Now is the best time to start your holiday season shopping and get all of your loved ones ticked off the list, while saving yourself some money in the process.
If you consider yourself to be a creative person (which we assume you are, this is Creative Bloq after all!) or if you have a relative who really loves their tech, then we've got the guide for you. It can be difficult to shop for artists this time of year if you're unfamiliar with the tools they need, so we've taken out the guesswork for you with our top recommendations.
From stocking fillers for younger creatives to bigger must-have accessories, we've rounded up our picks below of the best festive gifts for creatives including photographers, artists, and illustrators.
The best stocking fillers for creatives
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Gifts under $25/£25
A perfect gift under $20 for artists, teachers, and art students, the Two Tumbleweeds Art Dice are designed to help creatives step outside of their comfort zone when faced with a blank canvas and find inspiration through fun prompts such as 'abstract' and 'reptile' to cure artists block. Pictionary is about to reach a whole new level with this fun (and helpful) dice set.
There are hundreds of different combinations that could arise, and a total of nine wooden dice to help prompt the unexpected. There are also variations to take things up a notch for drawing in speed mode, creating a whole new series, and making collaborative pieces by teaming up with friends and family. The best place we've found to get this dice set is via Etsy in both the US and UK.
Gifts under $50/£50
3D printing has soared in popularity over the last few years and has gotten much more affordable too, with some of the best 3D printers becoming more accessible to all ages. Understandably, a lot of creatives are curious about 3D printing but aren't ready to commit to purchasing a huge machine. That's why the Polaroid 3D pen is perfect!
For just $39.99/£39, the Polaroid 3D pen offers entry-level freehand 3D printing and is safe for use by younger artists (with supervision) ages 10+. It's very easy to use and much more affordable than buying a whole 3D printer, to let creatives get a taste and decide for themselves if the world of 3D printing is one they want to delve into.
It can be tricky to control the extrusion speed, and you will need to be careful of burning your fingertips on the melted filament, but we're sure your loved ones will get hours of fun out of a 3D pen. With that said, the Polaroid range of 3D pens is slowly being discontinued, so you might want to look for an alternative like the SCRIB3D P1 3D Printing Pen, or the MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen with an OLED Display for advanced users.
The Rock Paper Pencil from Astropad is one of the best iPad screen protectors you can get for digital artists, converting your iPad, iPad Air, or iPad mini screen into a paper-like sketchbook. It comes with hard metal nibs for the Apple Pencil too, offering the ultimate experience with unmatched realism for artists.
Our Digital Arts editor gave this a strong 10/10 review for its excellent drawing feel, and described the Rock Paper Pencil as a must-have for anyone who loves drawing on paper but wants to go digital. The Rock Paper Pencil cover is currently on sale at $33.99 from Astropad, or you can get it from Amazon for around £40.
Gifts under $75/£75
If you're looking for a Lego set to gift a loved one this holiday season then the Lego Piranha Plant is an absolute winner! Who needs a house plant when you have this snapper guarding your desk? At a price of $59.99/£57.99, this Lego set is one of the more affordable Super Mario Lego sets on the market.
Lego holds its value incredibly well, so it's unlikely that we'll see any huge Black Friday savings on this one, but we think it's still a great gift regardless for gamers, especially any Super Mario or Nintendo fans, and anyone who loves to build things and get stuck in with a finished product at the end to keep.
This is a top gift for gamers both young and old, with nostalgia and action combined in a handheld retro console created by HyperMegaTech! These pocket arcades can be had for a price of $59.99 / £49.99 approximately and are an excellent choice for creatives to kick back and take a break once in a while and can be displayed on a desk or workstation too.
There are two editions we would recommend (both available on Amazon) which are the Taito edition with 18 preloaded arcade games including hit titles like Space Invaders and Rastan, or there's the Capcom edition with 12 hit fighting games such as Street Fighter II and Mega Man. Both pocket consoles can be upgraded to hold 500+ games using what's called Evercade cartridges at an extra cost.
Gifts under $100/£100
The newest addition to the Apple Pencil lineup was announced only last month as Apple's take on a budget stylus. It can be had for $79 / £79 directly from Apple and via Amazon, but it's worth noting that Apple Pencil 2 prices could fall below this during holiday sales events and Black Friday Apple deals, so it might be wise to get that model instead and keep an eye on price cuts.
If you're wondering what the difference is with this newest Apple Pencil compared with others in the lineup, the USB-C Apple Pencil sits in the middle of the first and second-gen Apple Pencils and looks pretty much exactly the same as the Apple Pencil 2, but with the addition of the USB-C charging port hidden inside the top (hence the name). see our Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2 guide for more details.
One important thing to be aware of is that this Apple Pencil does not have pressure sensitivity, and works with the latest iPad (10th generation), as well as all iPad models that have a USB-C port, including iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad mini (so not the 9th-gen iPad).