Pantone Makes Coffee Mugs?

Thanks to Victor Elizalde from the AIGA linkedin group, I just learned about Pantone Coffee Mugs. What a hoot.

Other Gift Ideas for Artists:

Things Artists Can't Llive Without.
7 Hi-Tech Gifts artists can't live without.


Supplies Artists can't live without: Gift Guide

All of the items in this gift guide were recommended by artists who read this blog, and I asked the question "What is something in your studio you can't live without?" I tried my best to locate a link and picture of the item if the contributor did not. The comments next to the items are by the artist who suggested it.

Also see: Hi-Tech Gifts Guide for Artists and Recycled, Re-purposed & Free


Additional Selections on Amazon

"Traditionally I wouldn't be caught without a couple Moleskin sketchbooks!" -Andre Saunders

"A Fabriano Artist's Journal or Moleskine Sketchbook are little luxury items that I think most artists would appreciate. Both are very nice books that inspire spontaneous sketching and note jotting which can be kept neatly in an artist's library and referred back to for years". -Diana Ponce

"Moleskin Sketchbook"-Karen Harris

"A Sketch book for scribbling, taking copious notes and of course creating your own personal works of art. I always have a sketchbook at my computer station to write and sketch ideas, collect color and fabric swatches,etc it becomes a creative personal journal. I also carry a small moleskin pocket sketchbook you never know where your next idea will come from!" -June Bade

"Holbein multimedia sketchbook" -Kari Emmons Michaud

"World Wildlife Fund's Robert Bateman series sketchbooks for their lovely, versatile paper, and being spiral bound they stay open while working in them." -Mia Lane


"Micron Pens."-Karen Harris "Micron 02 fine point pens - awesome for doodling, signing and general fine point ink needs."-Jen Goode, Inspiring smiles every day

"The item is the Faber Castell Artist Pens and in particularly the Manga Set of 8. It has lovely grey tones and black in a variety of nibs.I got it from an art store in Holland, but of course you can find it at Dick Blick. I love it because of the intensity of the colors and the way it glides over water color paper. Other pens easily clogs up when I use it too much on water color paper, but this last me a long time. I use it to ink drawings before I use my watercolors. It does the job!" -TJ Lubrano's Illustrations

"Black Bic pens. That's the first item that my mom gave me to doodle with in church back when I was a little kid and what I used when I wasn't paying attention in high-school biology. It's sleek, ergonomic design is something I couldn't live without". -Greg Wallace

My essential tool is not terribly exciting, but I could not work without it. Its my .9mm Pentel Okra colored mechanical pencil.Its easy to find among all my tools. It does fine lines to heavy shading. I don't have to root around for the 4B or the 8B pencil. It lets me get the sketching phase out of the way and on to the finished product. Its my cool tool. I have one in every room of my house and I got them at Office Depot." -Marsha Baker Tickling your eyes

"I can't live without my graphic sketching pencils by Derwent. As a chronic doodler, these pencils are the favorite thing in my studio because they help me take a simple doodle to the final design stage. I always purchase the tin that contains 12 soft pencils because they're the most versatile pencils for the type of work that I do.The tin contains 9B, 8B, 7B, 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, and H pencils. I usually start my initial sketches with any of the pencils ranging from H through 2B. When I want to add more shading, I'll work my way up using the 3B through the 9B pencils.I also like the fact that these pencils come in a tin, which makes them easy to transport as needed." -Liz Revit

"Has nice pencils with a case." -Kari Emmons Michaud

"Rosetta makes a pencil extender that does something revolutionary: it actually holds the pencil. I've never found anything nearly as good. You can grind your pencil down to a half and inch and it still holds it tight. The barrel is hollow resin, so I don't even wait till the pencil is short, I just pop the new one in because I like the feel of it so much." -Kevin Kobasic


A special gift, given to me by my little sister. It is a great taboret, a table for mixing paint. -Frank Scicchitano

"What I use the most is a new electric x-acto pencil sharpener. I had been using an old one I bought over 15 years ago, and never gave it a second thought every time I had a colored pencil to sharpen. Then I treated myself to a brand new electric pencil sharpener, and woo hoo! Extra sharp pencils! Now I use it every day for every pencil!" -Revelle Taillon

"I love to use templates to tear out envelopes from my hand painted papers (or bought papers) to give hand made cards or gift cards or photos. No measuring or cutting. Very simple and makes a thank you note look very special. Instructions: pic. 1 - tear out shape/pic. 2 - turn over and fold shape around center template/pic. 3 - use dabs of glue to adhere sides and bottom flaps; use sticker or envelope glue for top flap. I prefer using double sided papers like tiny example (in top left of first photo.)" -Susan Swan

I bought it at my local office supply store. I like my paper cutter because it really helps me with my card-making. -Nancy HayesBackyard Beauties


"I like it better than the thin pencil type xacto knife holders because it fits the whole hand and you can have more precision cutting with less cramping of the hand." -Ellen Schneider, Photo Eyes Productions, LLC. SeaShellen Greeting Cards

"I have a Vantage Cutting Mat, size 24" X 36" which I keep right on top of my drafting table because I use it so much for both cutting and also just measuring. I thought cutting mats would last forever but mine is actually beginning to show wear in the middle from so much use. However, I got it in 2008, when I started art school, for around $40 -- so it has lasted a long time.I like to purchase art supplies at Blick because an artist can become a preferred customer which gives them a 10% discount on everything and also gets them on a mailing list for great coupons offering discounts of 20 - 40% off a single item". -Beverly Ann Hayes, Illustrator

"For altered art, cardmaking, scrapbooking, and 3-D design work I couldn't live without my American Tag eyelet setter! It punches the holes and sets all sizes of eyelets, nailheads, and bling! We fondly call it 'The Purple Monster'! It it truly an invaluable tool." -Shannon Bielke,

"My favorite thing is a Walker Display wall hanging system that accommodates many forms of art from sketches to fully framed pieces. All the components move horizontal and vertically, so there is much flexibility. Sometimes my studio is full of ideas and current projects, and others it's perfect for a show." -Beverly Dyer


"For any art student, at any level, or most professionals, a full box, paints, brushes and mediums, in a great wooden case is always a great gift. Windsor Newton makes a great one." -Frank Scicchitano
"W&N watercolor paintbox" -Kari Emmons Michaud

"This is by far one of my best "art" belongings:Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Field Box. I've had mine for close to 16 or so years and I think that the quality has dropped a bit, but still, perfect for any artist". -Gary Bernard

Windsor and Newton my favorite brand. I like the compact folding box. This and a watercolor sketch book. -June Bade

"I just love my little purse-size, 12 pan, traveling, watercolor set by Lukas. I can carry it anywhere and stick it in a small pencil carrying case with a small brush and tiny bottle of water, and I'm ready to paint anywhere, anytime". -Mia Lanehttp

They are a bit spendier to be sure and are terrific and JUICY! Wendy Edelson

"I think the one wonderful stocking stuffer for any artist working in either watercolors or acrylics would be Golden Absorbent Ground. It was created to be able to create acrylic and traditional watercolor washes on gessoed surfaces but it is the ABSOLUTE BEST opaque white if one is unhappy with an area of a painting, one applies several thin coats and this stuff dries completely FLAT, so even if one closes their eyes and feels the area, one can’t feel where the patch is....AND it is absorbent like watercolor paper ( not shiny and non absorbent like white gouache ) so that when painted over it, the fix is undetectable! I LOVE this stuff, it is like painting first aid in a jar, lasts a long time and is inexpensive. It is a “Holy Grail” product!"-Wendy Edelson

"My brushes are my most prized possessions! Though every artist has their personal preferences, so W&N acrylic brush cleaner is a God send! It will actually dissolve dried paint." -Ke Robinson


Dual temperature hot glue gun with an assortment of glue sticks - because there's nothing hot glue can't do.Paper punches, cutters and specialty scissors - one can never have enough when it comes to cutting accessories -Jen Goode, Inspiring smiles every day

"Knerasers, electric pencil sharpener, cutting board and of course I also like the memory sticks so I can transfer work to my laptop if I need to."-Patti Gay


Art Licensing Party

We held our annual art licensing party in Berkeley, California on December 4th, 2010. Besides having good company and conversation, we were treated with product samples from artists, a guest speaker and over all fun. Here are some photos...(more interviews and videos to come later).

Ginger McCleskey,
Greeting Card Sales Representative

Ginger McCleskey has been a manufacturer’s representative for the greeting card and gift industry in the San Francisco bay area for 25 years. She also teaches workshops and does consulting on how to start a greeting card business. She has extensive experience working with designers, artists and photographers.

Dianne Woods
Greeting Card Designer & Licensing Artist

Artist Dianne Woods hosted the party at her home in Berkeley and took all these photographs. Her animal cards can be found nationwide in Trader Joe's and she has also written an article on the subject of licensing animal images.

Artists & Designers Who Attended the Party

Patti Gay Gift Bags

Cosmic Canines line of edible greeting cards by Laurel Lane

Products designed by Steve Haskamp

Licensing Group Samples

Video Highlights:
Video Interview with Ginger, on the trends and future of Card Industry.
Video Interview with Patti Gay, Licensing Artist and former Art Director
Music Video: Greeting Card Artists & Rep Sing Holiday Cheer.

2009 Party
Photos and Highlights

Want to start your own art licensing group?
Here's How.

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