“You artists are so hard to shop for.” I’ve heard that line before, and maybe you have to. As an advocate for artists in the home or their business, Frame Destination believes in championing holiday wishes for creatives. Check out our list of unique gifts for the photographer, artist, home decorator, family CEO, and dedicated DIYer. If something catches you eye, share this post with family, close friends and even on social media — with a subtle hint, like: “I’d flip over item #3, just fyi.” Of course, feel free to consult this festive list to treat your fellow artists as well. ’Tis the season!
Multicolor Wall Clock
When artists and photographers are in the process of creating, it’s easy to lose track of time. Of course cell phones and computers deliver this information, but sometimes our eyes need to glance away from those ubiquitous screens. This ultra-flat, super quiet clock is a fun yet practical gift for anyone on your list who would appreciate a splash of color that also happens to be functional. Buy here.
History of Art Tote
A tote bag always comes in handy, and why not make it clever? From da Vinci to Dali and beyond, this bag recounts art history at a glance via smiley faces illustrated by Donald Seitz. This one’s available from our friends and the Museum of Modern Art. Now if we could just get these clever faces in emoji form on our cell phones. Buy here.
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, lest you scratch the print. Enter the Artie Leather Weight. 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. They’ll wonder how you knew. Buy here.
Photographers who work in colder climates shouldn’t have to risk frostbite to capture stunning images. Taking gloves on and off is annoying. Come to the rescue of your photographer friend with these Sensory Gloves by AquaTech. They’re fleece-lined from wrist to fingers keeps the cold at bay. Neoprene tops the thumb and index finger, outfitted with a secret hole where digits can pop through to get the shot, and quickly retreat to warmth. (01/07/2020 update - AquaTech appears to be sold out of these gloves. But, they are available through other suppliers such as Overland Photo Supply and Roberts Camera. We are leaving the Aquatech link up though in case they are restocked.) Buy here.
Art & Machine Playing Cards
Here at Frame Destination, we appreciate it when someone offers a fresh spin on a normal, everyday object. Take these playing cards, for example, featuring a palm-sized walk through the history modern art, design and machine technology. Each suit displays one of four eras: Bauhaus typography (spades), mid-century book covers (hearts), late-1900s silkscreen posters (clubs) and contemporary art and design in the age of mobile (diamonds). As far as looks go, every hand’s a winning hand. Buy here.
Honey Fund Shadowbox
Creatives have a running list of cutting-edge equipment and supplies they’d love to own, but can’t afford quite yet. Maybe it’s out of your reach, too. Still, you can show your support (and your own DIY prowess) by custom-creating a savings shadow box to motivate your recipient’s desire to save, save, save. Decorate the inside of the shadow box as a visual reminder of the item of their dreams; for example, a beautiful photo of the European city they’d love to visit and photograph, or an image of the expensive oil color set they’ve been eyeing.
To create this unique gift, order the shadow box in the size of your print with a piece of 3/16-inch backing board. Order a piece of standard acrylic separately that is two inches smaller than your frame size.
Example: If your print is 11x14 inches, order a frame kit with a piece of 3/16-inch foam core. If the print is horizontal, order the acrylic at 9x14. If it’s vertical, order it at 11x12. Note that “Honey Fund” tag is not included, but you can easily make your own custom tag with card stock and colored sharpie markers — and don’t forget to slip in some cash to start them off! Buy here.
Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts
Many photographers enjoy taking their craft beyond scouting and shooting into the world of post. With this gift, you’ll help the lucky photographer on your list to work much faster in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as they take their images to next-level greatness. Buy here.
Frame Destination Gift Card
Ah, the ever-flexible Frame Destination Gift Card. We’re fans. Who wouldn’t be? Your recipients get to choose exactly what they want, no returns necessary. They’re perfect as a stand-alone gift for artists and photographers who need ready-made picture frames and other framing supplies on a regular basis or as a companion gift to another item on this list. Another thought: a gift card is a great add-on to a personal gift: your recipient gets to choose how to frame that print or original art you’ve selected just for them. Buy here.
Merry Mentions Over $50
We couldn’t resist adding this trio of ideas, despite their price tags. Just in case you want to splurge, or perhaps split the cost with a group of friends.
Museum Membership Give them a reason to visit a local art museum any time, not just when company is in town. From the Dallas Museum of Art to Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Museum of Modern Art in New York — check your local museums for gift membership opportunities. Prices vary.
Glide One Strap System, $64.95 We’re impressed by the ergonomic split-strap design that’s not just comfortable, but lets you nimbly slide a camera from your side to your eye so you never miss a shot.
Transparent Tripod Easel, $199 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.