Happy December! ‘Tis the season for gifting—and while inflation is at a high and you might not be spending much this year, I wanted to put together this gift guide for artists for you to bookmark and peruse with items of varying price points. I never tire of a gift guide that shares what delightful things exist in the world, so here’s another one!
Of course there are no rules that these items have to be for someone else. You deserve to be treated too 🎁
Holbein Irodori gouache sets ($8 for individual tubes, $60-80 for sets of 12): A new line of gouache from my favorite paint brand inspired by the traditional colors of Japan, with four sets corresponding to each season. The spring and autumn palettes look amazing, and I’m obsessed with this soft blue.
Nina Cosford sketchbook ($16): My favorite sketchbook! It’s the perfect size and paper smoothness, perfect for working with pencil or pen. I love planning projects and making thumbnails in this one.
Lyra graphite crayon ($1-2): I got this chunky graphite crayon at a drink & draw event and it’s now one of my favorite drawing tools, great for drawing big and loose.
Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. paint palette ($78): I finally bought this hand carved ceramic palette that I’ve been eyeing for over a year! I am always running out of room on my palette so I can’t wait to try this out. There are also other palette sizes if you’re looking for something smaller and more affordable.
TIME Timer MOD Pomodoro timer ($25): Setting a time limit for how long you’ll work (e.g. 25 minutes work, 5 minutes break) is a game changer. This timer is analog, has a silent option, and comes in many cute colors. Use for drawing daily or getting back into that creative project you’ve been ignoring!
Self-healing cutting mat ($7-38): I don’t know how I lived without one of these! Perfect for trimming papers or getting paint and other muck everywhere without worrying about damaging your desk.
Midori mini eraser dust truck ($9): This is the most delightful thing I’ve purchased this year. Watching the brush in the truck sweep up eraser dust and other tiny particles gives me so much joy!
Portable lightbox ($20): Not a must, but could be very useful for painters and mixed media artists. Before I got one this year I was using my iPad, but the lightbox’s larger surface area and ability to use for long periods of time is great.
RoomFifty sells beautiful giclée prints by contemporary artists, hand picked by illustrators and art directors. You have the option to buy your work framed and in various sizes, and they include free worldwide shipping.
Slow Galerie is my dream agency and I cannot wait for the next time I go to Paris and visit their gallery. You can find all sorts of stunning prints from the 100+ artists they represent here.
The Crafted Prints sell curated collections from some of my favorite artists (see above). Great if colorful and minimal is your style!
Books are an underrated gift! We can never read enough or have enough books for reference. At least that’s the motto I go by. Also, tell me—do you hate the idea of gifting used books? Personally I love to buy used and would be thrilled to receive!
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow ($26) is the best novel of the year. It’d be perfect for your creative partner or friend with whom you will never stop making things.
Make Your Art No Matter What ($17) is like art coaching distilled in a book. An updated The Artist’s Way, if you will!
Drawing for Illustration ($41) is a wonderful primer on illustration, from the fundamentals to the different areas of business. I’m making my way through this one and keep discovering helpful exercises to try.
Picture This ($5) blew my mind when I first flipped through it at the SVA residency. Pick this one up to learn about color, composition and storytelling.
What’s better than drawing or learning? Doing it with others!
Try recorded life drawing classes ($6-18) with The Henley School of Art, a 5 week painting workshop ($450) with Lindsay Stripling to further your personal practice, or a 4 week color theory workshop ($250) with Lena Wolff.
Small Fry Collective has a masterclass on freelance illustration ($30), or you could give a friend working on a children’s book a gift voucher for a 1:1 tutorial with Orange Beak Studio.
You could plan to travel to a guided art retreat with Uptrek or Vawaa ($600-4000), or start the year with a masterclass on letting go of overwhelm with Oliver Burkeman ($45).
Last but not least, consider gifting a Substack subscription! Wendy Mac has a DrawTogether Grown Ups Table with weekly art prompts, Lian Cho’s Cool Kids Club shares behind the scenes of her picture books, and Liana Finck shares weekly autobiographical comics ($50-60 for one year).
yesss the eraser dust truck