jewellery, or craft supplies, while freeing you from the fear that your choice of present wasn’t exactly what they wanted.
Art Magazine Subscriptions
When living on a budget (especially a creative budget), monthly costs are the first to be examined and nixed. Arts magazines are full of useful information about upcoming artist events, competitions, shows and techniques, but the cost can scare away those unwilling to lock in yet another recurring payment. Digital downloads are available and less expensive, but for many the physical magazines provide new muses and pin-able clippings for workspaces.
Unique Artist Smock
Any hands-on artist will approve of a new smock, because frankly, one can never have enough ready-to-ruin attire. Plus, purchasing a smock isn’t quite as pressure filled as selecting a piece of clothing you’re hoping they’ll wear around town. Smocks get dirty and are worn in often isolated spaces, so go ahead and select one you think will make your creative smile. Find a pretty one on Etsy or design your own funny one on Zazzle.
A Good, Old Fashioned Book of Art
Artist books are overlooked due to the sheer amount of them, but if you’re confident in a favorite artist, style, art movement, or museum, it can be the perfect gift for your creative. Artist books are meant to be perused at one’s leisure, and it doesn’t hurt that they can be left out to add a personal flair to any art lover’s home. Plus, it’s impossible to get tired of flipping through incredible works of art!
A Collection of Desk Objects
If you have a smaller budget, then consider compiling a few desk and workspace objects that can entice the artist who loves working with their hands, or is visually inspired. Office Playground has a variety of incredibly wallet friendly items like the Color Mix Motion Timer or Magnetic Sculpture Nuts which can be mix and matched, or given out separately as stocking stuffers. Several Etsy shops, like IdlewildCo, have artfully designed stationary and paper products.
Fine Art Calendar
Artists and art lovers need to keep track of the date, too! Perhaps they’re even more in need of a visual reminder of important project and contest deadlines. That doesn’t mean, however, that their calendar must be plain. Select a calendar that reminds them of the art they love, and the creations they could complete if they avoid procrastination!
A Handmade Gift or Work of Art
If you yourself are an artist, consider giving your loved one a gift of your creation this holiday season. They’ll be sure to cherish it!
What ideas would you add to this holiday gift guide? What’s on your dream list? What gifts have the creatives and art lovers in your life adored in the past?