Buying gifts for your artistic friends can be hard, although buying gifts for yourself always feels like a piece of cake. We put together a few of the best things we’ve found this year while we’ve been looking around during the shopping season. Give them to family and friends, or just grab them for yourself. A few of these are on sale at a pretty significant discount during Black Friday weekend (yes, it’s a whole weekend now), so grab them while you can.
Body Chan/Kun Manga Mannequin
If you spent any time whatsoever in a drawing class, you’ve probably posed a drawing mannequin into as many crazy configurations as possible. But you’ve never seen a mannequin like this. The Body Chan/Body Kun mannequins are made just for drawing manga and come with accessories that fit the style. At $40 each, they’ve never been this inexpensive.
AreaWare has some very neat gifts that have a distinct, minimalist, design-forward attitude. Their Blockitecture toys for building tiny modern dwellings on your coffee table work fine for children, but they look a lot cooler on an adult’s desk. They sell quirky things like Bitmap Textiles let you pledge allegiance to computer-aided design IRL. But the thing that stands out the most to us in their store this year is the Gradient Puzzle. If you know someone who has a lot of thoughts on the many ways color can be experienced or divided up, this gift will test their skills of perception.
Anything from Natali Koromoto’s Shop
Nobody does it cuter than Natali Koromoto. We’ve been fan of her Brooklyn-made art for a long time, and her store always has cute stuff being added to it. We’re almost certain if there’s someone in your life who likes kawaii they’ll love just about anything from her store.
Nite Ize Inka Mobile Pen and Stylus
The Nite Ize Inka Mobile Clip Pen + Stylus is exactly what you think it is. A tiny stylus. The company also makes a Mobile Pen + Stylus which is really made to be part of a keyholder. They’re both inexpensive and fit the stocking stuffer category quite nicely.
Watercolor iPhone Case
Show the world that you’re not just a tech obsessed consumer with this Watercolor iPhone Case. You’re more than that. You’re a lover of messy watercolors.
Chuppy Lim Coloring Book
We’re super biased on this one because Chuppy Lim makes adult coloring books using our app, SketchBook. And the drawings are absolutely gorgeous. Grab a copy of his Chuppy Art book and gift it to someone who needs some coloring chill in their life. It’s a great way to say, “Zen out already, Martha!”
Render Demo How to Draw Books
Every aspiring artist needs reference materials, and the folks behind Render Demo create small books to show people how to draw basics like cars, shoes, super heroes, and figures. Stuff you should know how to draw. They’re great primers for getting better.
Art Snacks Monthly Box
We’re obviously fans of digital art, but we still love art supplies of all kinds. Indeed, it’s a special occasion when we break out the physical tools. If you feel that way — or know someone who does — a monthly art box subscription might be just the ticket. There are a lot of monthly art boxes you can subscribe to like SketchBox from Cratejoy or Scrawlrbox, but our favorite is the box from Art Snacks. Solid stuff every month with real curated thoughtfulness. And a snack! The best part is they offer both an ArtSnacks Box and a Lettering Snacks Box for fans of hand lettering.
Moo Custom Postcards and Business Cards
Moo got into the business of making business cards when everybody else started getting out of the business of paper. We’re so happy they not only stuck with it but made their custom-printing service even better over time. They now offer super-cool square business cards, but their small postcards are what we like best. You can put your own artwork on them — with a different image on every single one if you want. It’s the perfect high-quality, unique advertisement for working artists.
Felt Ball Sling Shot
The people who run Hello Maypole do a lot with felt balls. Maybe too much. But we can’t resist their adorable Sling Shot with Felt Ball Ammo. It’s perfect for procrastinating — or stopping other people from doing their work, too.
Fancy Features Coloring Canvas
Hey, coloring book lovers. How would you react if we told you that you could buy a giant canvas or even a mural that is paint-by-numbers ready? Fancy Features makes these completely unique canvases with line art that look like tons of fun — especially for an event or party.
She Talks to Rainbows is one of our favorite Etsy stores that will paint some shoes for you with a galactic space scene or mermaid scales. Even unicorns. You won’t find these at the Foot Locker, and you don’t have to tell anyone where you did find them. Our little secret.
Public Domain Review Posters
Beautiful drawings and paintings from the past regularly move into the public domain, but how would you know when that even happens? Lucky for all of us, the Public Domain Review‘s staff of artsy librarian types have made it their nonprofit job to gather and report when it happens. They recently added a Fine Arts Print Shop, and we’re definitely ordering a print for ourselves this holiday season — both to support this one-of-a-kind project but also because the drawings they offer are stunning and unique, especially their scientific illustrations from past centuries.