Cool Gadgets to Give Your Artist Friends

It’s often hard to find gifts for friends and family members.  When it comes to artists, the task can be even harder.  Though not all of the ideas below are great for every budget, they’re all great gadgets that would appeal to any number of artists.


For about $5, you can find a poseable mannequin hand that can help artists get those intricate details just right.  Spend $20 or so and you can upgrade to a robotic model for added novelty in addition to accuracy.



If you know an artist who likes to deal with digital arts or who’s considering that move, a tablet can be an amazing tool.  There’s definitely a learning curve for those moving from pen and paper to a tablet, but once you get past that curve, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.  For artists that have been using old-fashioned PCs or laptops, look for a tablet that you can “write” on.  No more hassles with awkward and less-than-precise mouse action.  Don’t forget to look for used models, especially for new users.  Starting on the lower end of things is a great way to get comfortable with the process and determine what, if anything, more you need in an upgraded model.


A well-constructed airbrush and small air compressor can be a great addition to any artist’s arsenal.  Airbrushing can allow the artist to control volume of paint delivered and accompanying airflow in a way that leads to super-clean work that a brush just can’t match.


For artists who are into metal work or sculpting, a handheld plasma cutter can be a great way to get much cleaner work than traditional grinding.  Just make sure you look for models that require standard 120-volt outlets unless you know your artist has an available 240.


Even though most of us always have our cell phones and their included cameras handy, many artists would appreciate a good digital camera that they can keep in a pocket as they go about their days.  Inspiration can strike anywhere, and having a quality digital camera to help capture details can make all the difference when it’s time to create.


If your artist friend works with pencils, consider an electric pencil sharpener and eraser.  These tools are usually not expensive at all and can be great time savers.  A good electric eraser can also erase more completely and cleanly than a manual version.


Artist-quality paper stock is another novel idea for the artist in your life.  With finishes available that rival any specialty print shop, you’re sure to find a selection that can take your artist’s printed work to another level.


A high-quality sketchbook is another great idea for artists.  Higher quality sketchbooks tend to have the most durable bindings, making them better able to withstand constant opening, flipping, and closing.  Finding one small enough to be easily portable is a great way to make sure your artist has it handy any time inspiration strikes.



For an artist that deals in dusty or fume-generating mediums, think about getting an air purifier.  These machines run the gamut on prices, but can be invaluable in helping to keep harmful fumes and noxious odors under control in addition to helping remove stray dust from the air.
We hope these ideas will help you find a creative gift for the most creative person in your life.