It’s Christmas soon, and people are doing their last minute scrambles to make sure to get gifts for their friends and families. Or, like me, you have to do a mad dash to make sure you don't miss the Secret Santa exchanges at the office.
Now, in my opinion, it's hard buying gifts for my artist friends. So I would always just end up getting them a Moleskine notepad or something, tell them that “it’s great to have when you get an idea!” Which is true. And might I add that my artist friends appreciated that.
However, I began to wonder whether there are some other gift ideas that could be great for artists. And that got me thinking, inevitably since I run a webcomic site, what would comic artists want for the holidays? So I decided to ask our Tabulit artists on the matter of gift receiving. These were the items on their list.
Yes. The classic. Books. Particularly, books about creativity and artistic endeavor. It helps comic artists grow and improve their craft. And any artist at any point is definitely looking to develop themselves.
Grace An, who designed our logo and is putting together our book, has particularly named Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull, and Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate by Brian McDonald.
Art from other people
Artists like art. Duh. Ergo, they also like art from other people. Jade Armstrong, who draws Crutch, has said - “I like getting other people's art!! Commissions .... Drawings for me by my favorite artists!”
And there’s so much you can do with this idea. Ask your artist friend’s favorite artist to draw a portrait of your friend. Is your friend a fan of Overwatch? Maybe get your friend a commission of a character from the game. The possibilities are endless.
No, they’re not exactly the kind of tablets you’re thinking. These are very special drawing Tablets. Cintiq was high on the list, but the artists also mentioned that they are prohibitively expensive. So, maybe you could gather a few more people and chip in together? That way, you solve the gift enigma for several people and your artist friend gets the perfect gift.
This was a big one. Basically, everyone wanted art supplies.
Mary Huang, who draws Now Recharging, mentioned that she saw “a cute artist survival kit the other day, which was all tools and materials to help with cleaning things up and fixing mistakes, like eraser, brush cleaners, soap, stain remover…” So I did a quick search and indeed, there is an artist survival kit.
Kristina Luu, who draws InterCosmic also added “I'd love to get new stationary, sketchbooks, and mugs too haha.”
By the way, mugs are an important art supply, considering that artists’ best friend is coffee.
Time Off For Creative Projects
Hands down though, this was pretty much the number one choice for everyone.
Ross, who drew Stickman Zombie, has said - “Id definitely ask for time - like just one month of absolute financial and familial independence so that I could lock myself away and just create non stop.”
As you heard, in the end, artists are a simple bunch with simple desires. Jacob McManamy, who draws Basilisk, has said, “for me just having food and money to fund what i do is enough.”
Now you may ask, “well time isn’t something you can give.” And that is certainly not true. You CAN give time to artists as gifts. For instance, how about renting them a nice cabin for a month, with a bit of food money provided? Somewhere quiet where they can concentrate on their creative endeavours? Like the tablet this may require getting several people together to pitch in, but as a writer, I can assure you, comic artists would LOVE having a month off to do whatever creative project they want to pursue.
So those were the five gift ideas for comic artists this holiday season. Hope y'all have a Merry Christmas!