The Road to 2022

The Hottest Art Trends for 2022

highway with mountain background
The Hottest Art Trends of 2022

Every year about this time, I write a new article predicting the next year's art trends and colour schemes and this year is no different! With my usual level of over the top research and many, many hours of running through the numbers, flicking between Google, Bing and countless other search engines and consuming almost a lifetime’s supply of art in the process, the predictions this year are the most solid yet!

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to start thinking ahead to 2022 and the art trends that any self-respecting thriving artist should consider working on. We very often talk about the side-hustle on these pages and even if you have a regular style, some of these trends might just give you a new sense of inspiration and to be totally honest, next years trends look like they’re going to be fun to work on too.

highland landscape aurora
Highland Nights by Mark Taylor - Available in my Pixels and Fine Art America Stores now!

Figuratively Speaking…

First on the list shouldn’t really be a surprise, although look back a few years and figurative art gave way to non-representational abstract and to an extent, for a while, it looked as though figurative works were under threat of becoming less relevant outside of the museum. The dry spell was short-lived and figurative works have become increasingly popular year on year.

Even during the times when non-representational art was becoming increasingly popular, figurative works never really went away with new Hockney’s coming on the market and just as popular as ever.

2022 will though, feel like somewhat of a resurgence for figurative work with a number of exhibitions already pencilled in (pandemic permitting), with a number already started and running into 2022. There’s a major double David Hockney exhibition at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, running through to the 23rd January, and displays of work by Jenny Saville at Florence’s Museo Novencento, and Tate Modern’s large scale show of recent work by Lubaina Himid runs right the way through to July.

rain on glass
Glassmorphism - a recurring trend?

Just like glass…

Glassmorphism, and yes, that’s an actual thing in user interface speak, is transitioning from screen to canvas and it’s becoming ever popular in digital artworks where layer transparencies are easier to accomplish than using traditional mediums.

If you’re wondering what Glassmorphism is, it’s essentially the effect of glass panes in a similar fashion to how modern operating systems look with a slightly blurred background image behind the foreground image. Whilst not impossible to recreate with traditional mediums, it is made much simpler using tools such as Photoshop or Procreate with the built-in Gaussian blur and transparency tools.

It is a stylish way of bringing the background of work into the foreground without it taking over and the effect can be strikingly clean, although when used in user interfaces, the misuse of Glassmorphism can create confusion and the work can end up becoming what’s known technically as being, a bit of a mess.

Hand Drawn Elements…

Illustrations that have been hand-drawn, especially when used for product marketing will become even more popular during 2022. Hand drawn works can convey an immediate feeling of familiarity and warmth, and they have become massively popular with products such as beer cans, particularly with the small micro-breweries that have been popping up to produce IPA beers.

There’s also a certain aesthetic and quality to hand drawn elements that are not always easy to produce using digital formats. Particularly popular and appearing in many searches online are works that give the appearance of being etched, or utilising lines to produce the shaded areas and they also have a great fit with another trend that has begun to emerge through Google’s search trends, and that is in the use of monotone and black and white images.

80s technology artwork
Eighties Social Media

The future is retro…

For those of you who have been paying attention to the writing on these walls over the past few articles, you’ll have noticed a heavy influence of creating retro and retro inspired works to evoke those nostalgic feelings that more and more of us are getting as we drift between episodes of the pandemic.

Whilst nostalgia for the past will be different for everyone depending on a myriad of factors like your age, where you grew up, and the type of childhood you had, there is no doubt that the pandemic has made us all reflect in some way and think back to simpler times.

For me, I grew up in the seventies and have fond memories of my childhood though it wasn’t until the eighties that I became much more independent and old enough to remember what I did and what I enjoyed.

The eighties was a very formative decade for me, not least because that’s when I really began my art career with a landscape work and the creation of graphic images using very basic home computers of the time. It was also the decade Michael Jackson hooked me with his Bad album, I was able to drink alcohol legally by the end of the decade, and I had somehow managed to solve the Rubik’s Cube in less than a day and have never solved it since.

I have never stopped creating 80s inspired artworks, creating hundreds, if not thousands of designs since I started out that somehow still continue to find some relevance with collectors and still manage to sell today, but it seems that the art world is ready to grow up and move into the nineties, or it will be in 2022.

Nostalgia loving demographics who grew up in the nineties have been reaching out for a while to ask when I will be creating 90s inspired works, and an extensive search on Google Trends seems to indicate that this is happening more broadly. There’s a new retro demographic that we see every decade or so and this time it’s the 90s that will be providing the visuals.  There are also nods to the year 2000 appearing in many online art markets, influences of that crazy time when we all thought that our Nokia’s would die at the stroke of midnight, a New Year’s Eve spent anticipating the end of the world in between bottles of alcopop, it’s palm trees with a not-so-subtle hint of Miami, so let’s party like it’s 1999!

hot flamingo art
Hot Flamingo by Mark Taylor - Available in my stores now!


A genre of Japanese art that flourished during the 17th to 19th centuries, Ukiyo-e is once again providing design inspiration for artists in the 21st century. Whereas traditional Ukiyo-e works were more likely to feature prominent kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers, the method was used to depict a myriad of subjects. Often created using woodblocks, the modern twist is somewhat less traditional.

The modern take is more of a combination of flat vector art and traditional woodblock, to produce flat, simple images that will often make use of negative space on a page. The subject matter is still wide and varied but the trends of the moment are more likely to inspire works depicting travel and nature and simple figurative subjects.

The result is a clean image with crisp lines, as simple as it is complicated to get to grips with as an artist, but if the artist masters the process of creating this style, the effects that can be produced can look stunning and unique. I wasn’t too sure why Google trends were pointing to this style until I began to wonder if the past few years of living under the cloud of a pandemic meant that people were searching for simpler, yet bolder statement pieces.

sunset valley artwork
Sunset Valley by Mark Taylor - A flat art style with added foreground and background depth! - Now available in my Pixels and Fine Art America stores! 

The Re-emergence of Brutalism… sort of…

Maybe we’re all a little bored of the same old, same old by now, and by that I mean, have you noticed how everything and anything these days has a tendency to look the same? Whether it's transport or user interfaces, there’s an instant familiarity to everything that we pick up, yet it hadn’t used to be like this.

Open up an application on your smartphone and you are likely to be greeted with the stock standard button toggles in the settings, all displayed on a completely black background in something they call night mode. User interfaces tend to stick to specific design standards and if there is one thing about design standards that I have learned throughout my creative career, it’s that they eventually change when we get bored with them. Standards are generally only the standard whilst they're the standard!

Sometimes these dark modes are wrapped up in the guise of being an accessibility feature, mostly though, these dark interfaces are wrapped up in a feature called, "we think people will think this looks cool". The reality of accessibility though is that black and white interfaces might work for some accessibility needs, they don’t work for all. Sorry to burst your UI bubble, but accessibility should run way deeper than a dark mode.

That maybe explains why there is a growing trend towards anti-design, where the artist rips up the rulebook and creates new rules. Hey, what a novel idea, imagine creating something that could even become its own art movement.  

rebirth planetary artwork by Mark Taylor
Rebirth by Mark Taylor - planetary anti-design! Of course, it's available now from my stores!

Anti-design shares more similarities with brutalism than anything else, and yes, its alleged ugliness is its beauty. Yet it also says so much, it makes a statement that we’re done with conventional tastes. It challenges us, and it throws the traditional rulebook right out of the window. In short, it’s a trend that maybe better conveys where the world is right now, it’s the new kid on the block who definitely doesn’t follow the rules that someone else made up.

While we’re on the subject of let’s break the rules, we’re also done with minimalism. Sure, we all cleaned out the cupboards under the instruction of Maria Kondo, but with art, it’s also about getting that hoarding habit back. It’s the Tiger King to Maria, and it’s bold, bright, and beautiful. Intricate Maximalism isn’t all about just filling the canvas, it is about making the use of the space that you have and creating colour, objects, shapes, and patterns, that once again stem from the inner artist's artist.

Clashing tastes, primary colours, big, bold, always something new for the viewer to discover, statement pieces that have staying power and no shame. It is the perfect opportunity for an artist to bring out their inner weirdness.

data corruption artwork
Data Corruption by Mark Taylor - big, bold, brutal, and deep, at least for those who grew up during the birth of big data.

Last year was about nature…

This time last year we were all looking for paintings that reminded us of the great outdoors, a year later, we’re all ready to just make a break for it and run. This style is another one that essentially rips up the rulebook, unexpected colours that just work, whimsical settings straight out of an artist's inner artist, of course, I’m talking about escapism.

There’s almost a crossover with psychedelia inspired works and anti-deign, except this looks cleaner, if not just as strange. Why would you paint a cat sitting on the window ledge looking out at the astronaut in space while a tiger roams the jungle, all flowing as one from the same canvas? Because you can and it looks great.

This is a style that I have tinkered with for many years, hence in some of my landscapes you might find oversized flowers as a nod to the escapism genre, life is full of Easter eggs when you look closely at some of my work, but this is a style where an artist can be an artist with imagination and not feel weird that someone might not get it.

Here’s the thing. They don’t have to get it, escapism can be you, your innermost thoughts and feelings, it’s supposed to make you wonder, no, you don’t have to get it at all, you just have to enjoy it. I really think this is the artist's art. Anywho, it’s on the rise and it’s rising fast in the online trends. Hey, it’s like I always say, if you can’t paint a landscape or a nude and make a million, just go ahead and be weird, the world needs way more weird. Oh, and that really is the best piece of artistic advice in the history of ever, free of charge and only here!

Fall Wall artwork by Mark Taylor, flowers, dry stone wall
Fall Wall by Mark Taylor - notice the oversize flowers!

Pop Art is back again…

I mentioned pop art last time around and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Bright, bold design, heavy text, grainy textures, and a trend more recently being influenced by the insane amount of comic book tie-ins that have been coming out of Hollywood of late.

I think to some extent, there’s a real shift towards bright colours, statement pieces that elevate a space and a mood, and if you take a look through all of the online art markets and in particular spaces like Etsy, what you will find are a multitude of works with a comic/pop-art vibe that isn’t necessarily based on official comics or characters, but off-brand influences that trigger a nostalgic response, and there’s that nostalgia thing popping up again!

eighties pop music technology art
Eighties Pop Music by Mark Taylor - I was creating digital pop-art way before Warhol!

The Third Dimension…

I was on the fence about including 3D, it’s always a popular genre for digital artists but the subject matter in the images created can often have a tendency to look the same at times. I jumped off the fence when I beta tested the latest version of the iPad art app, Procreate, with its shiny new 3D painting engine that takes 3D objects and allows you to paint them, in 3D.

One thing I have always noticed with Procreate is that they tend to add features to the app that reflect the direction digital art is travelling. What convinced me, even more, was the trend data that had been emerging over the past few months including searches for more tactile mixed media works.

The Staples…

There will always be a place for the staples of the art world, landscapes and nudes are always immensely popular, as too are abstracts, and there is a clear slide towards abstract minimalism of late. The interesting one for me is around art that has a more tactile feel, so assemblage art will continue to be popular, perhaps even more so as there does seem to be more of a shift towards the quality and uniqueness that hand made arts and crafts can bring. Hopefully, the move towards supporting more and more small businesses and independent creatives will continue too.

As for the rest of the art world, you know, the high-value part of the market that the majority of working artists don’t have any touchpoint with, will continue to thrive, especially as shows and exhibitions that had been cancelled throughout the pandemic have plans to tentatively reopen in 2022. That said, new variants of Covid could jeopardise those plans for some. I think we might be seeing a move towards owning works of familiar names at maybe more realistic prices than we’ve seen in the recent past, and by realistic, that’s kind of a subjective word at this level.

A note for those reading this content on other websites!

There seems to be a growing trend of websites harvesting other people’s content and displaying it on their websites, so if you’re not reading this at  you will have been inadvertently directed to reading a stolen copy of my work, so I can only apologise if some unscrupulous website is making you either sign up, pay to read it, or serving ad after ad, but if you come to the original source I can promise you that there are no ads, no need to sign up, no charge, and you will be supporting a truly independent creative directly!

Until Next Time!

That’s all for this week but I will be back soon with more news including news of some of the projects I have been working on recently that have meant that my presence here has been a little less regular of late!

And I would also like to say a huge thank you to those of you who have been supporting my work here by purchasing prints of my work. This site is completely funded through my own pocket, completely independent and I rely on a percentage of my print sales through Fine Art America and Pixels to help with the growing costs! Even the purchase of a gift card or sticker will provide funding that can go back into creating more content for this site!

Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, and stay creative!

Mark x

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger and live in Staffordshire, England. My days are filled with art, dog walking and Teams Meetings, while still being stuck somewhere in the eighties. You can purchase my art through my Fine Art America store or my Pixels site here:   and you can purchase my new works, special and limited editions directly. You can also view my portfolio website at

If you are on Facebook, you can give me a follow right here,  You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at


  1. Some great tips, thanks so much Mark. Hope you having a brilliant start of the 2022 xx

  2. One day in and no major disasters! Looking forward to a whole year of creating too! Hope you have a prosperous and creative New Year and you enjoyed your well deserved break! Xx


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