What’s the best gift for an Artist? I’ve asked people in FB Art Groups this question. Check out what they said!
Before you start reading, I have to mention that there are different kinds of artists, and this article is written with painters and illustrators in mind, not the musicians or singers. So if you are looking for something related to music/ writing/ dancing, this article won’t help you much.
The Social Survey and Artists Answers
Okay, let’s talk about the ideas. What do you get someone who likes art?
I’ve always struggled on what to get my artistic friends for their birthdays. It would seem to be an easy task since I’m an artist too, but that’s totally not true. So that’s why I decided to create a cheat sheet for myself, an article with list of gift ideas and links to the products. I hope that this list will also help you to solve this problem.
I asked on various Facebook Art Group about gift ideas for Artists, and here are some of the most common/ popular answers:
- a nice quality sketchbook!
- i like organizers to keep my workplace pleasant looking 🙂
- Something with their art attached or some art supplies and a personalized card!
- Art supplies, give them things they need, whatever main arg media they use. As well as something you made for them can 99% brighten their day
- I’d give them an art book by one of the artists they like a lot, or books on how to do whatever art it is they do(life drawing books, etc) having sources of learning and reference at hand is priceless, and most of the time we don’t invest what we should in it; we’re to busy buying supplies or whatever else because we can be fickle.
- Just don´t buy the material you think they want. Better a voucher than buying material if you are not 100% sure is what they want.
- An organizer for art supplies perhaps? Lots of my artist friends have tons of supplies but lack good places to put a lot of them
- Do they have any ocs? Maybe get a commission of one of their ocs!
My most favorite answer:
- Mmm good things to give for an artist friend Sketchbook Pencils, pen color mat Makers etc yknow things fer art. But the most important thing is friendship, never leave em
*Thank you to Digital Artists Group members for the precious answers.
The list got pretty long so I left only the most important comments, many answers were mentioning the same ideas. Most common answers were: sketchbook, Art Supply Organizers, Art supplies itself (markers. color pencils) – but there were also comments opposing this idea, suggesting that a gift voucher is a much better solution.
Having in mind these answers, I’ve gathered a list of art ideas – suggested by others, and from my own experience. Those are only suggestions, and if you think that your friend might like something else that is mentioned here, go for it! As someone said “the most important thing is friendship, never leave em”, and you know your friend better and what he might like!
The images are linked to the source – product pages, where you can read more info about them/purchase. So if any of these gift ideas look interesting to you, just click on the image to go to the original source.
I’m going to avoid listing here such gifts as expensive display graphic tablets, software and PC’s, and even specific paints (unless you know what your friend uses), because I think that these are pretty important things for an art career and that artists should choose them themselves – like, the first graphic tablet.
I know that parents do this and want to surprise their artistic kid, but it’ a pretty big deal for them, and it’s best to leave this choice to them, than getting a tablet behind their back without consulting it.
And unless you are 100% sure that the artists really want to have one of these things mentioned above, you should not purchase such presents. It’s really uncomfortable to receive such expensive gifts, and knowing that you will not use them.
1. A Sketchbook
Most common response to my question on what is the best gift for an artist – was “a nice quality sketchbook!”
And I 100% agree with this statement.
Because there’s nothing more satisfactory during travel than having something to draw on, or just to practice your drawing sketchbook, and then flipping the pages from the beginning to the end to see your progress, or just simply filling up the pages with your drawings.
Also, after the sketchbook is filled up, it can be sold for some good amount of money. Some artist participate in monthly are challenges, fill up the sketchbook, and after the challenge ends, they sell it.
So, here’s one of the most recommended sketchbooks, manufactured by Pentalic!
Check out the price
If you are looking at other sketchbooks, my suggestions generally are sketchbooks around A5 size with spiral bounds, because its easier to scan an artwork without the need to tearing up the pages, and regarding the size – it’s easier to travel with them.
*Personalize the sketchbook
By the way, I was looking for some “cute sketchbook” as someone answered to my question, but I haven’t managed to find one. Another artist mentioned that stickers are a cool gift. So here’s a nice idea, if you want to give your friend a more personalized gift, you can customize the sketchook’s cover with stickers, related to things that your friend likes. Here’s an example of vinyl stickers, you can stick repeatedly or peel them off, so if your friend wants, they can take them off from the cover, and stick somewhere else.
Check out the price
2. Wacom Pen Stands / Stylus holders – for digital artists
(my workspace and Wachibi pen holder from Freakfinity.com)
This is a perfect gift if for every digital artist! 3d, 2d or animation – you don’t need to know your artistic friend’s specialization. If you know that he/she has a graphic tablet (and doesn’t have already such pen stand), your problem with finding a gift is solved.
All you have to do is to get the info of what graphic tablet (model) your friend is using. Pens from different manufacturers may have different sizes, so when you are looking for a pen stand, you may come across options, where you have to select the tablet’s model. It’s needed to be 100% sure that the pen will fit perfectly.
I’ve gathered a list of most awesome pen stands, you can check them out here: Custom Wacom Pen Holders for Digital Artists
The pen stand that’s shown in the gif above, is Wachibi – Trojan Unicorn, created by Freakfinity. They have many other cool designs, (available in different colors) that you can check out in my article dedicated to their Wachibi Stylus Holders (you can see there comparison photos of my Wachibi, Wacom and Huion pen stands).
Trojan Unicorn – Check out the price
DO EPIC SH!T – Check out the price
3. Art Supply Organizers
– Pencil and Paint brush holders /cases / shelves
Continuing the previous section, here’s an alternative for traditional artists – Pencil and Paint brush holders.
If your friend creates his artwork on paper or canvas, he probably has a ton of various color pencils, brushes, and other tools he/she uses at their work. A nice shelf or brush holder will help them to organize their art supplies.
That’s also practical gift especially for art students – I was one, most of my money was spent on paints and brushes, which I stored in plastic bags, because I considered brush cases as something unnecessary (read: I thought that it’s better to spend all the money on paint). Unfortunately, some of my brushes were lost, or destroyed because of my poor storage.
Also I consider this as a “safe” present, because there’s no risk as in other art materials (I mean for example different types and brands of paint that you may not know about). And those shelves can also be used for storing other things, not only art supplies.
*Pencils/brushes not included
*Combo Idea (pencils/paint brushes included)
I got some answers from artists (question: What’s the best gift for an artist) about Art Supplies and Organizers.
You can get a set of color pencils or paintbrushes with cases. Or buy them separately, and put pencil/paintbrushes inside the case. If the Art supply itself weren’t a good choice, there’s always the case that your friend can use.
4. Gift Cards – for art supplies
If that’s a group present, you are not sure what your friend might like/need, or you can’t find a compromise on what gift you should give, here’s a practical idea – Gift Cards for Art Supplies.
Below you can find of a list of Art Shops where you can get a gift card. Please be aware of what card are you purchasing – at some shops physical gift cards can only be used in stores and gift certificates can be used online.
Blick Gift Cards
Blick E-Gift Cards and Gift Cards are available in denominations from $5.00 to $500.00. They can be used online and in their retail stores
You can redeem Eckersleys Gift Card in-store and online. Before you purchase the gift card, you can select the gift card’s template and add a text message. You can offer a card with value from $10.00 to $500.00
Pegasusart offers artist gift vouchers in varying denominations from £5 to £100, for use online or in store. When you order one of their art gift cards,they send a high quality voucher card to your friend or loved one in the post. If you’ve run out of time, they can send an online version by email.
Cassart you can get various gift vouchers starting on £25.00 and ending on £75.00. If bought online, Cass Art gift vouchers can only be redeemed online. You can visit their shops for separate in-store gift vouchers.
Currently, the Artistcraftsman’s physical gift cards can only be used in stores and gift certificates can be used online. They offer gift cards in a variety of amounts from $10.00 to $100.00.
ArtSupply provides only online gift cards. E-Gift Certificates are available in amounts of 50$ to 500$. You can add a message, that will be forwarded with the voucher to your friend. He/ She will get a code to use online at artsupply.com
Jackson’s art supplies is an online shop that is available in different countries, including UK, AU, DE, ES, IR, CA, FR, RU, and of course USA.
Gift vouchers can be used internationally, are available in a variety of denominations, redeemable online, and valid for 2 years.
Opus Art Supplies provides gift cards with denomination from 50$ to 150$. Gift Cards are redeemable for in-store purchases and for orders placed by phone via our National Mail Order Service. You can also include your written message as a note that will be send to the recipient.
Ken Bromley art supplies (UK)
They only mail gift vouchers within the UK (All gift vouchers will be mailed within the UK with a catalogue). But you can get an E-voucher, and sent direct to the recipients Inbox.
Amazon Gift Card are probably the most “neutral” gift idea. Amazon.com Gift Cards never expire and carry no fees, are redeemable towards millions of items store-wide at Amazon.com or certain affiliated websites. To purchase a gift card for use on an Amazon website in another country.
5. CLOTHING: Funny T-shirts for artists, artists socks
There’s one type of gifts we give each other in my family (mostly at Christmas), and it’s clothing. If your family is just like mine, then this section may be the most interesting for you.
We use to give each other things that we know that we will use often, and except cosmetics and sweets, we give each other sweaters, socks and T-shirts.
It’s a great opportunity to give your friend a T-shirt with a design related to Art which they will love!
I still give socks with funny designs to my friend on his birthday, and honestly, I think that’s the best gift, because he’s too lazy to go shopping and sometimes ends up wearing socks from 2 different pairs. Looks like I’m his socks supplier 🙂 So if this sounds similar to you, check out some of these socks and T-shirt I found!
I found much more cool designs, but I don’t want to spam this article with too many images (it’s already too long, but there’s so many interesting ideas!). I’ve created a separated article where I post the rest of the clothes with designs related to Art, you can check it here:
6. Art Kits for beginners
Here are suggestions if you are looking for gifts for beginners and young artists.
A good idea is to provide them a set of Art Supply, or many kinds of Art Supplies so they could get familiar with new kinds of tools and techniques.
You can get Art Supplies together with drawers or even foldable easel stands.
I find this idea mostly suitable for kids, and beginner artists that just started learning about art, or artists who would want to try out other media (or don’t have any preferred art tools yet). I also like the idea that these art kits come together with drawers, that can be used to organize other kinds of tools (different brand of color pencils, or just school stuff?). I mean, even just thinking about getting such drawer or easel makes me excited.
Here’s something perfect for kids:
And here are suggestions for a painter.
These easels brought my attention also because of my father’s history. Years ago, it wasn’t easy to get… almost anything, but especially easels. My father, who’s hobby is painting decided to get one, and so he took some pieces of wood and so he built himself a heavy, but beautiful easel for painting.
Now we have the possibility to get an easel that we can fold and carry around like a suitcase. I wanted to say it’s awesome 🙂
7. Art Gadgets
This is a list of art supplies that look interesting and many artists would like to try, but not to spend their money on it (because there’s always an art supply that they need more than these gadgets).
Interesting concept, I remember when some time ago they launched their product, there were many posts about it in various Art Groups.
As you can see, Viviva colorsheets are watercolors that you can carry in your pocket. The paint is placed on sheets, and there’s an additional protective sheet between colorsheets to keep it clean.
Personally, I may not use it for my work or class assignments, because there might not be enough paint to use (they want everything in big formats). But the concept is so cool, that if viviva colorsheets were available in my local shops, I would get them for my own personal stuff.
It’s a really convenient solution. I can put pain sets in my bag and forget about them until I happen to be unexpectedly in someplace waiting for someone – and kill my time using vivida colorsheets to color my illustrations from my sketchbook ( i always have it with me).
One of the coolest thing ever, this is a great gift for kids!
That’s how I thought until I saw some adult friends posting on instagram their art made with 3d Pen. Not only they created 3d figures with it, but also earrings and other accessory which they wore 🙂
Personally, I think it’s a great gift for artistic kids because this gadget may help them to better understand the 3d perspective drawing, which is very helpful for their art education.
Most standard gift idea 🙂 You can always find a mug/ or order, with a funny design. Here I picked the most interesting one I found.
This mug is made by Blue Moon, and the reason I listed it here is the protective lid ( with a hole that allows you to sip).
You have no idea how many times I mistook a cup for cleaning paintbrushes with my mug, and dipped the paintbrush in a coffee.
Mugs that look like a camera lense. Okay, I admit, this one is rather a gift for a photographers, but many people interested in painting share also an interest in photography. And these mugs look epic! Who wouldn’t want to have one?
8. Art themed Accessories and Jewelry
How about the Art related Jewelry? Something cute to express your passion?
Below are some suggestions, palette paint earrings and bracelet, and enamel pins. Click on the images in order to go to the product’s page and read more info.
If there are any ideas that you have but are not listed here, please let me know in the comments!