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A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Emerging Art

ByTania Teixeira
A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Emerging Art

Despues de la lluvia - VGCosta | Available on The Artling

Buying art can be intimidating, especially if you are a new art collector. Art collecting is a hobby for some and an investment for others. Either way, the love and enthusiasm for art is relatively the same, just probably at different levels of knowledge. But this shouldn't be at anyone's way to stop them from buying and collecting what they genuinely love. 

But where to start? To start art collecting, it is vital to understand 1) why you are collecting and 2) what does the art market look like. In this article, we will explain all the important steps you need to take to get into art collecting, and why collecting emerging art is a worthy endeavor for both novice and experienced collectors.

Why are you collecting?

-Make art buying more freeing

It may seem redundant to talk about your intentions on art collecting. Still, it is an essential step to simplify your next steps. As mentioned earlier, some people collect for decoration; others collect because they genuinely love the artist or the artwork; and others, collect because they want to earn more money than they invested initially. 

Some experts defend that art collecting is not the same as randomly picking up artworks. It is supported that art collecting involves a purpose that leads to buying art. The thing with this concept is that it puts off a lot of art buyers, creating an elitist art market. Everyone should be allowed to buy art without needing to explain why they bought it. This way, the art market becomes a lot more balanced, giving opportunities to all kinds of artists to make a living out of their artworks. Knowing your intentions makes the process of acquiring art a lot more freeing and less intimidating

So, if you are buying art because you want to decorate your bedroom wall, that's a great reason to do so! There are plenty of artworks that can fill up your blank space and create a more joyful experience to walk into the room. Look at these colorful and vibrant artworks that could fill any room in need of a bold splash of color.



"dreamscape one" (2020) by Katie Edwards


"Untitled tablecloth: The future as the Past" (2019) by Jonathan Casella

Then there is the buyer that loves art for art sake. This buyer is most likely to have an eye for particular aesthetics, even a thematic or an artist. This collector gathers art as an extent of themselves, as a hobby. Some people like to go to concerts or read a book, and others prefer to have look at art from a particular artist in their own homes. Imagine you love still life and flowers - this could be the kind of art collection you would have.  


"Cloudy sky 225" (2016) by Jingshen you


"Cherryblossom - No.2" (2017)  by Dosoon Jung

The two art markets

Art collection dates back to the ancient periods and has started to flourish globally at the beginning of the 20th century. And now, it plays a significant role in the global economy. The art market is currently divided into two sub-sectors: Emerging Artists and Established Artists. These two art markets are essential to understand because of their prices. One is more expensive than the other, which often also reflects the recognition of the artist within the trajectory of art history. 

Emerging Art

Emerging art is defined by the artworks being created in a contemporary spectrum by young artists or relatively under-recognized artists. Emerging art is then art produced by artists that are in the beginning stages of their career as an artist. They may have recently graduated from art school, not have gallery representation yet, or be represented by a smaller regional gallery. These artists do not have less aesthetical or conceptual value than an acclaimed artist but rather are still waiting for their works to become more well-known and have greater representation in galleries and museums.

Established Art

Established art is made of artists that have reached an advanced level of achievement in their career nationally or internationally.  These artists generally have an extensive, strong body of work, and their value is defined by internationally-recognized galleries and auctions houses. Established artists often have a team of people working along with them in the studio. 


"Fold 01" (2020) by Steven Edwards


"Blue Moon" (2019) by Koo Seunghwui

Pros and Cons of the two markets and why to buy from emerging artists

The emerging and established art markets are incredibly different, and there are varying considerations when buying from either type of artist.  An established artist artwork will generally cost a lot more than an emerging artist because of the status of the artist within the overall art market. Emerging artists are usually more affordable than established artists, but this should not put you off seeing their art as valuable or as an investment. While buying emerging art, you are supporting this as-yet unrecognized artist to continue to produce art and sustain their career. It allows younger artists to continue to develop their craft and eventually establish themselves more within the arts ecosystem.

Emerging art is where the next wave of creativity lays. Art galleries regularly tend to look out for emerging artists because they are the ones defining new styles and mediums. This means that a young artist may not be known now, but he/she may dictate what art is going to look like in 20 years. Art is a "lifetime" investment when art collectors bet on the future of a particular artist.


"Orizon Mirror" (2020) in Coral by Ocrum

Where to look for Emerging Art

Although it may all seem the same, the places where you can find an established artist are not the same as the emerging one. Well- recognized, large galleries usually only represent acclaimed to mid-level artists. As emerging artists are still mostly unknown or under-represented, to find them, you will need to do a little research. Although not as immediately available as finding established art, emerging art can be found easily with a bit of work. Here are examples of places where you can find promising emerging artists and their works:

1. Instagram

Social media is a great platform to find new creative vanguards. A lot of artists use Instagram as a “behind the scenes” tool where you will get to build a deeper connection with the artworks by witnessing the process involved in creating them. 

2. Art Residencies

Thousands of emerging artists get involved with art residencies at a certain point in their careers. This is a great place for artists to develop their body of work and are also a great place for buyers/collectors to spot them. 

3. Art Reviews

Some emerging artists are lucky enough to have written publications about their works which makes art reviews a great way to spot future stars. Through art reviews, buyers can get a better understanding of the artwork towards a broader audience and make their judgments based on that. 

4. Artists Grants or Awards

Every semester of the year, there are open calls for artworks that are often highly recognized and supported by large institutions. This is also a great place to look out for emerging artists and future stars. 

5. Degree Shows

Every year there are thousands of art students graduating in the art scene. Look out for these and go to as many as possible! 

6. Small galleries

Some small galleries tend to prioritize emerging artists rather than established artists. Not only because it is more affordable and accessible, but also because it is a great opportunity for galleries to gain recognition if they end up boosting someone's career.

7. Online Art Platforms/Galleries

And of course, you can buy emerging art online! The Internet is so easy to access, you will find plenty of online art galleries and platforms that promote emerging artists as their core mission.

Now that you know why choosing emerging art is the perfect option for you, and how and where to spot it, let's break it down into a few steps guide. This will hopefully make the task of buying art easy, more rewarding, and less time-consuming. 


"Heavenly plants Nº03" (2018) by Sumit Mehndiratta

How to start buying

1. Lookout for inspiration

At this first point, it is helpful to do some research to understand where you can find emerging art. Usually, emerging artists are often fresh young creatives that have recently left college, or are artists who have some years of experience in their pockets but are still working towards a mid-level artistic career. Either way, it is essential to learn where these artists are showing their works and surround yourself with the maximum amount of art possible. By doing this, you will get an insight into your likings and disliking to hopefully make significant purchases for your collection. 

To start buying art, we’d recommend you to spend some time going to exhibitions and opening events; degree art shows; watch out for some Instagram feeds and hashtags; go to small galleries; visit art fairs and search online. With the current situation, online is the future of what it means to buy art. It is the most accessible format, and also it allows you to acquire artworks from artists all over the world. There are tons of art galleries that have an online presence (including The Artling of course!). In these online platforms, you can browse around what suits you best in terms of budget and artworks. Plus, it is a great tool to compare and contrast what to buy.

2. Connect with what you are potentially buying

Nowadays, it is so easy to connect with the artist. Everyone has an online presence either on social media or through gallery representations over their artist profiles/interviews (check our Artists page). Through the artist's bio, it is easy to develop a deeper and more meaningful connection with the artist you are interested in. Reading their bio will help you understand more about what motivates the artist to produce art in a particular way. 

3. Decide what type of art you want to collect and how varied you want it to be

After doing background research for inspiration, it is time to decide what kind of art suits your collection. There are plenty of choices available to be collected online. First, you should determine if you would like to go for two or three-dimensional artwork. And then it is up to you to decide if medium within those categories you would like to collect, such as SculptureCeramicsPrintsPhotographyDrawingMixed MediaTextiles, etc. 



Painting: "Dissolving Light" (2020) by Fintan Whelan

You might decide that you wish to have a variety of mediums because you are a fan of Abstract or Figurative art, for instance. Either way, online offers you a great range of artworks organized by style or mediums for you to choose from.


Abstract: "Blue Rock 4" (2020) by Lau King


Pop: "Sowing the First Seeds of Doubt" (2014)  by Wong Lip Chin

4. Define a budget

Budget is another crucial element to have in consideration before heading to the search of art to buy.  In the end, you know better than anyone else what you can afford. And it is essential to set that up for yourself. Emerging art is generally more affordable than works by established artists. As for style and mediums, some platforms organize their artworks for sale by their price range.


 "Someday someday" (2020) by Aasiri Wickremage


"The Taj" (2013) by Serge Horta


"BEDS Oils" (2020) by Nacho Frades


"Bright" (2020) by Udomsak Rachaderm


"Mushroom Lamp" (2010)  by Satoshi Itasaka (h220430)


"Gradient Mirror" (2015) by Phillip Jividen

5. Remember that the fewer copies existent, the more worthy the artwork can be!

It is essential to have in mind that if an artwork has more than one reproduction, it will probably be cheaper to buy as there are multiple of that editioned artwork. Paintings and original artworks are unique, and thus there is usually a higher price tag attached to it. 

6. Surround yourself with art that you love, and that will continue to inspire you

Last but not least, the reason you buy art should ultimately be related to the love you feel for it. What is the point of buying something that does not fill you up with joy when you enter a room? Art can be therapeutic, and when in our homes/corporate spaces, art should be seen as an extension of your personality and values. Our final advice to buy art is to fall in love with what you purchase. When opting to buy emerging art, buy something that will bring a smile to your face every single day. 


"Just Another Happy Pill" (2018) by Sarah Rohimone


Now that you have all the tools to start building your art collection with confidence don't forget that while buying emerging art, you are supporting a well-balanced art market. Your purchase may have a considerable impact on an artist’s career, allowing artists from all backgrounds the opportunity to succeed in the art world. Buying art should be accessible to everyone, and it is up to the new generations to make art more accessible and a viable source of income for artists. The Internet has all the resources needed to start your art collection in a less intimidating way. And remember, you don't need to be an art expert or a wealthy individual to purchase art. You just need to love it.

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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