The classic question this time of year: “My cousin/sister-in-law/friend/neighbor is an artist, what should I get them?” Gifters may not be familiar with the supplies and mediums their giftee prefers; providing an endcap or featured table in the form of a “Gift Guide” helps point customers in the right direction—without needing a staff member to walk them through the entire world of art supplies in three minutes. In an effort to encourage and inspire, we’ve created a selection of products for five creative personalities your customers might be shopping for: The Dedicated Artist, The DIY Crafter, The Young Creative, The Organizer and The Traveler. Peruse these profiles and consider putting together an end table or countertop display to spotlight the best products for each archetype.
The Dedicated Artist
The first personality to come to mind is the most difficult to shop for—the dedicated artist who knows what they like, has a studio, and has been creating for some time.
If you offer classes and workshops, let customers know that they can gift someone a class.
First, make sure your class titles are as engaging as possible—click here for some helpful titling tips inspired by Artisan Expo. Offer a “class in a box” with a festively designed schedule of upcoming classes and a helpful note pointing out where the gift-receiver can find more classes online. Wrap it in a paper mache box tied with ribbon for extra effect.
Gift cards are another valuable gift that will drive traffic to your store—keep them on display to remind customers they don’t have to do all the legwork. If you’re able, offer to gift-wrap the card in a creative way like in a handmade envelope or small box with tissue—these small gestures matter.
For customers set on purchasing a gift, try these go-to products:
Handy storage for brushes or pencils:
- Global Canvas Pencil Cases and Leather Pencil Cases
- Clever pencil storage like the Derwent Pencil Buddy or the Studio Designs table top carousel
- Art Alternatives Pastel Storage Box (also great storage for nibs and jewelry findings)
- A pen and nib case, or other ArtBin products.
- A Wet Canvas Carrier from Weber (tie it with a bow!)
Fine paint sets:
- Oils: Gamblin Oils Intro, new Rives Gauche sets from Sennelier, or the beautifully packaged Loving Vincent oil set.
- Acrylics: Golden Explorer set, Amsterdam Acrylic sets (these 20ml tubes also make fantastic stocking stuffers!)
- Watercolors: Daniel Smith half pan watercolor set or Daniel Smith Dot cards paired with a brush, QoR Watercolor half pan from Golden
- A giant tub of Brush Cleaner from General’s
- Modern Watercolor
- Portfolio Series
- Artist’s Guide to Tools and Materials
- How to Draw and Paint Anatomy, 2nd Edition
The DIY Junkie / Crafter
This person is someone who revels in custom furniture, homemade tea cozies or upcycling thrift store treasures. They are all about transforming the ordinary and adding artistic flair to just about anything. Here are some all-purpose goodies every DIYer will appreciate as well as some fun, whimsical supplies for crafters of all ages and mediums:
- Creative Surfaces from Art Alternatives
- Decorative Paper Packs
- Cavalini Papers
- Strathmore Cards
- Yupo (offer complimentary gift tags of Alcohol Ink on Yupo to educate your customer on it’s uses!)
- DIY Book Binding Kits
For the lovers of color:
- Spray Paint textures
- Gold Leaf Set
- Washi Tape
- Alcohol Inks
- Colored Paper—why not roll it with some like toned decorative papers, tie them with a ribbon, and sell as a “card making cache” at a special price?
Tying it all together:
Add to their library or coffee table:
- Sign Painters book
- Creative Folk Art & Beyond
- The Daily Book of Art
- Little Book of Lettering & Word Design
- The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity
The Young Creative
Self-expression is an important outlet for all ages, especially for kids who fall into the broad category of “adolescent.” Family members may be unsure of what exactly to get the teens and tweens in their lives. Art supplies are empowering; consider tools for organizing their own schedules, trendy items or sets that encourage self expression:
A sketchbook they can bring anywhere:
- Stillman and Birn Sketchbook like the new trio!
- Scratch off Sketch-books
- Creative Journals
- Moleskine Cahier journals
Trending sets for exploring and expressing:
- Bimoji Fude Brush Pens
- Micron MANGA set
- COPIC sets
- Pen and sketching sets from AA, Masterpiece, Speedball.
- Sew Mini Animals or other craftivities from Klutz
Creative books for inspiration:
- Color Mixing Recipes
- Painting with Bob Ross
- Artist Library Series Books: Figure Drawing
- How to Draw Manga and Cute Critters
- Any Learning Series books from Strathmore
For the person in your customer’s life who is wearing multiple hats, juggling responsibilities and in love with color-coding. Maybe they are an entrepreneur, a college student or a parent. Whatever the case, their personality is organized, forward-thinking and creative. Here are some great products for the organizational powerhouse:
A proper journal to keep everything in line:
- Dotted and lined journals (New styles available!)
Fun pens to stay on point
- Pitt Artist Pen Sets
- Zebra Mildliners (your customers may also ask for MIDliners, but they are indeed MILDliners for their mild calming colors)
- Frixion erasable pens and highlighters
- Fude Pens
- Adorable Mini Highlighters from Stabilo
Tools for organizing a bullet journal in style:
For that friend or family member who is always scoping out flights, plotting a road trip or scheming the best way to see all the National Parks in one go. Travel-friendly art supplies are thoughtful gifts that invite people to share their passion with others, whether they are an artist on the go or an everyday observer:
The right sketchbook:
Pack it in, pack it out:
I Saw The Sign
If you don’t have the space for a display or designated endcap, create signage guiding your customer through each personality. For instance, “I am an acrylic painter, I like textured surfaces, painting knives and different kinds of expressive brushes,” “As an artist with a studio, I probably already have <insert item of your choice>, but would be excited by a new or a gift card!” Have your staff members share their mediums and provide a “wishlist” that your customers can use as a guide. Get creative!