My Holiday Gift Guide for Artists 2018
Dear Wonderful, Creative You:
I like to make my holiday gift guide for artists based on what I’m excited about at the moment. This year I thought I’d create some little kits for you inspired by the projects I’ve worked on this year. You probably know I’ve been having a creative explosion with my paper cutting right now, so I’m excited to share a paper cutting starter kit here.
I also spent a lot of time focusing on my drawing skills and practicing using watercolor markers, and I’ve been collecting some pieces to make my studio feel more artsy and inviting. Finally, in 2018, I’ve paid much more attention to the way my wardrobe affects my mood and inspiration level, so I’ve included some links about that too.
My hope is that you will feel empowered to send this post to someone you love and let them know what’s on your wishlist. I ask for art supplies and gifts every year, and it’s a great way for the people you love to support and validate your art practice. You deserve that.
Finally, the folks at Legion paper have kindly shared some sample pads with me, and if you comment on this post and share it, you could be one of the random drawing winners to get some Legion paper pads. I’ll announce the winners on Monday, November 26th.
Paper Cutting Starter Kit
Alvin Self-Healing Cutting Mat
Breman 18″ Metal Ruler – This is not my exact ruler, but it’s the one I want!
FREEBIE! I’ve been using Legion’s paper for some time. Legion sent me some samples and I have been LOVING the Stonehenge Light paper for paper cutting. Of course it would be tons of fun to share this creative gift with you, so comment on this post and share it on Facebook or via email. I’ll send a couple of randomly chosen folks some of their sample pads!
Travel Journaling Starter Kit
The Sketchbook Project Journal
You also might have seen that I’ve been participating in The Sketchbook Project, which is an amazing community art project open to artists of all ages and abilities throughout the world. Giving someone The Sketchbook Project journal so that they can be a part of this giant community art project would be an amazing gift.
Blue Q jumbo octopus pouch I’ve upsized my art pouch this year, and this baby is portable but holds it all!
Tombow Watercolor Markers – These are wonderful for adding color to my drawings and for practicing brush lettering in my journals.
Georgia O’Keeffe. I LOVE giving art books as gifts. This year I have been so inspired by this biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. I think you would be too. You can also check out my complete list of favorite art books to change your life in 2018.
Gift cards for Mindful Art Studio classes are a great way to support your art practice.
Home Art Studio Inspiration Kit
I have a post with tons of ideas on how to create an art studio in your home, even with limited space, but this is about filling the studio with a few key art objects. Even if your home “studio” is just a little corner in your kitchen or bedroom, you can make the space feel much more inspiring with just a few simple touches. Here’s some of my favorite additions from this year.
Broken Objects Print I love this print. I look at it every day and it reminds me to create beauty from imperfection.
Cork Inspiration Board I find that hanging up pieces I’m working on helps me get inspired and also see them from a distance.
Mason jars are a fun way to hold some basic supplies like micron pens and a pencil. It’s great to keep a few supplies at the ready in a way that looks creative, not cluttered.
Create script sign from Colleen Attara Studio I have one of these signs in plastic and one in cardboard and they jazz up my space!
I’m lusting after this beautiful White speckled coffee mug from Erika Gibson Studios – I think it would be great for sipping while you create or for holding brushes or pens.
Artsy Wardrobe Inspiration
In a way it might sound superfluous, but I find that dressing in colorful clothes, and wearing outfits that feel expressive makes me feel more like an artist.
Use a personal styling service, like Stitch Fix.
Wear some kick ass socks! My favorite pair this year is this one: I identify as a badass.
Wear bright colors.
Use funky jewelry or a scarf
COMMENT FOR YOUR CHANCE AT THE LEGION PAPER FREEBIE!
Be sure to comment about what’s on your wish list and I’ll choose a couple of random winners to send some beautiful legion paper mini pads to.
*Many of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, if you choose to click on a link and purchase something, you’ll be supporting the work of Mindful Art Studio to support the artist in all of us.
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Hi, Love the idea of new paper to try out!
YES! How fun, right? I’ve been using Legion’s Yupo paper for alcohol inks for some time. This Stonehenge paper has been lovely for the paper cutting.
Hi Amy! I have the book The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron on my wishlist. Love the idea of a portable art bag; so some tombow markers may go on there too!!!!! Thanks for your giveaway offer 🙏.
HI Joanne: Yes, the portable art kit makes a big difference!! XO Amy
Thank you for the opportunity to win some new paper to try! I have The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron on my wish list this year. Looking at your list of ideas; some tombow markers sound like a great idea for travel!
Hi Joanne: Oh I think you will LOVE The Artist’s Way and the Tombow markers too!
JOANNE!!!! I’m thrilled to tell you that you are one of the lucky recipients of the precious little legion paper pads. Just email me privately by tomorrow at 12pm EST with your home address and I’ll send them your way! XO Amy
I’m so thrilled that I won Amy! Sent a message to you 😀.
So excited for you Joanne! XO Amy
After having a no spend art supply year (other than required basics for university classes), I’m looking forward to buying a hobonichi techo for a journal again.
Sharon – Oh that sounds wonderful! I love those long-anticipated supplies! XO Amy
Thank you for always sharing your creative ideas with us! I find reading your blogs so inspiring!
Debbie you are so sweet. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I’m thrilled that I can bring a bit of inspiration. What’s on your wish list this year?
My wish list (that I already have to my husband) has materials and how to books to practice more creative lettering. My art goal for 2019 is to practice more lettering styles. I’m so excited!
YES! I’ve been having fun with lettering a little bit this year and hope to do more in 2019 as well. YAY! XO Amy
I love the idea of asking for the art supplies one wants and needs for one’s art practise. I love papercutting, and would love to try out the Legion paper.
YES! So fun Beth. Good luck! XO Amy
Time to play probably tops my list, followed by a work space that draws me into it and keep me settled there. Hey, maybe some time to actaully look at the recent art books I’ve bought. I also need time to organize my many kits so that they are really ready and easy to grab and go. Just got some very portable Peerless watercolours that I’m excted about trying, as well as some gouache (first time with gouache!). The idea of new paper is very enticing, but I bet I’d be too anxious to sully it!
Love hearing about other artists’ kits!
Thanks and cheers!
I love your ideas for inspiring yourself. Your new supplies sound like lots of fun too. It sounds like the inner critic may at times get the best of you, like when you are afraid to ruin new paper? You might like this post about making time for art without making stress. And you also might really benefit from my 1 hour class, Freeing the Muse, that helps get the critic out of the driver’s seat so you can have fun and play with your art. XO Amy
Even though I feel like I have tried paper cutting in the past without a lot of success, your pages have me wanting to try again. And certain that my lack of success was not having the right tools! 😉
Oh good! I’m thrilled. I think the right materials and just starting with exploring your marks without the pressure of making something is a great place to begin. XO Amy
Thank you for sharing some ideas that are not the typical “art supply.” I love the inspiration of the Broken Object Print – very poignant in this time of great loss for so many in California.
HI Lorna: Gosh that is an amazing context for that print. It’s a beautiful piece and so important when we are broken, as so many are in California right now. XO Amy
I absolutely LOVE the socks 😍😍😍 Thank you for all these wonderful ideas! The paper cutting is so beautiful ❤️
HA! Yay Sarah – I guess we have the same humor. I wore ones yesterday that said, “Carpe the (*&^ out of this diem!” Thanks too for the kind words. XO Amy
I love everything in the Travel Journaling Starter kit. I wanted to to the sketchbook project since this summer I participated in the canvas project (on display January 25-27, 2019) I’m very excited to see my 4×4 canvas on display. I also would love to get the Art Journal Starter Kit as well. I just recently began making one and I love it as art therapy. Anyways thank you for the inspiration and Happy Thanksgiving.
Leisel – Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! How sweet. Ooh, can you provide a link to the canvas project? That sounds amazing. You are in the right place and I can’t wait to see what else you make. XO Amy
The Canvas Project is another thing created by The Brooklyn Art Library. This year’s Canvas Project is complete already but I believe they will be doing it annually just like the sketchbook project. This was the first year. I also worked on theor Infinite Sketch Project but missed the deadline to mail it back in time to be included in the final piece. I can spend hours browsing the Brooklyn Art Library website. Lol here’s the link. My prompt word for the Canvas Project was Outerspace. If you want to see I am on Facebook as The Spacemercat Reads and Creates and on Instagram as The Spacemercat . Anyways I hope you all enjoy the holiday and your art time. Much love and light xoxo 💜🌌🧜😻🎨💜
Leisel: How did I NOT know about this??? Oh I want to participate!! Thanks so much for including the links and the ways to fin your beautiful art too Leisel! It’s super fun! XO Amy
Hi…I’m new to the art world …haven’t done drawings since being a teen…
Now I’m back on the horse because I feel this way is the only way to express myself..
Since I’m disabled now, can’t really do anything…I came across your page on Pinterest and love your ideas… Beautiful talent.. Ty so much for sharing your gift ideas… Blessings..
Hi Carmen: Oh I’m so glad you found your way here! There are artists who paint with their feet, with a paint brush in their mouth, with their hands. I highly recommend the movie Words and Pictures with Juliette Binoche, it’s about finding a new way to make art when life changes. You also might like my free e-course, The Guide to Creative Self-Care.
The sketchbook journal project looks so amazing. Must do some more reading on that!
Tori – I hope you do – and include it on your wish list. It’s such an amazing thing to be a part of a global at project. I was awed when I went to the library and was surrounded by so many art journals.
I can’t wait to try more cutouts. I love the love the added texture and dimension that happens, AND the pop of color from behind! Exciting and fun!
April that’s totally what excites me too! XO Amy
Your creative explorations are inspiring. I didn’t expect paper cutting but it looks like interesting design challenges.
HI Christine: YAY I’m always thrilled to inspire. 🙂 Paper cutting is my latest challenge and passion! I hope you have fun with it. I’m also working on a new class for 2019 with it. XO Amy
Hi Amy, Your lists are inspiring as are all of your posts! I love the idea of your clothing as a means of stimulating creativity. And the socks! Yes! My wonderful husband has given me gift cards to my favorite art supply stores in past years which I always love to receive and put to good use. They often give me permission as it were to try a new technique or buy something I’ve been longing for that seems too indulgent! Happy Thanksgiving! And thank you for all you do to keep the art flowing!
HI Jean: Thank YOU for keeping this community alive with YOUR art positive attitude and participation. I’m thrilled you are fed creatively here and that your husband supports your art life too! XO
I love your ‘get started’ journal kits…a great way to spread the enjoyment that can be found keeping an art/nature journal. Thanks!
Oh yes Robin, I’m so happy you like it. And I think you would really like The Curious Nature Guide, which I feature in this post of my favorite art books right now.
Happy creating! XO Amy
I always enjoy your posts and feel inspired after reading them to challenge myself to create more. Thank you for what you put out there, very thought provoking and inspiring
Lori you are so sweet! I’m so happy to be a part of your creative life. XO Amy
WHOO! You’ve won the sweet little Legion paper pads. Just email me privately with your home address by 12pm est tomorrow so I can get them out to you! XO Amy
Thank you Amy for yet another well thought out, beautifully writen, and inspiring post. My family knows how much I love creating but often give me art supplies I end up not using for one reason or another. This list is quite helpful. I’m more and more intrigued lately with paper art, cutting up some of my background pieces into teeny squares to ultimately create a unique paper mosaic piece. Now your paper cutting has me totally excited to add that element to the overall piece. So the Xacto knife and nice quality paper are high up there in my list now.
Thanks again for all you so generously share with us… and Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be grateful for … ♡.
Eileen – YOU are someone I am grateful for. You add so much life and positivity to this community. I’m so glad this post is helpful and I hope you get the supplies you want. It’s exciting to all be on the paper cutting adventure! XO Amy
I’ve been an abstract painter using acrylics for about a year now, but I had never heard of an art journal. I’ve started one a few weeks ago. That led to trying out watercolor painting on a smaller scale, something new and exciting for me. In a few minutes, I’ll be heading out for a few art supplies.
In fact, for nearly two years since my wife seccumbed to strokes, a fatal seizure and cancer, painting has cut through just a bit of insufferable grief. And that was enough to keep going. Art has been a way to survive. And you have brightened my life. Thank you.
Welcome to Mindful Art Studio. I’m so happy to be a small part of your healing journey. Your words justify my work. Thank you. May you have many beautiful journeys and connections through your art.
I want aaaaaalllll of these! I’ll definitely be getting a few of the books electronically (gift money from birthdays!), but probably sticking with Posca paint pens and white gell pens for my teeny wish list this year. Experimenting with the pens on second-hand ceramic mugs to create fun “new to me” pretties.
Sounds like a great plan Joy! XO Amy
I just love all of your tutorials on YouTube and all of the wonderful information you provide! Cant wait to start my art journal!
Alicia! I’m so happy you are starting your art journal. That’s so amazing. If you haven’t seen it already, you might also enjoy this post for getting started: How to Start an Art Journal it has lots of simple and creative ways to make beautiful, expressive pages. Be sure to share what you make! XO Amy
I’m thrilled to tell you that you are one of the lucky recipients of the precious little legion paper pads. Just email me privately by tomorrow at 12pm EST with your home address and I’ll send them your way! XO Amy
What a great post! I’m loving the paper cutting. I don’t know where to start with that, but I do want to try it. Amy, u just excel at anything u try! Inspiring.
Dana – you are so sweet. Thank you for the kind words. You can start with just plain paper and an Xacto knife like the one in this post, or you can wait for my upcoming class in 2019! YAY~ So happy to have you here, Dana! XO Amy
I am so NEW to Art Journaling that I did not realize that there are PAPERS to choose from lol!
Hey Geraldine – Oh – it’s so fun to discover it all! But start small – just a few things and I find this keeps things easy and inspiring. Too many materials, too many ideas and it can feel overwhelming.