Skip to main content

16 fun Christmas gifts for digital artists

Christmas Gift

Choosing a Christmas gift can be hard. Chances are the digital artist you know already has a Wacom Studio Pro, the latest Huion tablet, or Apple Pencil, so what do you get them this holiday season? Get them a gift to make them smile!

Rather than point you in the direction of an expensive piece of tech they already have we've curated a list of fun gifts to make any creative's festive season. That's not to say these are all disposable novelties, there are one or two expensive presents here too. We've also looked at gifts that keep on giving, with one or two innovative subscription offers.

If you were to look at tech, however, then we'd urge you to read our reviews round-ups of the best drawing tablets for 2021, or the best 5K and 8K monitors, and our list of the best laptops for Photoshop.

(Image credit: Cannon)
(opens in new tab)

01. Canon SELPHY Square QX10 Mobile Photo Printer

Perfect for sketchbook lovers

Reasons to buy

+
High quality prints
+
Portable and easy to use
+
Great for sketchbook reference

Reasons to avoid

-
Relies on wireless connection

Instant photos are the work of Christmas elves! Click a button on your mobile and the Canon’s SELPHY Square QX10 will print out your photos in seconds. For digital artists it means never being without instant photo reference to doodle from. Just because an artist is digital doesn't mean they don't fill sketchbooks with ideas. Prints 2.7” x 2.7” square for larger than normal instant prints. 

(Image credit: Marvel)
(opens in new tab)

02. The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

One for movie lovers

Reasons to buy

+
Unrivalled access
+
Fantastic production art
+
Quality collector's feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Some proofing errors

This is the definitive story of how Marvel built the Marvel Cinematic Universe, described by the creatives who made it happen. Authors Tara Bennett and Paul Terry have access to everyone involved – producers, writers, directors, concept artists, VFX artists, cast, and crew – in a bid to write the most authoritative insights into making all 23 MCU movies. Over 200 interviews, 512 pages, and 500 production photos and artworks fill our two volumes MCU goodness with an exclusive cover from concept artist Ryan Meinerding. Both are squeezed into a collector's slipcase.

(Image credit: Alessi)
(opens in new tab)

03. Alessi Cubik Snowflake Christmas Tree Bauble

Designer Christmas tree decorations

Reasons to buy

+
Unusual range of styles
+
Glass-made not plastic

Reasons to avoid

-
No Santa Claus

Classic Christmas decorations get a modern, funky look as design studio Alessi creates a series of glass baubles. The collection has a cartoonish, video-game quality and features a festive wizard, gingerbread man, and Christmas star. Wow your designer friends with these quality decorations.

(Image credit: Majome)
(opens in new tab)

04. Majome 2.0 Collection Action Figure Model

Unique reference mannequin designed for animators

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastically bendy
+
Unusual stylised proportions
+
For animators and comic artists

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for fine artists

Forget what you know about artists mannequins. This new range of figures from Majome is designed exclusively for animators. As such these figures aren’t anatomically correct and bend in ways the human body wasn’t meant to go. But for testing out ideas for animation in your hands before you’ve booted up Blender, they’re ideal. The set features a male and female model, as well as oodles of props to help create the perfect manga or anime scene. If you're not an animator, these figures are great for comic or manga artists.

(Image credit: Cricut)
(opens in new tab)

05. Cricut Mug Press

Design and print your own craft mugs

Reasons to buy

+
For beginners to experienced crafters
+
Fits perfectly into the Cricut eco system
+
Simple set-it-and-forget-it process

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks detailed instructions

Cricut is taking over the craft and design space. Its cutting machines have revolutionised home craft projects using everything from paper to metal. The Mug Press is the latest gizmo set to be an ideal holiday gift. Simply create your own unique designs in the Cricut app and cut on the Cricut machine, before wrapping around a blank mug and transferring the design. Perfect.

(Image credit: Titan Books)
(opens in new tab)

06. The Art of Maya and the Three

For concept art and animation fans

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful art
+
Dual-language commentary
+
Insights from the director

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be more detailed

Animator Jorge R. Gutierrez’s stunning Mesoamerican meets Lord of the Rings animated series for Netflix is a highlight of the year. Crammed with dazzling character designs, colourful fantasy worlds, and design that references Mayan, Inca and Caribbean cultures, it's a unique spectacle. This art of book not only features exclusive illustrations for the series, but also bilingual commentary and captions in English and Spanish.

(Image credit: Castle Art Supplies)
(opens in new tab)

07. Castle Art Supplies Sketching Pencils and Drawing Set

For those wanting to get back into drawing

Reasons to buy

+
Good mix for pros and beginners
+
Well made case

Reasons to avoid

-
Supplies vary in quality

Put down the iPad Pro for a hour this Christmas and get back into the love of drawing with this all-inclusive 40 piece drawing and sketching set. The set includes pencils as well as blending stumps and charcoal sticks to enable fun for all standards. The quality case will last long after the pencils have whittled down, encouraging a restock.

(Image credit: US Art Supply)
(opens in new tab)

08. Artist Drawing Horse Mannequin

A must-have for ambitious artists

Reasons to buy

+
All most every pose is possible
+
Holds a pose and doesn't droop
+
Stable and solid quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Horse can't move up or down

They say if you can draw a horse you can draw anything. They’re a weird animal to get to grips with when you sit back and think about it; all torso and spindly legs, elbows that look like angles. This detailed horse mannequin is one of the best we’ve come across and can be posed in adventurous ways, perfect for your inner-Frazetta. If you know an artist who’s struggling with creature design, this is the perfect gift.

(Image credit: Mondo)
(opens in new tab)

09. The Art and Soul of Dune

So book so epic it has it's own soundtrack

Reasons to buy

+
Superb quality and content
+
Comes with its own soundtrack
+
Beautiful art work

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs more artist insights

You can’t move this holiday season for giant sandworms but while Hans Zimmer has a number of soundtrack releases from the movie, this is our favourite. The three-disc album comes packaged with exclusive art from Greg Ruth. The tri-fold sleeve is foil stamped with the film's logo and each copy is numbered – there’s only 3,000 being printed. The music features extended versions of the soundtrack, which itself is a mesmeric mix of chants, synths, and bagpipes… yes, bagpipes are on trend in 2021.

(Image credit: Taschen)
(opens in new tab)

10. David Hockney – A Bigger Book

One for art collectors

Reasons to buy

+
No better way to see Hockney at home
+
Comes with its own table
+
Stunning art and commentary
+
Numbered limited edition

Reasons to avoid

-
First printed in 2016

Okay, we’re getting ambitious with this one but everyone can dream. Do you have a friend who deserves a Hockney book so large it comes with its own Marc Newson (opens in new tab) stand to sit it on? This hulking book features 60 years of Hockney art, from his early years to iPad paintings, described by the man himself. Every one of the 10,000 limited run books is signed by the artist. Detail fans: the book is 50 x 70 cm, 498 pages, with 13 fold-outs and comes with a 680-page illustrated chronology book. We’re almost convincing ourselves this is value for money. 

(Image credit: Hasbro)
(opens in new tab)

11. Monopoly: Queen Edition

A rock and roll Christmas

Reasons to buy

+
A must for Queen fans
+
It's Monopoly turned to 11
+
Easy to understand

Reasons to avoid

-
Too much card packaging

Nothing says happy holidays like gathering the family around a board game and falling out over who’s owed fake money. This year you can do it in the memory of Freddie Mercury and Queen. Rather than building a property empire you now need to celebrate life on the road, buying and selling gig locations made famous by the band. Draw from A Kind of Magic and In the Lap of the Gods cards to help or hinder your tour. Our favourite part is the new Monopoly pieces based on famous Queen songs, albums and videos; News Of The World’s robot overlord never looked so sad/frightening.

(Image credit: Cansok)
(opens in new tab)

12. Cansok Artists Sock Set

Vincent Van Toe, anyone?

Reasons to buy

+
Good quality finish
+
Classic art designs
+
Good mix of artists

Reasons to avoid

-
One size

Famous artists immortalised in socks, and why not. Nothing says Christmas like a nice cool pair of new socks slipped over your toes, and if you have some of the best fine art looking back up at you then even better. The five pairs feature art such as Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Starry Night by Van Gogh, Scream by Edvard Munch, and The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

(Image credit: MMDW)
(opens in new tab)

13. Adobe Shortcuts Keyboard Cover

Making creativity easier

Reasons to buy

+
Water and dust proof
+
Very useful gift

Reasons to avoid

-
Not compatible with older keyboards

This practical gift is for any digital creative who just can’t remember the Quick Mask from the Gradient Control shortcut. Placing the colourful mat over a Mac keyboard reveals the shortcuts to Photoshop’s essential tools. Better still, MMDW has similar covers for Illustrator, Premier Pro, and Final Cut Pro. There is a caveat: it’s only designer for Macbook Air 13 inch 2018 Release with Retina Display and Touch ID A1932.

(Image credit: Phone Loop)
(opens in new tab)

14. Phone Loop

An Insta-ready art tool

Reasons to buy

+
Go one-handed on your phone
+
Useful and stylish

Reasons to avoid

-
Not elestasticated

We’re all glued to our phones and use them for everything from Instagramming to doodling, and this simple loop of elasticity material means you can securely hold your phone while doing everything. It’s plastic-free, works on any phone and any case, but best of all enables a steady grip while leaving your thumbs and fingers free to do their thing. The Phone Loop comes in many designs, including a neat paisley look, a sci-fi halftone, a Christmas theme, and unicorns. Yes. Unicorns. 

(Image credit: Nix)
(opens in new tab)

15. Nix Mini 2 Color Sensor Colorimeter

Sample colour from life

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
90% accurate

Reasons to avoid

-
Relies on a library of brand colours
-
Some libraries are US-only

(Image credit: Pantone)
(opens in new tab)

16. Pantone Mini Notebook Set

Make notes and look stylish

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic colour selection
+
Includes sturdy slipcase

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for drawing

We don’t know a single creative that doesn’t like being given a Pantone gift, it’s just what you do. This year Pantone has a nice lineup of mugs, cups, and books that would make a perfect present. Our pick would be the set of 10 mini notebooks inspired by Pantone's fashion colour range. Good enough to appeal to any artist eager to scribble their ideas, or the smart Pantone designed 4oz espresso cups.

Read more:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Ian Dean
Ian Dean

Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.