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The Biggest Art Trends of 2016

From fake clickbait to professional art copiers, we peer into our crystal ball to give you five of the hottest trends of 2016.

Tornadoes, President Trump, world peace, the return of Freaks and Geeks… it's hard to predict what fates will befall us in 2016. But The Creators Project has a few ideas about which trends will take the world by storm this year. From tattoo artists becoming super-famous on social media to video game players getting featured on ESPN, these are our bold predictions for the year to come.

Celebrity Tattoo Artists

Thanks to Instagram it's easier than ever for artists to get their work seen by the masses. Perhaps most adept at capitalizing on this opportunity are tattoo artists, who use social media to show off their needling skills and become celebrities in their own right. From offbeat artists like stoner-friendly Seanfromtexas and macabre Cris Cleen, to abstract expressionists like Amanda Wachob and Gene Coffey, to minimalists like stick n' poke impresario Rachel Howe and Curtis Montgomery, who's infamous for his raunchy work, these tattoo artists turn likes and follows into a powerful personal brand. Keep an eye on the world of celebrity tattoo artists, as 2016 seems primed to be the year this trend goes global. Americans are more tattoo-friendly than ever, having spent around $1.65 billion dollars on ink in 2015. Prepare to see a sharp uptick in celeb tatters as more artists find an outlet for their work and can express their individual styles through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Fake Clickbait

Several examples of fake clickbait. All above articles, titles, and assets via ClickHole

The past decade saw the rise of news satire as a primary, viable source of news and information. As programs like The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, and The Nightly Show grew in popularity, the general public became comfortable with "fake news" allowing sites like The Onion to explode in readership. So it should come as no surprise that the populous has reached the next level of meta-commentary. As everyone consumes gallons of clickbait from sites like Buzzfeed, another form of satire now has room to grow. Enter "fake clickbait"—especially ClickHole, from the minds behind The Onion—as a new form of acerbic social commentary. 2016 looks like the perfect storm for this trend, as a growing savviness from fake 'bait creators coincide with a public quickly losing its taste for traditional, attention-grabbing clickbait. Want to make your own fake clickbait? Try out this [clickbait headline generator](http://clickbait headline generator).

Professional Gaming

Marshawn Lynch poses as a Call of Duty video game character as ESPN bets big on eSports. Cover to ESPN Magazine's June 2015 issue, image via ESPN

Was it Fred Savage who first opened our eyes to the world of competitive video gaming in ? Since nearly the dawn of video games, the allure of playing professionally nibbled at the corners of the gaming community. As PC Gaming became more competitive and the modern era of gaming flourished, the practice of professional gaming skyrocketed. Now "e-sports" and pro gaming are finally coming into their own this year as major entertainment entities begin to take notice. on their streaming platform bodes well for pro gamers, but the biggest related news came from to broadcast competitive gaming. The future is here, and gamers are the new ESPN athletes. Deal with it, jocks.


The Wizard

News of The CW airing Mortal Kombat tournaments

ESPN creating its own e-sports vertical

Augmented Reality

An image from the augmented reality game Clandestine: Anomaly. Image via Clandestine: Anomaly

Somewhere in between the full immersion of virtual reality (which is also set to blast off in 2016 with the commercial release of the Oculus Rift) and the natural world around you lies augmented reality. With the aid of a screen and the right apps, augmented reality inserts images into the real world around you. AR has wide-ranging applications, from helping archaeologists recreate and re-experience an ancient site, to creating interactive mobile gaming, and even bringing a new dimension of life to invisible galleries and the work of fine artists like Austin Lee. Don't let the death of Google Glass mislead you, augmented reality is primed to explode among a public that wants virtual reality, but can't afford the high cost of early VR hardware.

Professional Art Copiers

"…if any one of you want to make me ANY perfect fake of ANY work of art - step up. I pay like $155.00." So declared Jerry Saltz in an Instagram post explaining his recent purchase of a fake Wade Guyton piece. The lines between originality, plagiarism, cultural critique, and mass-produced art have always been a little blurry, but 2016 could well be the year of the inspired, professional art copier. Look to Stanley Casselman's Inhaling Richter Moments series as proof of just how good a "copy" can look. Is this unscrupulous, or speaking to a larger movement or shared ideas and themes? Either way, keep an eye out for a boom in pro copies this year. Related: A Visual Dictionary of 2015's Art Trends Trust Tattoos? Here's What Happened When an Artist Had Total Control Sculptures Come to Life in an Augmented Reality Art Gallery