10 Great Gifts for Artists

A guest post by Victoria Rose Martin

One year my sister received a Spirograph for Christmas and I was totally mesmerized by the brightly colored pens and you can only imagine how many reams of paper I wasted. Not to mention the abuse I received when she found I had taken it without asking. Even all these years later my heart flutters just thinking about the round and round cogs of plastic. Do you have a favorite creative gift from your childhood? And do you have an artist on your shopping list? If so just in time for Christmas here is my top 10 gift giving ideas for the special artist in your life.

spirograph 1

The classic Spirograph combined with Gelly Roll pens would knock anyone’s socks off.

1. A Spirograph. Need I say more?

2. A sketchbook. Seriously, tell me what artist doesn’t need a new sketchbook? There are so many to choose from. My personal favorites have an elastic band to hold my pencil and keep it shut when not in use. Don’t feel pressured to buy an expensive sketchbook either, if it’s too precious they might worry about filling each and every page.

Moleskine 2

3. And you can’t have a sketchbook without a bunch of really nice pens and pencils. Microns and Gelly Rolls will set most artists hearts afire. When looking for pencils remember the ones ending in B as in 2B and 4B are blacker while pencils ending in H tend to be harder. Test a few out in the store.

Sakura Pigma Microns 3

Gel Pens 4

Microns and Gelly Roll’s are lovely for writing and drawing.

4. A small artists watercolor set with a variety of paintbrushes.

paintbrushes 5

An artist can never have enough paintbrushes.

5. A tote bag or other item from their favorite museum gift shop. Or if you know there’s a museum close by how about a gift membership? Often a membership entitles the holder to free admission to special exhibitions and discounts on lectures and classes held at the museum.

Totes 6

Screenshot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store.

6. How about a tutorial or workshop? Does your loved one have something they really want to learn by an artist they really admire? Why not see if their favorite artist has a tutorial download or DVD? Great books with large images are always another great option.

7. A gift card to their art store. Most brick and mortar and online stores offer them. With a gift card you’re assured the recipient receives a gift they really want.

8. An easel or a desk would be a great gift because we all need a place to be creative. And the easel doesn’t have to be a large room hog either. Tabletop versions can be used inside or in the out of doors and neatly folded up when you’re finished working.

Easel 7

A great portable storage box and easel.

9. A magazine subscription. Personally I can say that when I drag home from a long day at work and see a magazine waiting in the mailbox, it’s like Christmas all over again.

North Light Magazines 8

Great art magazine ideas available at the North Light Shop.

10. And if you really want to rock their socks off how about a box set of tools. Whether they’re a painter, draftsman, or sculptor there’s a box set of tools for every media. They can be pricey so search online for a coupon.

Sketching set 9

Gift box sets are often on sale this time of year.

Any of the above gift ideas can be suited for artists of any age. Even the smallest, least expensive items can make great stocking stuffers. Cheap razor knives from the hardware store or a kneaded eraser can be great additions to any artists bin. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.


Wishing you the happiest holiday season.

Martin Victoria Rose 160Victoria Rose Martin is an artist and designer currently living in South Florida. She is the Department Chair for Fine Art and Graphic Design at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida. You can visit her website at: VictoriaRoseMartin.com.

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