Subscribe to receive Testudo's guide to art collecting

Join our community for a weekly newsletter about new works, artist features and more. Plus, we’ll send you our comprehensive digital guide to art collecting!

By signing up, you agree to the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and receiving email updates

Published August 4, 2022

Learn How To Find Emerging Artists Effectively (Like An Expert)

By The Testudo Team

Katita Miller, Itchy Kilim Photo Studio. Photography: Emile Askey

The tools you need to find emerging artists for yourself.

There are thousands of emerging artists creating work today. The mediums and the themes these artists choose to explore are as diverse and varied as they are. With the rise of social media, there has never been an easier time to connect with artists whose work you admire. But how to find them? We’re laying out our favorite ways for how to find emerging artists effectively in 2022.

What Defines an Emerging Artist?
Most people within the art world define artists by the three phases of their career: emerging, mid-career, and established. If you’re not an artist, you may be surprised that artist careers, which can often span 50 to 60 years, can be reduced to these three phases. There is no true objective criteria to define an emerging artist. The generally accepted definition is that an emerging artist is still working to achieve recognition and commercial success. Emerging artists are at the beginning stage of their career.

While every career is unique, many emerging artists begin their career along a typical path. A college education is certainly not a requirement; however, many will start by earning an undergraduate degree. This will follow with attending an MFA program to further hone their practice and develop a solid education in art theory and art history. After they complete their MFA, they usually enter the stage of being an emerging artist. This emerging period can last anywhere from 10-20 years.

Many artists take issue with the term emerging artist. As already mentioned, this definition can be somewhat abstract - there’s not a distinct moment when an artist graduates from emerging to mid-career. The term also suggests that it only applies to younger artists. There is also debate regarding whether someone is truly “emerging” simply because they are young. To illustrate, Basquiat created his entire oeuvre before his early death at 28 - you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who refers to him as emerging. This definition is not restricted by age.

We find that the careers of emerging artists are some of the most exciting to follow. What makes this endeavor so exciting is the amount of time for these artists to develop their practice. If you find yourself drawn to an artist’s work when they are still an emerging artist, you will truly appreciate witnessing their work evolve over time amidst changes in perspective, experience, and medium.

Emerging artists may also present more accessible opportunities for collectors to acquire their artwork. Prices may be more affordable than later in their career. We’ll discuss this more including why we believe our platform is the best situated to realize this opportunity.


How to Find Emerging Artists
Now that we’ve defined emerging artist, we’re excited to share our best tips to discover them. If you don’t know where to begin your search for emerging artists, we recommend starting with a book to quickly see many different artists.

A great resource is the recently published PRIME. This book from Phaidon features 107 emerging artists from around the world and discusses their careers while showcasing beautiful photos of their artwork. This is a fantastic way not only to find emerging artists but also to see what types of artists and artworks you enjoy. Perhaps you find yourself drawn towards ceramic sculptures or paintings with surrealist themes. Regardless, if you find any artists in a resource like this, follow them on social media to stay up to date on their newest works.

Social media is often the answer for how to find emerging artists. Usually following just one artist whose work you like can be an excellent starting point. Many artists who are active on platforms like Instagram will add stories and posts promoting the work of other artists. Knowing about one artist is an easy way to discover other artists. This is similar to the old axiom that you should ask the employee at the hair salon with the nicest hair who cut their hair. Artists in-the-know will often share work by other amazing underrated emerging artists they love.

Local arts organizations are another valuable resource to find emerging artists. Many towns and neighborhoods will have an artist organization whose mandate is to showcase the work of local talent. This is immensely valuable if you’re looking for how to find emerging artists because often this is the first opportunity for these artists to exhibit their work. They’ll be very excited to connect with visitors who are interested in their work. These events also offer the possibility to develop a personal relationship with these artists.

Testudo is a great resource to find emerging artists
At Testudo, we believe that championing emerging artists is an essential part of our culture. Emerging artists create work responding to contemporary events and develop new artistic languages.

We work with many emerging artists. Some are currently pursuing their MFAs. With our artists, we ensure that we curate a diverse collection - both in terms of the artists’ demographic and the mediums they use. We work with emerging artists who make paintings, ceramic sculptures, textile installations, and more.

Quite often with emerging artists, the greatest challenge is finding ways to support themselves while creating their art. When you purchase artwork on Testudo, 90% of the list price goes to the artist, a much higher percentage than most of the art world. This is our way of trying to make it easier for emerging artists to find success and financial stability earlier in their career.

Finally, at Testudo, we bring you rich content to learn more about the career and practice of our emerging artists. Our Studio Spotlight series is a great way to learn more about our artists, see examples of their work, and get a sense of their inspirations and practice. We believe this is a great resource for our community. We provide the context for why the art on our platform is some of the best out there. These artworks are available for everyone to view and appreciate and any collector to acquire.


Continue Reading

View all