An Enthusiastic Holiday Gift Guide (Part 1): For the Artist

Yep, it's that time again! Holiday shopping! If you're anything like me, you fear the wrath of Black Friday (I've read way too many articles about deaths from stampeding customers to want to test my luck) and always forget to checkout your cart on Cyber Monday, leaving you with a feeling of despair as the time between now and the holidays slips through your fingers. So goes the sands of time, my friends.

Luckily, I've spent the last few weeks doing my homework and though my holidays shopping is more or less done at this point, I'm of the "no one gets left behind" policy when it comes to helping my fellow shoppers out. The combination of "OMG, I have no time" and "OMG, I don't know if so-and-so is going to like this gift!" can basically make you want to hurl yourself off the big ol' cliff of consumerism. So, before you decide to fake your own kidnapping or buy everyone on your holiday gift list the same thing in different colors, here is part one (of seven) of my holiday gift guide series for THE ARTIST!

We all have that friend. You know the one. Went to an art school or has that weird ability to quickly sketch something out on a diner napkin with alarming precision. Many of them scoff if you call them an artist, but we all know that's the truth.

So, what do you get your creative friend or family member?

Find links to these items below!

Under $25

The Classic Moleskin Notebook (get it here.)

Save your friend the stress of having to collect all the scraps of paper they've accumulated over months of scribbles and provide them a safe-haven for all of their ideas. The Classic Moleskin Notebook is something they'll cherish because it's the high-end version of the diner placemat...Hey, and if they still have a scrap-of-paper moment of illustration genius, at least they have somewhere to store it.

It may seem almost too simple, but that's the beauty of this gift. It's a gorgeous, quality and incredibly useful piece that won't go unused. Extra points for writing an epic, heartwarming message on the first page to remind them that you have faith in them as an artist and that you can't wait to see what beautiful ideas they fill the pages of the notebook with!

And a nice reminder that you get the first invitation to their gallery show when they make it big...and possibly make it into their acceptance speech when they win an award. "I couldn't have done it without the moleskin notebook my friend gave me two years ago for Christmas," they'll say. Eyes glistening with grateful tears.

Yes, I'm daydreaming.

$25 - $50

Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra (TASCHEN)  (get it here.)

Looks like one of my favorite Taschen books is on sale right now, so scoop it up while you can! This fantastical tome of animals is sure to give your artist friends a good dose of old school inspiration. Whether they use it as reference materials, display it in their living room for guests to peruse (and be impressed with), or flip through it every other Sunday afternoon over a hot, black coffee, procrastinating on their latest piece while they contemplate their existence, this book does not disappoint.

You'll notice that I'm a huge fan of coffee table books. There's one for everyone and it's the kind of item that people rarely buy themselves because they feel like they should be spending their money on more "practical" things like the broken garbage disposal.

BUT what, pray tell, is more practical than artistic inspiration in the life of an artist?

My point has been made.

$50 - $100

A Museum Membership! (In this case, to the LACMA)  (get it here.)

Here's a gift that keeps on giving and doesn't break the bank. Lure your artist friend away from their month-long project benders and give them the opportunity to go see what other artists are up to for free all year. Not only that, but you can get them all kinds of perks!

For an individual membership to the LACMA, for instance, you not only get free admission all year, but you also get...

One complimentary ticket to all specially ticketed exhibitions
A Welcome to LACMA party invite (for new members only)
Member previews of select exhibitions before they open to the public
Member Mondays: members-only, after-hours viewing of special exhibitions
Expedited members-only check-in upon arrival
Monthly calendar of events sent to your home
Invitation to one of LACMA’s popular Art 101 classes per year
Members-only emails with LACMA news and special opportunities
30% discount on up to two additional general admission tickets on each visit
Discounts on more than 300 films, concerts, lectures, and classes
10% discount in LACMA’s gift store
20% discount in LACMA’s gift store on Member Shopping Days

All I can say is, if you get this..."Congratulations on giving your artist friend the coolest gift ever. Bravo."

Over $100

The Best Deluxe Lobo Easel  (get it here.)

Easels are beautiful, whether they have a canvas on them or not. Seriously, can we just talk about how many interior design mags we've seen with living rooms sporting large easels? So, give your friend something that they can not only display with pride in their home, but can also use for watercolor, pastel, oil painting, and the like.

They can choose to showcase a piece they already have or actually use it to create a masterpiece of their own...which you'll undoubtedly get first dibs on when they decide to sell it to the public. With plenty of storage space and a retractable mast that can accommodate canvases as big as 60 inches, it's a sure-fire win.

Yay, artists!

So, there ya have it. Part 1 of my week-long gift guide. Never feel like you misunderstand your artist friends & family ever again.

Stay tuned for An Enthusiastic Holiday Gift Guide (Part 2): For the Sartorialist tomorrow! xo!

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