The 15 Best Gifts for the Artist in Your Life

Whether you looking for the best gifts for the artist in your life, or you are an artist hoping to pass on a wish list, I’m sharing some of my favorite art supplies, online classes, and inspiring art retreats. I’m hoping this list will have something for everyone, but please also add some of your own ideas in the comments section below.

10 Best Art Supply Gifts

10 Art Supplies I Cant Live Without

I’ve always used white gel pens in my art journals to trace around shapes or create patterns with dots, squiggles, and circles, and now I’ve started using them on canvas too. Isn’t it amazing the way that art journaling teaches you to break the “rules?”

My favorite white pens

These high-quality soft pastels are one of my guilty pleasures. I usually end up with pastel on my face while I’m drawing. My family makes fun of me, but that’s part of the fun! They move and blend so easily – I find myself drawn in directions I wouldn’t go otherwise.

My favorite chalk pastels

Windsor and Newton makes some my favorite paint. These paints have a heavier body that makes mixing colors a pleasure. I use them on canvas and in my art journal pages.

Favorite acrylic paints

Loew Cornell brushes have been a long time favorite. I use this round brush for softening edges or creating blurry backgrounds.

Favorite round acrylic brush

Speaking of paintbrushes and where to put them…ahem:

Paint Water, Not Paint Water Mugs

From Etsy Shop The Coffee Corner

Moleskine notebooks are one of the key elements of my portable art kit. Having a small sketchbook ensures that I can make art on the go, and gather bits of inspiration as I notice them in my day.

My favorite mini journal

Speaking of a portable art kit, I always carry micron pens because they don’t pool or run when you pause while drawing, and I carry it all in a zippy pouch that fits in my bag. I have several art kits ready to go – one for my purse, one for travel with watercolor, and one with neocolors, acrylic paint, and mixed media. I buy pouches in different sizes to accommodate my needs.

My favorite black pens

Great zip pouch for a portable art kit

One of my all time favorite art “toys” are water-soluble crayons. I use them to draw, paint, or mix them with some gesso right on the page of my art journal to create cloudy, moody, bright, or tinted backgrounds.

[bctt tweet=”Think creative this holiday season! #giftguide #inspiration.”]

Water soluble crayons

Every artist needs some a beautiful space in which to create. What about a lovely art print for the studio?

Taking the road less traveled

Art print by Caitlin McClain of the littlelow Esty shop.

You can check out some great ideas for creating an art space in your home here.

Gift Ideas for Artists: Art Classes

Gift Ideas Art Classes and Retreats

What about buying someone you love the gift of an art class or retreat? You can find them locally or online. Here’s a few I offer in my shop.

If you prefer a self-guided e-book, Starting Your Art Journal is the ultimate affordable guide to art journaling. You might also find inspiration in this post on art books that inspire.

And here’s some art classes and retreats I’m lusting over these days:

Alena Hennessy is offering a year-long guided experience of artistic self-exploration:

A Year of Healing Alanna Hennessy

Flora Bowley, a beloved painter and yogi, is offering her ever-popular Bloom True E-Course that teaches an intuitive approach to painting that incorporates yoga and movement.

Bloom True E-Course Flora Bowley

This next suggestion comes straight from my own wish list. What about sending your loved one on a weekend art retreat to relax, get inspired, create, and connect with a community of other artists? I’ve not been to Squam yet, but I’ve heard amazing things about this artist getaway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Squad Art Workshops NH

Low Cost Gift Ideas for Artists

Finally, if you are pressed for cash and want to do something amazing for the artist in your life, what about offering your time or your space? Is the artist a busy parent in need of some free time to create? Perhaps you could give a “coupon” for your babysitting services? Or maybe you have a space in which they could create uninterrupted for an afternoon? Get creative with your ideas! Your artist will appreciate it!

Share These Holiday Gift Ideas for Artists

And for all you artists out there, starving or flush, young or old, feel free to pass this post on to your loved ones as a little *hint* about what might tickle your fancy this holiday season. Please also remember to join Mindful Art Studio’s mailing list, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, for more creative inspiration.

Comment below to add on more gift ideas! Cheers!

Many of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to click one of them and make a purchase, you pay the same price, but I’ll get a small commission, and you’ll help support more great creative self-care information.


  1. Tayla

    I love this! I need to get me some of those water-soluble crayons…

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Tayla:
      Yes, Neocolors are SUPER SUPER fun! I hope you get them too! What’s happening creatively in your world? You have an open studio this weekend, for right?

      • Tayla

        Why, yes! I do! 🙂 I’m going to set up shop (with my penny jewelry) in one of my favorite boutiques here in Lindsborg, KS but the whole town participates in the open house event. There are 20+ artists opening up their personal studios tomorrow. Part of me wishes that I could tour around myself instead of participating! But, I’m hoping to get a chance to meet some other creatives in this tiny community anyway (population of Lindsborg is somewhere under 4,000).

        As far as my own creative experimentation goes… I’ve been doing a lot with watercolor lately and have been obsessing over fountain pens. I’m sure I’ll be into something different next week though. lol

  2. Linda Beyette

    I like your art Journal! I keep my art journals as a tool for tackling different ways I decorate my house. I’m doing in a journal for decorating my house the same things others do in an art journal planning book.

  3. Michelle Olson

    Hi Amy!
    These holiday gift ideas are excellent!
    I am a huge lover of art, nature, photography and mindfulness… and am always incorporating these for myself and in my work with my senior clients….I always enjoy & appreciate your creative and inspiring posts, blogs and videos!
    Peace, gratitude and a joy-filled holiday to you and your family.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Michelle:

      Your work with seniors sounds lovely! I’m so glad that I’ve had something to offer to the cause. Many blessings on you and yours this holiday season too!

  4. Linda Beyette

    I forgot up to pick up the old heavy cardboard insert from the 2016 calendar for next year and my cat, Neils came around to make herself an artwork out of it. I come around to add my artwork on top of her artwork, which made a nice picture. We have two more old cardboard inserts she can make her artwork from, as well as old Christmas tree boxes and shipment boxes from the next couple weeks or months. She has a fun time doing her artwork with her nails. That cat’s art is very famous in my house!

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Linda: Sounds like you are having a lot of fun getting creative in your house! Cheers!

  5. Linda

    Love your list. For me… I grab my PrismaColor colored pencils for one thing or another every day! They have a set with 150 colors now. It’s on MY wishlist!

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Linda!

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio. I LOVE the idea of a 150 colors at my fingertips! I hope you get them. Maybe share this post and someone might see your comment! 😉 What would you like to see on your art table in the next few months? Any project ideas inspiring you right now?

  6. mehrin yusuf

    i would love to know about prisma colors, dont you use them?

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Mehrin:

      in terms of pencils, I really like Prismacolor, but unfortunately I barely use them, so I’m afraid I can’t speak to colored pencils with any level of expertise. Another artist, Alisa Burke, uses them a lot. You might check out her site.



  7. Denise

    I love that you share your ideas, experience & supplies with the world.
    You are ooooogobs of inspirations!

  8. Pam Sibbald

    Nice choices of quality supplies, I love your picks, Amy!
    P.S. I love your name too – I always think “Amy Miracle”
    Have a super day, everyone, and create!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.