It looks like a lot of bloggers are trying to kickstart their blogs again for the holiday season and I’m not different~ Though I am absent on here, I do read many blogs and find such enjoyable reads that I get inspired and want to write some of mine but I have been swamped with work and have been unable to ;-; I am working harder to actually sit down and write more, and now that the wedding is done with I can actually focus on other things and not feel guilty about it.
With the holidays right around the corner, I got to thinking of when I was a teenager and made my wish lists for the holidays and my birthday and never thought of the little things that I could have used! I always put the big things I wanted and never considered the small things because I always thought, I’ll get that later on my own. I think there’s something to being able to have those little things that would make a big difference in the creative flow and wanted to share possibilities with you, here! I tried to mix a few affordable and a little more expensive items.
If you're interested in buying the item, click on the image and it will take you to the website! I had to do a bit of research to make sure I found the best priced items from big sellers. On that note, anything made by artists on places like Etsy, Redbubble, Society6 and other places like that would be a great place to get gifts from. Always support artists any way you can!
1. Desk Lamp
This is something that I HATED having to worry about. When I get in the zone I don’t like having to worry about things like lighting. Honestly it never used to cross my mind because I didn’t know what I was missing out on. Thankfully my husband (still getting used to that~) gave me this beautiful desk lamp that has saved me on many sketch sessions. Having good lighting while sketching or drawing is really important to fully enjoy what you’re doing. Colors look different and suddenly there are mistakes that you couldn’t catch in beautiful, dim lighting. It’s like when you apply makeup in the bathroom with dull lighting and suddenly step outside and you look completely different than what you thought. It’s an inexpensive gift that would make a world of difference!
2. Wacom Intuos Tablet
This one isn’t actually as expensive as you would think! Wacom recently came out with a few new tablets for artists to get their hands on without breaking the bank. The pressure sensitivity for them is as good as the Wacom Intuos Touch tablets and they’re great for artists who would like to start getting into digital art. I have a small one to carry around to work or on trips and a bigger one I keep at home for projects. It’s been a great tool to get me drawing more!
3. Light box
It took me a really long time to get a light box. I was drawing mainly traditionally and would come up with lots of creative ways to get clean line art but always ended up ruining the page with my eraser ;-; It wasn’t until a few years in that I went on ebay and got a cheap light box. The reason I never thought about it was because I always thought they would be expensive and at the time, they were. Now they sell really nice ones for great prices! If I had gotten this as a gift I probably would have cried from joy, haha! This one looks like a great model because it’s thin, which is great for storing. Mine is literally a huge wooden box with a lightbulb underneath it. It gets the job done! Once it goes I will probably opt for this one, though!
4. Art Supply Organizer
I thought I was the only one that enjoyed seeing all her art supplies out in front of her when drawing. Unfortunately I never had anything like an organizer to keep everything together, so every time I wanted to draw I had to clean everything off my desk and take out all my markers, colored pencils and pens. Once I was done with my piece I had to put everything away again. It was satisfying cleaning up, I guess, but then I found these wonderful things called Studio/Workspace Tours on Youtube. I noticed these organizers and thought how amazing it would be to have my Copics all organized and in front of me like that… I guess this is on my wish list as well, haha! It’s a great gift and not too expensive. A perfect gift for a traditional or mixed media artist!
5. Pencil Cases or Makeup Cases
Something I tend to do is use makeup cases as pencil and pen cases. I don’t know when I actually started doing it but I know I continue to do it. I love makeup cases. They are lovely and pretty and very girl-y and I love having them in my purse. Some are really great to have because they’re lined for cosmetics which means the inside of the case won’t get ruined with any marks! This can also apply for guys and toiletry cases if they want to carry around a nice amount of supplies in a protected case. I listed two of my favorite here, but you can go into Forever21 or H&M and get something cheaper and cute!
I have more of these than I like to admit but I don’t have a single regret. In my experience, artists and creative people LOVE sketchbooks. I personally love having a variety because I always tend to find a them I want to have with different sketchbooks. My Moleskine ones are for sketching, my hardcover ones with nice paper are for character sketches and backgrounds, and a lot of them are used for whenever I feel like it. I like having a lot of sizes and paper types available to me as well. Perhaps the artist in your life feels the same?
7. Cabin Socks
A really big problem I have when I sketch is that I get cold really easily. I like being comfortable when I draw so I usually throw on a fleece and some comfy socks and I am ready to go. I discovered these recently discounted at Tj Max and Marshalls and I am telling you, if you see them, get them! They are SO comfortable and warm because of their fleece lining and they will last because they’re made so sturdy! I want them in every color~
8. Merchandise from their favorite artists on Society6
One of my favorite things to do is browse my favorite artists’ Society6 stores. They’re always adding new prints and so many possibilities for new merchandise. I’m a big buyer of tote bags with huge prints of my favorite works and using them on errand days. My favorite coffee mug is one I bought from Bara-Chan on her store. They are amazing quality and are a perfect addition to a casual day. They’re always having sales, especially during the holiday season, so I highly suggest you check them out!
9. Coffee or Tea Mugs
Something I love having while I’m sketching or reading blogs is a nice big mug filled with a warm drink. Sometimes it’s tea and others it’s coffee, but I love having a lot of it. It also helps that a variety of really cute mugs in my cupboard just makes me want to use them. I warm beverage really sets the mood for when I want to sit for hours and sketch. There are a lot of cute and affordable ones in TJ Max or Marshalls, but they also have really cute ones in places like Anthropologie.
10. Writer’s Notebooks
The need for a good notebook is very different from the need for a good sketchbook. Notebooks are great to just spill things on to. They’re great for ramblings or cutouts of memorable things or quotes. I don’t go anywhere without a notebook of some kind, and neither does my husband. We both love recording things in our notebooks and using them for ideas for later, and also for quick things like holiday lists, errands and reminders for the day. I love having a cute notebook in my bag for small things and a big notebook on my desk to get things done. Pay attention to things like the type of lined paper because this can make or break a notebook for someone like me. I can’t work in anything that isn’t college lined and absolutely abhor wide ruled. In the end, though, there’s nothing like a blank page in a notebook to get the creative juices flowing~
11. Spotify Subscription
Having good music for me is absolutely essential. I would have loved Spotify when I was younger. It would have been a great tool for me and anyone that just needs to have good music playing in the background. I love it for the offline listening capabilities because sometimes I just want to turn off wifi and concentrate on what I’m doing. Right now they have a special going on where you get three months for only 99 cents! If you’re a student it’s only 5 dollars a month after those three months. It’s a perfect time to try it out if you’ve been wanting to!
12. Website Subscription (Squarespace)
My website is built with Squarespace and I cannot say enough good things about it. I had been using blogger before for my blog and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t feel like it was entirely reliable (plus I heard horror stories about people’s blogs being taken down without any notice and just losing everything they had.) and they didn’t have much of any customer service. Though Wordpress is free, I didn’t like how limited my capabilities were to also have a gallery for my artwork and sketches. Squarespace gives me the ease of writing my blog as well as a beautiful and professional way to display my work. I get unlimited storage space for my images which is great because sometimes I get very image heavy with my posts. I also have the option of adding a store but I’m not looking for that at the moment. I would highly recommend any artists who would like to have a professional look to their work and brand to Squarespace. They have reasonable prices, and you get a discount if you buy a yearly subscription. If you think your artist friends would benefit from something like this, I would give the plans a look over!
This goes along with needing good music. I also need headphones that are noise cancelling and don’t have any noise leakage. I’m extremely paranoid about that and don’t want anyone listening to what I listen to (mostly because I tend to repeat a track a thousand times when I become obsessed.) Comfort is also very important when it comes to headphones, so I always prefer over the ear ones. I’m almost always working at my desk so wired or not doesn’t matter to me. You can go online and find some really great headphones for good prices right now, and I managed to snag mine when a sale was going on. I use the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones and can’t rave enough about them. They are comfortable and give me great audio quality. I also have a pair of Beats Solo 2 headphones I use for work and can’t rave enough about those, either. Those are more expensive and I got them on Black Friday because I needed something more portable for work. I wouldn’t pay the original high price for them but right now they’re on sale for about as much as I paid for them so I would definitely grab them for someone that needs portable and good quality headphones!
14. Reference Books
You know those photo books that have huge pictures of flowers or desserts or pinup girls that can always be found in the discount section of Barnes and Noble? These actually make really great references because the books are large and you can have them right in front of your when drawing from realism. They’re cheap and they’re a great asset to the ever growing artist. I would find out what your artist friend is trying to learn how to draw better and go with that as a guide for a gift! I personally would love to have a library of photo books of beautiful flowers and food, huhu~ I would look for ones that have a variety of angles and takes full advantage of the large book it’s in. That means the fewer words, the better! I love The Great American Pin-Up (which I have listed below) for the variety of poses (and pretty ladies.) and refer to it when I need inspiration for a pose. Sometimes it’s nice to just have something in front of you instead of Googling every reference. Though I list examples for photo books on Amazon, I definitely recommend going to a book shop and flipping through your options! That’s the only way you’ll see which one would serve your purpose better (and they’re always cheaper there, too!)
15. Wacom Bamboo Stylus (and iTunes Gift Card)
I wanted to pack this last one into like a combined one but you can do either/or. The Wacom Bamboo stylus is really great for those who just want to doodle on their iPad using drawing apps. This isn’t to be mistaken for the other Wacom stylus that uses bluetooth to connect to the iPad. That one is nice too, but it’s also pricier and honestly I like this one better. When I wanted to try drawing more on the iPad, this is the stylus I used most often and I actually had fun with it. It’s pretty nice! The iTunes gift card would be nice for someone to buy drawing apps with. The useful ones usually cost 4 - 10 dollars and the free ones have tools that can be unlocked after you spend money. I won’t get into which apps I recommend in this post, but Procreate and Bamboo Paper are really great intro ones!
ALRIGHT this has been lengthy but boy was it fun! I also have another post coming up that’s related to this one that I know will be just as exciting to write! I hope this list gave you some inspiration on what to get your artistic friends for the holidays or for any kind of event! I didn’t include any high-end items (I think the most expensive were the Beats) but I might gather a more pricey wishlist later.