Clever Ways Artists Can Turn Their Work Into Gifts

Clever Ways Artists Can Turn Their Work Into Gifts

Struggling to deal with the anxiety of holiday gift-giving? If you’re an artist, stop stressing! As a creative, you’re in a unique position to combine gift-giving with your passion. So instead of buying a gift card or filling out more cards than you can count this year, why not harness the skills you already have? 

Here are just a few ways you can turn your job into the perfect holiday gift:

Animated Holiday Cards

You can create a personalized animated holiday card with just about any animation software, such as Procreate or After Effects. For example, you could create a character or brief scene and embed it in an email. 

This is far more personal, and not to mention, can save you from the inevitable option paralysis that comes with the gift-giving territory. Here’s a simple idea in Procreate to try out this year:

A stylized snowflake that rotates 360 degrees in Procreate 

  • Step 1: Draw a snowflake by setting Drawing Guide to Symmetry
  • Step 2: Select radial mode to expedite the process. With these settings, you can create any symmetrical snowflake, simple or complex, with ease. 
  • Step 3: Turn off the Drawing Assist and turn on the Animation Assist and begin duplicating each layer, rotating it a few degrees (the fewer degrees, the more layers), then duplicating and rotating repeatedly until the snowflake has completed 360 degrees.
  • Step 4: Press play to preview the rotating snowflake. Optionally, if you’d like to change the speed of rotation, you can change the Frames per Second. 
  • Step 5: Export the file as a GIF or Animated MP4 to save.

This is just one example, but the options are endless— don’t be afraid to get creative and have some fun!

3D Prints

Does your partner love a specific place, thing, or character? Have you ever considered recreating it with your own twist and getting it 3D printed? If you already work in the realm of 3D CG art, this should be a breeze. 

The first step can be done through modeling and sculpting software like Blender, ZBrush, and others. We’ll walk you through the steps you’d take in ZBrush to turn your model into a 3D print, ready to be wrapped:

  • Prepare the design- Between the choice of material and wall thickness, there are a few settings you’ll have to check before exporting your model for printing. Be sure to research the exact material you’ve decided on, whether resin, filament, or something else, you’ll want to know the specific requirements. The type of material will determine all of your settings, such as minimum wall thickness and the amount of material needed.
  • Check for pitfalls- You’ll want to check that your mesh is watertight, meaning there won’t be holes in your print that may prevent your model from being printed altogether. You’ll also want to merge any SubTools (separate polygon objects) and if you want to reduce unnecessary costs and time, consider making the model hollow or reduce the polygon count using ZRemesher so that there’s less material and a simplified model to print.
  • Export your 3D model- Choose a file format that’s compatible with the 3D print software you’re using. Typically, these are STL, OBJ, or WRL.
  • Send it to a 3D printing company- The services and prices offered will vary based on location, so we suggest giving 3D printing services a quick Google search to find the best options for you.

Small Gifts

This is also a great option for smaller stocking stuffers. Here are a few ideas for small-scale holiday 3D prints:

  • A mini planter with a fun phrase
  • A keychain of an ornament or a Christmas tree
  • Clip-together cards of gingerbread houses or reindeer
  • Holiday-themed fidget spinners
  • Festive bookmarks

Offering Your Mentorship

If you’re a more seasoned artist and have younger or more inexperienced friends looking to level up, consider gifting them some free shit. This is a simple but generous present that’s surprisingly rarely given— after all, knowledge is one of the most meaningful gifts. This gift could take multiple forms, such as:

  • A “digital gift basket”: Do you know what their creative goals are? Consider purchasing and putting together a bundle filled with beneficial tutorials, assets, and more.
  • Portfolio reviews: If you’re an expert CG artist, you probably know firsthand about the power of a good mentor. Consider giving back and offering private mentorship sessions where you review your giftee’s portfolio.
  • Live tutorial session: If your colleague or friend has ever admired an art piece you’ve created, and maybe even expressed a desire to achieve something similar, offer your time and technique to them in a live tutorial where you walk through the entire pipeline step-by-step.

Whether you’re creating something from scratch or putting together resources to help a friend out, Cubebrush can assist you along the way. From tutorials for mastering the basics of animation to making animated holiday cards, to already-made assets that you can prepare for 3D-printed stocking stuffers, Cubebrush offers artists an array of tools to ensure they’re equipped for the holidays. 

And in case you’re already burnt out from a long year of work, you can lean on the fantastic Cubebrush community to help you come up with rich ideas that will make the most special gifts for your friends and family this holiday season.