HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

10 Gifts Your Artsy Friend Will Love

Shop books, puzzles, art supplies, and home decor statement pieces.

By Geneva Diaz Published in the Winter 2022 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Shop books, puzzles, art supplies, home decor statement pieces, and more.

When it comes time to shop for the creative spirit in your group, there’s nothing scarier than gifting them a mediocre present. Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but if the item feels granola to you, there’s a good chance it’s not the perfect gift. Whether their passion lies in painting, sewing, sculpting, or another more niche craft, they’ll always appreciate a work of art. Or if they’re the starving artist type, you can’t go wrong with buying them more supplies!

Find a gift for every type of artist, whether it be a thoughtful and budget-friendly coffee table book (like Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color), or something more luxurious and one-of-a-kind to add to their home (like Andy Warhol’s artwork on skateboards). If their perfect day in the city includes a gallery visit, their home should be featured in Apartment Therapy, and they can’t leave a museum without bringing home something for their library, these 10 gifts were made for them.

The Snowy Day

$19
 

Image: Studio Museum

Have your kids fall in love with the magic and wonder of a winter’s first snowfall captured in this Ezra Jack Keats Caldecott Medal-winning picture book. This classic book has been shared by generations of readers and a must-have for every child’s bookshelf.

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The Secret Lives of Color

$22
 

They'll love to explore the fascinating stories behind 75 colors and where they came from — whether it's from fashion, politics, art or war. Amazon reviewers note The Secret Lives of Color is "easy to read," "hard to put down" and "makes a fantastic coffee table."

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Gradient Puzzle

$32
 

All out of acrylic paint? Not to worry. This gradient puzzle is a vibrant way to meditate on color. Like the process of a good painting, this puzzle takes time. The color of each piece is used to locate its proper position and the use of a thick stock, high-quality art paper, means this puzzle can be assembled again and again without losing its edge.

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Trust Artists Dad Cap Local

$40
 

There’s always a creative process that goes into every work of art. Wear this Trust Artists dad cap with pride as you stroll around the City and represent your artsy community. The cap comes with a nice sweatband for those hard-working all-nighters.

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Kuretake Gansai Tambi 48 Colors Set

$59
 

Image: Amazon

There's no time like the present to start painting, and this traditional Japanese watercolor set, with vivid colors based on nature itself, is great for just that. Gansai Tambi pans are much larger than typical watercolor pans, giving you the ability to use both small or large brushes quite easily. Within each set is a protective sheet that not only keeps your pans from shifting, but can be used as a palette mixer. Each box also includes a color chart so you can swatch the colors yourself. 

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Krink K-55 Paint Markers

$60
 

Level up your art with a set of six Krink paint markers. Filled with 30 water-based acrylic ink (xylene-free, solvent-free, and odor-free), the markers are perfect for inside use where fumes are undesirable. The K-55's extra-broad, valve-action chisel tip is excellent for creating either thin or thick bands of vivid color, particularly large calligraphy work, including mural paintings. Whoa!

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Francis Bacon: Books and Painting Local

$60
 

Image: MFAH Shop

Get lost in the haunting works of post-war painter Francis Bacon and learn how literature inspired his vision of the human body. This book is a great coffee table addition and conversation starter, and a great way to connect with your inner artist.

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Mohawk Lollipop Holder

$74
 

Lollipops and Punk: what could get more artsy than that. Give this flavorsome and rarely seen mohawk lollipop holder by Jonathan Adler as a gift to be displayed permanently in an entryway, bar cart, or dining table. While it's perfect for parties, be advised to keep it away from the mosh pit.

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Andy Warhol: Skateboard Colored Campbell's Soup Cans

$220
 

Ask any artist about Andy Warhol's iconic works in modern art, specifically Warhol's 32 Campbell's Soup Cans paintings (which took various forms, including a 1965 series of 19 different colored cans), and they'll tell you they know all about that. These Warhol Skateboard's by The Skateroom, a platform for promoting, selling, and producing art on skateboards that supports youth-empowerment and development, is just as an iconic gift as the art itself. Proceeds from this project will benefit Skateistan, an award-winning, international NGO with projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa, and the first international development initiative to combine skateboarding with educational outcomes.

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Small Fauvism Mobile Local

$275
 

Image: MFAH Shop

If you buy this eclectic home decor gift made by Fernanda Sibilia for your artsy friend or family member, you'll officially be known as the best gift-giver ever. Or, if you need a little art in your life, start with a piece you get to see every day. The new collection is inspired by the malleable lines and shapes of surrealist art forms, dripping clocks and time which melts away; and Fauvist references (hint the name), like Matisse's unique use of color and shape. 

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