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10 Best Gifts for Artists

Written by Joely Rogers

Wish you could enjoy the holidays minus the hectic? It can happen if you start shopping early. Like, now. I can’t suggest gifts for everyone on your list, but as an artist myself, I’ve gathered a few ideas for the artists in your inner circle. Some are super affordable, some are silly, some just plain cool. I hope they’re all inspirational in big or small ways. Happy shopping!

(1) The Secret Lives of Color

The Wall Street Journal calls this book “a vivid, whirlwind tour through the rainbow.” A poetic and appropriate description of The Secret Lives of Color, where author Kassia St. Clair shares captivating stories behind the origin or background of 75 individual colors. Learn about Picasso’s blue period, the brown that changed how battles were fought, the white that guarded against the plague, and many more. Buy here

The Secret Lives of Color
The Secret Lives of Color, Amazon.com, prices vary

(2) Japanese Cross-Back Linen Apron

I’m all for functionality, but isn’t it nice when style comes along for the ride? This pinafore linen apron has two pockets for your paint brushes, paint tubes, and pencils, while the cross-back spares you from awkwardly tying straps behind your back. The fabric is soft yet durable, and machine washable. Choose Grey Blue or Woodrose in S-M, L-XL, or XXL. Buy here.

Artist Cross Back Apron
Japanese Cross-Back Apron, Etsy, $59

(3) Leather Paint Brush Pouch

The ability to carry art supplies effortlessly is appreciated, especially with the resurgence of plein air painting. We love this genuine leather paint brush roll for its vintage look and pockets of varying widths and depths. Available in 11 colors with optional personalization. Buy here

Leather Paint Brush Pouch
Leather Paint Brush Pouch, PandaUA on Etsy, Prices vary

(4) Transparent Tripod Easel

Five adjustable settings make it functional, but we’re smitten with how the acrylic elegance vanishes into the background while your artwork takes center stage. Buy here

Transparent Tripod Easel
Acrylic Tripod Easel, cb2.com, $199

(5) Catalyst Blades and Mini-Blades

Going back to basics can be the best and most surprising gift. Functional, aesthetically pleasing, and even easy to clean, these fun tools will spark new creativity in your favorite artist. Buy here.

Catalyst Blades
Princeton Catalyst Blades and Mini-Blades, Dick Blick Art Materials, $6.69 - $17.52

(6) Picture Frame

Every artist can use a picture frame. Make a bold statement with this 8”x10” 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.

Picture Frame
Wood Frame Profile 741 8x10, FrameDestination.com, $32.35

(7) Artist Mug

For the always-on artist with a deadpan sense of humor. They can use it for coffee ... or paint. Available in Black, Red, or Yellow interior and handle. Buy here.

Artist Coffee Mug
Artist Mug, MoldyMugs on Etsy, from $22.30

(8) Work Zone Sign

The “warning” may be tongue-in-cheek, but my studio can enter the Chaos Zone if I’m not careful! This durable metal sign is printed with epoxy ink, so you can hang it inside or out. Available in 8”x12” or “12”x18”. It comes with two screw holes but it’s light enough to mount with double-sided foam tape or Command Strips. Buy here

Artist Work Zone Sign
Artist Work Zone Sign, CountryLaneLiving on Etsy, from $17.94

(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, $15.99 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 27, 2022

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