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Top Gifts for the Artist

Updated on September 28, 2014
Gayle Dowell profile image

Gayle Dowell is a jewelry and watercolor artist. She currently teaches art to a homeschool co-op highschool class.

Need a Gift for an Artist? Find One Here.

What gift does someone get the artist friend or relative? I've listed a few ideas here. As an artist, I've always enjoyed getting gifts on holidays that I can use in my creative work. I've been a watercolor artist for 15 years. I've painted in oil, acrylic, and have created collage work. I'm now working with metal and creating jewelry. I find that a new book or new art medium can give me inspiration in work that I'm currently working on. On this page, I've listed the top gifts for artists of all mediums. Leave your gift ideas in the comments section at the end of this page.

Photos of artwork by Gayle Dowell

Art Gift Poll

Whether you are an artist or an art admirer, you can participate in this poll by voting on what you think would be a perfect gift for you.

What would be your favorite gift to receive?

See results

Sketchbooks - The Gift that Bridges All Mediums

No matter what medium your gift recipient works in, they can use a sketchbook to draw out their ideas, whether it be for planning a painting, a jewelry piece, or a sculpture, or to journal. My most cherished sketchbooks are those with quality paper that will hold up to both pencil and paint. They also have spiral binding so that I can bend back the cover when I'm outside which makes it easier to sketch without a table or drawing surface. It must also have a hard cover to withstand abuse. Here is my favorite sketchbook.

Arches Watercolor Paper 140 lb. Cold Press 12 Sheet Spiral Field Book 14x11"
Arches Watercolor Paper 140 lb. Cold Press 12 Sheet Spiral Field Book 14x11"

I have several sketchbooks for the different work I create. I have one for my writing, one for my jewelry designs, one for my drawings, and I also have one for recording my travels. This sketchbook with the spiral binding has been my favorite as I can lay the book flat while sketching making it easier to jot down my thoughts and images. The hard cover is sturdy enough to protect my work through my travels and everyday activity.


A Gift that Gives Year Round

A subscription to a great inspirational magazine that came to the recipients mailbox throughout the year, would be a great gift for an artist. I know of no other inspirational magazine that could top, "Cloth, Paper, Scissors". I keep my back copies to look at whenever I need an art idea or to get me motivated to create.

A Camera?

A good camera may not come to mind as a great gift for an artist. But I use mine all the time. I'm constantly taking pictures of possible scenes to paint, textures to use in my designs or color combinations I want to remember. I have several folders on my computer that I use to inspire my work: one file labeled textures, one labeled color, one for portraits, landscapes, etc. I love a good digital camera so that I can download pictures of my work to my blog or my online shopping site.

A Collection of Decorative Paper

I collect decorative paper. I use paper all the time in my design work. I do collage, scrapbooking, greeting cards, art journaling, experiments in watercolor painting...all requiring different types of decorative paper. Occasionally I will take out my paper collection to spark some inspiration for a new work.

The Artist's Way

This book by author Julia Cameron is the one I turn to first whenever I need to be reminded of how to live creatively. It is easy for an artist to live day to day and miss opportunities to keep their minds thinking creatively. This is a must have for those wanting to live a creative life.

Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet

Edit digital photos, paint, draw and sketch with the Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet. This is on my wish list for sure. I'm wanting to create digital designs and this would be a great tool for doing just that.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

Photoshop Elements 12

With Photoshop Elements I can do more than just enhance my photos, I can manipulate them to make digital artwork. Photoshop Elements also gives me tools to edit and combine my videos clips to produce a finished movie. My daughter recently used this software to create a how-to video using digital video clips she took and combined them with music. I edit my artwork and handmade jewelry photos before I upload the photos online. Great tools for the price.

Artist's Painting Apron

I like an apron to protect my clothing while I'm slinging paint around my studio. Yes, artists can get very messy. This would be a well appreciated gift.

Artist's Smock Art Apron Painter's Smock by sandybuckley
See more aprons from

Sakura Micron Markers
Sakura Micron Markers

Good Drawing Pens

Sakura Micron brand pens have always been a reliable brand for me. I do a lot of pen and ink drawing and need to have different pen widths. I've used expensive refillable technical pens, but these are so much easier to use, and so much more reliable.

Tell Me Your Favorite Gift Ideas...

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Decorative paper will always be my choice. I love paper and just looking at them makes me alive most especially the specially crafted ones.

    • profile image

      FireHorse27 4 years ago

      Fabulous lens. My wife and I love painting and I am keen to learn to draw pictures to scale.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      Great choices. I'm often on the lookout for artist gifts for my dad. I find sketch books and watercolor pencils are always happily received.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      I really like that painting apron. I could use a few in kids' sizes!

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 5 years ago

      nice lens.

    • BlogAustralia profile image

      BlogAustralia 5 years ago

      Wacom Bamboo Create Table is my next wish. I didn't get it for Xmas, but hope for b-day or soon :)

    • profile image

      myspace9 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 5 years ago

      Just give to an artists anything you can -- the artist will find something creative to do with it. Blessed this lens and the soul of every artist -- which is all of us!

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 5 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Great Lens - thanks for the inspiring ideas

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Congrats for making the front page, blessed by squid Angel flinnie.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      I love to draw, all good gifts for the artist.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 5 years ago

      Thanks for these useful great gift ideas for artists! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • nicenet profile image

      nicey 5 years ago

      I appreciate the new gift ideas for artist on your lens.I still like the traditional method of using pencil.However, I would love to have these collections in order to be a better artist.

    • profile image

      sammyslim 5 years ago

      Great gift ideas, Thanks

    • Robz007 profile image

      Robz007 5 years ago

      I love the front cover of "cloth, paper, sissers"

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is great, thank you for your sharing, I really like them. :)

    • profile image

      fionaagee42 5 years ago

      i would always want a full paint brush set starting from size 0 to flats :)

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Congratulations on making Popular Pages - Featured Lenses. What a great lens you have here, I love the Collection of Decorative Paper!

    • john-dewitt-7 profile image

      john-dewitt-7 5 years ago

      I love the bamboo pad for drawing digitally.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      All the stuff is enjoyable and could be liked by the receptor

    • Ursel001 profile image

      Ursel001 5 years ago

      Thanks for great ideas!

      Grest lens!

    • profile image

      azamkhan760 5 years ago

      some great Gifts for the Artist.

      Thanks for sharing

    • AshleysCorner profile image

      AshleysCorner 5 years ago

      Lots of great gift ideas! Congrats on being featured!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I would be mighty happy with that Wacum art pad!

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Congratulations on this lens being featured on the Squidoo home page!

    • shahedashaikh profile image

      shahedashaikh 5 years ago

      I would wish for more free time to concentrate on my hobbies,it would be the best gift ever.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      These are some great Gifts for the Artist. Thanks

    • KatPalmer LM profile image

      KatPalmer LM 5 years ago

      Well, if I could have anything I would like Photoshop Pro, but that's probably a lot to ask so a new set of charcoal pencils. . .

    • squidlyranks profile image

      squidlyranks 5 years ago

      I wish for a Ipad lol... That's all i want for Christmas and to be able to make enough money so I can help build my club house so the kids can have some where to express themselves, develop and learn. By the way what is the name of this theme

    • profile image

      Sue-DN 5 years ago

      A subscription to the Artist magazine is a lovely idea - like having a new gift every month throughout the year!

    • jimconrad2 profile image

      jimconrad2 5 years ago

      A friend of mine is an artist. I'm not sure what she'd like as a gift.

    • profile image

      triciaerics22 5 years ago

      nine drawing pens.

    • profile image

      SandraRoseDesigns 5 years ago

      Good ideas to draw inspiration from! Thanks! I liked a few of them for myself:)

    • Nilakantha profile image

      Nilakantha 5 years ago

      The digital art thing looks interesting.

    • profile image

      kgdunst 5 years ago

      Something to draw on and comfortable with :)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Wonderful selection for artists!

    • LaPikas profile image

      LaPikas 5 years ago

      Really enjoyed your lens. I am working on my water color skills, and would love to receive gifts related to art, like books where I can learn more techniques or for inspiration =)

    • ae dc profile image

      ae dc 5 years ago

      i haven't tried digital art - very interesting.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      I like that Shizen Decorative Paper Screen Print Assortment Packs! Thanks for sharing this great selections!

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      congrats on making front page :-) lovely gift ideas.

      One of my favorite artist gifts was a small Bamboo Tablet from my husband and a art kit from another family member,

    • profile image

      glowchick 5 years ago

      We bought our oldest the bamboo drawing tablet and she loved it! Of course I think any of these gifts would be great :)

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      That tablet looks interesting.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Get a great art book that goes along with the person's favorite medium, artist, etc. My sculptor brother loved a book I got him about pottery, glazing and kilns.

    • profile image

      pinoyrecipe 5 years ago

      i love to have the sketchpads....

    • laptop89 profile image

      laptop89 5 years ago

      Great lens. I like it!

    • babynstar profile image

      babynstar 5 years ago

      Great ideas!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Excellent gift ideas for artists. The Artist's Way is always a popular book, even with people who don't consider themselves artists.

    • Celticep profile image

      Celticep 5 years ago

      Great ideas, I'm not am artist but I do love art history

    • profile image

      Eyon 5 years ago

      So many things I want on this lens. Good thing that Christmas is coming up. :p

    • tennineeight1 profile image

      tennineeight1 5 years ago

      You've inspired my inner artist!

    • tobydavis profile image

      tobydavis 5 years ago

      I always like to give gifts that inspire the person.

    • profile image

      ikepius 5 years ago

      they all seem very nice...sketchpads, painting aprons, paint brushes...everything!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I would love to get different textured paper to paint on :)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      I think these are some wonderful ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love crafting ideas magazines or beading or soapmaking magazines. I guess I just plain love making things my self !!! Great lense - thanks for sharing your ideas !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I like any kind of gift. (:

      Your lens is great and awesome.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I would love some canvas to sketch or use pastels on

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Great ideas here, I love digital cameras, I got one as a wedding present :D

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California


    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      These gifts for artists, made me think of my dad. He would have loved them.

    • Mellithorpe profile image

      Mellithorpe 5 years ago

      Great lens. I would love the digital drawing pen for the computer and magazine to keep new ideas coming in.

    • profile image

      HopeLabel 5 years ago

      Great lens. So many great ideas here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sketch pads!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      A high school art class has sparked my daughter's interest in drawing, and she has asked for a set of colored pencils and drawing pencils.

    • veronicatarantino profile image

      veronicatarantino 5 years ago

      I would love any of those gifts.. I like books and also brushes

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I want a Gelli Arts plate! I've experimented doing mono printing on gelatin molds and now I want a Gelli plate to play with. Good suggestions in this article. Angel Blessings. :)

    • mylittleeden profile image

      mylittleeden 5 years ago

      Canvas or paper and a few new tubes of paint! A some more time to paint...

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 5 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      I love my wacom tablet, but then I love pens and drawing paper. Great gift ideas!

    • oddobjective profile image

      oddobjective 5 years ago

      I love my wacom pen tablet. It takes some practice but it is fun.

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 5 years ago

      maybe a nice DSLR would be a nice gift :)

    • profile image

      maiterodrigue17 5 years ago

      i like different coloured papers and fabrics

    • latishaalford profile image

      latishaalford 5 years ago

      Excellent tips for the artist lover!

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      Great gift ideas!

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      Great gift ideas!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Photoshop Elements Software is useful long range.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      I'd take anything to do with good grade papers.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      Good recommendation.

    • rooshoo profile image

      rooshoo 5 years ago

      I currently have a Wacom tablet and love it to pieces. I'm going to get my sister one this Christmas!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      These Top Gifts for the Artists is great.

    • Wish List Gifts profile image

      Wish List Gifts 5 years ago

      What great artist tools. Any creative person would love these!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I'd like to get the Wacom Bamboo this Christmas... or more paint.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you, cool gift Lens!

    • profile image

      olmpal 5 years ago

      Artists are special and they deserve a special gift. Great selection of Top Gifts for the Artist! I especially love the cool Zazzle apron!

    • profile image

      MyBabyBoo 5 years ago

      Interesting lens, great job!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      These are wonderful gift ideas for artists, Gayle! Most artists I know would love to take a class in a new technique or medium. I have been given classes (or contributions toward tuition for one) in various metal clay techniques as gifts and they just keep on giving, since everything I've learned has become part of my permanent artistic toolkit. Blessed!

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 5 years ago from California

      That bamboo tablet looks great! I wish someone would get one for me.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      This will help me with my sister. She's an artist and I never know what to get her!

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 5 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I always like to give and receive any type of drawing supplies. Blessings**

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      What a wonderful lens you put together here! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You have such great suggestions here.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We just shopped with our grand daughter for a gift for an artist friend. I wish I have read this first.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      I'm an artist and I would love many of the gift ideas included on this really cool gift Lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great gift ideas

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      Books are always welcome, including sketchbooks and blank journals. If the giver is artistically inclined and gives me a handmade card or handmade craft item, I love it. Your example of a collection of decorative paper is wonderful, as are your Artist Gift Giving links.

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 6 years ago

      Some great gift ideas here for artists. I love getting something related to painting as a gift. Thanks for a great lens.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

      Love this ~ so many *yes!* gifts I would love to receive any time of the year!

    • sandi84 profile image

      Sandra 6 years ago from Belfast


    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Great gift ideas and gorgeous art displayed here. As a photographer, I love gifts related to my photographic needs (digital design software, camera lenses, Photoshop filters, art books, biographies of artists, etc.). I also love journals, beautiful papers, and wonderful pens.

    • spartakct profile image

      spartakct 6 years ago

      Good list!!

    • profile image

      MintySea 6 years ago

      I am an artist, thanks for the list