Instagram is one of the best mediums for young, broke artists who want to feature their work, which is why the term artstagram is big in art circles. Let’s face it. A website is ideal, but with that being said, the cost of maintaining one is oftentimes out of budget for many newcomers. Instagram is amazing for this reason because it essentially serves as a free and easily accessible portfolio. While I have an artist website, I have actually shown my social media accounts off more to clients and fellow artists than my actual portfolio site. It’s a fast and easy way to connect with professionals and potential clients in a casual networking setting such as a bar, comic convention, etc. Instagram, if used correctly, can help a new artist improve their skills, connect with industry professionals, and gain an active audience.
Make an Artstagram
If you already have an existing personal account for selfies, food, friends, or your everyday life, then keep that account just for your personal album. Start fresh and make a separate account for just art. The most important part in starting off is to maintain a consistency in your content. The term ‘artstagram’ itself implies that all your audience will see is your art, so don’t try and convert your existing personal account into an art blog.
1. Consistency in Content
This is the biggest point that I cannot emphasize enough. It is a bloody tragedy when I see talented artists losing followers or not gaining an audience because their material is too divided. When we follow a creative on social media, there is an unspoken expectation that their content has some degree of consistency, no matter how niche. For example, I follow someone who only post photos of nail art. All their posts are images of painted nails, no pepcures, no nail polish bottles, just nails. If that person started randomly posting about purses or cult teen movies, more often than not I would unfollow them. Lack of consistency is a common trend I see in Instagrams that are either unsuccessful or losing followers. Drawing a different subject matter is fine, but making huge jumps such as posting only 2D art and then posting 3D art is what hurts artists. If you are an artist of many traits, the best advice to live by is to have different channels. If you are a sculptor that is equally passionate about drawing, then have two separate accounts. If you are a foodie that also writes poems, make an account for food and one for writing. This keeps your posts organized, your content decluttered, and helps you gain a followership that is tailored to your brand.
2. Posting on a Schedule
It doesn’t matter which day, but set aside a consistent time to post new content. Even if it is just a work in progress or a quick sketch—doesn’t matter! Channels, blogs, or social media pages that are meant for a personal brand have to attract and maintain an audience’s attention. Some of the most successful blogs I have seen sometimes do a “daily draw” of a simple sketch. This keeps the blog active and interesting. Keeping a regular posting time is one of the most efficient tips I can give for someone trying to start their brand. Another side effect of this technique is that it also keeps you drawing and improving.
3. Build a Network
Whenever and wherever I meet a new artist, I will always, always, always ask them for their Instagram details. It doesn’t matter if the artist is your classmate, someone you met at an art show, or a professional that is in the field. Building that network of people is the most important part. While there are exceptions, my general rule is that there is no connection that is too small or too big. A network is a network. Some of my classmates who I follow online end up having careers at Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney, Dreamworks, etc. Be social and make a habit to always leave the conversation with some kind of social media connection.