Gift for an illustration student
August 19, 2017 3:25 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a birthday gift for a friend studying illustration, worth up to about $100. Any ideas outside the ordinary (art supplies, a drawing tablet)? Or any examples of exceptionally good art supplies or digital equipment?
posted by sindark to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh my god if someone gifted me an assortment of brands of permanent drawing pens worth $100 I would be in drawing heaven. I like Zig millennium, Copic multi liner, Sharpie Fine Point, and Faber Castell - but that's just of the assortment I've been able to try.

Pens are crazy expensive and can run out really quickly. It's super easy to be like "I'll just use this super old Sharpie forever." And then when you get a new pen you realize what you've been missing.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:35 PM on August 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


This Brush Pen! $36.00

This Sketchbook! $23.19

This Watercolor Set! $26.75
posted by coevals at 3:39 PM on August 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm curious about the potential for copies of 'Alice in Wonderland' featuring various artists -- I'm under the impression that the Dali edition is getting reissued, but then I see on Amazon that one came out in 2015 and is available at a decent price, and one could add a hardcover featuring Ralph Steadman and still be under $100...
posted by mr. digits at 3:41 PM on August 19, 2017


Oh, I was trying to add two more items to my post:

This Black Paper Sketchbook! $12.08

These white gel pens! $5.23

That should bring the total to around 100.00
posted by coevals at 3:46 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Winsor & Newton gouache is the best thing ever, and fairly expensive. (But you might want to find out what this particular illustrator actually uses or likes to use.)
posted by Vispa Teresa at 4:12 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


The pens idea is lovely, as long as they use pens (and not digital-only drawing).
posted by amtho at 4:28 PM on August 19, 2017


Gift certificate all the way *or* drop some cash on a vintage ebay bundle in your artist's medium! i once won a bid on the materials estate of a local newspaper illustrator, working with his old chalks and pens and gouaches is so gratifying, really connects you to your artistic forebears
posted by fritillary at 5:21 PM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Or... six month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud? With a student ID it's $20/mo.
posted by fritillary at 5:23 PM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


As an artist I have some favorite tools out of the tons of good & bad.
For sure my fave item is a little metal watercolor box I bought maybe 30 years ago, I think it's roughly the same now as the Winsor & Newton Professional Field Box Set. ($99). It's pocket sized.
(There are a bunch of brands like the W&N Cotman series which are less expensive, but the pigments aren't as good).

When I travel I nearly always have that with me, it simply induces me to paint more (little sketches).
A postcard pad of paper like this is good to add as well.
posted by artdrectr at 6:20 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Most illustrators are pretty particular about their art supplies. The recommendations here (including some of my favorites) may or may not be to your friend's liking. So that's a risk. But if you split the amount between two gift cards — one for JetPens and another to Dick Blick — they'll be able to get just about anything they might want!
posted by D.Billy at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


For "out of the ordinary" they might get a kick out of this or one of the other items on that site (see here for context).
posted by trig at 11:38 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thank you all for being so generous with your suggestions.

Re: "Or... six month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud" she gets that through her school already.

Please keep other ideas coming.

I can't tell what she uses from her artwork, but I know animation is her main area of professional interest.
posted by sindark at 1:18 PM on August 20, 2017


For the portraits she's using mainly watercolor, and occasionally oils.
Probably using a range of stuff to explore for class assignments.

I'm sticking with my suggestion, man.
posted by artdrectr at 5:00 PM on August 20, 2017


Light tables, such as this one by Gagne, are very useful.

As for animation, Johnston and Thomas's classic book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation is the defacto textbook for serious animators. Extra points if it is a first edition from 1981 although the spines on those are notoriously weak.

For $180, you can get a year's subscription to Toon Boom's Harmony animation suite but that might be jumping the gun.

For traditional media that's useful, wonderful and uncommon, it is hard to go wrong with a set of Uni Mitsubishi's Hi-Uni pencil set. There's 22 of 'em going all the way from 10B to 10H. I cannot overstate how fantastic these pencils are. Most people don't know that Mitsubishi makes pencils so these are likely a surprising and useful gift.
posted by bz at 7:24 PM on August 20, 2017


One other: a clear acrylic "bridge" hand rest that keeps the hand above the surface so you don't smear your work with the heel of your hand.
posted by bz at 7:34 PM on August 20, 2017


A domain and webhosting service, if they don't already have their own website (DeviantArt, Flickr, and Instagram are all good but don't count!).

PS: Let them choose their own URL. It should be something like "FirstnameLastname.com" or "FirstnameLastnameArt.com" or "FirstnameLastnameDraws.com" or "ProfessionalPseudonym.com" .... and no .net or .biz or anything like that.
posted by shalom at 12:42 AM on August 21, 2017


Most illustrators are pretty particular about their art supplies. The recommendations here (including some of my favorites) may or may not be to your friend's liking. So that's a risk. But if you split the amount between two gift cards — one for JetPens and another to Dick Blick — they'll be able to get just about anything they might want!

When I was in college for illustration, a straight-up gift card would have been the most appreciated by far. Since it looks like your friend is at OCAD, nearby Above Ground Art Supplies may be the best store for that.
posted by Kabanos at 1:26 PM on August 24, 2017


Or, buy her some sheets of real 23 karat gold leaf. Lots of possible illustration/art uses.
posted by Kabanos at 1:29 PM on August 24, 2017


Thanks again for all the suggestions. I ended up getting her a set of QOR watercolors, because the shop manager said they were better than the non-professional Winsor & Newton sets they had. She was very happy with them and a compatible sketchbook.
posted by sindark at 7:26 AM on September 11, 2017


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