How to Choose Art as a Gift

December 10 2019 – Chelsea Vincent

How to Choose Art as a Gift
How to Choose Art as a Gift

(Hint: There’s Still Time to Be Personal)

Holiday Art Gift Giving Guide by Nelson Makes Art

By Chelsea Vincent

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, December is officially here, and holiday cards are going out. Everything is a pinch more cheerful, and strangers perhaps more smiley. 

But if you’ve still got people to buy gifts for, you may be feeling some heat. Who has time for personalized gifting? People are cool with Amazon gift cards, right

Don’t get me wrong, we buy a lot of household products from Amazon. But I realize that’s exactly what they are: cheap, basic, everyone-uses-this products.

As my Grammy always reminds us at Christmas, this season is about more than simply exchanging gifts. Yet doing so gives us a chance to say, “I spent some time thinking about you in a meaningful way.” Or it says, “I grabbed this in line at the grocery store checkout while I was buying ice.”

Which gifts do you like getting more? 

Thought so. :)

Gift Giving Guide for when you dont know what to give by Nelson Makes Art

There’s nothing like receiving a gift that feels thoughtful. Even soap!


If you’re looking for something unique to give this holiday season, art is always a great choice. It’s evocative and personal, without requiring you to become a master potter yourself. And even during this busy time of year, it’s accessible, with so many online art stores. And while art may mean framed canvas prints traditionally, there are so many other options.


Here are some key tips to help you choose the perfect piece of art for that loved one on your list:

Focus on His or Her Interests (Not Yours)

I think it’s fair to assume that most of us have been in that awkward situation where we receive a gift that has nothing to do with us. You smile, say thank you, and wonder why on earth your beloved Great Aunt Jane got that velvet tracksuit for you. 

(Coincidentally, Great Aunt Jane happens to love velvet tracksuits herself.)

When you start to consider the right gift, it has to fit the person. You may like cooking shows, but they may like Star Wars, for instance. So while that Gordon Ramsey cookbook would make you giddy, it’s better to get a gift the recipient would enjoy. 

What do they enjoy talking about? Watching or listening to? Checking out when they have free time or travel? Those are all little nuggets that can help you get started.

Small Ocean Sailboat Painting by Nelson Makes Art

A cute Capsule Tale designed with sailing enthusiasts, but there are so many more to choose from!

Think About Lifestyle & Living Situation

Once you’ve got some interests in mind, consider the recipient’s everyday life. This will help you narrow down the product types to those which would be useful or enjoyed for that person.

Perhaps the other person works out of a small home office but loves getting outside to do some yoga on the weekends, in which case a yoga mat with a nature scene would be perfect. Or, are they someone who spends a lot of time doodling and loves New York? You could combine their love of big cities with an urban-inspired notebook.

A Walk in the Woods Yoga Mat by Nelson Makes Art

Imagine unrolling this stunning yoga mat. What an invigorating practice!

Thinking about the person’s day-to-day activities and interests, as well as how much space they have, will help you determine the type of product to look for. Art comes in everything these days, from paintings to jewelry, from cookware to accessories – the options are endless. It simply comes down to finding the right art for their life.

Find a Corner of Common Ground

While the above two steps are focused on the person you’re shopping for, this last one brings you to the picture: consider what the two of you have in common. 

There’s a reason the two of you are still in each other’s lives. Even if you’re family, what experiences have brought you closer to each other? Can you weave that shared memory into the narrative of your gift?

For instance, let’s say you both took a trip to Jamaica together last summer, and your gift includes art with some tropical scenery. Adding a handwritten card that recalls how much fun you had with them that week is a lovely touch. It reminds both of you why you are connected and that your relationship is one of joy and taking adventures together. 

There’s so much more to giving gifts than we often think about. This holiday season, invite yourself to tap into your own creative side, as you explore more meaningful ways to share with those around you.

Happiness is best shared, after all.


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