It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year, but even with the holiday season months away, it’s never too early to start that holiday shopping. This is especially true for anyone in your life that’s hard to shop for. 

We all have at least one person on our list who seems to have everything. Perhaps you have a loved one who’s very particular. No matter the reason, buying gifts for others can be a challenge.

There’s one type of gift, however, that stands up to the aforementioned difficulties. Something that most people can never have too much of: art.

Why Art Makes Such a Great Gift

Art has been a part of the human experience since we began walking the earth. Even though we may not fully be able to explain it, it is something we are compelled to create. 

According to Harvard researcher Ellen Winner, “No one has ever discovered a culture without one or more forms of art.” Winner goes on to say, “The arts are a way of making sense of and understanding ourselves and others.”

So it’s no wonder why art is such an integral part of our lives and why people enjoy it so much. It taps into innate senses, feelings, and emotions in a way that can, at times, help us to feel more safe and secure. Studies show that even art that elicits negative feelings can still be enjoyable to view.

The bottom line is that humans enjoy art. We may not all like the same style, medium, or artist, but art in one form or another makes for quite a universal gift.

For the Lover of All Things Abstract

Abstract art on display in a living room as inspiration to buy for someone who is hard to shop for.

Even if you don’t quite “get it,” that’s okay! You certainly don’t have to in order for someone else to enjoy a piece of art

Those fond of abstract art tend to appreciate that the scene is left up for interpretation. Assigning our own meaning to a canvas is a deeply personal experience that can not only be thought-provoking, but cathartic as well. 

For the Foodie Who’s Hard to Shop For

A mosaic of a still-life of fruit in a kitchen to demonstrate art to buy for someone who is hard to shop for.

Whether it’s self-described or the person is a real food critic, there’s a good chance there’s someone who at least considers themselves a foodie on your list. When a gift card to their favorite restaurant just won’t do, consider an homage to food that they can enjoy every day.

For the Person Who Never Left the 70s

A dark gray mosaic with a blue flower pattern in the tile floor of a bathroom. to demonstrate what to buy someone who is hard to buy for.

Do you know anyone who still uses the phrase “groovy” regularly? They might appreciate a piece of modern art with a touch of this era.

This mosaic bath mat, for instance, has a retro flower child vibe, but modern aesthetics. Perfect for anyone on your list who hasn’t gotten rid of their bell bottoms. 

For the Dog Lover Who’s Hard to Shop For

A mosaic of a pitbull to demonstrate what to buy for someone who is hard to shop for.

Toys and accessories make for great gifts, but they don’t always stand up to the test of time. If you’re looking to give the dog lover in your life something a little more personal this year, why not put their four-legged friend on full display? 

You can opt for artwork of their favorite breed or even commission a piece to capture their most beloved pet. Whatever you choose, it’s hard to go wrong with a gift that shows what’s most important to them. 

For the Person with the Green Thumb

A mosaic of colorful flowers to demonstrate what to buy for someone who is hard to shop for.

If you have someone on your list who can usually be found in the garden, floral art is a great option. While flowers will only last so long in a vase, they can last a lifetime in art form. Display the beauty of their favorite flower or color palette with a bountiful mosaic bouquet or embossed arrangement.

For the Wine Connoisseur

A mosaic of a picnic scene.

Do you have anyone on your list who knows what it means for wine to have “legs” or has a collection of vintage wine in their cellar? There’s a good chance they’ll love art that aligns so closely with their hobby.

With this kind of passion, any old art won’t do. Gift them a piece that’s handcrafted and made with the finest materials, just like their favorite vino.

For the One Who Prefers Sea to Land

A mosaic of a compass rose in a kitchen.

Some of us seem to be drawn to the sea in a way that others aren’t. There’s a deep appreciation and respect for the sea that not everyone understands. 

If this sounds like your loved one, then they’ll enjoy a subtle reminder of the water that they can admire while on land. Whether it’s the image of a coastal landscape or the simplicity of nautical symbolism, you can help give them a dose of vitamin sea at all times. 

For the World Traveler Who’s Hard to Shop For

A mosaic of a mountain range in a living room.

Got a friend with a bit of wanderlust? A family member who’s never in the same city or country for too long?

When they do come back to their home base, there’s nothing better than a piece of art to commemorate a beautiful moment. Frame a photo of their favorite view or find them a canvas with a treasured landmark for a gift that’s sure to top their list this year.

For the History Buff

If you’re looking to deviate from the usual gifting of a book on their favorite historical era, consider a more visual option. If you can’t find original art from a specific time in history, try a reproduction with a twist. A historical image in a modern medium can strike the right balance between their interest and a contemporary aesthetic.

There’s Something For Everyone Who’s Hard to Shop For

By narrowing a gift down to a category, you have some inspiration to start searching for that person that’s hard to shop for. Art can mean different things to different people, but finding a piece that represents and acknowledges a person’s passion is likely going to be a winner.