Out of Ideas for Holiday Gifts? Seek Out Your Local Artist
You could trek to IKEA and buy some cool-looking stock art that is hanging on the wall of at the very least thousands of home in America. You could be satisfied with buying Christmas gifts from national chains that get to be featured in popular fashion magazines. Or, you could be unique and support your local artists and makers. Denton is home to artists and crafters of a variety of styles, and we are sure you can cross a few items off your holiday shopping list with the artists featured below! We've provided a short list of a few of our favorites, some of which will be at the Golden Triangle Mall Market this Saturday, December 10th at 11am.
There's no shame in needing a soft plushie to cling to while binge watching Black Mirror. Matthew Sallack of Otter Illustrations is making a limited run of Denton-esque plushies using Christmas fabric from SCRAP. They sell for $15 apiece at the DIME store, and there will only be 24 of them made. Get them while you can, and then you can give someone the gift of comforting art. You can check out the rest of Sallack's illustrations at his website and any community market.
Rachel Elise bags are personally designed and hand-stitched from start-to-finish. These unique creations started as a personal project while she earned her degree in Fiber Arts from UNT. Now it's a full-time business that she runs with her husband, Bo Aughtry. If you want to guarantee Christmas delivery from her Etsy shop, then be sure to order by December 12th. Otherwise, her items can be found in the DIME store and the Discover Denton gift shop. The image here features a date purse, but you'll find commuter bags, messenger bags, and more in her online shop. Prices range from $30-$120.
Alex Stock is a self-taught artist whose work invokes surreal settings with a touch of Southwestern influence. Her themes are based around nature and folk tales. Prints of her illustrations sale for $15 while she also has stickers available for $2. While attending UNT to complete a degree in Biology, she perfected her craft by carrying on the Daily Sketch Project which resulted in over 600 images drawn within 3 years. Since graduating from UNT this past year, she's been steadily creating installations including a piece featured at Art Con in Dallas.
Chalk-drawn portraits aren't a thing that everyone is doing, but that's precisely what Rezin Shelton is currently accepting commissions for this holiday season. The featured image is a 2'x3' fresh piece of an adorable poodle, but he also draws humans (hoomans?) very well. His recent large oil paintings have been recreations of his own family photos. Rates run from $200 to $300 depending on size.
If hand-drawn portraits aren't your thing, then you may consider a photo session with Oaktopia's photography director. Adrian Samano has been invested in Denton culture for the last few years and can bring an artsy edge to portaits if you're looking to get away from the norm. Few can tell a visual story like Samano can. He's currently booking holiday photo sessions beginning at $75. That's a steal!
If you can make someone laugh a little bit with a greeting card, then you're doing something right. No need to send out Thomas Kinkade cards with an overwrought message inside. Shawn Smyth sells puntastic cards at $5 apiece in her Etsy shop. Take a look around and you'll also find car decals, prints, magnets, and tote bags sure to be loved by crafty folks. Her items can also be seen at the DIME store just a little ways away from the courthouse.
Get your mugs right here! Some people use vanity plates or tattoos indicate their individual personality. For others, they've got to have that perfect mug with wonderful art work to satisfy that uniqueness craving. (The arts editor is currently upset that his Pink Floyd mug is missing). Ellen Austin is there for you with her Etsy shop called Ellen's Paintbrush. Her designs would especially be enjoyed by lovers of Texas scenery. Prices range from $19 to $32. Order by December 18th to ensure a Christmas delivery.
To own an Eric Mancini piece is a value that's difficult to measure. Mancini is born and bred in Denton, and wears his creative passions the same way Atlas holds up the world. He's at his best when he's creating murals in Dallas and Denton, but he can make a hell of a portrait primarily using spray paint with his characteristic squiggly lines. "Sellmo" featured here is 48"x48" wood panel that turns Sesame Street's Elmo into a street-art portrait. Price is available upon request.
Yea Christmas is a family holiday, but that's not to say erotic art shouldn't be exchanged. Bizarre, weird, sexual, intriguing. You'll find images that fit these descriptions throughout Cameron Cox's Instagram. And this is a great time to buy her art as she is currently selling her pieces at 15% discount. DM her through Instagram for more info, or to inquire on any commissions you may want done.
Header image design by Brittany Keeton