10 Creative Gift Recommendations for Artists

Want to make your creative loved one REALLY happy this holiday? Here are 10 creative gift recommendations that will make your artist surprisingly, ridiculously happy. There are several options, depending on your budget and how much you really love your artsy friend. This list was compiled with the help of fellow artist and Creative Juicer, Wendy Dunning.

1. A really fine set of markers

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Trust me. You cannot have enough markers. Ever. This set by Stabilo is a solid choice.

2. Some really cool lenses for their smart phone

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These attach to a smart phone and make phone photos way cooler. This particular set includes a telephoto lense.

3. A Fresh Perspective

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Creatives LOVE looking at things a new way. Here is a stunning book that takes a new look at the earth through beautiful photos taken from the drone's eye view.

4. How about a sweet *$$ printer?

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Printing our artwork is a must, and many of us struggle through the decision as to which desktop printer is the best for producing archival prints. This Epson SureColor P600 is what we want. It’s a modestly priced large format printer that prints up to 13x19 prints. To make sure we are fully equipped, buy a pack of archival paper and a full set of Ultrachrome inks.

5. A Professional Lighting Kit

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If your artist friend documents their artwork or enters contests and shows, a lighting kit is a great gift, assuming they already have a DSLR camera (if not, see item #6). A photography lighting kit will create perfect lighting for every shot every time, eliminating uneven lighting or waiting and hoping for a good day to shoot outside (never recommended). This kit, the Savage 700 Watt LED Studio Light Kit, is portable and uses energy efficient LED lights.

6. A Professional Quality Camera

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Smart phone camera quality is getting better by the version, but NOTHING beats a proper, professional grade camera. You want to start your friend off with a great basic DSLR model (the cameras with detachable lenses) and let them go from there. The Nikon D3400 is a fantastic DSLR camera that will allow for photography growth. If they're into it, the camera will work perfectly with new and much more expensive lenses. If they are keeping things simple, this will take excellent photos as long as they want.

7. A Smooth-As-Silk or Nerdy-As-Heck Fountain Pen

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There’s nothing better than writing with a gorgeous fountain pen. If your creative friend embraces the nerdist culture as well, you can get them in these cool Star Wars designs, perfect for the nerdy writer. If you’re a heathen, these are also available in rollerball.

8. A Gelli Printer

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Aren't you already intrigued by the name of this printer? Maybe you’ve heard of monoprinting, or gelatin printing, or maybe not. It’s the process of laying paint on a plate made of gelatin, impressing the paint with stamps or textures, and then pulling a print onto paper for the result. You can get your favorite artist started with one of these ready-made Gelli Arts printing kits. There’s everything needed to get started with monoprinting, so your beloved artist can get started with the fun right away.

9. Zentangle Meditative Art

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Zentangle is the most relaxing and creative activity you can give your artist pal. It's easy to do, requires very few supplies and can be done anywhere paper and pen are. This book or this book will offer the guidance to get started. If you're going for the complete Zentangle package, don't forget a fresh set of Micron pens and paper tiles too.

10. An Artists' Retreat

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If you really want to treat your artist, truly the greatest gift you can give is time to learn and relax with other artists. Here are some specific recommendations:

Amy Bogard's Travel Illuminated Sketchbook Retreat in beautiful Taos, New Mexico is HIGHLY recommended. You don't have to know anything about sketching or journaling, Amy will gently guide and inspire you through the process. Jacqueline Sullivan's "Painting The Textures of Ireland" will be amazing, and, Ireland!! Or, speaking of wonderful places to travel and do art, try the Italy Journey Workshop with artist Kathie George.

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