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Best. Christmas. Ever.

Having trouble figuring out what to buy for that creative person in your life? Something they could absolutely use and love, and is more meaningful than going to the closest Michael’s and buying a sketchbook and calling it a day?

As a graphics person here at AYB, I’ll make it simple: here’s a list of things you can buy for me!

I know we have many holiday guides. After all, much of the staff of AYBOnline come from different walks of life: PC Builders, cosplayers, juicer enthusiasts, the list goes on. We’re awesome like that. So, personally, I want to ensure that when you’re looking at gifts – especially for me – you know what you’re getting into.

1. Udemy Courses

Price:  Variable (Paid courses vary between $15 to $300)

I’m a shameless nerd. It’s been more than five years since I graduated from college, and I still like learning new things. But at least there is no professor or looming deadlines breathing down my neck – and I can do it at my own damn pace.

Udemy offers a tonne of cool stuff to learn, and as a 2D/3D artist, the “Design” category offers some really awesome course headers to browse in.  The nice thing is that you can sometimes catch some great deals, like select courses for $15 (Unity Programming was one of those).

Beginner VR Oculus Rift Development with Unity3D - Mozilla Firefox
This button is particularly important.

2. Prismacolor Pencils

Price: Between $30 – $200+ CAD (depending on what set you get)

Courtesy of Michaels
Courtesy of Michaels

If you haven’t heard of these babies, then you’re in for a treat. The soft lead quality is great, these suckers offer smooth blending and a variety of vibrant colours. You honestly can tell the difference between using crummy coloured pencils and using Prismacolors.

It’s the second best thing to Copic Markers, which I don’t expect anyone to sink any amount of money into for me. (But I mean, if you really want to, I would gladly accept it!)

There are varying prices depending if you get a 12-set, a 24-set, 48-set, 72-set, etc. But even a 12-set of Prismacolors goes a long way for me.

3. Artbooks

Price: Between $15 – $60 CAD

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Quite a broad selection that falls under the category of “artbook”, but it’s something to look through a copy of Digital Art Masters and be able to read the breakdowns of incredibly talented artists. I remember picking up the 4th edition when I went to GDC in 2010, and in there were huge amounts of inspirations and tips for achieving certain techniques.

And even if it’s doesn’t fall into that category, I appreciate a good concept artbook from beloved video game titles. (J Tanooki, I’m still waiting for The Witcher 3 to be here. ♥)

4. Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone (Nintendo 3DS)

Price: ~$15 CAD

I knew about the first edition of Art Academy and didn’t think much of it. But apparently it must have done well because Nintendo published a sequel — I am behind on the times apparently — and it kind of looks awesome. (Note to self: Do a review for this sometime in the future.)

Just check out the trailer and see all the neat stuff in there. And then ask yourself, “How jazzed would Kate be to play this? She could also review it for AYB, too!” (Editor’s Note: Just did. Self says you’d be so jazzed. Let’s make it happen. 🙂 — JM)

5. 3D World Subscription

Price: 1 month: ~$8 CAD; 1 year: ~$90 CAD

Courtesy of Creative Bloq

Some people don’t know this but I majored in 3D and have built assets for game engines and video. There are a few 3D zines out there, but 3D World is special.

Each subscription allows you to “explore new CG techniques and discover inspiring new artwork, animation and VFX” (Source). Some include tutorials from featured artists; others even go in-depth behind the scenes with commercials, movies, and animated shorts and interviews with their creators. And sometimes, even some downloadable files are included, like video training or tutorials.

6. Pose Tool 3D (for Android)

Price: ~$8 CAD

Courtesy of Google Play Store
Courtesy of Google Play Store

Posing and perspective is a huge deal — and one I personally am always working to improve such skills.

“Good thing they have an app for that!”

It’s true though and I have to say, this looks better than any damn posing doll I’ve owned in my life. Choosing between male and female models, the app allows you to do all kinds of things: from enabling a realistic lighting system, adjust camera, muscle mapping, and allowing movement for different organic moving parts, it’s hard to believe all of this is included for what this app is asking for.

This app has also received great reviews and accolades. (Second note to self: Do my own review on this app for AYB, too.) (Second Editor’s Note: Yes, please! Quick, somebody buy her this so I don’t have to! — JM)

Also, developer AlienThink has a plethora of other pose tool apps (kinda interested in that Horse Pose app, amirite?).

Failing all of that, of course, a massage for these hunched shoulders of mine from years of looming over many an art piece into the wee hours of the night is something I will never turn down.

Disclaimer: These are suggestions for pretty much any creative person in your life, not just for me (as I so facetiously stated at the start of the article.) I’m happy, even for me, to have gift ideas for my own creative friends!

But I mean, if you still want to get me some of these gifts though, hit me up.


Kate is a contributor and a Graphic Designer for AYBOnline, and producer on Level 1 Scrubs Podcast. She credits her sibling’s Final Fantasy strategy guides for getting her into drawing when she was 10 and she hasn’t looked back since. Her opinions are her own. Feel free to follow on Twitter!

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