Now that we are entering into the second half of 2010. I wanted to take a moment and share with you 21 amazing artists I have had the pleasure to meet over the past six months, and artists that you’ll certainly want to keep your eye on in the years ahead.
Some of these artists you may already know, while others you may be meeting for the very first time. Those of you who have followed Skinny Artist for awhile will know that these artists were chosen not only for their considerable artistic ability, but also for their willingness to share themselves and their creative process with the rest of us. In other words, they are real people, doing real art, every single day.
Now obviously these aren’t the only artists on Twitter and Facebook who are worthy of a follow and I will apologize in advance if I happened to overlook you or someone else you admire. Unfortunately we were not able to include all of our favorite artists due to space considerations, however if there’s someone you would like to mention, please feel free to add them to the list in the comment section below.
If you’re interested, you can follow all of these artists from one Twitter list. Check out: 21 Artists to Watch in 2010
Finally, please note that our two previously featured artists here on the site Char Reed and Kat Dillman were not eligible to be included in this list because you should already be watching them, and we wanted to recognize as many new artists as possible. We will however include both of these amazing young artists in our 21 Artist to Watch Twitter list above. If you haven’t already, I would certainly encourage you to follow them as well as check out their featured artist pages.
21 Artists to Watch in 2010
In no particular order of awesomeness!
1.) Alison Jardine
Alison is an amazing painter, however, it was the writing on her blog that made me first sit up and take notice of this amazing artist. She has an incredible degree of vulnerability and self-reflection in her work and in her writing that has the ability to speak to any type of artist. I think she’s exactly right when she says in her artist statement that “Ultimately, inevitably, all my works of art are self-portraits.”
Alison, like most all of the other artists on this list, can be found daily on Twitter sharing her thoughts and her creative process as well as always offering support and encouragement to the artists around her. You can find a sampling of Alison’s incredible artwork in her Ugallery as well as her photostream on Flickr.
2.) Damien Franco
Damien is a art photographer who, like Alison, currently lives in Texas. Although he certainly isn’t an obscure undiscovered artist as his 17,000 Twitter followers will attest, Damien is an incredible photographer as well as a self-proclaimed “all-around nice guy” (which is true). Damien really caught my eye with a blog post he did last month called “Ordinary Artist” where he talks about the importance of accepting ourselves as we are and valuing the process instead of the product of our work. This is a message that I believe that any artist can appreciate.
In the short time that I have followed Erin I have always been struck not only by her remarkable paintings but also by her creative process. Some artists believe that a piece of art should be allowed to stand on its own, however, I have always admired artists who were willing to share the emotional and psychological elements that went into creating a particular piece of art as well. It is this sense of vulnerability, doubt, and self-reflection in the creative process that adds a degree of depth and humanness to the finished product.
All of us feel these things once in awhile as we go through our creative process, the difference is that not all of us have the courage to open ourselves up and share these emotions with others. Erin, however, shares all of this and more on her amazing blog and I would really encourage you to check out her “Bench in Progress” as well as her revealing “Art as Therapy” posts in order to see what I’m talking about.
4.)Caroline Nevin (aka RubiesAreBlue)
When you first look at one of Caroline’s paintings, portraits, or one of her incredible series you realize almost immediately that something is different. You may not even be able to put you finger on what exactly it is, but it is as if an invisible thread runs through all of her paintings rendering them all irrevocably original and unique. To me an artist such as this, one who has clearly found her voice, is an artist one should consider following very closely.
The sad truth is that the world is full of incredibly talented people who you would walk across the street to avoid.
If Caroline was simply an amazing artist, however, she probably wouldn’t have made this list. The sad truth is that the world is full of incredibly talented people who you would walk across the street to avoid. Fortunately, Caroline is a wonderful human being as well. In fact, if you’ve spent any time at all around the artist community on Twitter, chances are good that you’ve seen @RubiesAreBlue mentioned in more than a few tweets. The reason, is that Caroline is always extraordinarily supportive and generous with her fellow artists.
I would really encourage you to take a few minutes and stop by her blog or visit with her a bit on Twitter. I truly believe that when you do, you’ll understand why we say that she is an artist to watch.
5.) Julia Forsyth
Follow Julia on Twitter @JuliaForsythArt
Even though I have only known about most of these artists for a short time, there are always a few artists who you immediately connect with–Julia is one of those artists. If you take a quick look at her Twitter stream, however, the reason for this becomes obvious. Julia is a human being first and an artist second. This in no way diminishes her ability as an artist. In fact, she is a fantastic artist. It’s just that she also has this amazing ability to connect with other people. If you notice, virtually all of her tweets are either RTs or personal reply messages, which means that she is not only reading your stuff, but she wants to talk to you about it. To me this is a blueprint to building amazing relationships with other artists on Twitter.
6.) S L Donaldson
Follow her on Twitter @artbySDonaldson
Even though I admit that I don’t even know her first name, there is no doubt that she is an artist worth watching in the years ahead. I first met her on Twitter a few months ago and she has been a great supporter of Skinny Artist ever since. Like so many other artists on this list, she not only has a knack for creating exceptional art, but she also has this amazing ability to connect and support her fellow artists.
Take a few minutes to visit her blog and see some of the remarkable artwork in her online gallery and you’ll begin to understand what I’m talking about. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow her on Twitter as well. It might be the best decision you make all day!
7.) Sabina Forbes II
Sabina has this amazing boldness to her work that is distinct and unmistakable. Her mixture of colors and patterns is what instantly draws you to her work, however, it is her incredible personality that makes you want become a fan. Like her work itself, Sabina’s website is infused with color that hints at the playful personality of the artist behind the eyes. Sabina’s online gallery is filled with amazing works of art that are both diverse yet distinctively hers.
Artists who are going to succeed in the 21st century are going to be the ones who are able to interact with their fans as both an artist and a human being.
Like so many other artists featured on this list, Sabina has a natural ability to interact with others. Her Twitter stream is filled with messages, replies, and RTs as she connects with her fellow artists and friends. The recurring theme here is that artists who are going to succeed in the 21st century are going to be the ones who are able to interact with their fans as both an artist and a human being. There are simply too many options out there these days to care about an artist who is unapproachable. Don’t be afraid to open up and share yourself. After all, you’re already sharing your art/writing/music with the world, you might also want to share some of your personality as well. This is something that Sabina, and virtually all of the other artists on this list, do extremely well.
Visit Sabina’s Flikr photostream in order to see more of her amazing work.
8.) Jonahh Oestreich
Follow Jonah on Twitter @jonahhphoto
Jonahh is a fascinating combination of photographer and poet whose work immediately stood out to me the first time I saw it. As a writer, I am always intrigued when a visual artist uses words and images together in order to create something entirely new. On his remarkable blog, Jonahh combines his stunning photographs with his remarkable poetry, which together create a new depth of meaning to the work. Here is just one recent example entitled “Age of Serenity“.
If you have the time, I would really encourage you to dig a little deeper into his extraordinary website and immerse yourself in this unique and powerful art form. I believe that you will become enchanted by what you find.
9.) Connie Hozvicka (aka DirtyFootprints)
Connie is an amazing artist in both words and paint. In fact it was her writing that first attracted my attention. As a natural born teacher, Connie has the incredible ability to translate the visual into words and then back again. If you’re interested in finding out more about Connie, I would suggest starting with a few of her recent writings from her blog in order to see where she’s coming from as an artist. Deeply personal writings such as “I Need You To Hear Me” as well as the magnificent “Cut the Crap” will give you a good idea about what DirtyFootprints is all about.
Despite all this talk about her writing, Connie is a fantastic visual artist as well. You can see some of her remarkable paintings in her online gallery. Connie is not just about creating art, however, because she is also also an accomplished art teacher who is dedicated to helping other artists achieve their creative potential with her “Big Fearless Painting Adventure” Workshops.
10.) Artist Jane Bush
Jane is both a concert photographer as well as a visual artist. I have to admit that I have always been a bit jealous of those lucky photographers who got to stand inches from the stage and earn their living taking pictures while enjoying the music from some of their favorite bands. Meanwhile, I’m stuffed into a tiny booth at the back of Starbucks with my laptop listening to three ladies argue about a word in their seemingly endless Bananagram game. None of this is Jane’s fault directly, of course, other than the fact that she has a much cooler job than mine.
One of the things that I like the most about Jane’s Touched by Fire blog is that she doesn’t just use her site as a showcase for her work. In fact, she has created some fantastic resources and how-to tutorials in her Concert Photography 101 series that encourages even amateur photographers like myself to bookmark her site and revisit it often.
You can see some examples of Jane’s amazing concert photography as well as some of her other photographs on her website. While you’re there, be sure to check out Jane’s incredible artwork portfolio as well.
11.) Alissa Fereday
Follow Alissa on Twitter @alissafereday
Alissa is another one of those artists on Twitter who certainly doesn’t need me pointing out the fact that she is an artist to watch. Although a lot of people may already know about Alissa as her almost 23,000 followers will confirm, I believe that she’s someone who really understands the value of using social media like Twitter to connect with her fans as well as other artists.
Alissa is an incredible painter whose abstract designs evoke a wide range of emotions with their vivid colors and textures. She mentions this in her artist statement:
“For me, every painting is an exorcism of emotion. I put it all into the paint. Fear, anger, hope, desire—the rawest human frailties. With each brushstroke, each layer of color, each scrape of the knife comes release and, in some ways, redemption.”
12.) Chanelle Richardson (aka iamchanelle)
Follow Chanelle on Twitter @iamchanelle
Chanelle is a photographer, musician, writer, and self-professed “foodie” all wrapped up in one creative package. After having read through her blog and visiting her Flickr photostream, I would probably add poet to that list as well. With over 15,000 tweets under her belt, Chanelle is no stranger to connecting and supporting her fellow artists.
Chanelle’s photographic subjects are as diverse as her interests ranging from self-portraits to guitar strings and reading through her website you realize that her eyes are always open searching for the next subject to capture her attention. She summed up this intrinsic sense of optimism and wonder recently in one of her posts:
“no matter where you are in life, no matter what situation you find yourself in, no matter how dark and clouded your mind’s eye may be. step outside. look up. wonder. wander. reflect. be thankful.”
Not only is Chanelle an amazing artist, but she is clearly a perceptive student of life as well!
13.) Miranda Aschenbrenner (aka LearntoArt)
Follow Miranda on Twitter @learntoArt
Miranda is not only an accomplished portrait and abstract visual artist, but she somehow also finds the time to write an incredible blog called LearntoArt.com where she offers a ton of free resources, tutorials, and tips on everything from “How-to Write a Wicked Artist Statement” to “How-to Make a Simple Frame for Canvas Board”.
I have talked before about the advantages of having these kind of free resources available on your blog or gallery site as a way to bring in more traffic. Miranda understands that the more valuable content and resources she provides, the more visitors and potential customers she’s going to have to send to her Custom Portrait Online website. This unique combination of artistic talent and online marketing savvy definitely makes Miranda an artist to watch in the future.
Follow Jemfyr on Twitter @jemfyr
Jemfyr is a poet who’s words evoke a visual image that only true poetry can create. I would invite you to grab a cup of tea or coffee and read slowly through a few of her works on her poetry blog and soak in the rich imagery. Stroll though such visually arresting poems such as “Velocity” , “Leave your mark”, “Embrace”, and the enigmatic “Pale Pose” which begins:
If I could touch your mind,
the hands of clock would never change…
I’d sew seamless lines of patterned color,
and silk ribbon between threaded lanes…
If I could lift the weight ten thousand times,
your shoulders would be free…
Lean now into the wind,
there is no need to refuse the breeze…
15.) Dawn Giunta (aka DMG_Art)
Follow Dawn on Twitter @DMG_art
Even though I haven’t known Dawn for very long, her artistic talent and vision speak for themselves. After spending some time on her website and snooping around her amazing gallery pages, I have no doubt that Dawn will be an artist to watch for in the future. One of the things that impressed me the most was her willingness to explore different mediums in her work. Dawn admits that she follows her artistic “cravings” wherever they lead, and so far that has taken her from charcoal to paintings to three-dimensional art to photography. She allows herself this freedom because she still believes that she is maturing as an artist.
People buy art from people they like, which means that before they are going to care about your work, you’re going to have to give them a reason to care about you as a person.
It wasn’t just her considerable level of artistic talent that convinced me to include Dawn on this list, however, as much as it was her willingness to share her hopes, doubts, dreams, and missteps along the way with the rest of us. I just don’t understand why more artists don’t allow their fans and potential customers to get to know them a little bit as a person.
As I’ve said multiple times before on this site, people buy art from people they like, which means that before they are going to care about your work, you’re going to have to give them a reason to care about you as a person. And even though I wouldn’t know Dawn if she passed me on the street, I feel like I know something important and real about her from reading her “Bio” and her page describing her uncertain journey towards becoming an art teacher. In other words, this wasn’t some sterile “Artist Statement” that you see all over the internet, but more of a personality statement. Dawn understands this, which is why this remarkable artist has a very bright future ahead of her.
16.) Holly Friesen
Follow Holly on Twitter @Holly59
Holly is both an amazing visual artist as well as a poet. Her website is a fascinating collection of artwork and poetry. Take a few minutes to read through poems such as “Poet”, “March Clarity”, “Falling”, and the lusciously rich poem entitled “Broken Open” that begins. . .
i break things as effortlessly as breathing
i open my mouth and out float the lies
like little paper butterflies, delicately patterned
with spirals of truth turned inside out.
As hard as it is to believe, Holly’s paintings are an equally impressive collection of stunning landscapes and richly provocative figures. I could go on some more about this incredible artist, however, once you visit her site and read through her insightful “The Roaring Inside” blog, I think that you will agree that she is an artist to watch.
17.) Paulette Insall
Most of us have kids, spouses, significant others, day jobs, or at least really big dogs that consume a good deal of our time and energy away from our art–but that’s okay because we don’t need to live our creative lives alone.
Paulette’s work is even more amazing in the fact that she’s only been painting since 2006. Her remarkable blog describes her journey along this path as well as her efforts at maintaining that delicate balance between family responsibilities and pursuing her artistic passion. While you’re there, be sure to check out her gallery and see why this is an artist that we will definitely be watching in the years ahead.
18.) Jamie Berry
Jamie is a true renaissance man as an artist, writer, and an all-around good guy. I was first introduced to Jamie’s work after reading his remarkable and longly titled article “Art School Destroyed My Creativity, The Devil Made Me Do It, and Other Plausible Excuses” and from there I discovered his equally impressive missive “Artist vs. Creator: Part I”. In fact my only complaint with Jamie’s writing is that there’s simply not enough of it.
While you’re there discovering why Jamie apparently sweats pollen, I would encourage you to check out Jamie’s Sketchbook Archive as well as his always interesting Posterous page and Flickr photostream. See, I told you he’s been busy.
19.) Stacy Ericson (aka Ithili)
Follow Stacy on Twitter @Ithili
Although there is no doubt that Stacy is an amazing photographer, I think that she underestimates herself as a writer/poet as well. Stacy specializes in “blurred” photography which she talks a little bit about how this came to be in her “About Me” section of her website The Old Bouquet.
90% of her tweets are not about her, but are either RTs or personal reply messages where she is directly connecting with one of her friends. This is the way build real connections and friendships on any type of social media.
No stranger to Twitter, Stacy has over 35,000 tweets under her belt which once again makes me realize that I am just a babe in the woods when it comes to social media. Not to drive this point into the ground, but once again 90% of her tweets are not about her, but are either RTs or personal reply messages where she is directly connecting with one of her friends. This is the way build real connections and friendships on any type of social media, which is something that I am still learning to do myself.
One of Stacy’s latest projects is “Iphotophiliac” which is a site dedicated to exploring the capabilities of iPhotography. I not only applaud Stacy’s exploration of this new photographic medium, but also her attempt to deduct her iPhone as a business expense 😉
20.) Wendy Wright
Follow Wendy on Twitter @wendywright
I remember a lot of the amazing album artwork (that’s LP not CD) when I was growing up in the 1970’s and early 80’s. I not only collected a lot of these amazing album covers but I remember hanging several of them on my bedroom wall as works of art. Those of you who are too young to remember the psychedelic album covers and posters from the 1960’s-70’s need to look no farther than the incredible and distinctive art of Wendy Wright.
Wendy is an illustrator who lives, not surprisingly, in San Francisco which is the very birthplace of this counter-culture revolution. Her groovy posters and album covers evoke a incredibly distinctive style. Wendy’s art, however, is not all paisley and psychedelia, however, and her paintings and her traditional portraits hint at the incredible depth of her artistic talent.
Like most of the artists on this list, Wendy regularly shares her thoughts and ideas on her blog and allows us the privilege of peeking inside the mind of this amazing artist.