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7 Creative Gift Ideas for Artists

Neha B Deshpande
When it comes to art, the sky is the limit. Artists are masters of imagination and creativity, and if you're blessed with one in your life, gifting something to them is both, an easy as well as daunting task. There are myriad of options available, and at the same time, choosing one out of them becomes difficult.
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it.... It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see."
― Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
As mentioned in this quote, are you one among those who appreciate art? Do you admire an artist friend, or have one in your acquaintance? We all have an artist buddy whose world revolves around art: paint brushes, easels, colors, pastels, etc.
When it's their turn to gift you something, you know they take painstaking efforts to craft something out with their own hands. Now, if you're thinking of repaying them back with an equally awesome gift, why not try something creative yourself?


Before picking up a gift for your artist friend, make sure you check the following points:
Know his/her area of interest. If he specializes in a certain medium of painting, it will be wise to gift him something that will suit his requirement. Well, a connoisseur of water color paintings will certainly not frown back at a box of acrylic colors that you have gifted him. However, they might lie around in one corner, waiting to be used, perhaps for a lifetime.
Know the level of expertise of the artist. If he is at an amateur level or a budding artist, gift him art supplies that will allow him to experiment. If he is a professionally qualified artist, it would be better to choose a more sophisticated gift.
Get your creative juices flowing in this case. Do not forget that you're gifting something to an artist. Something monotonous will not excite him. Plus, it is not necessary that you need to shell out a lot of money to make him happy.
An artist can derive inspiration from almost anything. If he is a true artist, even everyday items will interest him. Surprised? Have you heard about found object art? You could very well make a DIY gift for him by using everyday items.

Gift Ideas for Artists

Art Supplies for the Drawing and Painting Enthusiasts

Color wheel.
Box/Vase to keep brushes.
Set of acrylic colors/oil paints/water colors/oil pastels, etc.
Sketchbooks to doodle.

Home Décor Items

Well, every artist will appreciate that little piece of art on their desk. Pick some vintage style art pieces or sculptures, and be assured that they will be genuinely happy. Here are some to derive inspiration from.
A pretty, unusual shaped vase.
Vintage handmade items.
Pillow covers and bed sheets, decorative vase, or a painting.
Artsy coffee mug.
A framed painting (the obvious one!).

Unique Gifts

Enroll him in a free workshop, or sponsor him.
Surprise him by planning a visit to an art exhibition.
Plan a trip to a place of natural and scenic beauty, and let him be. Gift him his own space, as artists need it.
If your artist girlfriend loves nail art, why not try gifting her a nail art kit?
Mobile covers with artistic designs.
A handmade card will be very much appreciated by an artist.
For those who love drawing comic characters: Dr. Seuss art books.
A collage of his photographs/paintings.

Luxury Gifts

Yes, of course, some art materials can cost a bomb, and well, if you don't mind shelling out some extra pennies, the following examples might interest you.
A flexible easel: An artist can have 'cravings of art' anywhere and anytime. After all, you should well equip him with the requisite materials. A portable easel will work wonders for him, and he can carry his art on his back everywhere.
Good quality, high premium oil and acrylic paints.
For the tech-savvy graphic designer: a painting tablet.
A drawing or sketching app.
An easel lamp.

For Those Who Love Needles

Have a crafty friend who loves sewing, knitting, or embroidery? Why not gift him an assembly box that will make his life a bit easier? Or perhaps, a framed cross-stitch work can also bring a smile on his face.

Books and Magazines

While getting a book, make sure that you know the area of interest. Also consider the 'level' of expertise which the book suggests. Painting tutorial CDs are also mostly welcome. Books can be a best gift for any artist.
Every artist learns from observation, however, tips from the experts are always needed. For amateurs, get a beginner's guide. (Do not dare to do so with a professional artist, unless you want to end up offending him!). You could also gift him magazine subscriptions, or a book of quotes on art.

Other Ideas

If your artist friend does not mind a little bit of humor, grab some funny gifts such as mugs with funny one-liners, or quirky center pieces. Remember, given the sensitive nature of artists, do not overdo your gag.
For young artists, gift DIY craft kits such as a rock painting, claymation, etc.
Graduation gifts: art clocks, jewelry, palette trophy, etc.
For tattoo artists, gift 'tattooed' T-shirts, mugs, pillow covers, linen, etc. After all, they follow the mantra 'Keep Calm and Get Tattooed'.
Art is a highly relative subject, and every artist will have something that amuses or makes him happy the most. These can serve as good Christmas or birthday gifts. However, if you're not looking for any particular occasion, any day is a good day to gift something. After all, gifting is all about giving happiness.