Gift Guide: Support Creativity, Creatively


1. Whoever implies that creativity is all genius and magic has not seen creative people fawning over a good planner. It takes a lot of organizing to keep all your projects on track. This planner by Boden Boden x Poketo is party on the outside and minimal inside…until your creative friend pours life into it. And it’s dateless, so you can begin any time without wasting a page.

2. Because plans change, give them these beautifully packaged pencils by typographer Louise Fili in red and gray, or maybe the Tutti Frutti or metallic colored-versions. Or try this, my favorite mechanical pencil.

3. The Grids and Guides notebooks, inspired by vintage laboratory notebooks, will help them get over blank page panic and think outside the box. Eight different kinds of grid paper are peppered with cool infographics, scientific charts, alternative alphabets, and more.

4. If you think all this constraint would make your recipient itchy, artist Keri Smith created the Non-Planner Datebook meant to encourage creativity more than strictly plan your life. Portland-based publisher Little Otsu describes it as “more of a journal with organizational aspects,” with pages for records and ideas so that you can have some sense of framework, and some randomly-placed, dateless monthly calendar pages thrown in.

5. “In case you notice a mild odor of feathers or cat in the room, an artist is seeking shelter behind your oak furniture.” This comic by Anna Haifisch presents sometimes absurd and often relatable episodes in the life of an artist in their formative years, satirizing the exclusive world of fine art. 

6. The Good Pin Club offers a new enamel pin every month, designed by a different illustrator, with 100% of the profits going to a different non-profit organization (like Sophia Foster-Dimino for Planned Parenthood, or Victo Ngai for Shaggy Dog Rescue!). If you missed one that you love, you can pick from past designs still in stock.

7. Tuesday Bassen’s work is so covetable, it’s been copied by international companies. Luckily, you would accept no substitutes, and she is prolific as hell. She designs fun pins and patches, clothing (this custom embroidered “Hail Satin” jacket is made in L.A. and available in sizes XS to 3XL), and assorted home sundries. She also runs Friend Mart, where they sell “good stuff for you & your friends from us and our friends.”  

8. If you want something for your walls, check out the 40+ illustrators, designers, and artists who helped us celebrate our 20th Anniversary this month for ideas! Their sites are all linked here and many of them have original work, prints, books, cards, and more available via their websites.

9. Let’s get real…it’s getting down to the wire for actual shopping. Remind someone who is doubting themself that they will make good things again or something better tomorrow by downloading one of these prints by designer Kara Haupt of Babe Vibes. 

10. Or, for another last-minute gift, consider making a donation to something your recipient cares about. Check out Illustrated Impact for ideas. (Or, maybe a certain feminist media organization you both love?) This month, Bitch illustrator Lorraine Nam, Susanne Lamb, and Laura Korzon decided to use their talents and networks to bring more attention to causes that they care about. Highlighting a different non-profit every day during December with a custom illustration, you can discover new artists and organizations doing great work at the same time.

by Kristin Rogers Brown
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Kristin Rogers Brown is a creative director, designer, and problem-solver. She was Bitch Media’s Art Director (2010-2018). When not designing, you can find her teaching illustration and design at PNCA or hoping to pet your dog. Follow her on twitter or instagram.

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