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Top Christmas gifts for artists and creatives

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Christmas gift guides

We're bringing you a tech-focused Christmas gift guide every day up to the big day itself, to help fuel your present buying inspiration.

Day 1: Apple fans | 2: Photographers | 3: Switch gamers | 4: Xbox gamers | 5: PS4 games | 6: Retro gamers | 7: PC gamers |  8: Lego fans | 9: Music lovers | 10: Mobile gamers | 11: Home cinema dreamers | 12: Home cooks | 13: Smart home starter kit | 14: Tech for kids |  15: Fitness fans | 16: Creatives | 17: Runners | 18: Commuters |  19: Pet owners | 20: Those who have everything

Struggling to think of the perfect Christmas gift for a friend or family member this year? Here at TechRadar we want to help out with your Christmas gift list.

Looking to get a Christmas gift for that creative person in your life? It can be hard to know what the most appropriate gift is, especially with so much choice out there, whether you’re scrawling online retailers or pacing the shelves of your local stores.

If you’re scratching your head for that perfect artistic gift, though, look no further: we’ve brought together a host of the best Christmas gifts for artists and creatives in the world of gadgets. 

So whether a subscription to Photoshop, instant camera, or large-screen tablet will do the trick, we’ve got all the information you need.

Adobe Creative Cloud

(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe Creative Cloud subscription

Nothing is more crucial for an artist than having the right tools at their disposal. For graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, or video editors, Adobe Creative Cloud offers the market standard in design excellence. 

Subscriptions aren’t necessarily cheap, and are bought on an annual basis, rather than letting you subscribe by the month – but there’s no denying the utility of what you get. You’ll spend less on an individual program like Photoshop, though buying the whole package may be more cost effective if you need access to a few different ones. (Check out our guide to the best free painting software for some cash-less alternatives.)

(Image credit: Future)

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)

The best big tablet around right now

Weight: 632g | Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm | OS: iPadOS | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels | CPU: A12X Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 9,720mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP

Huge screen
Tremendous processing power
Battery life could be longer
Face ID isn't perfect

Of course, what better to make use of that editing and drawing software than an iPad Pro? The iPad Pro 12.9 is notable for its sizeable screen, making design and illustration a delight, rather than making do with a smaller, more cramped screen.

Its like a giant digital canvas that fills your needs whether you need a personal workstation, easel, portable cinema, book-shaped loudspeaker, music mixing desk, or a range of other functions.

You're paying for that extra screen space, though the usual hallmarks of a high-end iPad Pro – its unrivaled processing power, massive display, snappy operating system, and the fact you can use it with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard – make it a great choice if you have the money to burn. 

Check out our iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) review for more details, or our best tablets guide for some cheaper options.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

Another well-priced Instax Mini model

Lens: 60mm | Focusing: Macro, Normal and Landscape | Flash: Built-in | Self-timer: Yes

Really easy to use
Selfie mode
Can obscure flash
Limited control

An instant camera is a great gift for a budding photographer, with the satisfaction of seeing your creations print out of the camera itself after shooting. No more scrolling through thousands of snaps in your phone gallery, then.

The Instax Mini 70 comes with five shooting modes (including that all-important selfie mode), all of which are automatic and make for breezy focusing, exposure and use of flash. It isn't overpriced for what it offers, though you will need to factor in some budget to pay for some Instax Mini Film.

See more options in our guide to the best instant cameras.

littlebits Synth Kit

Modular synthesizer for the truly adventurous

For beginners or professionals
Synthesizers!
Not the cheapest stocking filler
May be daunting to uninitiated

Aimed at both professional musicians and complete amateurs, this modular synthesizer allows kids and adults to “explore the science of sound, make sweet beats, and create instruments".

Once the domain of tech wizards, building synthesizers is now something anyone can do with the right kit – and you can see in the video above what makes it so magical in action.

(Image credit: Future)

Nanoleaf Canvas

Smart lighting decor that can bring the funk

Easy to set up
Smart home integration
Mounting tape hard to remove
Expensive

If you need your smart home to look as good as the rest of your decor, these Nanoleaf Canvas smart lights should do the job. Consisting of touch- and voice-sensitive panels, allowing for customizable arrangements, and able to respond in time to music, it will light up your home quite unlike anything else.

It’s easy to set up – if hard to remove – and if you can swallow the cost then it’s one of the most imaginative smart lighting solutions we’ve had the pleasure of trying out.

Find out more in our Nanoleaf Canvas review.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Nintendo Labo: Variety Kit

Cardboard and coding makes for a genius combination

Ah, Labo. Only Nintendo would find a way of making cardboard boxes fun again, with its range of Labo contraptions combining the smarts of its Nintendo Switch console with pure arts-and-crafts delight. You’ll need a decent amount of space to store them, depending on the scale of the kit you purchase, but the resulting joy is very much worth it.

There are a few other kits to consider, including the Toy Kit, Vehicle Kit, and VR Kit depending on what the creative soul in your life is after, but the Variety Kit is a great place to get started, especially with a musical piano option alongside a motorbike, fishing rod, and more.

And yes, it’s mainly for kids, but as a shared family activity it should scratch the itch of anyone who’s still a child at heart. (Not compatible with the smaller Switch lite console.)