6 Christmas gift ideas for artists.

It's time to start thinking about Christmas! There might be someone in your life that's super creative and you want to show them that you're thinking about them, but you want to get them something they won't return right? I've compiled a list of what to get an artist for Christmas.

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1. Gift certificates. This one seems impersonal but will guarantee they get what they want. You can either go to a local store so they can physically pick up what they want or hit up online stores and see if they have gift certificates available. The benefit of online stores is that if you live in the middle of nowhere you might not have easy access to a variety of supplies near you OR if you live in a large metro area, your local stores might be too expensive! So going online might be worth it.

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2. Supplies. Well that's obvious but what kind of supplies? Well, what kind of artist are they? Do they work on paper with pencils and pastels? Then get them a sketchbook with pencils and pastels. Do they work on canvas with oils? Then get them some canvases and an assortment of paintbrushes meant for oils. Just don't get them paint. They might be picky about the types and colors they use. Do they make jewellery? Get them some jewellers tools. Organizers are a part of supplies so if you know a messy artist who needs a desk or somewhere to organize their paints, that might be a good solution too.

3. Courses. If the person you're buying for is a beginner artist and you know them well, get them into some courses. I had a mother gift her daughter my beginner's drawing class and they came together every week to draw. It was incredibly endearing. Maybe it's a husband-wife thing, a sibling thing, a parent-child thing, or a BFF thing. In any case. It's a unique gift. There's also e-courses available that can be taken at leisure, whether it's a business course for artists, or a technique course, there's usually something for everyone. Workshops are another type of course a person can take. It could be a week long, a weekend long, or just an evening. It could be anywhere in the world (if you're rich and can afford to send your loved one across seas), or it could be in your own back yard. I'm sure a quick google search for artist workshops in your area will probably be available.

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4. A night out. There's a relatively new trend happening called "Paint Night". It could be called something different in your area but essentially is a one night activity for strangers to drink and be creative. You don't have to be an artist to attend. It's lots of fun in a non stressful environment. There's no pressure to be a "good" artist.

A friend of mine organises a Dr. Sketchies event in Vancouver. It's an "anti" art class to practice drawing models in a fun and "sexy" atmosphere. For this event, most people come to enhance their figure drawing skills and already have some experience drawing.

Another great evening out for an artist is an art opening. Take them to show in a public or commercial gallery for upscale wine and cheese. Dress up, and make it fancy night out. Or maybe there's some other artistic event they've been wanting to attend...make it personal and ask questions to get to know what they want.

5. FREE TIME. What?! One of the biggest challenges for a lot of adult artists is finding the time to make their art. Many artists struggle with working a full time job or two part time jobs or have a family to take care of on top of trying to make their art career take off. So if your spouse is an artist, maybe leave them alone for a while, or if you have kids, take the kids to play for a day. Clean the house for them so they can concentrate on their work rather than chores. You can literally make up your own "coupons" to offer your help with certain chores or activities they might need help with.

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6. Clothes, and a haircut.. Sounds weird right? But if there are artists out there like me. We spend our money on art supplies, websites, e-commerce, art fairs, frames, and other business supplies before making ourselves look good. I have a pair of summer shoes, a pair of winter shoes, and a pair of running shoes I barely use because I spend my free time painting or blogging and not running. So by all means, help your fellow artist out. Assortments of coffee and tea are also welcome.