The Art Of Self Gifting: Eight Perfect Prints

I've always found it a struggle to try and meet Joe's expectations as to what I buy him for birthdays and Christmas.   Unlike myself who, if asked, can usually come up with a list of about 50 items within three minutes, all within a reasonable budget, Joe's standard response is 'a Rolex'.   This is an historical issue.  About six years ago, he received a bonus from work and bought himself an Omega watch at vast expense.  The kids and I have NEVER forgiven him.  Even though it is a true fact that he has worked twelve hour days for the good of the family for years and possibly, maybe, deserved it, we cannot get over the fact that, in our opinion, he should have spent it on us.  Unfortunately now, whenever he tells us that we can't afford to do something we remind him of the watch purchase and he doesn't have a leg to stand on.  His attempts to build a watch collection as an 'investment' are met with scorn and thus his request for a Rolex is laughingly denied.  Poor Joe.

So what to buy him?  It is well known that men do not need as many things as women.  Fact.  There is always something that I need to buy as an essential.  At the moment it's a macrame wall hanging and three rolls of Banana Leaf wallpaper.   Joe doesn't need those things.  Aside from the Rolex, his list is very small indeed.  Bike head torch.  iPad screen cleaners.  Therefore, what I have learnt over the last 17 years is that I need to buy him gifts that we will BOTH enjoy.  Me more than him, maybe, but the thought is always there and that's what counts.  

So over the past years, some of the gifts that Joe has (un)gratefully received from me and the kids include a coffee table, an angle poise lamp, a pouffe, several coffee table books and a duvet set.  However, the most popular present for Joe/self gifting item in our house, I have realised, is the art print.  This morning I counted up how many art prints I have bought Joe over the years and I found 15 currently up on the wall.

Yes, I'm very partial to an art print.

Yes, I'm very partial to an art print.

An art print is the perfect gift for someone who doesn't know what they want or doesn't need anything.  The variety of choice is endless.  Who doesn't love a new print or piece of artwork?  We had dinner at a friend's house the other week.  Aside from being unbelievably cool - they sold their house and took their children out of school for two years to travel South America - Craig is an art dealer and their house is full of the most amazing pieces, from watercolours to oils to photography to mixed media.  It was quite overwhelming.  Possibly even more overwhelming after drinking a large Pisco Sour made with raw egg, after which my memory is sketchy but I know for a fact includes me choking on red wine and spitting all over the pudding.

Joe eating fondue in front of 'Fruitcake' from Bob Dylan's  Revisionist Collection .  Cool as f**k.

Joe eating fondue in front of 'Fruitcake' from Bob Dylan's Revisionist Collection.  Cool as f**k.

Sam and Craig's art collection is beyond the reach of us, or, indeed, most people, but nowadays it's perfectly feasible to be able to build up your own selection of art that you love and enjoy looking at.  Especially if you are a talented self gifter and your partner doesn't know what they want for Christmas.  So I've pulled together my favourite and affordable - key word - art prints from independent sellers.  Just click the links to take you to their websites or Instagram pages to direct message for further pricing and shipping details.

Peacock Headdress Girl

Cannot tell you how much I love this.  Shaylene Reynolds is an amazingly talented American artist from the East Coast.  You can order her work via her Etsy Shop and if you quote 'LisaDawson' you get $5 off from now until the end of the year.  Shaylene's gorgeous and super cool prints are so stunning and would be a talking point addition to any wall.  Just beaut.

Vogue, June 1964

This print from King & McGaw is a Cecil Beaton photograph and it's pretty bloody perfect.  The colours are really striking and it's so effective.  King & McGaw have also just launched a brand new framing service so it's a one stop shop.  Just the ticket for Christmas presents and their range of products is endless.  Check them out if you haven't already.

Animal Skull

Totally gorgeous and individual artwork by two super talented London based friends who met in New York called Tipperley Hill.  You can check out their amazing print collection via Instagram or Facebook - their artwork is just stunning and beautifully presented.  This is absolutely on Joe's [my] Christmas list for sure.

Mr JC 

How cool is this?  Completely love this Mr JC print from Susan and Donna who have set up a print design studio based in Scotland called We Are Amused.  Check out their Instagram page to see their collection which includes typography and a photographic range so fab you will want every piece. PS:  They are doing a pop up shop at my home here in York on 9 February - it's an invite only event via my website with limited numbers so click here to register.

Keith Richards

How bloody talented is that Donna Maria Kelly?  No partner who doesn't know what they want for Christmas could fail to covet this portrait of Keith.  It's a prime example of ticking every self gifting box.  I want it - tick.  Partner will love it - tick.  We love the artist - tick.  It's very cool - tick.  Contact Donna via Instagram to order.

Rock On!

Nickie Kelly is the exclusive distributor of this photographic art print by the artist Pati Robins.  This off the scale cool print can be supersized up to A0 size for maximum effect.  Everyone loves a tat and this one is pretty impressive.  Totally stunning, Pati's work is consistently amazing - you can see the full collection in Nickie's online store.  This print has self gifting written all over it.



Where Is My Drink?

When The New Icons Of Print sent me this image over I knew that it was perfect for my home bar.  This is the only question that is worth asking in our house.  The perfect gift for your partner or friend, just to remind them that you need an Aperol Spritz in your hands at all times throughout December.  After all, alcohol is an essential non negotiable part of the festive season.  As are mince pies.  Check out their range to see their huge selection of typography and photography.


Hotel Du Cap Eden-Roc

This is my absolute favourite photograph of all time so I had to put it in my best ever list.  Unlike most of the art on our walls, Joe actually bought ME this canvas as a gift and it never fails to a) make me happy or b) make me realise how much I need a holiday.  It's by Slim Aarons who was an amazing photographer and you can get a print or canvas in whatever size you like from the wonders that are Surface View.  It's also the artwork in my home that I am most asked about.  Everybody needs a bit of Slim.

So there you have it.  My absolutely top eight prints that are perfect for giving the partner who has everything.  Except a Rolex, obvs.  And who would ever know that you've picked the print with yourself in mind rather than the recipient?  No one.  It's the perfect plan.  Happy self gifting!