Photo © Annie Spratt on Unsplash. Photo of women's hands holding a white Christmas ornament that has been decorated with anthracite and pearl colored beads and glietter.

Top 10 Greatest Presents for your Kreativcommunity

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The Etchr Slate Satchel

I’ve been looking for a good looking art bag to carry my Kreativtour sketchbook, watercolours, pencils and accessories in that doesn’t look dorky. This one is on my own personal wish list.

It has gotten good reviews from other artists for one and the unique thing about this bag is that you can mount it onto a tripod for field sketching, which also means that the bag is pretty stable. The bag itself can be used as a drawing surface. You can either use the shoulder strap to support it, wear as a backpack or, as previously mentioned, to mount it on a tripod. It isn’t floppy like normal shoulder bags.

Your Kreativperson is a digital artist? You can use this bag for that, too! I think this one is great for every day use, but if your artist travels a lot, then the deluxe version is the way to go. ps it comes with a 2 year warranty.

Photo © Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.com. Image is a blackboard background on which white wooden stars and red twine are placed in the bottom area of the image. Graphics ©Kimberley Hoffman www.hoffman-illustrates.com Text: Artists are per definition wandering souls who can feel alone in a crowd. Skip the crowd… Get your Artist a Pen Pal
Everyone needs somebody. Your Artist needs a pen pal.

Brooklyn Sketchbook and the PenPal Painting Exchange

With the purchase of a Brooklyn Sketchbook you can get your artist taken up into the Brooklyn Art Library. Your artist has to do the work and send it in by the deadline, but they will become of a historical worldwide collection of sketchbook artists. If you have a few dollars to spare, you can pay for digitalisation of the sketchbook, too.

You can also give your artist a PenPal for Christmas. The Brooklyn Art library has a new project running. You get a kit containing a small canvas and a hello card. You paint your most creative ideas on the canvas and return it. As soon as the artwork is returned, it gets swapped and you (or your artist will) get a pen pal and their canvas. I like that idea.

Website Brooklyn Art Library

Copic Classic Markers

Why Copic Markers? “They are expensive” is the argument I hear for why not. Admittedly I stayed away from them for that reason for a very long time. However, I use them now and am happy I do. They are refillable – making them eco-friendlier than other markers as well as cheaper in the long run, and the color intensity just can’t be beaten. You can blend them with a blender marker or just use isopropyl alcohol. My tip: Get a small basic of Copic Markers set to start on with a 1-2 fleshier tones.

In the US you’ll have to look at one of the larger art supply stores. I looked and Michaels does sell individual markers. They didn’t have a basic color set (reds yellows, blues, blacks, greens, oranges, purples)

Photo ©Kimberley Hoffman www.hoffman-illustrates.com Shows a variety of Copic brand markers on a white fluffy background with red twine and blinking lights around them.
Copics. Can you ever have enough of them?
Photo ©Kimberley Hoffman www.hoffman-illustrates.com Photo of 2 Lamy fountain pens, 2 ink bottles, one red, one black, red string, fluffy cloud like background with little Christmas lights
You'll love writing and drawing with Lamy

Lamy Joy Calligraphy Pen with refillable tank plus a bottle of Lamy ink

In Germany, when you hear someone say they have a „Lamy“ pen, you hear them sigh with joy. I have two, one for red and one for black, and mine have refillable tanks. I also have a few different nibs for them. And Lamy inks. If you prefer a different line strength, you can order extra nibs for the pen.

I can recommend them because I love how the ink flows from the nib. It is a totally different kind of writing and drawing.

Derwent Sketching Wallet

This is a great little kit for sketching on the go with a small spiral sketchbook, 10 assorted pencils – 2 of which can be used with water, an eraser, a pencil sharpener and a „wallet“ carrying case. I am all for having things in one spot when you are on the go. It saves time and you are out of the house on your Kreativtour a little faster.

Photo ©Kimberley Hoffman • www.hoffman-illustrates.comPhoto of the Verlag Hermann Schmidt journal of „Du bist kreativ, dir fällt dir schon was ein!“ The title means „You are creative. You’ll think of something.“ The background is a white fluffy background with red twine and fairy lights. The journal has a cork spine and green fabric cover. The print is in silver. There is a black and silver fountain pen on top of the book. The fountain pen is wrapped in the red twine.
The title of this journal is a tongue-in-cheek poke at the expectations of artist. But yes, we artists usually do think of something.

„Du bist kreativ – dir fällt schon was ein“

The title means „You’re Creative — You’ll think of Something“.

Verlag Hermann Schmidt is one of my favourite publishers in Germany. I don’t expect everyone to read German, that is why I am just posting things that anyone anywhere can use. The book „Du bist kreativ – dir fällt schon was ein“* is a beautifully made journal. You can feel the art of book creation in this little piece. They also have really exciting geometric placemats. If you have a fontlover on your gift list, then check out “Retrofonts”* that includes a Font CD for personal and commercial use. 

Image ©Kimberley Hoffman Mockup from Creative Market. Image shows a sestckt of postcards on a white fluffy background with red twine and fairy lights. In addition there are four postcards spread out in front of the stack. The top image of the stack and the top image of the 4 cards is a Vermeer painting from Rijks Studio
A quick & easy diy that will delight your artist

Painter’s Postcards—Quick DiY

This is a no-brainer, but a true delight. Simply cut up watercolour carton (minimum weight 250 g/m2) into A6 (or US-Standard size) postcards, print out a painterly image from Rijks Studio on photo paper  in the same format as your cards, paste it on one card, tie it all up with a pretty ribbon, add a tube of gouache or watercolour paint and/or a paintbrush and voila! You have a beautiful gift set of postcards for your artist to create their own art with.

If you don’t have time to cut paper, you can get them at your favourite art store or here on Amazon. Hahnemühle has a cute little metal box with 30 cold pressed (matt textured) postcards that have rounded corners.* Or you could simply get a variation of three textures of postcards to give for almost the same price. US readers might find Strathmore postcards* easier to get. 

Photo ©Kimberley Hoffman • www.hoffman-illustrates.com Photo is a close up of a travel easel in it’s carrying case. There is a white fluffy background with fairy lights and in the foreground there is red twine crossing the image.
This lightweight watercolor easel is great for outdoors and even for tiny spaces.

Portable Painters Easel

This is a fantastic present for your own Kreativtour or for your favourite artist because it is light, easy to set up and very portable. It comes with its own carrying case. I recommend the „Rio Aquarell“ because you can tip the painting surface if you want to paint with watercolour and it is easy to build up and take down. It also makes a good studio easel for people with small spaces. The eBay-seller, painter-sistersneuss, has a 100% positive evaluation on eBay. I also have my big wooden easel from them, too.

Sketching Pencil set from Faber Castell

If you are a practical gift giver, this present can never disappoint. An assortment of Faber-Castell design pencils*. Made in Germany and packaged in a reusable metal box. Just what the Artist ordered.

Faber-Castell Website

Photo ©Kimberley Hoffman Book: The Elements of Pop-up. Decorative string winds around the book
"The Elements of Pop-up" (shown here in the German edition) makes creating pop-ups child's play.

The Elements of Pop-up

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t recommend at least one book for Christmas, especially a fun and educational one like this. For anyone who has ever delighted in pop-ups, now is your chance to learn how to make them yourself. “The Elements of Pop-up”* is special because each pop-up is shown as a real movable pop-up and the how-to is easy to follow. I have this one and I love it. You’ll be making your next greeting cards as pop-ups!