16 Incredible Gift Ideas for a Digital Artist (They’ll Love You For It)
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Your best friend, or close relative, is a digital artist. The best present you’ve ever managed to think of for them was a graphic novel, or perhaps a framed print.

Or socks.

Now is the time to right these previous wrongs and find some incredible gifts that the digital artist in your life will really appreciate and be able to use. Want to stand out? This is how you do it — and they’ll love you for it, guaranteed.

Software for Digital Artists

Chances are that your digital artist is already using Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator. Perhaps they’re tied to an older version that they’ve grown to love. They’re probably too busy to investigate the possibilities of a digital subscription to the most recent releases!

Adobe Creative Cloud is the top choice here, offering three types of subscription for individuals. First is Photography (restricted to Photoshop and Lightroom), then Single App (pick any of Adobe’s creative apps), and All Apps (the full creative suite), with monthly and pre-paid annual subscription rates on offer, ranging from $10 to $50 per month. There’s also a more expensive, complete option called All Apps + Adobe Stock, available for just under $70 a month.

Fortunately, it’s easy to gift a year (or a few months) of Creative Cloud:

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan with 20GB storage | 1 Year Subscription (Download) Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan with 20GB storage | 1 Year Subscription (Download) Buy Now At Amazon $119.88

Alternatives to the Adobe suite include Autodesk Sketchbook (subscription and standalone options are available) and Corel Painter.

To help decide which of these gifts to buy, bring the topic up in conversation. An artist used to Illustrator might not be comfortable switching to Corel Painter, for instance, so make your choice wisely. (For switching in the other direction, our guide to getting started with Adobe Illustrator The Beginner's Guide To Adobe Illustrator The Beginner's Guide To Adobe Illustrator Want to get started learning Adobe Illustrator, but feel overwhelmed? With easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of annotated screenshots, this manual makes learning Illustrator simple. Read More may prove useful.)

These apps are all expensive, so subscription options are a good way to go if you’re on a low budget. Or check out our subscription-free alternatives to Lightroom The Best Subscription-Free Lightroom Alternatives for Every Budget The Best Subscription-Free Lightroom Alternatives for Every Budget Now that the official version is subscription-based and in the cloud, many users are looking for Lightroom alternatives. Here are your best options. Read More for more ideas.

Hardware Your Digital Artist Really Wants

How does your digital artist want to express themselves? Do they first draw on paper, scan, and import into their favorite package? Or do they want to be able to draw directly into the software?

Scanners

muo-creative-digital-artist-gifts-scanner

For digital artists who always want to produce a pencil draft first, a high-quality scanner is vital. While scanners are almost always built into printers these days, a standard printer isn’t going to do the work justice, so unless they also have need for a lot of document printing, avoid this.

For top quality scanning, look for a device that will scan at a high resolution, such as the Canon Office Products LiDE220 Document Scanner.

Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner Buy Now At Amazon $98.16

Or if you have a bigger budget, the Epson Perfection V600 is a good option. Of course, the more you spend, the bigger the scanner and the higher the resolution.

Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner - Corded Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner - Corded Buy Now At Amazon $189.98

Tablets

muo-creative-digital-artist-gifts-tablet

Graphics tablets come in all shapes and sizes, and they make great gifts for digital artists. For instance, the good quality but low budget Huion H610PRO (the standard stylus-on-slate type of tablet) makes a good gift.

HUION H610PRO Painting Drawing Pen Graphics Tablet HUION H610PRO Painting Drawing Pen Graphics Tablet Buy Now At Amazon

Or perhaps you decide that the interactive displays of the high-end tools, such as the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display, are more suited to the person you’re buying for (like a standard tablet, it plugs into your computer as a stylus-sensitive touch display).

Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display, DTK1300 (OLD VERSION) Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display, DTK1300 (OLD VERSION) Buy Now At Amazon $969.98

The latest iPad makes a great little graphics tablet, and when coupled with an app like Astropad, it can turn Apple’s tablet computer into a tablet fit for any skilled digital artist. Meanwhile, our review shows that the iPad Pro iPad Pro 10.5 Review: Is the Best iPad Good Enough? iPad Pro 10.5 Review: Is the Best iPad Good Enough? The 9.7 inch iPad Pro was the shortest lived tablet in Apple's history, surviving only 15 months before being succeeded by the new 10.5 inch model. So does 0.8 inches do enough to close the... Read More could prove even more useful!

But if the subject of your gifting uses an Android tablet instead and their device supports stylus pen input (such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 5) then the VirtualTablet (S-Pen) app is worth looking at for $2.

Consider, too, the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet which ships with a nice stylus. Since this is a Windows computer, it will run all of the graphics software discussed above. However, stylus input for this device has its flaws for artists who have a slower hand, so it’s really only a good option for someone who needs to draw and email and travel light. See our review of the 2017 Surface Pro for more information.

Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen) (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB) Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen) (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB) Buy Now At Amazon $899.99

Styluses

muo-creative-digital-artist-gifts-stylus

Most tablets come with styluses included, but if your digital artist needs a new one, consider the Wacom Intuos for iPad 3 and later.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad Air, iPad 3/4 and iPad mini Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad Air, iPad 3/4 and iPad mini Buy Now At Amazon $169.99

Many more styluses are available, however, such as the affordable Musemee Notier V2 Precision Stylus, designed for precision art. We’re big fans of DIY here at MakeUseOf, but we don’t recommend that you offer your digital artist friend or relative a self-built stylus as these typically don’t have the necessary sensitivity for serious activity. However, if you want to give it a shot, check out our guide to building your own tablet stylus How To Build Your Own Tablet Stylus How To Build Your Own Tablet Stylus Steve Jobs was quite right when he said "If you see a stylus, they blew it." While a good touchscreen should never require you to use a stylus for standard operations, there are tasks when... Read More .

Printers for Digital Artists

muo-creative-digital-artist-gifts-printer

Printing can be expensive, especially if you have to pay for it on a per-print basis. That’s why some artists like to have the ability to print their own work rather than relying on third party services. As such, a personal printer can prove especially useful.

For smaller prints, a standard photo printer like the Canon Pixma Pro-100 should suffice, but for larger prints, you’ll need to consider something like the Epson Stylus Pro. Again, unless the recipient is a full-fledged professional, this may be stepping into overkill territory.

Canon PIXMA Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device Printing (6228B002) Canon PIXMA Pro-100 Wireless Color Professional Inkjet Printer with Airprint and Mobile Device Printing (6228B002) Buy Now At Amazon $261.00

Publications & Courses for Digital Artists

Online courses and digital publications can be of considerable use to a digital artist. You might want to introduce your friend or relative to Lynda.com, an online course site where membership grants access to thousands of courses across dozens of topics, including digital art.

In fact, we’ve already curated a list of some of the best Lynda courses for digital art Learn Digital Art from Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses Learn Digital Art from Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses With hundreds of online courses to choose from, Lynda.com is the fastest way to mastery of digital art. Here are a few courses to get you started. Read More . Whether the recipient is a newbie or a veteran, these courses will offer something to learn. Lynda subscriptions start as low as $20 per month.

Popular newsstand publications for digital artists are also available to be read on desktop computer, smartphones, and tablets. Services such as MyFavouriteMagazines will give access to Future Publishing’s library of monthly magazines, which includes titles such as Computer Arts, Imagine FX, Fantasy Art, and many others.

Meanwhile, the Readly app for iOS and Android charges a low monthly fee (around $10) and provides access to a vast library of monthly magazines in English. These are newsstand titles that you can have downloaded to your device for convenient reading at any time!

Many titles can also be found on iTunes and Google Play, too, where you’ll also find similar magazines and bookazines from other publishers around the world.

And of course, if the gift recipient enjoys a bit of non-digital art as well, check our collection of gifts for artists 12 Gifts To Empower The Artist In Your Life 12 Gifts To Empower The Artist In Your Life If the person you're seeking a gift for is of the artistic variety, they'll appreciate something that shows you understand how important their art is to them. Read More .

Now you have no excuse to be lacking in gift ideas for the digital artist(s) in your life. You might have found something in the list above, or maybe it sparked another idea completely. Either way, hit the comments below and tell us what you’re going to buy.

Image Credits: Gift Box via Shutterstock

Explore more about: Digital Art, Gift Ideas.

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