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3 Must-Use Art & Design Trends for 2024

Over the years I’ve discovered more and more how beneficial it is to incorporate trends into my work not just to help me sell more art, but to get my work into the hands of the companies that I want to collaborate with.  Sometimes it’s one trending artwork that gets your foot in the door of a long-term relationship with the company of your dreams!  That is why it’s so important to understand and integrate trends into your creative process.

I know that a lot of artists and designers out there struggle to understand and discover trends, and others understand the trends but resist using them. By popular request, I’ve started creating monthly trend reports and videos that help artists and designers integrate trends into their work, without sacrificing their personal style or straying from their favorite themes.

Here are three of my favorite trends that I’ve discovered and used this year to lock in some exciting licensing deals that I get to tell you more about soon!

Maximalism

Maximalism is taking the art and design world by storm after a long period of minimalism that reached peak saturated last year.  How do you know when a trend reaches “peak saturation”?  You’ll see it everywhere.  Including at the dollar store on a notebook/thermos/pencil set that literally costs .99 cents.

Once a trend has been that deeply ingrained into the design world, it starts to have an overdone and “basic” feel that world trend leaders rebel against.  Thus leaving space for something totally opposite and possibly even defiant.  In this case, that thing is maximalism.

Keep in mind that maximalism is not just “a lot of stuff on the page”.  It is an opportunity to tell a story with your work through including a lot of elements that play off each other to explain a place, situation, or idea.  Take this shelf illustration for example.  I took the concept of the perfect coffee/tea shelf, and told the story of the home’s owner with nods to matcha, Japan, high quality coffee, and espresso drinks.  These little details give you a peek into the life of the person who would make their tea or coffee here each morning.

You can start incorporating maximalism into your work by creating scenes that tell a story like this one (or a totally different story that speaks to your style!).  You can do this in illustration, lettering, and pattern to tap into this trending look and feel.

Going Offgrid

After the pervasive isolation and cabin fever of the pandemic took the world by storm, most of us (even those who weren’t big on traveling beforehand) were dying to go somewhere.  Combine this with the fact that many companies around the world transitioned their workforce to partial or full remote work permanently, and you suddenly have a bunch of city dwellers who are ready to get out into the country/desert/wilderness and start a new life.

Cities have seen a mass exodus in the past five years and previously unknown areas are suddenly becoming quiet haven for people seeking a quieter life.  This is where the obsession with off-grid was born!

You can tap into this fascination with all things off-grid by depicting deserts, cabins, forests, and other off-the-beaten-path places.

Remember that “going offgrid” doesn’t always mean a place though.  It can be a mindset (think leaving the rat race and starting over), a vehicle (think tiny houses and camper vans), or even apparel (think flip flops and tank tops).  So try to think outside the box when it comes to your concept of off-grid life to start incorporating this theme into your work!,

Traditional Crafts

As digital art and AI become more pervasive, trendsetters are looking back in time to a more simple and authentic aesthetic that came from making things with real human hands.  This includes things like sewing, pottery, and block print, and even extends into styles like folk art and grafitti.  To utilize this trend in your work you could get super-literal and depict a traditional craft like I did with the sewing themed pattern here, or keep it subtle with something like hand lettering made out of stitches or a block print style pattern collection.

Even if you make your artwork digitally, you can use this trend to create artwork that has a “real materials” feel through using textures, turning down the “perfection” tools on your brushes (like the streamline setting in Procreate), and not making your art by using AI (must that really be said??).

Ok it’s your turn!  Make something with one of these trends and tag me @lizkohlerbrown so I can see it!

p.s. Do you want to get trend reports like these with lots of details and examples in your inbox each month??  Keep reading to see the reports I send out every month:

Trend Reports

  • Monthly Art & Design Trend Reports with examples
  • Explanations of trends to help you understand and apply trends to your work
  • Monthly Trend Challenges to keep you motivated

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