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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.

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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 2 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 3 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 4 years ago

      nice lens.

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