I love to give gifts to the people I care about. Since it’s that hectic time of the year again I thought I would share some tips for finding a good gift for a creative friend with you so hopefully you will find something great. I have listed some general ideas and sometimes also give examples of things I recommend if you feel like some gift inspiration.
A good book that will inspire your friend to trust their talents and let them see how much potential there is for women in the creative industry? Yes please. The new book from Grace Bonney is already a best seller for a reason.
Leave this one for the people you are really close to, since you will have to find out about their preferences of tools. From paint, paper or brushes for artists, film or small photography gear for photographers, to vases for florists. Giving something they will actually use to create shows a lot of appreciation for their work.
This might sound like something trivial but having a plant in a studio (or in any space) can really help to brighten your mood. Most of my creative friends work in their studios almost 10 hours per day and having a piece of nature inside can make them feel more relaxed and inspired. If your friend is not good with taking care of plants consider something with really easy maintenance. Succulents and cactuses are usually good but if they have a green thumb potted flowers can also be a nice alternative.
A gift that keeps on giving. Signing someone up (and paying) for a limited subscription will make them think of you all year long. Of course you should take in consideration what magazines and subjects they like. For me Flow Magazine, Frankie, Paulette and Cereal Mag would be really great options.
Tickets for an art show:
Maybe that person already has it all, so what about something that will make you spend some time together, or give the possibility for your friend to enjoy it with another person? This can be tickets for museum exhibitions, art shows and workshops in the area. Always a good call.
Accessories for the studio:
A nice gift for someone who just opened a new studio or moved to a new place. From a quirky vase to a nice tray or a woven basket. Things that help organise and decorate their space always come in handy.
Framed print (from an artist they admire):
Getting a framed print is definitely a bold step. It says: I know you well and I’m sure you will like this piece. It can be risky but if you get it right you will be remembered forever. The illustration I painted above is one of the works from a fellow artist I cherish: Kt Smail. She is probably my favourite artist and I show her work around to everyone
in the hopes someone will get the cue. As it happens she just opened her shop (this year it will be open until 12th of December) and her pieces are filled with joy. Here are some other artists I like:
Emily Jeffords – Beautiful landscapes
Grant Haffner – Road scenes (I got the ‘Sunset Beach’ last year as a gift and I can’t explain how much I love it)
Teil Duncan – Colorfull beach scenes
Fuel (coffee, tea or alcohol):
An inexpensive alternative is to give something to fuel your friend during work. Wether they drink a lot of coffee, dozens of tea cups per day (me!!) or enjoy that late night drink after work, you can get them the drink of their choice. In case you want to make it a bit more interesting, you can pair this gift with a nice magazine for them to enjoy along their fuel.
If everything else fails you can always give them a new, pretty sketchbook. I’ve never met any creative person who complained about having too many sketchbooks (they usually complain about not finishing a sketchbook, or disliking the content, but never about how many they have). I love Leuchturm or Moleskine ones and you can make it more personal by choosing one in their favourite colour or getting it monogramed.