12 Gift Ideas for a CA Student

creative gift ideas

Decent gift ideas are hard to come by. For some, Christmas shopping is a leisure activity, spent skipping from shop-to-shop, fulfilling the wishes of their friends and family members with lovingly-composed lists, wildcard present ideas, and calligraphic hand-written gift tags.

For others, it’s a covert operation of military precision. Meticulously planned, completed by December 1st, and smugly boasted about across social media.

However, for the rest of us, the prospect of Christmas shopping hangs like a dark cloud over the festive period. An inevitable and anxious ‘to-do’ that ends up being hastily completed on Christmas Eve with mere moments of High Street trading-time to spare.

Whichever group you fall into, we wanted to compile 12 gift ideas that will make your life easier, and should quench the thirst of even the most discerning City Academy student…


  1. City Academy’s Brand New Gift Voucher

Can you forgive us for picking ourselves? Our brand new gift vouchers are now available, and we’re very proud of them. A handsome piece of printwork (we’ll mail it out to you) that allows you to gift a friend or family member a specific course, collection of classes, or a monetary value of your choice – it’s completely up to you. This is your chance to give someone the gift of a new creative skill.


  1. Dance Shoes from Dance Depot

It may sound rather obvious, but a built-for-purpose pair of shoes can make an immeasurable difference to the enjoyment of practising a particular dance-style. You don’t have to break the bank either – with Dance Depot offering plenty of good-quality, inexpensive options. The hard bit… guessing their shoe-size.

Pair with… a City Academy Dance course


  1. Personalised Moleskin Notebook

Moleskin have been leading the way with their signature notebook range for goodness-knows how long – their notebooks are undeniably elegant, that’s no secret. But a personalised Moleskin? That’s a Christmas present. You can approach it straightforwardly, and go with their name; mix it up with their relationship to you (think: wife, boyfriend, sister etc.); or go for a private in-joke only they will understand. The choice is yours.

Pair with… a City Academy Writing course

  1. Epiphone DR-100 Guitar

The Epiphone DR-100 is one of the best-selling models of acoustic guitar in the world, and for good reason. Epiphone is the affordable imprint of guitar-makers-to-the-Gods Gibson, and the DR-100 provides world-beating Gibson design at a wallet-friendly price. If you’re stuck for guitar options, look no further.

Pair with… a City Academy Guitar course

  1. Zoom H1 Sound Recorder

For fledgling filmmakers, it’s imperative not to underestimate the importance of good-quality sound. The Zoom H1 offers remarkably clear recording quality for the price, and is now the go-to range for new filmmakers looking for a sound option that will do their new creations justice. Quality-wise, this is head-and-shoulders above anything similar.

Pair with… a course from the new City Academy Film School

  1. Theatre Tokens – Society of London Theatre

Theatre tickets can make a fantastic Christmas gift, and are obviously more interesting that another woolly jumper. But with so many different shows being staged, and so many different tastes catered for, it’s difficult to know where to start. The Society of London Theatre offers vouchers that can be used at over 240 theatre venues across the UK, so there’s no doubt they’ll end up in the audience for a show you know they’ll enjoy.

Click here for a list of participating venues

  1. Casio CDP-120 Digital Piano

Keyboards with weighted-keys offer a real edge when getting to grips with the basics of piano. The feel of a weighted key allows for so much more capacity in tonal dynamics, and if you do need to go down the electric option (a strict headphones-on policy for rookies, please) then this is as close as you’re going to get to playing the real thing.

Pair with… a City Academy Piano course

  1. Nikon D3300 Camera

Time to put down the iPhone 6. The Nikon D3300 is pretty-much the best entry-level DSLR on the market. This camera offers the budding photographer all the kit they’ll need to expand both their creative and technical horizons whilst taking on a new artistic approach to digital photography.

Pair with… a City Academy Photography course


  1. Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro has been the formative tool for independent filmmakers for some time, and will provide the aspirational director/producer with a complete treasure trove of editorial tools, tricks, and technical functionality. It’s not just for amateurs – the recent Will Smith movie Focus was edited entirely on Final Cut Pro X.

Pair with… a course from the new City Academy Film School


  1. Derwent Sketching Pencils

Unless you’re an architect, it’s probably been years since you regularly used a pencil. With a set of charmingly-presented drawing pencils (of varying hardness) you’re giving someone an excuse to do exactly that. Derwent have a pretty delightful range of gift options, so this is your chance to give the present your loved-one doesn’t realise they want (yet).

Pair with… a City Academy Drawing course


  1. Lululemon Clothing

Canadian clothing brand Lululemon Athletica offer some of the most stylish, ergonomic, and comfortable activewear around. We always recommend our dance students wear clothing that they feel comfortable moving around in, and Lululemon’s yoga-inspired range ticks all the boxes. From Tap to Tango, they’ll be turning heads with their new threads.

Pair with… a City Academy Dance course

  1. Fabriano Artists’ Journal

As sketchbooks go, this is the Rolls Royce. A robust, thick-papered, high-quality sketchbook that will elevate the artist’s scribbles and drawings into works that deserve to be seen. With 96 pages, it’s not going to run out quickly, and can become a testament to their technical improvement over the coming year. The satisfaction of good-quality art materials is an indescribable pleasure, and a fantastic choice of gift for someone looking to express a new side to their creativity.

Pair with… a City Academy Speed Drawing Course


Click here for all of our Christmas recommendations – the best Christmas shows, our favourite things about London, further gift ideas, and a carefully-curated Christmas Party Playlist.


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