11 Innovative Gifts for Artistic Friends

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Looking for the perfect holiday present for your friend the artist? Help the aesthetically inclined upgrade his or her artistic toolbox with these 11 inspired gift ideas.

1. Inkling; $239.99

Sketch on paper with a ballpoint pen and Inkling transfers the drawing to your computer. It captures your process stroke by stroke, so you can even separate the layers of your artwork. You can also store hundreds of high-resolution illustrations on the device before transferring them to your computer, making for days of uninterrupted creation.

 Find It: Wacom.com

2. Wacom Intuos; $99

Ditch the mouse and control your computer with this pen and trackpad combo. The Intuos uses a pressure-sensitive pen and multi-touch capable pad (you can control it with the pen or your fingers) to create an intuitive digital creation experience for the user. The artist in your life will appreciate how seamlessly her talents translate from hand to screen.

Find It: Wacom.com

3. Urbanears Humlan Headphones; $49

Every artist needs a little aural inspiration. The Urbanears line of headphones and earbuds stand out from the pack thanks to its striking spectrum of available colors, which range from Forget-Me-Not blue to Citrus yellow (but you can get basic black or white if you so desire). Urbanears’s latest model, the Humlan, includes wash-and-wear ear pads and headband that you can simply chuck in the wash—perfect for when things in the studio get a little messy.

Find It: Urbanears.com

4. Nice CableKeeps; $13

As art becomes increasingly digitized, the paintbrushes and palettes that once cluttered an artist’s workspace are disappearing. Cords are taking their place—piles and tangles and masses of cords. Help your artist keep her space tidy (and stylish!) with these brightly colored sea animal-shaped cord organizers. Available in a wide array of colors and finishes (there’s one for each of your devices), the CableKeeps attach to your chargers in order to shorten your cables and keep your desk clean.

Find It: NicebyDesign.com

5. MIMIOBOT Designer USB Flash Drive; $14.99 and Up

We’re willing to bet your artistic loved one appreciates a bit of whimsy, which makes these designer flash drives the perfect accessory for taking his creation from the classroom to the studio to the gallery. Choose from among your favorite cartoon characters, action stars, or historical figures and 8, 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage space. The best part? Mimoco holds a design contest for new characters, so your friends could someday see their work for sale.

Find It: Mimoco.com

6. Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription; Starting at $9.99/month

Every digital artist needs the proper software. Depending on the package you choose, an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription allows you access to Photoshop, Lightroom (desktop, mobile, and web), Illustrator, Adobe’s ProSite portfolio website, cloud storage, and more. For the serious artist, it’s a must.

Find It: Adobe.com

7. Designer Phone Case; $16 and Up

When retailers partner with artists for exclusive designs, the results can be magical. Case in point: We are obsessed with these cases by New York-based abstract artist Eileen Lang for Fab.com ($32)—and we’re sure the artist on your list will be as well. Fab offers collaborations with a rotating list of artists and designers like Lang and San Francisco designer James Anderson.

Find It: Fab.com

8. VSCO Cam App; Free

How about a digital stocking this year? We’d fill ours with gorgeous, easy-to-use design apps like VSCO Cam and Grid. VSCO Cam allows you to shoot and edit photos right on your mobile phone while VSCO Grid’s photo publishing platform connects you to fellow photographers from around the world.

Find It: Vsco.co

9. Clear App; $4.99

Now that we’re in agreement that a digital stocking is a great idea, here’s another stuffer: The bright, clean, and colorful design of this organization app will surely speak the artistic soul. Use Clear to make to-do lists, shopping lists (for those runs to the art supply store), and set reminders, then sync it with the cloud so you can access the info from any device.

 Find It: RealMacSoftware.com

10. Photojojo Phone Lenses; $99 for a Set of 5

Photographers will flip over these upgrades to their phone’s camera. Simply snap these lenses on and off your phone to turn your point-and-shoot into a professional-grade camera. For just shy of $100, you can get your creative loved one a set of five lenses—telephoto, wide and macro, fisheye, polarizer, and super fisheye—that will prepare them for any occasion. Photojojo lenses are sold separately for $20-$30 a pop or in a set of 3 for $49.

Find It: Photojojo.com

11. 3D Systems Cube Wireless 3D Printer; $999.99

You know how you’re supposed to back up your hard drive? You should also back up your art. Soon you’ll be able to digitize your handmade illustrations, paintings, collages, and sculptures (yes, sculptures!) with the help of an Intel® RealSense™ 3D camera, which you can now use at Intel Experience zones at select Best Buy locations. The Intel® RealSense™ 3D camera is equipped with depth-sensing technology that allows you to capture your art in multiple dimensions. You can then save, share, and use the Cube Wireless 3D printer to recreate your creations.

Find It: The Intel Exerience at Best Buy or BestBuy.com

With 3D scanning and refocus technology that lets you change the focus of a photo after you’ve shot it, Intel® RealSense™ technology allows for artistic innovation, and the results are breathtaking. Learn more here: intel.com