Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

The 2012 Gift Guide: What To Get Creatives (And Those Who Want To Be More Creative)

Some of the latest in tech, entertainment, and miscellany for the creative type.

  • <p><a href="http://gopro.com" target="_blank">GoPro</a> has been one of the interesting brands of the last several years, making itself synonymous with action-oriented video via a steady stream of action-oriented web video (and by being name-checked by those creating that video). If you want to, say, <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680796/master-class-how-to-shoot-your-dog-in-a-car#1" target="_self">shoot your dog with his head out the window of your car</a>, a GoPro and a suction mount is the way to go. Read more about this delightful use case <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680796/master-class-how-to-shoot-your-dog-in-a-car#1" target="_self">here</a>.</p>
  • <p>If you want to make a stunning timelapse film like <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681086/master-class-how-to-make-a-stunning-time-lapse-film" target="_self">The Manhattan Project</a>, you’ll need some gear from <a href="http://dynamicperception.com/" target="_blank">Dynamic Perception</a> (read about the setup used by Manhattan Project director Cameron Michael <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681086/master-class-how-to-make-a-stunning-time-lapse-film" target="_self">here</a>.)</p>
  • <p>Aspiring screenwriters will love <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Movies-Fun-Profit-ebook/dp/B004G8QTWA" target="_blank">this book</a>, which recounts all the tips <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681393/6-tips-for-writing-a-money-making-script-from-a-billion-dollar-screenwriting-duo" target="_self">Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant</a> learned on the way to earning some movie studios literally a billion dollars.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://www.swivl.com/store/" target="_blank">Swivl</a> is an adjustable stand for your iPhone that users can control remotely. It’s probably the easiest way to direct yourself in a video without needing to get a camera person involved.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://www.finaldraft.com/products/mobile/writer/" target="_blank">Final Draft</a> won’t give you the million-dollar movie idea, but it will handle formatting and everything else to make sure that you can turn that idea into a legitimate screenplay.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Idea-Writers-Copywriting-Marketing-Advertising/dp/0230613888" target="_blank"><em>The Idea Writers</em></a> is an indispensable guide to multi-platform branding in the digital age that every creative should read. At least according to sources close to Co.Create.</p>
  • <p>Backseat zombie killers who watch AMC’s hit series <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1679487/how-to-keep-a-brand-alive-from-the-creators-and-cast-of-the-walking-dead" target="_self"><em>The Walking Dead</em></a> seem to think they’d do a better job surviving the show’s post-apocalyptic hellscape. With Telltale Games’ Walking Dead, they’ll have their chance. As game site <a href="http://www.polygon.com/game/the-walking-dead-episode-4/2328" target="_blank">Polygon</a> said: "Even before this fourth and penultimate episode, 'Around Every Corner,' it was already one of the best stories told in a video game, not to mention the best implementation ever of episodic structure in gaming…Buy it. Buy it all, buy it hard. Buy it for loved ones as a last-minute stocking stuffer, buy it for someone that has never played a video game. Just buy it.”</p>
  • <p>The hotly anticipated fourth entry in one of the most successful video game series of all time, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Halo-4-Xbox-360/dp/B0050SYX8W" target="_blank">Halo</a>, arrived in November to wide acclaim.</p>
  • <p>Even in the video game world, there’s a race for a <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680649/the-social-living-room-how-nintendos-wii-revolutionized-gaming-and-what-it-means-for-the-fut" target="_self">second screen</a>. The Wii U updates Nintendo’s revolutionary Wii by including a game pad that can be used as a controller, as its own PSP-like mobile console, and an outlet to hook up four other controllers. As George Thiruvathukal, co-author of <em>Codename Revolution: The Nintendo Wii Platform</em> says: "One of the things we see in the Wii U tablet potentially is this idea making the living room even more social. Kids are often competing with their parents to use the television. It allows for this kind of distributed focus. You don’t have the console as being the center anymore. It’s more like a hub concept."</p>
  • <p>An antidote to first person shooters, fighting, and racing games, <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681358/behind-the-years-most-talked-about-gun-free-game-unfinished-swan" target="_self"><em>The Unfinished Swan</em> </a>is a paint-splattering game that is about creativity. Buy it with a membership in the <a href="http://us.playstation.com/psn/" target="_blank">PlayStation Network</a>, where the game is exclusively available.</p>
  • <p>You never know when the worst might happen. That’s the premise behind the show <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681947/paranoid-or-prepared-what-you-can-learn-from-those-nutty-doomsday-preppers" target="_self"><em>Doomsday Preppers</em></a>. If there’s one takeaway from watching the show, it’s always have a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Global-Warrior-Tactical-Cargo-MOLLE/dp/B005GM5SPY/ref%3Dsr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1354806128&sr=1-1&keywords=Global+Warrior+Tactical+Go+Pack" target="_blank">go-bag</a>. After all, you never know <a href="http://" target="_blank"></a> you might have to avoid.</p>
  • <p>To throw in that bag, as a sort of go-stocking stuffer, a <a href="http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/doomsday-preppers-shop/doomsday-preppers-complete-survival-manual" target="_blank">complete survival guide</a> for what to do if the worst does actually happen.</p>
  • <p>If your job is coming up with ideas, it’s important to have an organized, responsive, sharable system for storing them--beyond just your brain and a notepad, because it’s 2013. <a href="http://evernote.com/premium/" target="_blank">Evernote Premium</a> is the best available.</p>
  • <p>The Internet of things--the promise of a world of connected objects--is one of the key tech developments that will define 2013. <a href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671312/on-sale-at-last-twine-your-gateway-to-the-internet-of-things#1" target="_self">Twine</a> is your gateway to the Internet of things.</p>
  • <p>MakerBot’s <a href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670834/makerbot-unveils-next-gen-3d-printer-and-first-retail-store#1" target="_self">Replicator 2</a> is your all-round go-to for consumer 3-D printing. The perfect way to kick your art installation to the next level.</p>
  • <p>As we’ve noted <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1679342/to-redefine-computing-have-a-couple-beers-the-raspberry-pi-creation-story" target="_self">here</a>, <a href="http://www.raspberrypi.org/" target="_blank">Raspberry Pi</a> is a GNU/Linux box computer that retails for $25. It functions on its own, but may also work as inspiration for the tinkerer in your life.</p>
  • <p>Hour-long dramas have vastly improved in the last 10 or 15 years, occasionally making movies seem obsolete. In the critically acclaimed <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Revolution-Was-Televised-Slingers/dp/0615718299" target="_blank"><em>The Revolution Was Televised</em></a>, TV critic Alan Sepinwall examines the roots of this sea change, which should be interesting for anyone who wants to know how <em>Sopranos</em> and <em>Mad Men </em> came together.</p>
  • <p>For keeping up with what’s going on in TV and movies today, or revisiting the classics, a subscription to top streaming service <a href="http://movies.netflix.com/WiHome" target="_blank">Netflix</a>, is indispensable for culture mavens and for families like this one, looking to enjoy some good wholesome together time.</p>
  • <p>Even if you’re not an audiobook enthusiast, the audio version of <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681700/master-class-john-hodgman-on-how-to-know-everything" target="_self">John Hodgman</a>'s final entry in his fake miscellany trilogy, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/That-Is-All/dp/B009KFMIGU" target="_blank"><em>That Is All</em></a>, featuring readings from Patton Oswalt, Dick Cavett, Paul F. Tompkins, and many others, is highly amusing.</p>
  • <p><a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681866/how-bek-crafts-a-new-yorker-cartoon" target="_self">Bruce Eric Kaplan </a>is not only an ingenious <em>New Yorker</em> cartoonist and all-around wit, he is also a producer and writer on HBO’s white-hot series <em>Girls</em>. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/NO-ONE-YOU-KNOW-Collection/dp/1416577955/ref%3Dla_B001IZX7GK_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354501853&sr=1-3" target="_blank"><em>No One You Know</em></a>, a collection of his cartoons, is a perfect introduction.</p>
  • <p>Tig Notaro may have simultaneously had <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681524/thank-you-i-have-cancer-how-tig-notaro-is-finding-the-comedy-in-tragedy-without-the-time" target="_self">the worst year of her life</a> and the best year of her life. The turning point toward the good side was <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tig-notaro-live/id570071953" target="_blank">this 30-minute chunk of stand-up comedy mastery</a> spent putting the bad stuff in perspective.</p>
  • <p>What, you worry? Why would you do that when you know that <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681754/the-ascent-of-mad-see-60-years-of-comic-subversion" target="_self"><em>MAD</em> magazine’s</a> 60th Anniversary <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Totally-MAD-Years-Satire-Stupidity/dp/1618930303/ref%3Dsr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354502360&sr=1-1&keywords=mad+magazine+60+years" target="_blank">book</a> is a wonderful gift for the joker on your list?</p>
  • <p>Creative genius <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680999/4-lessons-in-creativity-from-john-cleese" target="_self">John Cleese</a> shared some insight with us (and a few hundred creatives in Cannes) earlier this year on how to be even more creative. For the Cleese completist, perhaps the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Pythons-Flying-Circus-Megaset/dp/B0009XRZ92" target="_blank">Monty Python box set</a>.</p>
  • <p>Before he orchestrated <em>The Avengers</em>' box office victory this summer, <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681608/why-you-need-a-creative-shift-instead-of-a-vacation-as-explained-by-joss-whedon" target="_self">Joss Whedon</a> dropped a lot of wisdom in some intense interviews. Here they are collected in the book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Joss-Whedon-Conversations-Television/dp/160473924X/ref%3Dsr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354503330&sr=1-7&keywords=joss+whedon" target="_blank"><em>Conversations</em></a>.</p>
  • <p>Technically, Chris Ware’s genius <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Building-Stories-Chris-Ware/dp/0375424334" target="_blank"><em>Building Stories</em></a> is a book, but it is not like <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681628/chris-ware-brilliantly-bundles-building-stories-as-graphic-novel-boxed-set" target="_self">any book</a> you have ever read before.</p>
  • <p>We all know <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681234/get-a-taste-of-anthony-bourdains-first-graphic-novel#1" target="_self">Anthony Bourdain</a> can write a gripping kitchen epic, but what about a graphic novel about warrior-chefs? Well, he took a stab at it with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Get-Jiro-Anthony-Bourdain/dp/1401228275" target="_blank"><em>Get Jiro</em></a>.</p>
  • <p>Even though some of the gross things that take place on the show are liable to make you not want to eat anything for a while, the official <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681718/collaboration-isnt-always-pretty-behind-the-emmy-winning-vfx-for-game-of-thrones" target="_self"><em>Game of Thrones</em> </a>cookbook, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Feast-Ice-Fire-Official-Companion/dp/0345534492" target="_blank"><em>A Feast Of Ice and Fire</em></a>, will make it possible to dine like a Stark when you get your appetite back. A Lannister always crepes suzettes.</p>
  • <p>Sous vide cooking will be a bigger thing in the coming year, making this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/SousVide-Supreme-Sous-Vide-Water/dp/B003AYZIB4" target="_blank">Sous Vide cooker </a>, perfect for your food snobby friend (and perfect for cooking up recipes from <em>a Feast of Fire and Ice</em>).</p>
  • <p>In lieu of a lump of coal, consider the gift that keeps on giving nightmares. Order <a href="http://www.fartbymail.com/Default.aspx" target="_blank">Fart By Mail</a> and see what develops.</p>
  • 01 /30 | For the filmmaker, aspiring or accomplished

    GoPro has been one of the interesting brands of the last several years, making itself synonymous with action-oriented video via a steady stream of action-oriented web video (and by being name-checked by those creating that video). If you want to, say, shoot your dog with his head out the window of your car, a GoPro and a suction mount is the way to go. Read more about this delightful use case here.

  • 02 /30

    If you want to make a stunning timelapse film like The Manhattan Project, you’ll need some gear from Dynamic Perception (read about the setup used by Manhattan Project director Cameron Michael here.)

  • 03 /30

    Aspiring screenwriters will love this book, which recounts all the tips Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant learned on the way to earning some movie studios literally a billion dollars.

  • 04 /30

    Swivl is an adjustable stand for your iPhone that users can control remotely. It’s probably the easiest way to direct yourself in a video without needing to get a camera person involved.

  • 05 /30 | For the writer

    Final Draft won’t give you the million-dollar movie idea, but it will handle formatting and everything else to make sure that you can turn that idea into a legitimate screenplay.

  • 06 /30

    The Idea Writers is an indispensable guide to multi-platform branding in the digital age that every creative should read. At least according to sources close to Co.Create.

  • 07 /30 | For the player

    Backseat zombie killers who watch AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead seem to think they’d do a better job surviving the show’s post-apocalyptic hellscape. With Telltale Games’ Walking Dead, they’ll have their chance. As game site Polygon said: "Even before this fourth and penultimate episode, 'Around Every Corner,' it was already one of the best stories told in a video game, not to mention the best implementation ever of episodic structure in gaming…Buy it. Buy it all, buy it hard. Buy it for loved ones as a last-minute stocking stuffer, buy it for someone that has never played a video game. Just buy it.”

  • 08 /30

    The hotly anticipated fourth entry in one of the most successful video game series of all time, Halo, arrived in November to wide acclaim.

  • 09 /30

    Even in the video game world, there’s a race for a second screen. The Wii U updates Nintendo’s revolutionary Wii by including a game pad that can be used as a controller, as its own PSP-like mobile console, and an outlet to hook up four other controllers. As George Thiruvathukal, co-author of Codename Revolution: The Nintendo Wii Platform says: "One of the things we see in the Wii U tablet potentially is this idea making the living room even more social. Kids are often competing with their parents to use the television. It allows for this kind of distributed focus. You don’t have the console as being the center anymore. It’s more like a hub concept."

  • 10 /30

    An antidote to first person shooters, fighting, and racing games, The Unfinished Swan is a paint-splattering game that is about creativity. Buy it with a membership in the PlayStation Network, where the game is exclusively available.

  • 11 /30 | For the doomsday (or rainy day) prepper

    You never know when the worst might happen. That’s the premise behind the show Doomsday Preppers. If there’s one takeaway from watching the show, it’s always have a go-bag. After all, you never know you might have to avoid.

  • 12 /30

    To throw in that bag, as a sort of go-stocking stuffer, a complete survival guide for what to do if the worst does actually happen.

  • 13 /30 | For the "curator"

    If your job is coming up with ideas, it’s important to have an organized, responsive, sharable system for storing them--beyond just your brain and a notepad, because it’s 2013. Evernote Premium is the best available.

  • 14 /30 | For the creative technologist/nerd tinkerer

    The Internet of things--the promise of a world of connected objects--is one of the key tech developments that will define 2013. Twine is your gateway to the Internet of things.

  • 15 /30

    MakerBot’s Replicator 2 is your all-round go-to for consumer 3-D printing. The perfect way to kick your art installation to the next level.

  • 16 /30

    As we’ve noted here, Raspberry Pi is a GNU/Linux box computer that retails for $25. It functions on its own, but may also work as inspiration for the tinkerer in your life.

  • 17 /30

    If someone has been really, really good this year, consider getting them the ultimate in geek toys: a transforming robot from Brave Robotics. It’ll only set you back $25,000.
    (Price has been corrected from an earlier version of this article).

  • 18 /30 | For the pop culture enthusiast

    Hour-long dramas have vastly improved in the last 10 or 15 years, occasionally making movies seem obsolete. In the critically acclaimed The Revolution Was Televised, TV critic Alan Sepinwall examines the roots of this sea change, which should be interesting for anyone who wants to know how Sopranos and Mad Men came together.

  • 19 /30

    For keeping up with what’s going on in TV and movies today, or revisiting the classics, a subscription to top streaming service Netflix, is indispensable for culture mavens and for families like this one, looking to enjoy some good wholesome together time.

  • 20 /30

    Even if you’re not an audiobook enthusiast, the audio version of John Hodgman's final entry in his fake miscellany trilogy, That Is All, featuring readings from Patton Oswalt, Dick Cavett, Paul F. Tompkins, and many others, is highly amusing.

  • 21 /30

    Bruce Eric Kaplan is not only an ingenious New Yorker cartoonist and all-around wit, he is also a producer and writer on HBO’s white-hot series Girls. No One You Know, a collection of his cartoons, is a perfect introduction.

  • 22 /30

    Tig Notaro may have simultaneously had the worst year of her life and the best year of her life. The turning point toward the good side was this 30-minute chunk of stand-up comedy mastery spent putting the bad stuff in perspective.

  • 23 /30

    What, you worry? Why would you do that when you know that MAD magazine’s 60th Anniversary book is a wonderful gift for the joker on your list?

  • 24 /30

    Creative genius John Cleese shared some insight with us (and a few hundred creatives in Cannes) earlier this year on how to be even more creative. For the Cleese completist, perhaps the Monty Python box set.

  • 25 /30

    Before he orchestrated The Avengers' box office victory this summer, Joss Whedon dropped a lot of wisdom in some intense interviews. Here they are collected in the book, Conversations.

  • 26 /30

    Technically, Chris Ware’s genius Building Stories is a book, but it is not like any book you have ever read before.

  • 27 /30 | For the food lover

    We all know Anthony Bourdain can write a gripping kitchen epic, but what about a graphic novel about warrior-chefs? Well, he took a stab at it with Get Jiro.

  • 28 /30

    Even though some of the gross things that take place on the show are liable to make you not want to eat anything for a while, the official Game of Thrones cookbook, A Feast Of Ice and Fire, will make it possible to dine like a Stark when you get your appetite back. A Lannister always crepes suzettes.

  • 29 /30

    Sous vide cooking will be a bigger thing in the coming year, making this Sous Vide cooker , perfect for your food snobby friend (and perfect for cooking up recipes from a Feast of Fire and Ice).

  • 30 /30 | For the person (you hate) who has everything

    In lieu of a lump of coal, consider the gift that keeps on giving nightmares. Order Fart By Mail and see what develops.

Barring the fulfillment of certain Mayan prophecies, there are still two and a half shopping weeks left until Christmas. That’s plenty of time to get it in gear and find the kind of gifts that won’t be met with Present Face when they’re opened. In order to assist in this task, we’ve put together a long list of items for the creatively inclined—from the writer who needs a nudge and the moviemaker in need of the right tool, to the pop culture enthusiast looking for that inspirational spark (or just a way to kick back over the holidays and beyond).

loading