I realize that this can be a fairly broad category encompassing sculptors, musicians, actors, and your friendly doodler. I’ll try to focus my gift suggestions on the fine arts and people with a do-it-yourself, entrepreneurial mindset.
Again, this is very broad, but this can be anything that helps your artist create their beautiful work.
- Paintbrushes for the painters. If you’re considering upscale sets, remember, you want them to actually use them. I have some very nice sets of brushes that never get used for fear of wearing them out. Dumb, I know. A decent set of Winsor and Newton brushes have kept me going for a few years now. They cost less than $25.
- Sketchpads are an easy one for any artist. Often, the most creative moments happen on paper first.
- I have an affinity for blacksmithing after taking a series of courses at the John C. Campbell Folk School. These supplies can be expensive considering the cost of a good anvil and all the hammers and tongs. Like I say in The Handyman section, start with a hammer and build from there.
This can come from anywhere and no doubt you are a source of it whether you realize it or not. Artists draw from the beauty around them.
Here are a few interesting books to inspire:
Free Publicity/Making Money
There are a few companies out there who take artists’ original designs and photographs and turn them into archival prints, iPhone cases, throw pillows, and mugs. I’ve been involved with Society6 for a year and a half now and it’s been great.
It takes just a few minutes to set up an account and upload a high-quality photograph or scan. After that, you can resize a copy of the original and they’ll fabricate and ship the product. The artist gets a cut and enjoys more time to create.
Or, you could secretively borrow a piece your artist has done and turn it into a set of throw pillows for your couch, an iPhone skin, or a t-shirt. Imagine their surprise when they see their work professionally emblazoned on useful items.
To give you an idea, here’s a page of some of my photographs and construction paper pieces turned into iPhone and iPod cases.
They’re going to get extremely dirty: paint-spattered, dust-covered, coal-blackened. Having something decent to change into once they’re done creating and ready to present their work at a gallery or expo is key.
Never underestimate the power and presence of a man in a dark, well-tailored suit. We stand up straighter, smile more, and behave better.