• Troy Thomas

Gifts for an Artist

The holidays are just around the corner. Do you have an artist on your list? Maybe I can help you out with some ideas.

There are many different types of artists and they all have different needs when it comes to supplies. If you don't know exactly what supplies your artist needs, of course, the best option is a gift card to the nearest arts store, or from an online store.

Many years ago, I started shopping through Dick Blick online and have always gotten great products from them. A few years ago, they opened a storefront in Tampa, so I shop both online and in the store now.

If you are the type that doesn't like to give gift cards, then "sneak" into your artist's studio and take a look at some of the tools and brands of the supplies that he or she uses. Is there one particular brand that you notice more than others? Are there tools that look like they are on their last leg? Of course, if you don't know much about creating art, you may not know the condition of many tools. You could find a paint brush with a taped-up handle and many missing hairs, but it could be the perfect tool for many of the artist's creations.

If your artist is a painter, find out what type of paint they use. The three main types are oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Many painters usually stick to just one type of paint. Are they loyal to one particular brand? Do they paint for hobby, or are they more of a fine artist? Do they paint on canvas or wood panel?

Is your artist a drawer? What do they usually draw with? There are numerous tools to draw with. Pencils? There are the regular lead pencils that we used in elementary school, but the more advanced artist will lead pencils with different levels of softness/hardness. There are also charcoal pencils, graphite pencils, colored pencils, pastel pencils, watercolor pencils. Pens? There are the basic ballpoint pens, but also gel pens, dip pens, fountain pens, marker pens.

Maybe your artist is more of a sculptural-type artist. Clay, glass, found object, stone, steel, wood?

Alright, I thought this would be an easy blog to write, but I am finding it difficult to keep the ideas broad. I could probably write a good-sized book about ideas for all of the different types of artists out there. Depending on what level of artist you are dealing with will determine the tools and supplies that person would want.

If you have someone that is just starting out, maybe you could get them signed up for some art classes instead of supplies. Also, many artists enjoy looking at books of art that they admire.

So while I didn't really give you much to work with, maybe I gave you enough to pay attention to what you artist does so that it will narrow down some options.

Have a great and artful day!

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