Gifts for Writers and Artists 2016

CC image by mac9416

Last year, I wrote this post on gift ideas for writers. I figure I’ll make this an annual post, providing you with fresh ideas each year as Christmas approaches. This year, I’ve included some extra items specifically for artists, too. Creative folks can often seem quirky or hard to shop for. Perhaps this list will help you find that perfect something for your creative someone. I’ve made sure to only include items that should arrive before Christmas, and many are Amazon Prime eligible. Hooray for fast shipping!

CC image by Assum Corell

CC image by Assum Corell

First, perhaps the simplest and best gift you can give—the gift of time. Clean the house, cook dinner, take the kids out for pizza. Take something off of their plate so that they are free to write/create, even if only for a couple of hours.

Better yet, send them on a mini retreat. Send them off on their own or perhaps with a creative friend or two to write, paint, photograph etc. for an undisturbed weekend. Don’t know where to start? Does your creative person like nature or city living? You could find a cabin or a luxury hotel. For even more of a homey feel, check out sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway for short term rental options. There are some really beautiful places on these sites, many of which are
specifically marketed as writer and artist retreat homes. What’s more
is many of them are remarkably affordable.

Maybe you need a smaller gift, nothing as spectacular as a mini retreat. Here are some options:

    Witty mug. Writers and artists love mugs—they’re the glorious vessels for our coffee, tea, wine, etc. that fuels us ever onward. There’s this banned book mug, or this mug that proves writers are magicians. Or how about this set for the sipping painter? Or this one for the bibliophile?
    Why not some tea for that lovely mug? How about some classic English Breakfast tea complete with literary quotes?
    As I writer, I can tell you that inspiration doesn’t always strike at a convenient time. When it hits in the shower, what is one to do? Finger draw the idea on the shower tile in shaving cream? Run stark naked from the bathroom to the shock of your family, yelling “Pen! Pen! Give me a pen!” There’s an easier solution. This waterproof notepad hangs in the shower to save that idea, and your dignity.
CC image by mac9416

CC image by mac9416

    Art’s messy—those creative juices just get everywhere, don’t they? Help protect your favorite artist’s clothes with this nifty apron.
    Why not wear some inspiration? Not on your sleeve, but on your feet. These masterpiece socks are sure to help keep the muse close.
    Maybe that writer needs a break from putting words to paper in the hidey-hole—that dark room lit only by the computer’s glow, where they hunch like Gollum over a fish that’s raw and wriggling. Give them some social time lest they turn into a recluse. Liebrary is an extremely fun board game, especially when played with fellow writers—the staff of Embers has been known to play this game on occasion. Players are given a book title and plot summary and then must write the most believable first line to the book. The real line is read among the made up ones, and then players vote for whichever they believe is the correct one. A nerdy good time, indeed.
    Does your writer (or reader) love to be pampered? How about some book-themed spa items? For example, these Harry Potter bubble baths. This whole shop on Etsy is great, so have a look around.

Maybe you want a more instant gift, something that doesn’t require shipping. The reader on the go would certainly appreciate an Audible subscription. The first 30 days of audio book listening is free, then it’s $14.95/month after that. I haven’t tried Audible myself—more of a book-in-hand reader—but I hear it’s awesome.

CC image by photosteve101

CC image by photosteve101

Writers and artists often like to work while listening to music. Hook them up with the gift tunes—Spotify Premium and Pandora One are great options for unlimited music without ads. I tell you from experience that ads interrupt creative flow, and that’s putting it lightly.
Which one should you go with? I personally use both Spotify and Pandora, but I really love building my own custom playlists with Spotify. I make one for every major project I’m working on. Someday, maybe I’ll even splurge for the premium version. Or someone will be awesome and give it to me for Christmas.

Happy shopping! And remember y’all—the best gift you can give the creative person in your life is encouragement. Love on them, build them
up, and don’t forget to put on a pot of coffee for them once in a while.
The merriest of Christmases to you.

By Madeleine Mozley