You’re an artist or you have a few artists friends and you want to spoil them for the holidays or their birthday. But what makes a perfect gift for artists ? Since you already reviewed a bunch of ceramic animals and porcelain jewelry friends, here are a few gifts ideas that I absolutely love for artists. Get something very special for your artist friends or yourself, while supporting makers from your community and from around the world.
Your friend might want something work related or not at all, so make sure to ask if it’s ok first. I know I’m not fond of appliances as gifts for example, but I’ll love a pottery tool ^^
1 – Gifts for the painter and illustrator
If you’re an artist or if you plan on gifting something to an artist, know this : we are (almost) always eager to try and test new materials !
I paint with watercolors and I love getting new paints, especially handcrafted paints. My favorite handmade watercolors are from France, but you can check out a few other from the USA and UK, they’re all small shops and handmade. My favorite ever : Le Pigmentarium – Manon makes glitter watercolors and one is like liquid gold. It’s the best.
Paper is always a great idea ! Go to your local art store and grab handmade fancy papers or special sketchbooks, they will always be appreciated.
2 – Gifts for the ceramics artist
Ceramics artists like myself are often on the lookout for new tools or new ways to make their work stand out. Here are a few gift ideas for your favorite potter.
A Diamondcore Tool set – these are expensive tools but they’re worth their price. If you don’t know which to pick, they offer gift cards on their website too.
A styling photography course. I took the styling photography system course with Rebecca, who’s also a potter and it was super helpful. To me it was not a huge revelation, but more a slow drilling of tiny details to think about when taking pictures. It’s a great photography course. Very practical and packed with insights.
A new apron – I love my aprons, and I think every potter should have more than 5 so, if your friend uses them, a handmade apron is a great idea. Find a local sewer near you, they’ll be thrilled !
Other potters works – Find out who your ceramic artist friend is looking up to and check if they have available works ! It’s always a great idea to gift handmade things to makers !
Pottery books – I should review a few pottery books here but I don’t read much of them and the choice really depends on your ceramics artist friend level and practice. Ask around, a book is always welcome !
3 – Gifts from more of my favorite small businesses
As I previously covered in my piece about my favorite artists shops, buying an artists work as a gift is always a good idea. Although in November the window is quickly closing on Christmas deliveries, check them out. And if they already closed, bookmark them for future shopping ! Here are a few more to add to your favorites :
- [FR] Cute animals – Apily : Annick makes the cutest crochet critters and her shop is well stocked as I write this.
- [US] Plants illustration from Kevin Jay Stanton : I have a desk mat from Kevin and it’s lovely
- [UK] Whimsical cute fantastic prints from John Ramsey
4 – More perfect gifts for all artists
Most artists I know love courses! Ask your friend about all the new things they’d like to learn about. It might be taking on a new medium like watercolor, or trying a completely new thing like ceramics or photography. Artists often thrive and get loads of new ideas when they discover a new way to express themselves. Here are a few things I tried (and loved) !
- As an illustrator, a ceramics course led me to find the medium that worked best for me. But it can also be a casual relaxing hobby. Depending on your location, check out google reviews and social media before buying a gift card, it’s often helpful. I also followed a photography styling course, but courses needn’t always be related to work. One of my favorite courses was a beekeeping class, and I plan on learning interior design ^^
- Artbooks ! I have a (huge) collection of artbooks. They’re not all about drawing or ceramics, some are simply animal related, or plant collections. Just make sure your friend can exchange this if they already have it. And going to an actual bookstore will achieve all of your needs perfectly. For Canadians, the online bookstore LesLibraires.ca is the best.
- Selfcare ! Selfcare is so important to the freelance artists ! We rarely take care of ourselves half as much as we should so here are a few cool ideas ! I love to treat myself with plants, if your buddy is a plant lover, find their wish list and try and grab one of their dream plants. Another thing I particularly enjoy is bath products and cute local things, I mostly rely on the awesome Kinsfolk shop since in Canada (try Zoe’s Corner bath bombs). And if you live in the same city, why not get a spa day with your friend ?
- Sweets – check out your local chocolate artist (they’re artists imho), I suggest Chocolate Barr’s Candies for Ontario and Lescurier for Montréal.
Mostly Free Gifts for Artists
Last but not least, if you have limited means, the best thing you can do is support your artist friends ! Get them a Ko-Fi, subscribe to their Patreon, buy a print from them or share their stuff compulsively on social media. These are mostly free gifts but we notice, and we remember !
Bonus : A little insight from a maker
If you mean to get something handmade, it’s all about schedule. Is your special occasion close ? Then maybe head for in stock items and chose a speedy delivery. We’re not in a 24h shipping process but we’ll do our best, especially if you let us know that you’re on a tight schedule. Eventually, I would also let people know when I’m unable to ship for a certain date and refund them if they already ordered. Communication is key !