With Christmas fast approaching, do not fear- our arts editing team and writers have compiled a useful list of gift ideas for your creatively inclined friends and family members!
Whether you think your friend or family member is the next great master, or want to encourage them in their first attempt at getting creative, simply gifting them some great quality art supplies is a great place to start. A pretty set of watercolours, a vibrant tin of acrylics, or even something like a modern calligraphy set all show you support their artistic endeavours, and the excuse of buying supplies is one less boundary to getting started! There are loads of online resources for supplies like Cass Art or Papier, but keeping it local there's a great choice in our very own Blackwell's, Newcastle Arts Centre, or Grainger Market.
Do you have a friend that loves to devour books? Do you need a gift for them that is affordable but shows just how much you love them? The perfect gift I thought up for my friend as I went off to university was to give them a book that has a meaningful quote embedded in it. Find a book that sums up your friendship in one line. Grab a highlighter and doodle around that one line, getting as intricate or fancy as you like. Then, write in the front of that book a little message about how inside of this text is one line that they need to find. Tell them not to skip forward and to find it, but to discover it as they are reading. It will sum up your friendship and give them a lovely new shiny book to read over the Christmas holidays. If you want to make it more festive, maybe wrap it in some wrapping paper (preferably not the plastic type!).
Why not combine literature and art, by buying the art-lover in your life a set of Penguin’s book cover postcards? They come in boxes of one hundred cards, featuring the covers of many of your favourite novels. Their small size means they can easily be tacked to a wall, and they’re guaranteed to brighten up even the drabbest student house.
Penguin also sells tote bags featuring iconic, vintage book-covers. I own one myself, and can confirm that they’re spacious and strong, as well as stylish. For the literature lovers out there, there really is no better way to transport your books onto campus. You get a bonus point if the cover on your bag matches one of your books!
Colouring is a great way to relax, with studies suggesting it both improves sleep, and decreases stress and anxiety. It’s also likely to appeal to your creative friends, with the ‘theme’ of books available ranging from mandalas, to Game of Thrones. Buy someone a colouring book and a pack of decent pencils, and see what they come up with. If nothing else, ‘I have to finish this page’ is a great excuse to procrastinate from uni work, when some of the pages are so complicated that they can take hours to complete.