Your Ultimate Gift Guide for Artists - 2019 Edition!
In Season 1, Episodes 6 and 7, we featured our Ultimate Gift Guide for Artists for 2019.
Here, you can find links to all the things we talked about!
1. Magazine Subscriptions
Despite popular belief, the magazine industry is not the dying art form that we consider it to be. At least not when it comes to the arts! Below are four great magazine subscriptions Michael K and I know that any artist in your life will love!
A well rounded periodical that have six issues per year. Each issue focuses on a different field, but there's always something for everyone!
I personally love the Print & Digital bundle, because the work they put into their physical magazines is fantastic with vibrant colors.
Hi-Fructose is a periodical with four issues per year. This magazine I consider to be a bit more edgy and narrowed in its focus. Don't let that deter you though! They strive to find work that transcends genre and trend, making it something everyone can appreciate.
Another well rounded periodical with six issues per year. This magazine has interviews and essays on artists, musicians, comedians and so much more. They are also trying to do their part to help the planet by printing on recycled, acid free, stock paper.
Price: $48-$88/yr (depending on country you live in)
This is a three issue per year journal. They combine original artwork with challenging literature (I stole that directly from their website). The art is breathtaking and the writing is phenomenal.
Just fill with water and go! Great for blending together colors without the hassle of toting around brushes and a separate cup of water. These come in a variety of colors or sans-color just for blending.
Price: $5-$20 (depending on size of pack)
3. Moleskin Sketchbook
Sketchbooks are one of those few items that most artists can never have too many of. Moleskin sketchbooks are my personal favorite because they are durable and sleek. These can come in either soft or hard covers. I like the soft covers because the flexibility makes it easier for me to jam into purses and backpacks.
Leda Art Supply is a brand I recommend, because they hold up and have a great paper dense 81 pound paper that support wet and dry mediums without getting too bulky. They also come in 4 different sizes AND has a pocket!
Price: $13-$22 (depending on size)
4. Gift Cards
I know a lot of people have hesitancy about giving gift cards because they fear it seems lazy or impersonal, but that's not true! Here are two suggestions that will still mean a lot to the artist in your life.
Price: Whatever you're comfortable spending!
Art Supply Store Gift Care
Artists can be fickle about the materials we use. There's only a specific type of ink, and paint I use, and I know what colors I'm needing replenished, etc... I'd much rather receive a gift card to my go to shop.
Some Shop Suggestions: Michaels, Dick Blick, Jerry's Artarama, Quality Art Supply (Boise, ID), Asel Art (Texas)
Frame Shop Gift Card
One of the most expensive things we spend money on is framing. A professional frame job that will last and preserve the work regularly can cost hundreds of dollars. Any contribution is going to be a god send to your loved one.
Some Frame Shop Suggestions: Michaels, Jerry's Artarama, Aaron Brothers (they have lifetime guarantees), Joann's
5. Wacom Drawing Tablet
Don't get these mixed up with your touch screen laptop, or iPad. Wacom Tablets are the juggernauts for digital artists. They come in variety of sizes and styles. Some have their own screens on the tablet (these look more like traditional tablets), some use your computer monitor to see what you're drawing. There is also a new model that is a pen computer. This can be connected to a computer or be used on its own.
Michael K and I both use Wacom Intuos Pro Tablets. Found here.
In my experience, all of the tablets in the Wacom family are great, it just depends on your lifestyle needs and budget.
6. Drawing Pens
Full Disclosure: Using these utensils won't magically "make you art real good". However, these are great quality products that will enhance your natural skills!
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
These are great due to their color range (97 colors) and that they have a brush on one end and a bullet end on the other. Plus you can get color themed sets, individual pens, or the big boy that has all the colors in one pack.
Micron Lining Pens
Micron pens, in my *humble, but correct* opinion, are the original lining pens. When I first started using lining pens, these were what I used, because they were so easy to find. Old but goodies, my dudes. These have archival inks, which makes them fade and smudge proof.
Prismacolor Illustration Markers
While these are marketed as markers, these look and feel more like the Micron pens. They are also archival! The difference between these and Micron is that these have more vibrant colors, though on a single pen by pen basis, they are about the price of Microns.
I love these for sketching! (More on why I don't use pens later) They have a great ink flow and are refillable. Most of these come with at least a couple of refills as well. However, these are non-archival, so can smudge and are not waterproof.
Stabilo Fine Liner Pens
I'd say if you like the color variety of Tombow, but are not interested in the brush tips, these are great!
Molotow Acrylic Markers
These are for adding the final touches to anything that you're working on. Since they are acrylic they sit beautifully on top of almost any medium.
7. Drafting Table
This is the one piece of furniture that you're allowed to get paint on! I love my drafting table, because I can adjust the height and the angle of the table. The one I have, I can even fold completely flat and put into I closet if I need to.
8. Buying Art From Your Lovely Art Friends
If you have artist friends (which, you're listening to our podcast, so probably?) buy their artwork as gifts for others! We work hard and want to share our talents with the world.
Where to buy: Varies
9. Buying Unique Artwork
This kind of goes hand in hand with buying artwork from your friends. However, if you're looking for something more specific or feel like the type of work that your loved ones make may not fit for the person you're shopping for, there are other ways to still get something something and one of a kind. First Fridays (...and Thursdays, Saturdays, etc...) are in most cities now. There's also Christmas Expos that have artists selling their wares specifically in the holiday season.
If you missed an event, or feel unsure of where to find these places, Etsy.com never fails!
Where to buy: Varies
10. A Professional Grade Travel Portfolio
Most of us are toting round cheap paper portfolios that we bought on the spot for classes and just to quickly transport work. Getting a nice zip up portfolio will help elevate the game. I personally like the PRAT Start portfolios, because they look sleek on the outside, but have multiple compartments and straps to help keep work organized and secure.
11. Book on a Contemporary Artist
As Michael K puts it "Go into the art section of Barnes & Noble and buy any book about an artist who isn't dead. She's right! Most of us are educated on the greats (and probably kept the expensive art history books for reference). What we can never have too much of it updates on today's art work. You don't even have to buy a book specific to an artist's field if you're unsure. I have several books on Contemporary Japanese Sculpture. It's still a great way to get inspiration.
If, however, Michael's method of dart throwing into the art section is too scary for you, Taschen is a publishing company that typically has a whole display of their contemporary artist books - A lot of "100 Illustrators of 2019"
While you can get these books online, I still recommend going in store to find a book. It's less overwhelming that way.
Price: $5-$150 (Art books can get pricing due to the quality of printing)
12. iPad Pro + Apple Pencil
These are big with artists on the go for a reason. The iPad Pro is versatile and can support creative programs with minimal lag. They are also the larger of the iPads coming in sizes 11 in. and 12.9 in. They also ideal for working with the Apple Pencil. If you or someone you know is wanting to work on digital art without the bulk of a computer and drawing tablet (and don't want to dish out $2000 for Wacom's Pen Computer) this is a good alternative since it's more than just a drawing tablet.
iPad Pro Price: $799-$999
Apple Pencil: $99-$140
13. Pochade Box
Pochade boxes are kind of the swiss army knives of easels. They break down into portable boxes that hold the easel, as well as room for supplies. They're also adjustable in height and angle - similar to a drafting table. This is great for those who like to work in various locations or don't have the room to always have a drafting table up. To get a decent pochade box, you'll want to spend $100.
14. Art Museum Membership
A museum membership is great for those who love to go visit on a regular basis for opening exhibitions. They're also a great gift for college students, since not all museums offer free admission to students. Memberships can also include invitations to member only openings and gala, which can be great for networking.
Price: Varies depending on the museum.