Instagram for Artists: Sharing the Creative Moments (smartly)
(A few of my recent IG posts)
I am beginning to feel as though there is more creativity in the world than ever before – and more collective rejoicing over this fact. Literally, at your fingertips, there are miles and miles of beautiful images and thoughtful words, just ready to spark a bit of precious inspiration. Connecting with your audience has never been easier, and the tools we have available are becoming more pro and more valuable every day. But how can social media enable you as an artist? I mean, really, really enable you… I’m going to be sharing a few tips on these tools over the next few weeks, starting with my favorite: INSTAGRAM!
Instagram has created a network of people who are so excited to share in each other’s creative & beautiful moments. It is such an incredibly valuable for artists to be using smartly!
Instagram is becoming the mini-blogging platform of choice; and that totally makes sense! You are able to share a few of your thoughts and perspectives on life, bits of beauty from your day, and exciting projects in the works. It is such a great way to directly engage with your current followers and to meet a whole new group of people!
Personally, I love to use IG to involve my audience in my creative process and to introduce them to new work. It is such a genuine way for me show work-in-progress as well as final pieces of art. Everything is very in-the-moment and I am able to couple images with fresh thoughts and ideas, giving my followers access to my studio, philosophy, and lifestyle, regardless of geography or time constraints.
And, the best part: my followers can engage with me instantly, giving highly-valuable feedback, inspiration, new ideas, critiques, and encouragement.
A few tips for artists using IG:
- Have a Goal: What is your focus with Instagram? To share your work with buyers? Meet gallery and shop owners? Follow other artists and people in your creative field? Sell you artwork (and yes, that is totally a legit thing), give your followers a glimpse of the “real” you…? Figure this out and taylor your posts accordingly.
- Post often: 1-3 photos daily
- You IG feed is a tiny-view of your brand, get to know your aesthetic & niche and stick with it. My personal rule of thumb is 1 out of 6 photos can be “off brand” (meaning, they can be about something other than art or creativity).
- Make it a beauty! while other things may happen in your day that are interesting or funny, be sure to share the most beautiful and intriguing shot. Remember, this is your mini-brand. Always try to showcase your aesthetic.
- Tell your story consistently. Every post is a chance to share a few sentences about your day, philosophy, ideas, thoughts… make it count!
- Share behind-the-scenes: allow your followers (and customers/collectors) to see the real process, your workspace, and even failed attempts. They want to feel as though they are visiting your studio.
- Hashtag smartly: Use themes such as “#EmilyJeffordsArt” or “StudioScenes.” Tags like this allow your followers to get a glimpse of all your artwork at once. Using hashtags like #Art #Painting #Artist… can allow you to connect with other art lovers from around the world. However, limit the hashtags you use.
- Honest Photography: As an artist, show your artwork honestly. Avoid filters over your art. Let your pieces shine on their own! Use apps like Afterlight and VSCO to adjust the balance in your photos, making them as lovely and true-to-life as possible.
- Network & Grow: Use IG as a tool. Nearly every creative person you can think of is on Instagram so get to know them! Engage with them and be generous with kind words. You’ll be amazed at the doors it can open.
Collaborations, sales, and press opportunities have be opened up to me almost weekly, just because of Instagram. I really encourage you to tap into it and watch your creative business grow!
There is a wealth of inspiration to be found in the scrolling feed of Instagram. I can’t wait to hear more on this topic from Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked this weekend at the Makers Summit! Susan is a total IG pro so I’ll be sure to share any new tips I learn next week!
What tips of the trade to you have? Do you have any IG pet peeves? How do you chose to use this tool? I would love to learn from you and would really enjoy hearing your thoughts on this tool [aka, addiction of mine]. ; )
Follow my studio happenings at @Emily_Jeffords