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.
- Christmas offer: save 40% on an ImagineFX subscription (opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
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.