ART SHOP: Creative Gift Giving

The season of gifting, gorging, and greeting is here. With so many promotional offers clogging up mailboxes, it can be challenging to choose gifts for the special people in your life. I confess that I am a bit of a last-minute holiday shopper. I wait till around this time (December 15) to buy presents – usually because I enjoy ruminating on what to buy or make each person.

I often bite off more than I can chew and commit to making everyone I know something with my hands. If you do plan to do this, it is better to start in November so that you can savor the eggnog at your work holiday party instead of rushing home to finish knitting your Dad’s scarf. For those that plan to buy a few presents and are in need of some creative gift ideas, check out the list below for some artistic gifts idea.


Perhaps your friend is a budding architect, artist, or someone who just loves history? You can’t go wrong with gifting a book from Phaidon Press. They have beautiful books that focus on art, architecture, and travel – ranging from biographies to cookbooks to children’s books.



It is probably not surprising that someone who worked as a museum educator would recommend a museum membership as an excellent gift. Art museums have a wide array of engaging events that cater to different audiences. Your giftee will learn something new and perhaps invite you to join them to that new exhibition opening. Plus, your friend or family member can share their new cafe or shop discount with you. It is a gift that will keep on giving and is often tax deductible.



Picasso’s ‘The Old Guitarist socks, why not? Socks are always a great stocking or mug stuffer. So many fun masterpieces to choose from: Gustav Klimt, Nefertiti, Van Gogh, ect.. They are useful, artistic, and nerdy; a perfect combination sure to please any friend.



Speaking of nerdy, this is the ultimate art history aficionado gift. This trivia game invites players to study an artwork for 10 seconds and then answer questions. The only complaint you may have from the recipient is that they can’t find anyone to play with them.

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In the ultimate spirit of giving, consider making a donation in your friend or family member’s name. The Dreaming Zebra is a non-profit foundation that ensures children and young adults receive an equal opportunity to develop their creativity in the arts through art supplies and programs.



Support your local artist and give the gift of art. If you really like the work of a local artist, perhaps gift one of their drawings or prints to a friend. Artists usually have different artworks that range in size and price so don’t be intimidated to ask about acquiring their work.



I’m always doing that what I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

Have your friends talked about how they want to learn how to make something cool? Buy her or him a ceramic or carpentry class and let them find out if they are a natural!



What could be better than taking a trip with a friend or gifting a family member an airplane ticket to see New York City, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco for the first time? I would much prefer to be gifted an experience than an object. An adventure grows the mind and soul; but, it is even better if you can share it together.



If you are working with a budget, fuel someone’s caffeine habits. Creatives need that late night or early morning pick-me-up. There are even subscriptions such as Driftaway Coffee or Sipsby Tea that will aid them in their hustling pursuits. Help someone stay up that extra hour to breach that writer’s block or to get-up to finish that paper – they will thank you for it!



Do you have a friend or family member that is an artist? Good, because they definitely need art supplies. Artists always need fresh paints, sharp pencils, new film, or current software. Gift cards may not seem like a creative gift, but in gifting them supplies, you are empowering their creativity. Before you buy that gift card, consider what medium they are interested in. Do they like to paint or are they a photographer? Do they enjoy recording music or are they excited about printmaking? The medium they practice will dictate where they usually go to get their supplies.


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