The Best Gift I Ever Received

15 Dec 2013
A portrait of a loved one can make a poignant, moving gift. Sketch by Anthony Ryder.
A portrait of a loved one can make a poignant,
moving gift. Sketch by Anthony Ryder.

It was a collection of drawings, of course. My good friend from grad school, Amanda, made me a handmade miniature book filled with calligraphy and fun sketches of our time together in school. The cover is light blue and the pages are accordion-style, one folding over the next. The book is made from basic materials—paper, cardboard, pen, and ink—but it is one of my prized possessions because it is a one-of-a-kind artwork made especially for me by someone I care about. The thoughtfulness of the gesture still bowls me over.

A sketchbook of shared memories can be a powerful memento. Page from James Jean's sketchbook, 2007.
A sketchbook of shared memories
can be a powerful memento.
Page from James Jean's sketchbook, 2007.
That is the inherent power of drawing—the ability to share your creativity with someone else in a medium that is decidedly intimate and special. Giving a drawing as a gift is one of the most interesting and positive ways to convey our passion for art with those close to us. Your children or grandchildren may not know what art project you are working on right now, but they are sure to love a picture book that features pencil drawings of them as the main character. Your best friend from college may not be nearby, but a postcard-sized charcoal sketch of a shared memory will certainly bring you closer. Regardless of who you give the drawing to, or how you decide to present it—framed, in a book, or even as a personalized holiday card—the unique and handmade quality of it will always get a positive reaction.

Sharing art—especially drawings, which we all know have an inherently personal quality—is one of the easiest ways we can make time for art during the busy holiday season. It also allows others to share in the excitement and joy of the creative process. For the budding artist, enthusiast, or painting pro in your life, start with an inspiring gift of Keys to Drawing. By giving this timeless guide, you let friends and loved ones see what you are interested in and invite them to join you on your exploration. Keys to Drawing can be the first step in making art a rewarding part of the relationships that mean the most to you and yours. Enjoy!

P.S. Tomorrow is the last day of the Holiday Sweepstakes. Don't forget to register to win the Grand Prize: a $1,000 gift certificate from Blick Art Materials. Happy Holidays!


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Keys To Drawing

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Bert Dodson's successful method of "teaching anyone who can hold a pencil" how to draw has made this tome one of the most popular, best-selling art books in history - an essential reference for every artist's library!

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Comments

jesus.walle wrote
on 10 Dec 2010 11:33 AM

I would have never thought of making a book for someone as a gift. Not only is someone showing you the process of making art, but also how important that person(s) can be when involved in the process. I love it!!!

sulutomy wrote
on 24 Jan 2011 2:14 AM

It is one of the easiest ways we can make time for art during the busy holiday season. It also allows others to share in the excitement and joy of the creative process.