Mini da Vinci Machines
Before he was “da man”, Leonardo da Vinci was just another screwball messing around with things that everyone else laughed at. Later on, some of those silly ideas matured into aircraft drawings that happened to be centuries ahead of their time. To this day they stand as a testament to the power of letting your imagination run off and do its own thing. You probably wouldn’t want to be a test pilot for any of these, but they are an invaluable learning and creativity tool.
If you know an artist that likes to draw or paint from photographs, this instant printer may be just the thing they need. Sure they could use their desktop computer, but this is a whole lot easier and they can take it anywhere. If you’ve ever played with an old Polaroid camera you know the joy of snapping a photo and instantly seeing a print. It’s also a quick way to produce small scale art - snap a picture with the phone, print, sign, and sell.
Know an artist who has lots and lots of time on their hands? This stop motion animation kit may be the perfect thing to fill up those hours. It’s actually a really fun process, but it is slow - there’s no way around that. This kit will certainly help speed things up and they’ll be making short films before they can say Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
Artists often have their head in the clouds, which is also where they should be accessing their new suite of creative tools from Adobe. A subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud gives artists a powerful set of applications to make everything from graphic art, to videos and websites.
Smart Art is an art project in a box, delivered monthly to their door. It’s designed to inspire creative thinking and may be the perfect thing to help get them over a creative block. Each box will contain everything they need to create a new project. They’ll explore a new technique each month and experiment with encaustic painting, mixed media, impasto painting, street art, and much more.
Inspiration is fleeting, and art trends come and go. Help the artist you know embrace the impermanence of their creations with this Zen water canvas. Water is brushed on the absorbent canvas, leaving beautiful gray marks that evaporate and completely disappear within minutes, reminding the artist that their best ideas are yet to come.
We are constantly awash in a sea of waves, fields, and rays, not to mention whatever the aliens are shooting into us, and if the scientists didn’t tell us about it we would have no idea any of that stuff is even there. The ferrofluid desk toy is a super cool way to see what magnetic fields would look like if they were actually visible. The included 2-poled magnetic wand allows the user to literally manipulate physics with their hands. Well, that’s probably not true, but it kind of looks like it.
Artists and writers often keep notebooks filled with ideas and doodles. If you know one that has boxes and boxes full of old notebooks, then this smart digital notebook may be the perfect gift. It feels like paper but can transfer what’s scribbled inside to their computer for saving and editing. Once the notebook pages are full, they just erase the physical copies, by putting the Pocketbook into the microwave. After being nuked the pages are blank again and they can fill it back up.
In the right hands, a color wheel is like a recipe book for beautiful design. There are actually a lot of cool tricks that can be achieved by placing certain colors beside each other, as Jasper Johns explored in his work in the 1950s. For example, did you know that you can make one color look like two different colors? Or make two different colors appear as if they were exactly the same? There is a science behind it all, about how your brain interprets sensory input, but let the artist worry about that. Just know that this is an item that should be included with every painter’s toolkit, that can help them mix colors and understand the effects colors have on one another.