*A guest post by Victoria Rose Martin.
How did it happen? It seems as if I blinked and the holidays are on us once again. And if you’re anything like me you’re already racking your brain for gift ideas for the favorite artists in your life. Or perhaps your thought is to subtly tell your family what you would like for Christmas. If that’s the case; then send them the link for this entry because this month I have 5 great gift ideas for artists. Step One: An easel. Show me one artist who doesn’t love an easel? I sculpt and I have an easel in my studio. The best thing is that you can find easels to fit nearly every price point. I found this one on Dick Blick. It’s a portable French easel that comes with sketch box, wooden palette, and canvas carrying case. The absolute best thing is that it’s portable and can be tossed into the trunk of your car if you want to take a workshop or want to try your hand at plein air painting. Or if the price point is too high and you’re feeling REALLY handy you could build one yourself.
CoastPainter on Etsy.com has a pdf of plans on how to build an easel. Here’s a thought; what if you used old palette wood or scoured the beach for driftwood instead of buying wood for your easel? Perhaps you’d create something so unique you could wind up selling it yourself. Or you could try entering Artists Network’s Easel Extravaganza until November 15th.
Step Two: Do you know how important it is that an artist signs their work? If you don’t let me assure you it is. How about a custom-made signature stamp? I personally use a stamp and I can tell you it makes signing work way easier. With the stamp the recipient could make custom hangtags, personalized labels for sewn garments, or use it to sign their work. What if you made a larger version that you could stamp onto bags for an upscale boutique feel. You can order stamps online or most large office supply stores can make them for a low price.
Step Three: How about gifting a smart pen or stylus for their favorite device? While researching styluses I found one that really sounds interesting; the Bamboo Spark. To use it you begin writing with the Bamboo Spark smart pen on your own paper and the smart folio will store each stroke and your sketches are converted to digital instantly. Use the Bamboo Spark app to access them in the cloud. Or if that’s too much money why not buy a stylus made specifically for drawing on the ipad? There are a lot of them available at most price points. Apple’s new Pencil is due for release in November and it’s supposed to retail for $99. It might make a really nice stocking stuffer.
Step Four: If you’re buying a great stylus then it makes total sense to buy a great app for specifically creating on a device. I’ve used ProCreate but there are tons of great apps out there. A quick Google search will allow you to find one just right for you. Or if you don’t want to buy the wrong one a gift card to either iTunes App Store or Google Play will let them find just the right one.
Step Five: And it might sound really simple but you can go to Etsy and search “artist gift ideas”. I found some really cool examples I’d love to receive. My absolute favorites are the Not Paint Water and Paint Water mugs. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I rinsed my brush in my coffee I’d be rich. (thank God I use non-toxic paint, and yes I still drink the coffee) There are so many affordable ideas out there and the best part is if you buy from a small shop on Etsy, you’re helping a fellow artist survive.
I hope you like these 5 ideas. Next month I’ll bring you more that I’ve discovered. And if you have any great gift giving ideas be sure to let us know and mention them on your blog or social media.
For more art ideas, check out some of these titles: Victoria 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.