Last minute Christmas gifts for your artist friends

‘Tis the season… of holiday shopping! As the year draws to a close, you are probably on the lookout for gifts for your nearest and dearest (or maybe for yourself — those Cyber Monday deals are very tempting, after all). Here at PosterSpy, we’ve settled on a practical guide to gift giving — things most modern professionals, especially designers, need in their home office. 

Wacom Intuos Pro
https://amzn.to/3AVZYl7

Let’s start off with the most obvious designer tool: the drawing tablet. While Wacom is no longer the only name on the market, it’s still the most recognizable and the industry standard that competitors are judged against. 

Wacom Intuos Pro provides a natural drawing experience, with plenty of space to work on and a pen with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. The tablet is also customizable with Wacom Texture Sheets and alternative pens that can give your drawing experience an extra oomph.

Finally, the Intuos Pro is also available in smaller sizes, Medium and Small. Both of them have a smaller working area but otherwise offer similar functionality at a lower price.

Sennheiser Wireless Headphones
https://amzn.to/3XVC5UK

While these wireless headphones aren’t of audiophile sound quality, they do provide a clear, rich sound at an impressive range — all for a reasonable price. The headphones are lightweight and comfortable to wear (though they do slip during active movement, so be careful if trying to dance!), and they have long-lasting batteries and replaceable earpads. Long service life is more or less guaranteed! 

Tonor USB Mic
https://amzn.to/3udn6YA

From gaming and streaming to zoom meetings, this plug-and-play mic can do it all. Its cardioid pickup pattern allows it to capture natural sound (sometimes a little too well), while the concealed shock mount reduces the noise caused by the mouse, keyboard, and other nearby appliances. The mic doesn’t require any assembly: it’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS without the need for additional drivers.

Creative Pebble V3
https://amzn.to/3XH91A6

Good things can come in small packages, as this cute, compact device can attest. For a budget speaker, Creative Pebble provides rich audio with good bass reproduction and enhanced processing of spoken dialogue. This plug-and-play speaker supports easy connectivity, and there’s a Bluetooth option for when you want to stream music wirelessly.

Logitech Wireless Mouse
https://amzn.to/3ORhrB6

This symmetrical, ergonomically shaped mouse fits comfortably in your hand and works well on uneven surfaces. Rather than using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it has a tiny “Unifying” USB mini receiver that can support up to 5 other Logitech devices. (There’s a storage compartment for the receiver inside the mouse so that you don’t inadvertently lose it.) The advertised long battery life can be further extended thanks to a smart sleep mode and an on/off switch that helps conserve power. The mouse’s customization options, wireless versatility, and great click latency make it a good fit for everyone from office workers to gamers.

Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
https://amzn.to/3gNhZv3

Recommended by Amazon, this backlit keyboard is a “bang for your buck” kind of deal. Some people may shudder at the absence of wrist rests and a lack of dedicated volume buttons, but outside of these minor hiccups, the keyboard is durable, responsive, and comfortable to type on. One other thing to note: the backlit settings are fixed in the rainbow pattern shown in the photos, so if you’re in need of a more uniform color, look elsewhere. (The keys, however, are perfectly legible even with the LEDs off.)

Canson Artist Series Cream Drawing Pad 5.5″ x 8.5″
https://amzn.to/3FbAgvs

To bookend this listicle, let’s circle back to drawing surfaces — but this time, let’s keep things non-digital. This Canson spiral-bound notebook measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches and has a sturdy (yet flexible) cover that makes it a practical pick for those artists who like to lug everything around in their bags. The sheets are made of off-white paper (reviewers disagree on whether the color can qualify as “cream”) that is acid-free, opaque, and thick. While markers will probably bleed through, this paper works great for pencils, charcoal, and pen & ink. 

 this is not a bleedproof paper and will not perform as well with the markers as a marker-specific paper.

grrrenadine

My name is Maria Ku, and I am an artist, an animal shelter volunteer, and a horror aficionado. I work as a graphic designer in the IT industry — doing everything from web promos to merch — but my passion is freelance illustration. I've worked a number of movie festivals and done client work for The Washington Post, VICE, Notion, Amber Lotus Publishing, and Group Greeting. I love the PosterSpy community, and I write biweekly art-related articles for the PosterSpy newsletter. Oh, and one final thing: I am available for commissions!


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