NOT REAL ART 2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Our Favorite Online Artist Shops
Ready for holiday shopping? It’s officially gift-giving season, and NOT REAL ART is here to help. Check out our end-of-year gift guide for the perfect present, whether you’re shopping for your bestie or picking out stocking stuffers for your niece and nephew. Choose from eco-friendly prints, laptop snap cases, hand-knit keychains, or a beautiful new art book (seriously, who doesn’t love a gorgeous coffee table book??). Best of all, you’ll be supporting creative culture with a unique gift from some of our favorite artists. Happy shopping!
Sugar Press Art: Dark Art Collection
Spook your curmudgeonly friends and family this holiday season with an affordable print from Sugar Press’ Dark Art Collection. Curated by founder Anne Martin, the collection includes work from pop-surrealist Camille Rose Garcia, expressionist painter Tyler Scully, and illustrator BIOWORKZ. Invest in an original piece of art or purchase an ecologically sustainable archival pigment print on recycled paper.
Gift to: your witchy cousin who’s a card-carrying member of her local coven.
Shop Sugar Press Art’s Dark Art Collection
Messy Desk on Casetify
Populated by characters like Cloudy Bear and Mr. Fuji, Jane Lee’s designs are a joyful romp through the artist’s wildest daydreams. The Hong Kong painter, who goes by Messy Desk, packs every nook and cranny of her work with pillow-soft characters wearing planetary rings, hot pink capes, and spotted mushroom hats. Her design collaboration with tech accessory brand Casetify is at the top of our holiday wish list this year—throw a stylish snap case in your cart or replace that boring black iPhone case with dimpled clouds, apple-cheeked critters, and fleecy castles in the sky.
Gift to: your niece or nephew who can’t set their phone aside long enough for stocking stuffers.
Corey Helford Gallery
Based in Los Angeles, Corey Helford Gallery works with a fascinating roster of international artists. The downtown gallery focuses on contemporary pop art, surrealism, neo-pop, street art, graffiti, and post-graffiti. With a mission to support both emerging and established artists, Corey Helford offers a selection of playful prints from past exhibitions in their online shop. Get a Christmas-themed print from pop-surrealist Brandi Milne or a manga-inspired print from Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda.
Gift to: that one friend who haunts her hometown comic shop for graphic novels and new feminist authors.
Shop Corey Helford’s collection of prints
Referring to his digital portraits as “cultural landscape paintings,” illustrator Samuel Rodriguez likens his creative process to that of a rap artist sampling their favorite beats. Spliced with digital runes and cryptic symbols, Samuel’s luscious, painterly work marries traditional portraiture with 21st century cyber-speak. With a background in graffiti, Samuel has an eye for contemporary culture outside the mainstream. Pick up a hand-signed paper print from his online shop, or invest in a sustainable wood print on strong, smooth birch. Hurry—availability is limited.
Gift to: your spray paint-toting buddy who’d rather work on walls than in a studio.
For the bookworm on your list, stop by UK publishers Counter-Print. The online bookshop specializes in beautifully designed—and affordable—titles on film, photography, history, music, and fashion. At Counter-Print, you can dive into the history of rock ‘n’ roll graphics, celebrate graphic design around the world, or pick up a copy of Camille Walala: Taking Joy Seriously for a burst of color over the dreary winter months. Stocked with new and self-published titles alongside updated vintage classics, Counter-Print is a design nerd’s dream come true.
Gift to: your absentminded art professor who lives for the intoxicating scent of a new book.
Becca Van K
Becca Van K’s needlepoint landscapes, snuggled next to the photographs that inspire them, adopt the technicolor hues and pulsing rhythms of an underground NYC dance club. Jokingly calling her work “granny craft,” Becca taps into a warm-hearted Millennial aesthetic that revels in wide-eyed kitsch, poppy ‘90s colors, and plenty of warm bear hugs. Visit the artist’s online shop for an original needlepoint, custom chairs, funky keychains, and our favorite, her truly unique “fashion plants.” Crafted from faux fur, buttons, jewelry, pom-poms, and candlestick holders, Becca’s fashion plants make an unexpected—and unforgettable—gift.
Gift to: Millennials; bucket hat-wearing ‘90s nostalgics.
When Los Angeles-based artist and entrepreneur Ilse Valfré was just 22 years old, she started a Tumblr blog that would propel her from preschool teacher to internationally sought-after artist. Today the Mexican artist is known for her eccentric female characters and signature style, a mashup of vintage and modern sensibilities that she refers to as “retro futurism.” Ilse’s stunning and well-stocked online shop is loaded with drool-inducing stocking stuffers for Gen Zers: an adorable black cat-shaped tote bag or tea set, “Evil” 2023 planners for your most devilish thoughts, and a “Sad Songs” incense holder for melancholy afternoons.
Gift to: your sweet and sassy bestie; anyone young at heart.
Hannah Zimmerman’s giclee prints are for the plant maximalist who can’t go shopping without buying another leafy friend. Jam packed with greenery, patterned rugs, and teetering furniture, Hannah’s prints are a cozy space to get lost in. Explore her online shop of greeting cards and reasonably priced prints—she even sneaks a few feminist pieces in there.
Gift to: the friend who takes better care of their houseplants than themselves.
Delicate yet powerful, Valeria Ganzman’s work highlights the shared characteristics of plants and people, suggesting that fragility and ephemerality can bind us together in unexpected ways. Printed on carefully selected paper, some of Valeria’s designs linger on the sweet side of life— “Orange Hibiscus,” “Little Roses”—while others rest in the dark depths, such as her “Decomposition” prints.
Gift to: your philosopher pal who spends hours thinking about life.
Like Victor Frankenstein before her, ceramicist Molly Melican breathes life and personality into her gaggle of googly-eyed hobgoblin friends. Based in Australia, Melican is an emerging artist who creates bizarre ceramic creatures under the name Ginklet. Shop her online store for memorable characters like “Boof Man,” “Big Red Gobby,” and “Purple Bone Head,” or pick up a colorful “Goblin” print from the merch section of her website.
Gift to: your eccentric but lovable neighbor whose home and garden are always bursting with tchotchkes.