This is not a post about how to get more followers. I just wanted to share with you some thoughts about Instagram, which is a fantastic venue for artists to share their work with the world.
1. By following selectively, I can see top artists' work in progress, get glimpses of their studio or learn their plein air setup. I can study their work and analyze what makes their art appeal to me. This helps in the development of your own artist’s eye.
2. This makes me want to pursue excellence too. It’s a basis of comparison for my own work and its shortcomings.
3 Instagram posts are a daily dose of inspiration. It’s full of artwork and photography and you can find whatever it is that appeals to you—gardens, beach life, outdoor adventure…..
4. I can quickly save and categorize posts I want to refer back to. For instance, I have a category for saved color combinations I like and want to try and one for show invitation design ideas.
5. I find that my posts inspire others!
6. It is a great source of feedback on my work, once I gained a following. It has even led to sales.
7. It is a small though real connection to someone on the other side of the world from me! I treasure these exchanges that I would never have had otherwise. I enjoy translating international comments and attempting to reply back in their language.
8. I have found a community of fellow artists with similar careers. It’s nice to know that while I am diligently working alone in my studio, they are doing the same thing in their corner of the world.
If you decide to try IG, my advice is to stick with it! I see a lot of abandoned accounts out there. I went two or three years with only a handful of people following me. One of the best ways to gain a following is to use #hashtags (you can research this topic). If you want people to follow you for your art, post only artwork or related items—not your pets, family, or too many selfies. Post only your best work. And if you want to be better at what you do, follow UP. Follow superior artists. If you follow everyone back, your feed will not be a source of inspiration, but will become an overwhelming chore to scroll through to find the treasure you really want to see. You don't have to follow all your friends and family or everyone who follows you.
I welcome your questions and suggestions—please leave a comment!