Art is famously subjective and quite a hard thing to nail down (and yes, that metaphor is intentional). It’s difficult to describe, and even in the best of cases, it’s much easier to show rather than tell. With that in mind, we asked our favorite up-and-coming artists to demonstrate their work, their process, and the inspirations and meanings behind the beautiful things they create. We compiled these short personal video essays into a collection for serious buyers and enthusiasts alike to understand the stories behind their new favorite pieces. See them all below, and be sure to shop our full Fall 2020 Art Preview to purchase the original art. Also, read our take on the trends that are bringing new life to the art scene this season.

Alex Soffer Art

Although Alex Soffer enjoyed painting for friends and family, she didn’t do it full time until she found herself needing an emotional outlet. Find out why Brooklyn is her inspiration and why her artistic creations make her “feel free.”

Angela Seear

Angela Seear is an emerging artist based in Canada. Straddling the line between abstraction, expressionism, and realism, her work is inspired by light, color, landscapes, and the beauty of the outside world.

Annie Naranian

Toronto-based  artist Annie Naranian gives us a look behind the scenes of her artistic process. Her quirky and adventurous style blends mixed media, watercolor, and other traditional techniques.

Brian Jerome

To Philadelphia painter and artist Brian Jerome, art is everything. His creations are based on a journalistic diary of things that can’t easily be expressed verbally. Instead, he uses his art to communicate his stories and emotions.

Caleb Mahoney

For Caleb Mahoney, his creativity is expressed in a myriad of ways, including sculpting and even drumming and more recently, large, abstract paintings. His works layer mixed media, paint, and primitive elements, making each of them incredibly unique.

Debi Shapiro Photography

Artist Debi Shapiro creates dreamy imagery inspired by her two passions —photography and flowers. Her painterly floral portraits of single blooms to lavish bouquets captivate with their depth and luminosity. Debi’s work truly makes every bloom a leading lady.

Douglas Condzo

Douglas Condzo is a photographer and filmmaker based in Maputo, Mozambique. To kick start his creative process, he uses his notebook to write down ideas, organize his thoughts and let them speak to him. Douglas’s work captures and represents his omnivorous interests and also illuminates tender moments of realness, complexity, and beauty, without prejudice or discrimination.

Elizabeth Saven Art

Elizabeth Saven is known for her love of color, composition, shape, and negative space. Although each painting may start off as a colorful mess, she spends time experimenting and taking risks, eventually resolving her ideas into a composition that feels complete.

Heather Polk / Art CURES All

Heather Polk is a collage artist and abstract painter who finds inspiration all around her, including in Chicago’s bustling art scene. Her works are colorful expressions of her personal experiences, feelings, curiosities, and perceptions of the people and the world around her.

Isabella Innis

Los Angeles-based artist Isabella Innis says that painting has always been a passion of hers, even from a young age. When she’s creating her abstract pieces, she turns to poetry and song lyrics for inspiration, hoping to evoke emotion in everyone who sees her art.

Jack Verhaeg

At first glance, artist Jack Verhaeg’s work resembles a photograph, though he actually hand draws his incredibly unique pieces using colored pencils. His primary motivation is to create art that he personally really likes, but he also loves to see people’s reactions to his work.

Jaena Kwon

Brooklyn-based artist Jaena Kwon gives us an inside look at her creative process. She typically creates two different kinds of abstract artwork: oil on canvas and painting on wood fiber board. She envisions an environment in her head and brings it to life in the form of a physical object.

Ken Horne

Artist Ken Horne, a painter based in Virginia, is primarily known for his bold and colorful abstraction. His process is open-ended and experimental, starting with a simple image in his mind that he then builds from there.

Laura Deems

Although artist Laura Deems has a background in textile design, her fascination with color theory helps her marry lines and hues in a way that is bold and brilliant. Immediacy and freedom are the defining characteristics of her work, which collectors and designers alike are wild for.

Leigh-Anne O’Brien

Artist Leigh-Anne O’Brien is drawn to organic forms in nature and uses watercolors and acrylics to showcase her inspirations from the city to the shore. With such a varied subject matter, she is stimulated by the music and energy of a bustling city while also finding peace and tranquility in the seaside.

Marcus Aitken

Artist Marcus Aitken is a contemporary artist and painter from South London who uses a combination of layering, distressing, and blending to present a multifaceted surface to his unique works of art.

Mary Ball Art

Artist Mary Ball prides herself on her unplanned and spontaneous process. The adventure of the unknown is what keeps her inspired and motivated to keep painting day in and day out. Exploring with a mixture of materials allows her to find a different narrative for each unique piece based on her surroundings.

Meighan Morrison

Meighan Morrison’s paintings are part of private collections around the world including notable political figures and distinguished members of the entertainment industry. Below is a glimpse into her studio and her work.

Nicole Lehne

Nicole Lehne joins Chairish as an artist, designer, and collagist from Mexico City. She’s known for her playful use of form and color that make her stylish compositions an absolute standout.

Niqui Carter

Niqui Carter discusses her creative process and how she was inspired by her uncle’s artwork from a very young age. As a professional photographer, she uses her digital camera to create new forms and perspectives that could easily live as abstract paintings.

Patrick King

When San Francisco-based Patrick King paints, he doesn’t focus his energy into one project. Instead, this artist starts with a theme and works simultaneously on up to five works at any given time, allowing him to maximize his creativity.

Rochelle Sodipo

As a mixed-media collage artist, Rochelle Sodipo blends digital and traditional techniques in every piece she creates. Her work speaks to the trials and tribulations of Black women in America, taking old things and making them new as a form of artistic regeneration.

Santiago Picatoste

Santiago Picatoste’s works represent a unique approach to mixed media. His creative process involves a joyful exploration of translucent media like methacrylate and glass in equilibrium with traditional materials like oils and acrylics.

Sarah Gordon Design

Sarah Gordon is an artist as well as an accomplished textile designer. Her work is known for its “curious contemporary look into the natural world,” with imperfect and quirky elements that inspire her on a daily basis.

Ted VanCleave

Join artist Ted VanCleave in his studio as he shares some insight into his creative process, inspirations, and artistic creations, including his color-rich new Sinuosity collection.

T.S. Harris

Artist T.S. Harris is best known for mixing the contemporary and timeless in her large-scale paintings of sunbathers and holiday relaxation. Inspired by found black-and-white snapshots from the mid century, her works depict everyday moments captured almost a lifetime ago that still feel incredibly present.

Wen-ching tang

As an illustrator based in Taiwan, Wen-Ching Tang creates work featuring people, places, and culture in a soft, elegant style. Many of her illustrations are inspired by the experiences of daily life and the places she’s visited.


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September 23, 2020

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.