15 Emerging Female Artists to Invest In Now Before They Blow Up

Updated 06/19/19
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While fine art has long been associated with the East Coast, artists from Los Angeles continue to create stunning, provocative, and intellectual work that rivals even the best that New York City has to offer. Saatchi Art recently hosted The Other Art Fair, giving 100 emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their work in Downtown Los Angeles. Among those artists are 15 women whose work certainly deserves your attention.

Chosen by Rebecca Wilson, chief curator of Saatchi Art, these are 15 of the most influential up-and-coming artists to know in 2018. Whether you're a novice art connoisseur or a lifetime collector, you'll want to see what these artists have to offer. Ahead, they're sharing the inspiration behind their work, along with their top styling tips for when you finally bring a masterpiece home. Meet the women behind the art, and shop their work while you're at it.

Stephanie Vovas

Stephanie Vovas
Courtesy of Stephanie Vovas 

Inspiration: "It's always one of three things: a storyline I'm obsessed with, an amazing interior space, or the feelings I get from the person I'm going to photograph."

Aesthetic: "Juicy picture stories of mysterious people that feel like a film. In the '70s. With a golden-brown and pastel color palette. And add champagne."

Reaction: "I would love them to feel exhilarated, deeply moved, connected, and inspired to express what's inside of them. I would like them to think how beautiful and heavy life is."

Styling Tip: "I always recommend thin white shadow boxes, as they're elegant and go with everything. Trim the white border off the print unless you like a more formal look. I would not use black frames except for one or two photos of mine, just because it feels too heavy."

Stephanie Vovas Tangerine Dream $5350
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Kim West

Kim West
Courtesy of Kim West 

Inspiration: "I find inspiration in memories, proofs of love, and in other things that can't be measured; in road trips, poppy flowers, and super-blooms; in my grandmother's bathing suits; in pools, plants, and palm trees; in the trees and on the horizon." 

Aesthetic: "I paint abstracted, washy landscapes and botanical motifs layered with saturated Technicolor and grounded with psychedelic pops of neon."

Reaction: "When people say that looking at my work makes them feel like they're in a dream, I've hit a nail on the head."

Styling Tip: "I like to see my paintings layered over vintage wallpaper, or hung singularly on otherwise blank walls, or incorporated into a salon-style assemblage—my décor taste runs eclectic."

Kim West Yosemite Valley, Fire Light No.2 $75
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Kelly Puissegur

Kelly Puissegur
Courtesy of Kelly Puissegur

Inspiration: "Most of the time it's inspired by words. Things I hear or read, or phrases that just pop into my head. I also love vintage imagery. There's so much unintentional humor in old illustrations and ads, so I frequent thrift stores and browse old photos and illustrations online."

Aesthetic: "I'm all over the place. I get bored easily, and I'm never satisfied with my work, so I'm always changing materials and how I approach each piece. Generally my work includes words and has a playful, sarcastic quality."

Reaction: "My main goal is to make the viewer smile—even if it's on the inside. If I get a laugh I'm set for life." 

Styling Tip: "The great thing about art and home décor is there are no rules. If you pick out art and furniture because you like it and it speaks to you in some way, it will most certainly look good together. I don't believe in matching colors and styles. I like more of an eclectic look of things gathered over time."

My main goal is to make the viewer smile—even if it's on the inside. If I get a laugh I'm set for life.

Passive Agressive Painting
Kelly Puissegur Passive Agressive $765
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Karen Clark

Karen Clark
Courtesy of Karen Clark

Inspiration: "Chaos is a great inspiration. My studio looks like a hurricane hit with half-finished paintings and collages strewn everywhere. I get ideas from seeing the juxtaposition of visual ideas."

Aesthetic: "My style is all over the place. I go from geometric to landscapes to portraits."

Reaction: "I find that people tend to see things in my work that even I am blind to. Everyone is a painting whisperer, so I try not to telegraph what I'm thinking."

Styling Tip: "I like geometric and minimalist work in modern houses. Metallic paintings are unusual and tend to get attention in a room. But with art, anything goes."

Karen Clark She's Not There $290
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Shawna Ankenbrandt

Shawna Ankenbrandt
Courtesy of Shawna Ankenbrandt

Inspiration: "I find endless inspiration in nature and an overwhelming need to be in it."

Aesthetic: "My style is very intuitive. I'm an adventurer at heart, and so the unpredictability of the moment is what drives me."

Reaction: "We often don't realize how majestic and wondrous nature is until we behold ourselves in it. I want people to feel the same sense of freedom, wonder, and adventure that I feel when I'm working."

Styling Tip: "I love looking at an image on a wall and being transported to a different place in time. I try and choose artwork based on the color tones of the room and the feeling it gives you when you look at it.

I want people to feel the same sense of freedom, wonder, and adventure that I feel when I'm working.

Shawna Ankenbrandt Agi & Elaina II $3810
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Patrice Dworkin and Jackie Leishman (The Fourth Artist)

Patrice Dworkin and Jackie Leishman
Courtesy of Patrice Dworkin and Jackie Leishman

Inspiration: "Our collaboration is inspired by our shared interest in women's issues and the lives of women artists."

Aesthetic: "We celebrate the use of cut and torn paper, fabric and collage, painting and drawing. Our imagery is contemporary and abstract, layered and textural."

Reaction: "We want people to be struck by the mood created by color, texture, and line; then to linger to consider the nuance and detail. We want them to find something new each time they look at our work."

Styling Tip: "We love to see our small pieces grouped together as a statement piece in one frame, or as a gallery wall in individual frames. This creates the impact of a large artwork, but with more flexibility in hanging."

The Fourth Artist Transition 34 $290
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Kelly Brumfield-Woods

Kelly Brumfield-Woods
Courtesy of Kelly Brumfield-Woods 

Inspiration: "The inspiration for my art comes from everywhere. When I'm driving, when I'm reading, when I'm in my garden, when I see an old building being demolished. I love structures and spaces, and that definitely shows up in my work."

Aesthetic: "I'm exploring a new direction right now, which is really interesting to me, so this answer could change one day, but my 'trademark style' is geometric with a play on light in the form of glitter."

Reaction: "What I really hope viewers do is find joy in the pieces. Whether they're serious or playful, they all sort of radiate joy, I think. Some just do it a little more loudly than others."

Styling Tip: "Lighting is the most important thing because that glitter—when it's got the right lighting—is so good… The best place to hang it is in a place where people can move around it, from one side to another, because that's when the magic happens."

Kelly Brumfield-Woods White Diamond $3580
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Melissa Herrington

Melissa Herrington
Courtesy of Melissa Herrington 

Inspiration: "I've always had a passion for travel. It has become an integral part of my creative process, and a major catalyst for my evolving themes and artistic practice. My paintings are representative of my path, which is inspired by adventure and independence, and my love of color and texture."

Aesthetic: "I'm exploring spontaneous marks and subtle female forms through abstraction. Objects and images are never too explicit, which increase their capacity to evoke a wide range of associations and recollections. This exemplifies the freedom with which I work." 

Reaction: "I strive to evoke emotion and connection with the viewer. My aim is to create paintings that are hopeful, contemplative, and challenging. We're all evolving, and I hope my work reminds people of their own creativity and unlimited potential."

Styling Tip: "I love a clean palette of white. When decorating, I like neutrals—it manages to be both serene and chic. Layering is a must for collections both eclectic and original. Keep it simple; let the art shine."

MH 36
Melissa Herrington MH 36 $4400
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Meike Legler

Meike Legler
Stephen Paul

Inspiration: "I often get inspired during walks in nature or when I sit at a café and overhear conversations around me. Single words sometimes are enough to cause a reaction in front of my inner eye. Also, meditation, spirituality, and music are great sources for me to draw inspiration from."

Aesthetic: "My style has changed from geometric, sharp shapes to more fluent and organic compositions. I would say my style ranges from minimalistic and subtle to playful and lively."

Reaction: "I really like the thought that people feel uplifted and filled with optimism and energy when they see my work. I don't really want them to think anything specific but rather leave them with a feeling of empowerment and happiness."

Styling Tip: "I always would give any piece of art enough space around it to breathe. Beautiful plants close to any of my pieces are always a good idea."

Meike Legler #goals $3810
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Laura Viapiano

Laura Viapiano
Courtesy of Laura Viapiano 

Inspiration: "The inspiration behind much of my work, and really the inspiration behind my choice to create abstract versus figurative work, comes from my fascination with perspective and how it shapes our reality. I love the idea that abstract paintings give the viewer a chance to interface with their own mind, memories, and emotion to create a special meaning unique to their experience."

Aesthetic: "My artistic style is bold and emotive, sensual, and meditative."

Reaction: "When people view my work, I want them to have a moment of self-reflection. I never want to tell someone how to interpret a painting or what message they should be receiving. My goal is to remind people of the power of perspective."

Styling Tip: "I don't hold back when it comes to color, so I think my paintings pair best with modern, minimalist décor. Their bright hues create quite a bit of drama and make them great statement pieces for airy, open spaces."

Laura Viapiano Deep $120
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Ellen Paige Leach

Ellen Paige Leach
Courtesy of Ellen Paige Leach

Inspiration: "My main source of inspiration is the coast and landscape. I’m always traveling to see new places, camera in hand. By exploring the concept of the digital alongside the landscape I aim to create a dialogue between technology and nature."

Aesthetic: "It’s organized chaos. I take beautiful landscapes and force them to the brink of destruction. The way I work involves a lot of trial and error but that’s what keeps it interesting!"

Reaction: "People often mistake my work for paintings so I love when they get close up to see the details in the pixels. Getting to talk people through the process is always fun because more often than not they haven’t come across anything like it before."

Styling Tip: "My work is very detailed, there’s a lot going on so I’d probably go with a modern minimalistic approach. My work is printed onto aluminum which is a great statement piece for any room. Just add a plant and you’re good to go."

Entropy #1
Ellen Paige Entropy #1 $860
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Chloe McCarrick

Chloe McCarrick
Courtesy of Chloe McCarrick

Inspiration: "Trailblazing women, natural history and science. I construct visual narratives exploring the lives of extraordinary women, celebrating their achievements, uncovering their struggles and telling the stories of these often unsung heroes."

Aesthetic: "I examine and develop innovative ways of reworking photographic and illustrated images through collage and mixed-media print techniques, and by blending science, darkroom alchemy, and fine art."

Reaction: "I hope people are empowered by the story behind each piece and that the subject matter ignites imaginations and a curiosity to delve deeper. But I think the key emotion is to feel connected—connected to the story, the techniques and the science behind the work, and to be connected to the elements of nature I introduce to explore human experience and the relationship between each of us, and the world we live in."

Styling Tip: "Lighting is key. I would always recommend hanging my work in a place filled with natural light or directional spotlights. In natural light the appearance of the piece evolves throughout the day, exposing hidden surface details, casting shadows and gleaming reflections."

The Lady And Her Monsters II (Ode To Mary Shelley)
Chloe McCarrick The Lady And Her Monsters II (Ode To Mary Shelley) $680
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Dawn Beckles

Dawn Beckles
Courtesy of Dawn Beckles

Inspiration: "Inspiration for me comes from childhood memories, traveling and things that I experience in my day to day life. Every six months I refresh my inspiration wall with new imagery of furniture, plants, patterns, photos of my family, a few key words and swatches from my color wall. This can then be used as inspiration for my upcoming body of work."

Aesthetic: "Currently my work includes interior collages, still life, portraits, landscapes and they all start with a neon base as I like them to have an inner glow."

Reaction: "I want my paintings to be warm and happy and to give the viewer an insight to something imagined. It's important for me that the viewer is able to see themselves within these interiors. I want them to wonder what lies outside that window, behind that wall or through that door."

Currently my work includes interior collages, still life, portraits, landscapes and they all start with a neon base as I like them to have an inner glow.

Styling Tip: "Personally I have a soft spot for maximalist interiors and gallery walls. As I paint the sides of my paintings neon, they can be hung unframed or framed either way the additional glow of neon is a welcomed addition to any wall. Just have fun and remember that there are no rules."

The Happiness Trap
Dawn Beckles The Happiness Trap $2585
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Sarah Maple

Sarah Maple
Courtesy of Sarah Maple

Inspiration: "I am inspired by everything around me—overheard conversations, social media, reality television, the news. We live in such crazy times it's impossible not to be inspired every day."

Aesthetic: "Bold! Boldness is a real priority for me."

Reaction: "Provoked."

Styling Tip: "I've got a few pieces in the Soho House collection where they do a lot of salon hangs. I love this style and started doing this in my own home. I love seeing my work next to other artists."

Investment Art
Sarah Maple Investment Art $245
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Nadia Jaber

Nadia Jaber
Courtesy of Nadia Jaber

Inspiration: "In these series, I am reflecting on how social media influences and transforms our visual spectrum and therefore our creative outputs. I create single compositions by assembling together different painting styles curated from my visual exposure to online inputs. So currently a big part of my inspiration comes directly from my phone, and especially Instagram.

Aesthetic: "I like to think of my aesthetic as a pizza made with figurative pepperoni, delicious post digitalism rocket, and some geometric and textured rocket, all in a bold base of tasty abstract art."

Reaction: "I believe an element of surprise is the feeling I like the most to be able to rise to the viewer."

Styling Tip: "I see my art in different environments, and each piece can give a certain nuance to a space. Personally, I love industrial and mid-century space."

521 Version Mismatch
Nadia Jaber 521 Version Mismatch $2550
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