It’s the season to be jolly and the season for gift guides! As I love making lists I had a lot of fun putting together this gift guide for the illustrators, graphic designers and hand letters in your life. Or people with aspirations in that direction. Or, you know, just generally the creatives in your live.

Art Supplies

It shouldn’t surprise you to see some brush pens on this list. I already wrote a review about the Pentel Colour Brush and the Kuretake Brush Pen, which I both really like.

Pentel’s Colour Brush (€10)
Pentel Pocket Brush (€13)
Ecoline Brush Pen (€25 for a set of 10)
Winsor & Newton Golden Calligraphy Ink (€8)
Kuretake Watercolor Paint (€36)
Lightbox/Tracing Pad (around €80)
Holbein Gouache (€52 )
Kuretake Aquash brush pen (€10)


A lot of these books are also on my wishlist, but some of them I’ve borrowed from the library before or I own them.

Books on typography & hand lettering

Steven Heller’s Typography Sketchbooks and Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World’s Great Graphic Designers(€20). I loved both of these books. They’re an excellent source of inspiration and for finding out what inspires other creatives.

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type by Michael Perry (€17) is an inspiration for everyone interested in typography or handlettering

In Progress by Jessica Hische (€20) is probably my favourite book I bought in 2016. I loved discovering Hische’s work and discovering the way she creates her work. If you’re interested you can read my review of In Progress on my other blog.

Louise Fili’s Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili (€28) is a monograph on Fili’s work. She’s known for her lavish and elegant typography and has her own design studio. This book is still on my wishlist but it looks like an excellent source of inspiration.

Sketching, drawing & illustration

Sketching from the Imagination: An Insight into Creative Drawing (€21)

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (€17) – I just bought this book myself and it looks awesome! So much information on colour and light.

The Practice and Science of Drawing (€10)
Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Characters (€42)
Digital Painting Techniques – Volume 7 (€34)
Figure Drawing for all it’s worth by Andrew Loomis (€35)
This How Pictures Work by Molly Bang (€18)

Inspirational books

Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work (€8)². Don’t expect a lot of mind blowing information in Kleon’s books, but they’re the perfect way to get some new ideas or inspiration when your in need of a creative boost

Just Kids by Patti Smith (€10)
The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher (€32)

Paper & sketchbooks

A6 Ebony sketcbook by Daler-Rowney – Small enough to take everywhere with you and the paper is perfect for sketching and working with ink. I haven’t tested it with watercolour though.

Tracing paper – because it’s always interesting to have at hand

Leuchturm or Moleskine dotted notebook – no lines or grids, but dots. They’re easy to ignore during freehand sketching and vital when doing typography or logo sketching.

Fabriano drawing paper – I prefer the 160g/m and the 200g/m paper for sketching, doing lettering or water colouring.

Seawhite sketchbooks – Seawhite is my favourite brand of sketchbooks. I just love the feel of their paper.

 Subscriptions & Apps

Scrawlrbox subscription – By subscribing to Scrawlrbox you give someone (or yourself) a monthly box with fresh drawing supplies, ranging from markers, pencil, papers, some artwork and a monthly art challenge. (£15/month)

Skillshare is (apart from YouTube) my favourite place on the internet to learn new things. They have an enormous collection of courses, covering things from how to start drawing cartoons, to hand lettering, making videos or how to be more productive. ($12/month)

Kyle’s brushes are widely renowned in the illustrator community. Adobe even considers them the best brush sets you can get for Photoshop. So if you’re looking for a gift for someone who’s into digital illustration, this might be the perfect solution!

If your intended giftee has an iPad (Pro), you can always give them some (or all) of these apps: Procreate app, Amaziograph app, Astropad.

Voila, if you still don’t find a present for a creative in your life, it’s not because I didn’t give you enough options. 😉 What would you give to creatives you know? Or what’s on your own wishlist?