10 Best Gifts for Artists

Written by Joely Rogers

If you have artists in your life, you are fortunate. After all, we visually gifted folks are out there brightening up the world and you get a front-row seat to that! All teasing aside, I realize you may not know exactly which holiday gift to buy for your unique, creative person. Allow me to offer up some ideas, from serious to silly, affordable to splurge-worthy. Take a look at 10 gifts I’d certainly enjoy receiving. Merry scrolling!  

(1) “Color Problems” by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel

When early-20th-century-artist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel studied the principles of color theory, she wanted to share her findings in a way that was accessible to everyone, not just artists. The result was a groundbreaking 1902 handbook titled “Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color.” This updated version faithfully preserves Emily’s gridded squares that analyze the color proportions of actual objects, like Persian rugs and teacups. It’s lovely inside and out, and its 5.5” x 1” x 7.5” size makes it suitable for even the smallest of coffee tables. Buy here

“Color Problems,” My Modern Met Store, $35

(2) “Art Out of the Box” Solo Drawing Game

Have you ever tried to draw a gleaming city — with your feet? Let your imagination and your laughter fly with these 80 madcap drawing prompts. It’s simple: Just pick a subject card from the pile, pick a technique card, then draw something creative. Play with the family or play solo to spark inspiration. Buy here.

“Art Out of the Box” drawing game, Uncommon Goods, $20

(3) Jeff Koons MasterClass

If you’re looking to give your special artist a one-of-a-kind gift that keeps on giving (for 13 video lessons), MasterClass is here for you. Jeff Koons, known for his iconic Balloon Dog sculpture series, invites students into a compelling conversation on the history, purpose, and joys of art. The 2-hour, 8-minute course includes topics like “Turn Everyday Objects into Art, “ “Approaching the Blank Canvas,” and a fascinating case study on his famous Balloon Dog artwork. See class details here. See pricing here.

“Jeff Koons Teaches Art and Creativity” — This class is included in MasterClass’s $120 annual membership

(4) Personalized Leather Sketchbook Cover

Although artists don’t want to be contained by rules, containing their supplies is another story. And this is one luxurious way to keep a sketchbook and colored pencils together for anytime inspiration. High-quality, hand-stitched leather comes in Brown, Gray, Black, Tan, Pink, Blue, Orange, and Purple. With 9,800+ 5-star reviews, this Etsy artist has earned quite a following. Sketchbook and colored pencils are not included. Buy here

Personalized Leather Sketchbook Cover, ExtraStudio on Etsy, from $48.79 (includes 15% discount at time of publishing)

(5) Colorful Paint Brush Rests

Whether your artist paints in watercolor, acrylic, or oil paint, these handmade ceramic Paint Brush Rests will help prevent water spots on surfaces without taking up a lot of space. With 13 colors from Red Coral to Periwinkle to Seaglass, you may be tempted to give a rainbow. Buy here.

Colorful Paint Brush Rest, BNCApottery on Etsy, $18.99

(6) Cartoon Coffee Mug

It doesn’t get any more personalized than this coffee mug! Simply send in a photo of your intended recipient, and this Etsy seller will render their likeness in whimsical cartoon form. Choose the interior color of the mug: White, Yellow, Black, Green, Red, or Blue. Buy here.

Cartoon Coffee Mug, Procitygift on Etsy, $49.90 (but sometimes on sale)

(7) Portable Plein Air Easel

For those who love to create and also enjoy the great outdoors, plein air painting could be their next artistic endeavor. If so, treat them to this lightweight, easy-to-set-up easel that even comes with a carrying case with shoulder strap. Buy here.

Portable Plein Air Easel, T-Sign Store on Amazon, $25.99 (but sometimes on sale)

(8) Picture Frame

Every artist can use a picture frame. Make a bold statement with this 8” x 10” antique glossy frame that will showcase their work beautifully. (Also available in Gold, Bronze, Pewter, and Silver.) This wood frame is great for thin canvas panels, pastel boards, art prints, photographs, and documents — so you can’t go wrong. Buy here

Wood Frame Profile 741 8x10, FrameDestination.com, $57.33, price will vary based on customization

(9) Artie Leather Weight

Anyone who’s tried to hold down a print while mounting it for framing knows you can’t just grab random objects to do the job, or you risk scratching the print. Enter the Artie Leather Weight, featuring our famed panda mascot. Heavy enough to keep prints in place, but covered in soft, non-abrasive leather to protect the art. Priced low enough to buy a set of four and cover every corner. Buy here

Artie Leather Weight
Artie Leather Weight, FrameDestination.com, $17.99 each

(10) Art Is Life Gift Card

We can’t help but sing the praises of our gift e-card. It’s delivered by email, so no gift wrapping required. Your recipients get to choose exactly what they want from our array of ready-made picture frames and other framing supplies. Plus, it’s a great add-on to the gift of original art: your recipient gets to choose how to frame it. Buy here.  

Art Is Life Gift Card
Art Is Life Gift Card, FrameDestination.com, $10 to $500

If we’ve made your holidays a smidge less frenzied, I’ll consider this a win. Feel free to share your own artist gift ideas in the comments below!

NOTE: You may also enjoy Best Gifts for Photographers and Best Gifts for Creative People.

Last Updated September 18, 2023

Written by Joely Rogers

Joely Rogers Joely C. Rogers is an artist/illustrator and writer living in the mountains of western North Carolina. She has professional training in both natural science illustration and the culinary arts, as well as graduate academic training in education, sociolinguistics, and folklore/storytelling. She is a Blue Ridge Naturalist candidate with the North Carolina Arboretum and a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.