Sometimes it can be difficult to find the perfect gift for the one you love, especially if you don't share their passion. We have compiled some of the best software, hardware and inspiration released this year that is sure to please your artist loved ones, or treat yourself.
01. State of the art hardware
Jot Dash Stylus had a thumbs up from ImagineFX this year, a simple, convenient, long-lasting stylus that you can pick up and start writing and sketching with just like a traditional pen straight away. At £40 - it's a steal, available here.
Another new stylus on the market is the Apple Pencil, and it's received rave reviews from digital artists - but make sure your artist friend has a tablet pro or something compatible.
If they are new to digital art, they might be in need of a tablet - Wacom's entry level Intuos Art has had a recent refresh and is a good starter tablet.
02. Essential tools
It's likely they already have Photoshop, but there are a whole load of other complimentry softwares that can be just as useful to a digital artist. Art Rage is a popular choice, why not grab them the newest version – Art Rage 4.5 (opens in new tab).
03. Tricks of the trade
DVD workshops can offer a wealth of knowledge from the comfort of your own home.
Gormon Workshop also offer DVD and downloadable workshops, full of tips and tricks from the experts. You can pick from traditional and digital video classes, we recommend Illustration from Imagination (opens in new tab), Sci-Fi costume design in ZBrush and Figure Fundamentals (opens in new tab); or just make it easy and get them a subscription!
04. That's the ticket
What's better than meeting your idol? Treating your art buddy to an event this year, just slip an IOU in their Christmas card.
Illuxcon (opens in new tab) is a popular choice amongst fantasy artists and you have plenty of time to save up.
Networking is invaluable for artists, and a whole host of inspiration can come out of attending an event - you could even make a holiday of it.
If your fantasy artist is more interested in concept art and digital entertainment art, how about keeping an eye on this year's Industry Workshops (opens in new tab).
For comic fans, Though Bubble is a good shout, and not too pricey. Check out last year's unmissable digital art events for more inspiration.
05. Never-ending inspiration
Fill up your friends bookshelves with a beautiful artbook, they definitely wouldn't be disappointed.
Books are another inexpensive yet invaluable resource for artists. Some of our favourite releases this year include 3DS Max Projects (opens in new tab), best suited to wannabe animators, and Mark Molnar's Behind the Pixels (opens in new tab), for concept art enthusiasts.
Spectrum 22 (opens in new tab) will offer plenty of aesthetically pleasing art work to get their juices flowing. The Art of Dave Seeley (opens in new tab) is another highly recommended read, along with Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel.
If none of these tickle your fancy, why not give them an ImagineFX Subscription (opens in new tab)? They are sure to appreciate a years worth of inspiration straight to their door!
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