It’s that time of year ago when we take time out to remember the artists in our lives who bring us so much cheer year-round. There are many fun gifts out there, a lot of them tech gifts.
The best artist gifts are inspiring, personal, and will last a while (or, are edible or drinkable). We may not be mind-readers, but there are certain things that any digital artist or any artist at all would love to receive.
Life-Phorm All-in-One Positioning Device for iPad 3, iPad 4, Tablets, Smartphones and Cameras
This extremely adorable “positioning device” is turns your mobile device or camera into a character, and is useful as well. See it on Amazon
Prop ‘n Go Slim Lap Desk
A lap desk is a terrible thing to waste… when it could be used to draw on. This one has grooves so you can set your kickstand at different angles. Others have features such as slideout keyboards.
This angled one from Halter Desk is pretty cool too, and you don’t need a kickstand. Click image to see more info.
PNBOO PN10 10.1 Inch Drawing Monitor (under $250 as of Dec. 2017)
This super-affordable tablet is a small, solidly built Wacom Cintiq alternative that I have done a full review of. Please read my PNBOO PN10 review if you’re considering it.
Wacom Bamboo Spark Smartpad Digital Notebook
Draw on paper with a regular pen while the Spark (below the paper) digitizes your drawing. Save it to the Cloud. Digitize your handwritten notes. A cool way to carry a sketchbook and open your drawing later on your computer or tablet.
Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger PowerCore 20100
Ultra-high-capacity power bank for Samsung Galaxy, iPad, iPhone and more. Power banks are getting better and better. This weighs about 12 oz. and delivers a serious charge to your tablet or phone. Can charge iPhone almost 7 times, iPad mini 4 two times, Galaxy S6 five times. Comes in black or white.
Natural Light Desk Lamp by Verilux
This LED desk lamp casts full-spectrum light, which reduces eyestrain and fatigue. Adjustable and dimmable. The base has a USB charging port so you can keep your tablet juiced.
Tecboss 3D Printing and Drawing Pen
Have doodles of fun drawing, writing, and sculpting with a 3D printing pen. This is great for kids (with adult supervision) and artists of all ages. A thin stream of plastic comes from the tip and lets you create your dreams.
Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter
This 29-watt charger from Apple turbocharges your iPad pro 12.9 and Macbook, with this 29-watt charger from Apple. It charges the iPad Pro (ONLY the 12.9 inch models, do not use it on smaller iPads) way faster than the charger the tablet comes with.
Sadly, the cable isn’t included. Apple brand USB-C to Lightning cable. The Apple one has a chip that’s needed. Your iPad Pro 12.9 should charge in a few hours (mine takes about 3 hours) instead of overnight.
Three-Piece Fintie for Apple Pencil cap holder / Nib cover / Lightning cable adapter tether
3-piece kit fixes multiple Apple Pencil annoyances: the silicone rubber cover keeps the Pencil’s cap from rolling away like a meatball. The nib cover protects the Pencil tip. The Lightning cable adapter tether secures the cable to the micro-USB. Comes in a rainbow of colors.
Virtual Reality System
A virtual reality system immerses your artist’s mind in a whole new universe. These systems that include headsets, controllers, and sensors. Draw and paint with 3D painting apps such as Google Tilt Brush. Watch 3D movies or play games in an alternate reality. You may not want to come back!
Oculus Rift + Touch
Copic Ciao markers
Copic Ciao markers are permanent, nontoxic markers great for manga, adult coloring books, and rendering. They come in zillions of colors. They are highly blendable, especially if you use the Copic clear blender marker. Though pricey, Copics are refillable and the nibs are replaceable. They come in different types and quantities, individually or in a set.
The Manga Artist’s Workbook: Easy-to-Follow Lessons for Creating Your Own Characters
Master the basics of the most popular style of cartooning with The Manga Artist’s Workbook by Christopher Hart, a bestselling author in the field of art instruction.
Yearning to become a manga artist? Learn proportion, action, hair and costume to create unique manga characters. This is a set with both an art instruction book and a workbook with blank pages, tracing paper, and exercises.
iPad Pro 10.5″
Need I say more? The iPad Pro has become the main or only digital art tool for many illustrators and fine artists. The 12.9 is a great size for drawing, while the 10.5 is newer and big enough.
Etch A Sketch Classic
Who could forget the Etch-a-Sketch? I think all that time playing with one as a kid may be the reason I got hooked on art tablets later. It looks like a computer and is interactive, but it’s filled with sand. Glad these are still around. (By the way, I’m also a huge Wooly Willy fan–a super fun stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift!).
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S Pen
This popular and affordable drawing tablet has a pressure-sensitive Wacom pen with tilt sensitivity. The Galaxy Tab is an Android tablet, so that gets you access to all the apps in the Google Play store. That includes lots of art apps. See our review
Pencil by 53
This stylish Bluetooth-enabled stylus will supply pressure sensitivity on a non-Pro iPad or any touchscreen tablet or phone that has Bluetooth. This one’s made of real wood; they also come in metal.
Aeropress coffee and espresso maker
Who wouldn’t love Aeropress? Long a geek favorite, it’s a fun, dynamic way to make a strong coffee or espresso really, really fast, so you can get back to that drawing. The coffee won’t have any grit, and the plastic has no BPA.
Streaming media player
Nothing like having your favorites on while you paint. Streaming media streamlines the process, connecting your devices to make something like an entertainment complex.
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
Powerful streaming media stick has Alexa Voice Remote, so you can say, “Launch Netflix” like a boss.There are tens of thousands of channels, some by subscription. You can also order food, play music, and more. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you’ll get access to a ton of movies and TV. Plug the Fire Stick into any TV’s HDMI port and fire up Wi-fi.
Roku Express Streaming Media
In the same vein as the Fire stick, the Roku is aweseome.
SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack
This TSA-friendly backpack opens up to speed you through airport security. It has compartments for laptop and tablets and places for water, keys, and drawing utensils. It’s weather-resistant and ventilated.
Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere
Comics scholar Hillary Chute’s book is a literary analysis of the significance of comics–the whats and whys of this important art form. If you want to delve deep, this book will make you think.
A4 Ultra-thin Portable LED Light Box
Working off the computer? Well, you can still have some light. Transfer and trace drawings, do scrapbooking, stenciling, animation etc. with this thin, lightweight LED light box.
Tran Economy Artist Portfolio, 24 by 36-Inch
When you get that call from an art director or design client that says “I’d like to see your portfolio, please come in,” you’d better be ready. This simple, attractive, portfolio will show your work in a positive light.
Tombow Dual Brush Markers
It’s always good to get away from the screen for a while. These Tombow markers make art a lot of fun with beautiful watercolor-like effects. The set comes with a colorless blender. Each brush has two tips, one soft and flexible, one fine tip. You can also add water using a paintbrush.
Schpirrer Farben colored pencils.
A woman into coloring sourced the materials herself and had them custom-made. They are oil-based pencils that achieve rich effects. Users love them.
Creative gifts are awesome, whether they’re for others or yourself. They’re an investment that keeps giving for years to come.
See our 2018 artist gift guide!