This time of year can be stressful and although we may have high hopes for unique gift ideas, it’s easy to fall back on boring last minute purchases. There’s so many great gift fairs and pop up shops to choose from, but it may be impossible to find the time to get there. Don’t despair. If your holiday shopping list is full of grandparents and other family members who would appreciate seeing more of your kids, here are some personalized suggestions that go beyond the quick (but efficient) iPhoto album.
Custom Watercolor Portraits
As part of Park Slope’s Ground Floor Gallery’s holiday show, entitled #newcollectorbk, local artist Aki Kano will be taking orders for custom portraits. This Sunday, December 6th between 1 and 4pm, meet the artist and discuss the process. Bring a photo that you’d like to have her work from, and she can create a customized watercolor portrait which would make a stunning one-of-a-kind heirloom gift for any doting grandparent or family member. As a bonus, the gallery show features over 30 other artists (including gifts under $100), so you can pick up unique gifts for everyone else on your list too. If you can’t make it to the Sunday event, you can still put in your order, by emailing the inspirational photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. But keep in mind that portraits have a 7 to 10 day turnaround, so the sooner you get the order in, the sooner you’ll be prepared for the holidays.
Ground Floor Gallery– 343 5th Street, Park Slope. Sunday, December 6th 1-4pm. Portraits range between $125- $350 depending on the size and number of children depicted.
For a more vintage feel, nothing beats a gorgeous silhouette portrait of your children. These are an elegant addition to any side table, bookshelf, or wall. Brooklyn Women’s Exchange’s silhouette artist in residence, Deborah O’Conner, will be creating these tiny heirloom quality portraits on Saturday, December 12th between 11am-5pm. She cuts them freehand on site and mounts them on a 5×7 buff mat. Oval frames are also available for purchase right there at the store, so you’ll have your gift all ready to go. Additionally, copies of each portrait are less expensive, so buy in bulk and cross many names off your list.
Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, 55 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn Heights. Make an appointment by calling 718-624-3435. Saturday, December 12th 11am- 5pm. Each silhouette is $35 and an additional $15 for each copy.
If you’re looking for something more modern, you can have a custom illustration of your whole family designed for you by Brooklyn-based illustrator and graphic artist, Caitlin Rain. A handmade illustration of your whole family would make a great personalized holiday card, or a beautiful gift for the in-laws. After you approve the design, you can get a digital file of the illustration, and are feel free to use it in any way you can think of. We won’t call you narcissistic if you make your own family t-shirts to hand out! Or purchase a high-quality print to frame over a fireplace. Printed cards and envelopes are also available for a nominal fee.
Contact Caitlin Rain directly through her Etsy shop Rainy Day Drawings. Designs start at $65. Turnaround time is usually three weeks; otherwise there will be an additional rush charge.