Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gift Giving Guide


Welcome to the season of, what the hell do I buy that person? This is probably why people are so cranky and stressed out this time of year, they have too much anxiety about whether or not they're buying the right gift. Most of the time any gift is the right gift, as long as you put some thought into it.  Seriously, one year I got a bird feeder for Christmas. I was in college and had no use for a bird feeder, nor the extra cash flow to buy bird seed to keep it filled. It was a crappy gift and I can say that because I know the person put zero thought into it, they just grabbed something off the shelf and wrapped it up.
Hopefully I can pass along some good gift giving advice for those of you who don't know what to buy your artist friend/family member this year. You may already know that a gift card to Blick, Jerry's Artarma, Cheap Joe's or any other outlet that sells art supplies will do just fine. I don't know anyone who would complain about such a gift, however it's sometimes nice to actually open a gift. Especially since most artists will use the gift card for stuff they need, not what they want. Which is great too, but if you're trying to support them in that way just buy some of their work.
Up first is the Lomography Konstruktor Do-It-Yourself 35 mm SLR camera. The one pictured above is mine, I just put it together on Monday and it really works. It took two hours and dare I say it was fun?  It was fun, but photography is my hobby so I really got a kick out of it. It takes film so maybe you'd want to buy a couple of rolls to go with it. Any photo enthusiast should enojy it and even if they don't use it all of the time they can still feel accomplished in that they built their own camera. At under $40 it's an economical gift too.

Next up is the Winsor&Newton Cotman Brush Pen Set. Even if you're shopping for an oil painter or a sculptor, this is still a good and valuable gift. They're so handy for traveling and doing sketches. There are several sets out there that are similar to this one but this is the first I've seen that comes with a brush pen. The brush pen is extremely handy for traveling and sketching while out and about.  The brush pen holds the water so there's no worry of spilling. I've used them on planes and trains and they work wonderfully. Before I even knew how to actually paint with watercolours I bought a travel set similar to this so I could add colour to some of my sketches.The nice thing about this set is that the pans pop out and can be replaced with different paint.  It does come with a decent selection of paints to begin with but some people have their preferences. At around $30 it's a great gift to give anybody really. Even your friends who are crafty and like to dabble in different things. Heck, buy one for yourself and give it a try. 
Sketchbooks. Everyone can use a sketchbook.  Artists, writers, and anyone who needs a place to put down ideas. If you're up for the challenge you could even make your own and show that you truly put some effort into your gift. If you're running low on time you can buy one. The nice thing about sketchbooks is an endless variety and even better there are some that you can buy that will give part of the proceeds to charity. Humanity del Sol gives back 15-80% on their products. We Are Bound Together is another place to buy sketchbooks that donate proceeds to charity. If you do some searching you can probably find more. Both of these places have reasonably priced sketchbooks in a variety of sizes and styles. 
When all else fails, you can never go wrong with this one. OK, maybe that's just if you're shopping for me.
I'll post more ideas later. It's only December first, I'll save some ideas for those of you who enjoy the adrenaline rush of last minute shopping. 


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