Ah, the so-called “perfect gift.” We all want to give gifts that reflect a real connection between our gift recipients and us, but how do you find that one, shiny, oh-so-elusive object that singlehandedly captures the essence of your recipient’s personality or conveys a shared story? Simple:

WITH ART.

 Art has the uncanny ability to transport us to different times, spaces, and emotional realms, and a well-chosen piece of art is a great way to kindle shared memories. All you have to do is find (or commission) the right one, and we’re here to help.

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“Watching Moab Desert” by Mikyoung Osburn. See more by this artist.

1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SUBJECT MATTER

Thinking of shared moments or the personal passions of your recipient is a great place to start.  When did you laugh together until you cried or have that simultaneous “Aha” moment?  Was there a particular vacation you’re still talking about, or does a past embrace still bring on goose bumps? You’ll be surprised at how many fond memories you may recall.

Regarding passions, perhaps you frequent Cirque Du Soleil with your daughter to indulge her fantasy of becoming a trapeze artist. Or maybe your best buddy is at his most Zen state when the two of you share beers at your distant relative’s beach house every year. Odds are, if your recipient is human, they probably have one or two things that make them tick.

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2. NOTICE WHAT THEY LIKE

Pay attention to what your special someone likes to surround themselves with. Is their home full of large, abstract paintings?  Is vibrant jewelry their thing? Do you notice a particular color or texture in their wardrobe? Or is there a genre of music that really speaks to their soul? We could go on and on about all the different observations you could use as fodder. And remember, when in doubt, it never hurts to ask!

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“Extra Large Horizontal Oil Painting” by Serena Stevens. Commission this artist to tell your story.

3. BRIDGE THE GAP (This is the fun part)

Now, using what you know about your recipient’s passions and preferences, you can find or commission an original work of art (or a song or poem) that speaks to their personal story and style.

For example, maybe your friend has recently moved into a tiny house and would go bonkers for a tiny sculpture. Or perhaps your gift recipient leans toward black and white photos and your most cherished memory is the weekend you spent in NYC. The possibilities are endless!

When embarking on the quest for the perfect gift,  just remember two points: listen and learn. People like to talk about the things that matter to them. Everyone’s personality is different, and you’ll be surprised to find it’s easy to select art for someone if you listen and observe with intention.

And remember: You don’t need a special occasion to turn a shared story into the gift of art. An unexpected surprise can be the greatest gift of all, and it’s yours to give. It all starts with a story.