Best Gifts for Artists 2023

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

I love creating a yearly list of gifts for artists. I love getting gifts, don’t you? But as time goes by, I feel more and more strongly that it’s important to have a few high quality supplies that we use well, rather than tons of mediocre quality ones. There are a few reasons for that.

  • Too many choices of supplies can feel overwhelming. When you’ve got a focus, it’s easier to sit down and begin.
  • Jumping on every new technique and art supply can lead to perpetual dabbling, and mastery over nothing. I’m a big fan of rotating between techniques, but there is meaning and joy in delving deeply into each one.
  • You can’t get the same effects with mediocre supplies. One of the things my students love the most in my work is the way my watercolors bloom with bold color. Frequently the reason they can’t get the same effect is because they are using poor quality paint or paper. Once they make the switch to a quality paper, suddenly they are filled with joy at the results.
  • It’s environmentally friendly. And while I am far from perfect from an environmental perspective, (I still fly and wear plastic clothes, etc.) for me it’s feels important to begin weeding out some of the plastics in my art practice and to invite you to do it too if it feels right.

Environmentally Conscious Artist’s Bundle

Daniel Smith Watercolor Tubes

Choose a few key colors and then mix your own variations. I love the following:

Burnt Umber

Olive Green

Rose Madder Permanent

Phthalo Blue

Indigo

Yellow Ochre

Lemon Yellow

Lunar Black

Get The Guide to Creative Self-Care E-Course – Free!

    Arches Watercolor Paper

    Dick Blick Round Brush Set

    Lamy Joy Fountain Pen with Black Document Ink

    Draw Yourself Calm: Draw Slow to Stress Less

    Mindful Art Studio Gift Certificate

    Canvas Lamp

    Folks ask me all the time how I film classes and live workshops, and how I photograph my work. They also ask me what light I use for paper cutting, drawing and painting. I’m happy to say that the Canvas lamp is what I use for all of the above. This is the best, brightest light for paper cutting and detailed painting and drawing. It’s also super easy to use for filming and photographing. I would highly recommend it. it is the ONLY product that I am a specific affiliate for, and that’s because I love it so much. It’s a small family-owned company that stands by their product and produces a quality item.

    I hope that you found some of my suggestions useful. I’d love to hear what is on your artist wish list for this holiday season in the comments. Happy Holidays!

    Creatively Yours,

    Amy

    7 Comments

    1. Stephanie E.

      I love your idea that a more earth-friendly creative practice is not just good for our world but good for our art! I’m working to transition out of plastics in my own art practice and while it’s good work, it can also feel challenging, logistically, emotionally and artistically. Thank you for the helpful tips—it’s heartening to hear about your sustainability journey.

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        Hi Stephanie – I totally hear you! It’s a process, like everything else. Sometimes I do well in one area of my life with plastics, then something changes, and I do not as well again. With art supplies, I’ve just chosen to explore working with *mostly* sustainable, earth friendly materials for now. I’m exploring. I still sell classes that use acrylics, I still fly, wear plastic clothes, buy shampoo in bottles. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but I think if I approach it bit by bit – switching the majority of my soaps to non plastic, and my art supplies, for example, it does have some impact. Small changes matter, right?

        All the best!

        Reply
    2. Laila

      Hi Amy, for a long time, I have felt uncomfortable using disposable plastic (posca, Tombow, fine liners etc) in my art practice. Whilst I love what they do, it doesn’t make me feel good about my work or art when they end up in landfills and polluting our waters.

      Art should be a joy but not at the expense of the environment. So slowly, I have started to change my habits and adapted my art to be more focused on being environmentally friendly, as a result I enjoy it more too.

      Don’t get me wrong, as I haven’t got it totally right, but I am no longer buying disposable art materials anymore and l am in the process of running down the few plastic supplies in my possession. As it would be tragic to just bin it all.

      We need more artists and teachers like you who are gently focusing our minds on the impact we are having, no matter how small the art material. Let’s face it, it all builds up over time and it takes over 500 years to disintegrate.

      So thank you, for continuing your search for alternatives and taking us on the journey!

      Can’t wait to see what you have in store of us on the slow drawing front in 2024. I totally love them!
      Have a great Christmas.

      Laila (UK)

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        Hi Laila; Thank you so much about sharing a bit about your own sustainable art journey. It’s lovely to hear about! All the best. xo

        Reply
    3. MARIELA COSTANTINIDIS

      Thank you so much for the inpiration,
      Have a wonderful Christmas and a joyful, creative, lovely New Year!!

      Reply
    4. Tammy

      Amy, would you please explain how to fill the LamiJoy pen? I love the idea of using a fountain pen and have been wanting to make this purchase for quite a while now – watching you use it in Slow. Drawing and telling us how much you love it! – but am intimidated by needing to fill it with ink. Thank you!

      Reply

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