Instagram for Artists: Do's and Don'ts | young space (2023)

AVAILABLE NOW: Instagram for Visual Artists Digital Resource Guide!

Okay, let’s talk Instagram. Love it or hate it, more than any other social media platform, it has revolutionized the way that the art world does the internet. It has amazing promotional and networking potential. It’s visual, it’s free, it’s super simple,and you can reach thousands of potential followers and — hopefully — buyers. And while it can be an amazing tool, it’s worth noting that there are ways to do it really well, and… not so well. Here are some pointers I’ve picked up along the way that can hopefully help you develop or improve your own Instagram gallery and get your work out there!

DO: Hashtags

I’ll just get this one out of the way. It’s kind of obligatory: Hashtags! What’s the big deal? Instagram posts rely on hashtags to allow other users to find your images. This is old hat to many of us, but when it comes to getting your work seen, a lot of folks could benefit from using hashtags — and learning to use them well! Hashtags (putting a # sign before a phrase, such as #painting or #inthestudio) allow people who are poking around on Instagram to find a wide selection of images from various users who tag their images. Think of different ways to describe what you do. #sculpture? Think #3Dart #wallsculpture #marble #art #contemporaryart #softsculpture and so on. Instagram limits you to 30 hashtags, so use ’em!

Here’s an example of a typical @youngspacedotcom post:

Instagram for Artists: Do's and Don'ts | young space (1)

(Tip: if you write up a caption and it doesn’t show up when you post the caption, you probably have more than 30 hashtags. I typically Select All and Copy my captions before posting just in case, so I don’t have to count every time!)

(Video) Subway Surfers in REAL LIFE. 🤣😂 #shorts

Check out: Marcus Boelen @marcusboelen

DON’T: Spam other accounts

Want someone to see your work? Don’t just drop your website address in the comments, or leave comments like, “Look at my work!” There are so many things to look at — billions of images — so it’s important to be, well, human. Even in one of the most simplified, virtual spaces out there, making a real connection with someone will take you much, much further than careless, spammy comments. Want to get someone to pay attention? Contribute a meaningful comment, or send a DM (direct message) if appropriate, and do so when you genuinely enjoy the content, or you want to spark conversation. Definitely don’t try to sell your work on other accounts’ gallery pages. That’s just tacky!

DO: The #WIP

If you’re not on on the #wip bandwagon, now’s the time! I’ll get to this in a second, but there’s really no need for you to have a perfectly curated, spotless Instagram gallery of completed works available for sale.There are plenty of magazines, galleries, museums, blogs, and other platforms out there that provide clean, cropped, seamless Instagram galleries, and you should just let them do their thing and share what you actually do.The behind-the-scenes glimpses into your work space and process are the key to generating interest in what you do.

So, what are you working on right now? #wip is a work-in-progess post (and use that hashtag!)… and you might actually love the feedback you get on putting a not-yet-finished artwork out into the world.

Check out: Emily Filler @emilyfiller

(Video) Beyoncé - ALIEN SUPERSTAR (Official Lyric Video)

DON’T: Over-curate

While many artists also curate, and many curators are also artists, your Instagram account should be about your work, and it should be authentic. This is problematic word in many ways, but I use it in the sense that, no matter how beautiful or perfectly manicured an account might look, it starts to look cliche, or worse, like a brand, if it’s too perfect.Branding on Instagram is an entirely different ballgame. And while in one sense, as an independent artist, you are a little bit of a jack-of-all-trades, and you are ostensibly marketing your work, you don’t want to look like a boutique. You want to look like an artist making art. So be genuine! Some paint-splattered walls are okay. Some pictures of your obnoxious cat are also okay — cats are always okay!

DO: Put yourself in there!

The human element is really important, and there are numerous ways to do this. Share photos of yourself at a gallery opening, images of you at work in the studio, you with your kids or your dog or your pet gerbil, group photos with friends or other artists, and so on… This comes with the caveat that, again, this should be done authentically. “Authenticity” on Instagram may sound like a contradiction in terms, but bear with me. Snapshots of your actually paint-stained hands, or your actually beautifully-lit studio, or your actually awesome exhibition installation views — YES! Images of you (ladies, I’m talking to you)scantily-clad in front of a canvas you’re not actually really painting right now? Not so much. Putting yourself in the image adds a human element, though, and puts a face to your work. If buyers find your work, they’ll know who you are, in a sense. Folks might recognize you at a gallery opening. And you’ll give your gallery an automatic personal twist, because it’s you.

Check out: Jason Revok @_revok_

DO: Share other artwork you love!

Give your friends — and the famous and historic — the love. If you visit a show, or a museum, or another artists’ studio, and you’re inspired by what you see, share it! It’s kind of like seeing another part of your process, but it’s also a genuine way of being a part of an artistic community through this medium.

Check out: Benjamin Cook @benjamincookart

(Video) [FREE] XXXTENTACION x Young Nudy x Playboi Carti type beat

DON’T: Dump your photos

It’s kind of obvious, if not right away then pretty quickly, if you use Instagram to dump a whole bunch of photos of your work, and then ignore it for a couple months — until you have more work. Instagram is a social media platform — so be social! It can take a little bit to warm up to it (I admit it took me a couple of years to really get into it). And while it’s not necessary for you to like or comment on every single post, doing it meaningfully and creating connections — and making your presence known — can go a long way.

DO: Be consistent

Whatever you do, be consistent. One rule of thumb is to post at least once every day. But we’re all busy, and we’re all working on other stuff… like art, duh! But even if you post just a couple of times a week, the important part is to keep up with it.

Check out: Francisco Mendes Moreira @franciscomendesmoreira


Instagram, like all social media platforms, is constantly adding features. You can be more or less business-like (if you use a business account, you can actually get insights into how many people are seeing your content and what they are engaging with most).

You can post quite long videos these days right into your gallery, as well as live videos, which your followers are alerted to when you begin. You also can create stories, which are either still images or short videos — similar to Snapchat — which exist for a short time and can be accessed by anyone for 24 hours. So if you worry about putting a video on your gallery and ruining the “flow,” you can opt for a temporary story instead. Feel like sharing an experience at the moment it’s happening? Opt for a live video.

(Video) Larry Fleet - Where I Find God (feat. Morgan Wallen) (Live)

For a simple platform, there are a lot of ways to make it yours!

Overall, be you.

Do you, your work, and at your pace!

+ + +

Support Young Space!Like what you see? As an independent curatorial platform, this project can use your help!


Is Instagram worth it for artists 2022? ›

Is Instagram worth it for artists in 2022? According to the Hiscox online art trade report 2022, Instagram is still the leading social media for discovering Art and artists. LinkedIn with 26% and TikTok with 10% are growing platforms for art-related purposes among younger art buyers, compared to 22% and 3% in 2020.

What should artists post on Instagram? ›

Now let's dive into the 8 different content ideas for your creative Instagram account!
  • 1) Final Pieces. ...
  • 2) Final Pieces in a Lifestyle Setting. ...
  • 3) Process Shots. ...
  • 4) Studio Shots. ...
  • 5) Time-Lapse Video. ...
  • 6) Voting Between Images. ...
  • 7) Show Your Artwork in a Creative Way. ...
  • 8) Show Yourself.
20 Jan 2022

What should a beginner do on Instagram? ›

Getting Started on Instagram
  1. Sign up for an Instagram account and choose a username that clearly represents your brand.
  2. Add a profile photo, a biography and a link to your website.
  3. Link your account to Facebook and many other third-party sharing sites where you have an account. This will allow you to:

Why are artists leaving Instagram? ›

“I've started going through longer stretches of not posting," says one creator, "because there's really no point if no one can see them.” Instagram famously loves to make unpopular decisions – most of which are eventually reversed due to them being, er, unpopular.

What is the best platform to promote art? ›

We have created a list of 10 social networks for artists to explore in 2022!
  • DeviantArt. Founded in August 2000, DeviantArt is the largest online social network. ...
  • Artstation. ...
  • Renderosity. ...
  • Behance. ...
  • Dribbble. ...
  • Discord. ...
  • Twitch. ...
  • Artist Network.
15 Feb 2022

How often should an artist post on Instagram? ›

CoSchedule found that posting one to two images a day is the sweet spot for Instagram. If you post more than once, remember to mix up what type of content you are sharing with your potential art buyers to keep their attention. And, try to stick to a consistent posting schedule to always stay fresh in their minds.

How do I promote myself as an artist? ›

Here are some key features that will make your portfolio shine—and take your art marketing to the next level.
  1. Use a time-saving website builder. ...
  2. Curate that content. ...
  3. Ace your artist statement and about me page. ...
  4. Start blogging. ...
  5. Sell art online. ...
  6. Attend art exhibitions and fairs. ...
  7. Join artist organizations.
24 Mar 2022

How do you grow as an artist? ›

3 Ways to Assure You Are Always Growing as an Artist
  1. Believe: You've got to have faith in something bigger than what is on your canvas. ...
  2. Eyes on the horizon: Don't chase previous moments of inspiration—Go to the Source. ...
  3. Always improving: Never stop trying to improve your work through study.

How do artists grow their audience? ›

Finding an audience for your art: Top tips
  1. Defining your work and defining your audience.
  2. Stay informed, keep connected.
  3. Be open-minded.
  4. Research.
  5. Let your audience find you.
  6. Make work for yourself.
  7. Concentrate on the work.
  8. Be persistent and determined.

Is social media good for artists? ›

Social media enables artists at all levels and skills to market themselves free of charge. Places like Facebook and Instagram allow artists to share their process, connect with other artists, and develop a following of people who enjoy their work.

Who is the best artist on Instagram? ›

Top 25 art influencers on Instagram
  • Joan Cornellà – the top pick for art influencers on Instagram.
  • KAWS.
  • Banksy.
  • Takashi Murakami.
  • Christoph Neimann.
  • Elena Soboleva.
  • Shepard Fairey.
  • Thierry Guetta.

What are Instagram skills? ›

Here are the ways you can improve your Instagram and get more likes on your posts:
  • Know and understand your target audience.
  • Produce eye-catching graphics.
  • Include call to actions on your captions.
  • Interact with other users by mentioning relevant users on your posts.
  • Utilize geotags and hashtags.
13 Jul 2022

What is the key to success on Instagram? ›

Posting regularly is one of the ingredients on how to be an Instagram success. This requires you to be very active. Ideally, you should be posting a least once a day. If you can post more than that, 2-3 times a day will get you the most reach and engagement, especially to grow your account.

Can you be a successful artist without social media? ›

I believe it is absolutely still possible to have success as a modern-day illustrator, photographer, or painter even without social media. It is what worked for ages and even though times are changing, there are still many artists making a living with their art without wasting their creative energies on social media.

Is Instagram a good platform for artists? ›

Instagram is a great place for artists to sell art. It's no panacea and it certainly doesn't work for all artists and all art, but by using it effectively, you can certainly achieve positive results, not only in terms of increasing your following, but also in terms of showing and selling your work.

Can you be successful without Instagram? ›

Some people may say no, but the truth is that yes, you can. There are a number of ways you can promote your business offline that are still quite effective. In fact, some businesses may actually do much better with these methods than they would with social media.

How do artists get noticed online? ›

  1. Create An Irresistible Online Presence With Your Website. ...
  2. Online Art Market Places And Online Art Galleries. ...
  3. Skyrocket Your Mailing List. ...
  4. Use Your Blog To Build A Buzz Around Your Art. ...
  5. Rock Social Media And Get Your Work Noticed Around The Globe. ...
  6. Get Your Followers To Promote You. ...
  7. Cross-Promote With Other Artists.
8 Sept 2022

How can I promote myself as an artist online? ›

8 Free Ways to Market and Promote Your Art Online
  1. Start a Blog: ...
  2. Join a Social Media Network: ...
  3. Create Your Own Videos: ...
  4. Guest Post on Other Blogs: ...
  5. Join and Participate on Online Forums: ...
  6. Publish Free eBooks: ...
  7. Submit Your Blog Posts to Article Directories: ...
  8. Make Comments on Other Art Blogs:

How do artists get noticed? ›

Most people look for consistently fresh content, and you're there to produce it. Constantly making and sharing your art is a great way to get noticed. What is this? The more people see your name and work, the more they'll be interested in you.

Why is my art Instagram not growing? ›

Your problem might be as simple as posting at the wrong time of the day. Scheduling your posts in the AM or the day before with apps like CoSchedule (what I use), Plann, Hootsuite or Later can help solve this problem.

How do you grow your art on Instagram 2022? ›

Use good hashtags (IG Insights will tell you how many Likes came from your hashtags), write good captions, and comment/like on other people's accounts. Another way is to pay for the service that would help grow your followers.

How do small artists get noticed? ›

5 Ways For A Small Band To Get Noticed
  1. Play as many gigs as is humanly possible. The gig is the small band's ultimate marketing tool. ...
  2. Use social media. Social media has completely changed our ability to promote ourselves. ...
  3. Don't waste money. ...
  4. Broaden your horizons.

How do artists grow fanbase? ›

5 Ways to Promote Your Tracks and Grow your Fanbase as an Artist or Manager
  1. Use Social Media the Right Way. Having an active presence on social media in the digital age is extremely important when it comes to marketing music. ...
  2. Network in the Real World. ...
  3. Collaborate with Other Artists. ...
  4. Send Demos. ...
  5. Music Education.
3 Nov 2022

What makes a great artist? ›

Good artists turn that energy into something beautiful. They use it to fuel their creativity and make work that resonates with others. Anyone can be an artist, but you can recognize a great artist by how their work makes others feel. Art at its core should make you feel something.

How do small artists grow? ›

  1. Sit Down and Define Your Own Version of Success: ...
  2. Learn the Fundamentals First (or if you've already started, revisit them often): ...
  3. Don't worry about being Original. ...
  4. Draw/paint From Life as Often as Possible: ...
  5. Never Stop Drawing: ...
  6. Never Stop Looking: ...
  7. Listen to artists that are better than you talk about their experiences:
15 Apr 2018

How can I become a good artist fast? ›

How to Become a Better Artist
  1. Step 1: Start With Sketches. Begin with the basics. ...
  2. Step 2: Get Some Good Pencils. Pick out a wide selection of drawing pencils. ...
  3. Step 3: Selecting Paper. ...
  4. Step 4: Observe, Observe, Observe. ...
  5. Step 5: Watch Films. ...
  6. Step 6: Look at Silhouettes. ...
  7. Step 7: Examine Other Peoples' Art. ...
  8. Step 8: Keep Observing.

What kind of posts go viral on Instagram? ›

Focus on Photos Over Videos

But the truth is that photo content on Instagram gets 36% more engagement than video. So if you want to create a piece of super viral content, you're likely better off sticking to images rather than video to get the best results.

What kind of pictures go viral on Instagram? ›

These are posts that spoke to their audience and reached people outside their audience by likely showing up on the explore page. If you are in the same niche and have a similar following, chances are that a similar post would perform for you as well and could go viral on Instagram.

What should I be careful of on Instagram? ›

Tips for Staying Safe on Instagram
  1. Use two-factor authentication to log in to Instagram safely. ...
  2. Choose who sees your posts with a private account. ...
  3. Block anyone you don't want to see your posts. ...
  4. Control the comments you want to see. ...
  5. Pick a strong password and keep it safe.
6 Jun 2017

What you shouldnt post on Instagram? ›

11 Things Not to Do on Instagram
  • 2) Don't tag 20 accounts in a photo.
  • 3) Don't post and run.
  • 4) Don't post so many stories that the lines at the top turn into tiny dots.
  • 5) Don't use stock photos.
  • 6) Don't repost someone's photo or art without crediting.
22 Jan 2020

What should I know before using Instagram? ›

10 Things You Need to Do When Getting Started on Instagram
  1. Download the app.
  2. Choose a recognizable username.
  3. Update your profile.
  4. Add a recognizable profile picture.
  5. Research.
  6. Post your first photo.
  7. Setting up your location.
  8. Tell people you're on Instagram.
30 Aug 2022

What is proper Instagram etiquette? ›

Don't: use other's content without giving proper credit. Don't: post too often. Don't: obsess over getting new followers. Don't: follow and unfollow. Don't: use hashtags that attract spammers.

How do you protect yourself on Instagram? ›

Security Tips
  1. Pick a strong password. ...
  2. Change your password regularly, especially if you see a message from Instagram asking you to do so. ...
  3. Turn on two-factor authentication for additional account security.
  4. Make sure your email account is secure. ...
  5. Download your data.

What should my Instagram name be? ›

Avoid using too many extra characters in your Instagram username, or any at all. Try to keep Instagram usernames as simple as possible. Avoid using dots, underscores, or numbers unless required. The perfect Instagram username is a single word with no special characters.

How can I increase my followers in Instagram? ›

10 Ways to increase Instagram followers
  1. Optimize your Instagram account. ...
  2. Keep a consistent content calendar. ...
  3. Schedule Instagram posts in advance. ...
  4. Avoid fake Instagram followers. ...
  5. Showcase your Instagram everywhere. ...
  6. Post content followers want. ...
  7. Get the conversation started. ...
  8. Find hashtags that convert.
23 Jun 2017

What to avoid in posting? ›

Avoid these post types in your approach.
  • Overly promotional content. ...
  • Political or religious content. ...
  • Irrelevant viral posts. ...
  • Negative or derogatory content. ...
  • Posts with spelling or grammatical errors. ...
  • Brand-inconsistent content. ...
  • The same message across social networks. ...
  • Unaccredited content.
16 Jul 2019

How many Instagram likes is good? ›

How Many Likes Should I Be Getting on Instagram if I Have 500 Followers? Our experience shows that a good indicator for the accounts with up to 10k followers is 10-20% of the total number of followers. That is, for an account with 500 followers, a good indicator is 50 or more likes.

Should I post everyday Instagram? ›

Is How Often You Post on Instagram Important? Yes. In terms of how often should you post on Instagram, frequency is everything. By posting at least once a day, you're showing your followers that you're dedicated to your account, and also have a lot of interesting things to show them.

What is the most important thing on Instagram? ›

  • #1: Reach. When it comes to monitoring your brand's performance on Instagram, reach is one of the most important metrics to take into account. ...
  • #2: Sales. ...
  • #3: Engagement Rate. ...
  • #4: Instagram Stories Views. ...
  • #5: Instagram Reels Engagement. ...
  • #6: Best Time to Post. ...
  • #7: Growth. ...
  • #8: Traffic.
10 Dec 2021

What are the 3 features of Instagram? ›

  • Features.
  • Reels.
  • Stories.
  • Video.
  • Shopping.

What should your first Instagram Post say? ›

Your first Instagram post is your chance to tell your audience who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you. It's a great opportunity to give your followers some background on your new business and how you can help solve a problem or pain point they have.


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