Emerging Artists

5 Ways to Support Emerging Artists

Image by Adam Hemuss.

Emerging artists aren’t just young people with canvasses, cameras, and big ideas. They’re your future.

Around the world, emerging artists contribute not only to growing creative and digital industries, but to new perspectives: think outside the box, outside the norm, beyond the status quo. Improve, invent, renew, charge ahead. Why should you care? Supporting emerging artists is an investment in your future – an investment in progressive, resourceful living. You can evolve the problem-solvers of tomorrow. Whether you’re an established creative, a collector, a regular Joe, or an emerging artist yourself, there’s more than a few ways to support and contribute to the up-and-coming generation of world-changing, rule-breaking artists. Here’s how you can invest in the future of creativity.

1. Mentor A Younger Creative

Are you an established (or – we’ll say it – older) artist? Meet up with an emerging creative in your discipline and mentor them! Whether you meet once a month or every week, mentorship is a meaningful and practical way to support emerging talent. Meet for coffee, attend their exhibition openings, share a few days in the studio together – by exhibiting transparency and a genuine interest in their work, you’ll become a dependable source of advice and reassurance for young creatives. Encourage them in their craft, answer their questions, offer constructive feedback, and share your story, too – they’ll feel more confident in themselves when they understand that artists succeed and struggle just like everyone else.

2. Hype Them Up

Low on resources? No problem. Your phone and two thumbs will do – share your favourite artists and their latest work with your friends, family, and followers! You’d be surprised how much a few retweets, regrams, or likes do for a creative’s following. This isn’t empty praise – by plugging emerging artists on social media, you’re not only offering encouragement, but boosting their credibility. When buyers or gallerists go looking for more information, your positive input will make a difference! A little kindness never killed anybody – go ahead, get out your phone. Odds are you’re on it already.

3. Buy Their Work

The simplest way to support artists – pay them. Whether a fresh print for your own walls or a new album for your festival-savvy family member, creative works make incredible investments (and gifts!). Find emerging talent at graduate shows, festivals, art fairs – but don’t be discouraged if you can’t find work in person. Sites like Saatchi Art, UGallery, Etsy and Buy Some Damn Art give you instant access to booming young talent and their work – just beware of browsing too much before payday. Happy shopping!

4. Collaborate

Who’s in the best position to empower emerging artists? You guessed it – other emerging artists. If you’re also midway through establishing your career as a creative, reach out to others and work together! Collaboration isn’t just about the final product; the process will challenge your perspectives, push your boundaries, and shed new light on once-familiar things. Broaden your horizons and reach beyond your usual discipline! Start a band and find a graphic designer to make your album cover. Network local writers and photographers and make the next big zine (look out, i-D!). Illustrate your friend’s new poetry chapbook. Print your work in an independent magazine. The possibilities are – literally – endless. Not sure where to start? Make new friends and find your next collaborator at our March Zealous Meetup (claim your space today!).

5. Show Up

In a city like London, there’s always something to do – on any given weeknight, a gazillion concerts, workshops, club openings, and events beg for full capacity. Take advantage of the city’s packed diary and see some emerging artists in action. Be intentional! Keep your eyes open for events hosted by (or for) emerging artists. Check local art universities’ graduate shows, small gallery openings, open mic nights – whether a house show for a homegrown folk band (a la Sofar Sounds) or a gallery opening for an up-and-coming painter, you have the power to offer time and attention to emerging talent. You’d be surprised, but your attendance makes a difference – and all you have to do is show up.

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