A love of cooking and baking often goes hand in hand with a creative streak. It’s certainly what drew me to cooking in the first place! And I find I need to feed my creativity beyond the kitchen, so I make sure I carve out time for drawing, painting, and lettering.
If this is you, too, or if you have an artistic friend or relative to shop for, I have put together a round-up of the tools and books and classes that keep me inspired and joyful year-round.
So here’s my selection…
Best Gifs for Creatives
An uplifting journal for self-exploration that encourages mindfulness and creativity, gorgeously (gorgeously!) illustrated by Meera Lee Patel. Got one for myself, and one for each of my “mastermind sisters”.
I got myself this whimsical page-a-day desktop calendar for 2018 to keep me smiling with offbeat cartoons and quizzes and fun activities. As soon as I received it, I ordered more to give to friends!
This is one I got for myself as well. The pages have a collage look, and there’s a dedicated section for each and every day with an “idea spark” that invites you to draw or collage something on there.
This is a beautiful journal that’s designed to get you through the year consciously creating your days and your experience. Every day/week/trimester you get prompts to help you reflect on your intentions, your plans, and what you learn, and the journal offers an overarching structure to pursue your goals for the year in 90-day periods. I’m super excited to get started with mine!
If you’re interested to give it a try, I have a code that will give you 5% off your purchase: use this link for Europe and this link for North America.
From amazing illustrators Lisa Congdon, Julia Kuo, and Eloise Renouf comes this lovable sketchbook. Each double-page gives examples of the many ways one can draw a certain plant, animal, or everyday object, with lots of room to copy or riff or invent your own.
I could not live without these Leuchtturm dotted notebooks; they bring me so much joy. I have one with me at all times and use it to journal, to bullet journal, to think and strategize… The dotted lines are perfect for structure and freedom, the quality of the paper is just right, and there are many colors to choose from — I pick a different one every time.
I only write with these markers, which I buy in sets of 10 in black. I also have this vibrant color set for doodling and bullet journaling and hand-lettering.
Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You
I’ve been using this one throughout this past year. It has 365 activities and prompts to get your creative juices flowing. You can pick a random page and do whatever you’re asked to do, or look for something that calls your name that day.
I am loving this portable watercolor set from renowned brand Winsor & Newton. It’s adorable, affordable, and of course you can take it with you everywhere you go, like the free-as-a-bird artist that you are.
This is the watercolor paper I use for practicing. It will make a wonderful gift together with the pocket watercolor set. (The Canson brand originated in France centuries ago, and used to be French King-approved, so there’s that too.)
When you feel confident in your watercoloring abilities, get these postcard-size sheets of watercolor paper to make mini works of art you’ll send out to wow your friends.
I am in love with these dual markers, with a brush tip on one end, and a fine tip on the other. They’re great for hand-lettering and the colors are gorgeous. If the complete set is outside your budget, get this one instead. It will serve you well!
Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain
I have loved loved loved this book that teaches you how to draw through activities and advice that short-circuit your critical/analytical left brain, and open the channel into your intuitive right brain. It’s on its 4th edition now, and is a classic for a reason.
A beautiful book that talks about observing nature and making art from it. It’s an inspiring read that teaches you how to really look at things, with lots of step-by-step drawing tutorials.
I have gotten so much from this online lettering course! Teela is a great instructor and she shares all of her secrets and tips to make beautiful swoops, loops, and curls around your hand lettering. Amazing worksheets, too — you’ll be so impressed with what you create.
If you want a flavor of her teaching before you get this one, I have enjoyed Bounce Lettering as well, and use these concepts every day when I hand-letter in my journal.
One-Year Subscription to CreativeBug
CreativeBug is a go-to platform for well-made creative tutorials, and you can gift a subscription to a friend for 3 months, 6 months, or a full year. This will give them unlimited access to all of the video instructions — it’s bound to be a creative year for them!
I’m especially fond of their creative challenges, such as the Daily Drawing Challenge with Lisa Congdon or the 31 Creative Lettering Ideas.
I also love Craftsy. This platform works on a class-by-class basis, with classes that are beautifully produced and comprehensive, and the price includes community interactions and teacher support. I have really enjoyed the Stunning Watercolor Techniques and the Stunning Art Journals.
Any class you choose, you can click “Gift this class” at checkout to offer it as a gift to someone else; they offer gift vouchers you can then print out.This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your support of my work.