Thoughtful gifts for the art lover in your life

August 7, 2018

Giving a close friend or family member a gift for a special occasion is a fun and exciting affair. However, choosing the gift can be a difficult process. Art lovers have a more unique taste than other people, often enjoying quirky decor and unique books about obscure artists who are trying to change African art. If you have an art lover in your life and need to find a gift for them, then below are some tips for thoughtful gifts to make them smile.

A high-quality artist’s journal

An artist’s journal is more than just a sketchbook. It is a portfolio of their work and is a place where they can brainstorm new ideas for their next pieces. A high-quality art journal is the perfect gift for someone who enjoys spending hours sketching whatever comes to mind in their moment of inspiration.

You should look for a journal that has thicker pages, in case your artsy friend decides to practise watercolours or wants to experiment with ink or pastels. Ensure that the journal you use is bound together by stitching, as if it is bound just with glue it could fall apart in years to come. If your artist friend is just starting out, an A6 to A5 size is ideal, but if they are more established then it is best to choose an A4 to A3 size, depending on how big their drawings or sketches tend to be.

A visually stunning book for their coffee table

All artists enjoy looking at other people’s art, so why not give them the gift of a book filled with unique and interesting artwork? You could choose something such as Robert Cumming’s book, Art: A Visual History. Its pages show the reader dozens of stunning works of art, from stunning paintings by the Impressionists to masterful Renaissance sculptures.

A book of artworks, even art that is obscure and not to everyone’s taste, will surprise and delight any art lover. They will be able to spend time looking at art that inspires them, or discover artists that they may not have heard of. You could give them a coffee table book focusing on how to change African art in the eyes of the world or how street art is creating a platform for emerging artists. Whatever book you choose, make sure it is visually appealing and based on a topic your friend will enjoy.

A quirky print to hang on their wall

Even if your friend or loved one is not an artist themselves, they will certainly enjoy having something new and exciting to look at in their home. You could look at a unique option such as a handmade, vintage print to match their eclectic style or you could create a personalised canvas of their favourite piece by their favourite artist.

You do not have to splurge on an artwork, and can look at online handmade stores such as Etsy (international) or Hello Pretty (South African) and find affordable prints by artists who are starting out or by more well-known artists who are selling prints of their work online. You could commission something from an emerging artist, as this will give the artists a job and your art-loving friend a truly unique artwork to display. Be sure that whatever you choose will match your friend’s decor.

Art museum tickets

Visiting an art gallery or art museum is one of the most exciting things for an art lover and artist to do. It allows them to spend hours looking at work by their favourite artists, or they may even discover a new favourite artist by going to a unique exhibit.

A museum such as the Zeitz MOCAA in the Western Cape is attempting to change African art in the eyes of the creative sphere, and tickets to visit this unique museum will be greatly appreciated by your art loving friend. You could look at getting them annual tickets so they can visit whenever they feel the need to be among art, or tickets to an exhibition that is coming up in a gallery close to them. You do not have to spend a lot of money on these tickets, as the annual ones are a once-off fee that allows your friend to visit whenever they choose during the year.

The gift of choice

If you are still stumped for ideas on what to give the art lover in your life, why not give them a gift voucher to an art supply store or a store that sells art? This is one of the most thoughtful gifts, as it allows them to choose something they truly enjoy, without you having to worry about whether or not they actually like your gift. You can opt to give them a journal to encourage their creativity, a coffee table book to inspire new ideas or even a print to hang on their wall. Whatever gift you choose, be sure that it comes from the heart and that it takes into account your friend’s own personal tastes.

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