What is the best way to call an artist that is not famous?

  • Emergent artist
  • New artist
  • Any other
  • Good question. Does the term artist imply some level of talent or simply someone who creates artistic works?
    – JohnFx
    Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 20:29
  • 2
    Dont call them "infamous" atleast :p
    – Midhat
    Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 21:12
  • I was thinking more of a visual artist, like a painter
    – Victor
    Commented Sep 5, 2010 at 22:20

4 Answers 4


What is the best way to call an artist that is not famous?

It depends. If the artist is from the past, they might be referred to as a "little-known artist", a "lesser-known artist", or even "a lesser artist" (this is derogatory). If it's a present-day artist, they might be an "emerging artist" (not "emergent", that is a buzz-word), or "a lesser-known artist". "New artist" is possible, for example "an exhibition by new artists", but its use would be restricted to a certain kind of person.

  • 1
    I agree entirely. 'Lesser-known artist' is probably best unless the artist really is emerging from one state (e.g., being lesser known) to another (e.g., being more known). Certainly 'new artist' only applies to artists just starting out.
    – J D OConal
    Commented Sep 6, 2010 at 2:38

I am told that in the jargon of music critics musicians are either "young" or "distinguished", the break-point being about thirty-five years of age.


You can use a more particular description, such as "Bill Smith, a painter from Springfield, Ore.," Also age doesn't seem to be a factor since many artists never become famous outside of their communities, but work for many years.


You could call them an "up-and-coming" (young) artist.

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