Why on Earth Should Artists be on Instagram?

You are? Good for you!
No? You may have your reasons.
Whatever the situation, you should understand why the platform is really a gift for artists. And it’s easily the best use of time and energy on social media. Instagram is for Artists!

If you’re on the fence, let’s figure why you should have a profile on Instagram. At the very least it can be a simple and enjoyable way to create a following for your work and engage in the world of artists. It doesn’t have to be perfectly polished to be effective. It could even turn out to be the one thing that keeps you motivated to create.

Here are 10 reasons why it can be a good thing to be on Instagram. A few minutes spent scrolling, liking, and commenting could actually lead to your next sale, a new collector or an exposure opportunity! 

And by the way, this is ONE good reason to have a good smartphone. Instagram is an app designed to use on your phone; a smartphone. I know this seems to overstate the obvious, but we’ve met some folk out there still using flip phones…

Instagram For Artists

1. Share Your Story

Use the platform to share your inspiration, your tools & your process.

People want to know about you. It seems that we connect more with content that has a human touch than to accounts that look manicured. Thank goodness! Bear that in mind to take the pressure off when creating your posts.

Show your art and studio progress along with anything that inspires your life. Share your challenges, your interactions with other artists, your proud moments and finished pieces. Your journey as an artist is valuable to others who hope to follow a similar path.

2. Anyone Can Use Instagram. It’s Easy.

You do not need to know technology.

I’d say the only special skill required in using Instagram is to have an aesthetic eye, which is why it is natural for artists. And as I said before, you absolutely need a good smartphone. Don’t worry too much about hashtags or filters. For hashtags, you do need some, but use a few that are relevant to your subject matter or niche; they can be really effective. Hashtags are used when searching for posts on a particular subject. Currently, (things change over time on social media) use tags that pertain to your work. For example, if you’re a plein air painter include #pleinairpainter #landscapeartist #oilpainting or #watercolors #originalart. Then users searching for those terms can find you. You get the idea?

As for Instagram’s inbuilt photo filters; don’t use them on artwork – your paintings and drawings should be kept as close to the originals as possible. But on other photos, use them if you like, but even here, people like to see life that is beautiful – unfiltered, so the focus can be on letting your quality of work shine through! And of course, then you can use the hashtag #nofilter


3. Motivation.

Instagram can motivate you.

By sharing your finished work as well as your painting progress there’s a kind of accountability, you could find yourself more motivated to post frequently. This activity can rev up your own creativity and you’ll notice that you have inspirational things to share and life is generally more interesting.


4. Sell Art.

Connect with potential buyers.

Interact with interested buyers directly by answering questions and engaging in their comments. You can always take the conversation to DM (direct message on the app). Quick communication and friendly customer service is a big factor in closing a sale. Being available and attentive to respond genuinely and immediately helps push an interested buyer to take the leap. 


5. Show the World your Art.

Instagram is an international market at your fingertips. 

The reach potential is huge! Instagram has over a billion users – yes a billion. Instagram is one of the most effective advertising channels for aesthetic products. By uploading your work onto the biggest visual platform in existence without paid advertising, you can get your art in front of a massive audience of interested people!


6. Connect with your people.

Network with like-minded individuals.

How do you find your community and accounts to follow? The “explore or search” section of Instagram does this work for you! If you go under this section on your app, you will find posts related to those types you engage with the most. By your activity of liking and commenting, Instagram will match and serve up posts in this “explore or search” area by individuals, collectors, art communities and related fields of interest. TIP: don’t just follow artists, follow those you would want to engage with as they have similar interests, taste or disposable income for art.

7. Inspiration.

Freshen up your perspective.

Instagram is a great way to stay up to date with new art, new ideas and a fresh perspective. What are your friends and contemporaries doing? By seeing the brightest and best, or the types of art that take your breath away, usually fills us with awe, inspires us to try something new and improve our skills. This helps keep your attitude and focus fresh and gives you a current take on what’s happening in the world of art. Expand your view beyond your local area. 


8. Opportunities.

Find events, trips and opportunities for you!

They say good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, and add to that, being in the right place at the right time. Instagram is definitely the place to be. It’s where like-minded users find each other.  The algorithm is your friend. By natural engagement with the posts and types of accounts that interest you, your feed should contain a good number of relevant posts from your art community announcing shows, calls to artists and social events that you will be glad to see in time! There’s a lot happening out there.

9. Instagram is your social business card.

It is social and professional proof.

Did you know that galleries are actively looking for new artists on Instagram? They check your “social”, meaning they are looking at your Instagram account. Collectors love to scroll through streams of available art. Your Instagram is the ideal platform to showcase who you are and the work you do. Let art lovers contact you through the app with messages, and don’t forget to check your messages!.  Add your website to your profile so they can reach you. 

10. Share the Love.

This is how you grow your tribe.

By just interacting with others your following will grow. When you comment, share, tag, and like your fellow artists’ posts or on any other account, Instagram will boost their rankings, so more people will see them and they gain more attention – and they will do the same for you! It’s a win-win.

So here are ten good reasons to get on Instagram today. Instagram may disappear and become replaced in time. But for now, it’s a gift for artists and is a powerful social app for creative people.

Once you’re on it, how do you get those followers? What should you post and how often? And is Instagram really instant? Well, those are good questions and we will answer them in future posts.

We are on Instagram. We have guests from across the globe and we ask them where did you discover Workshops In France? More and more frequently the answer is Instagram. Follow our WorkshopsInFrance Instagram account. We also promote our guests’ artwork on our other ArtWorkshopsInFrance account. If you have been on one of our adventures and would like us to show your work, don’t forget to use the hashtag #artwif so we can find and post your art!

The Lost Impressionist.

By the way, if you are interested in this portrait of Vincent van Gogh (sans cell phone), do you know the artist who painted it? He’s known as the Lost Impressionist. He wasn’t lost during his life. Far from it, he was at the center of the Parisien art world when the giants of Impressionism were making their beautiful art. He was well-connected to the most famous creators of the time; Rodin, Monet, Matisse, Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec and of course Van Gogh. His name was John Peter Russell, an ex-boxing champion from Australia, a painter who was well known to the artists of his time. You can learn more  – jump to our blog post: Discovering John Peter Russell, The Lost Impressionist

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You can read about our other cool tips for artists, we have informative blog posts such as Hacking Instagram’s Hashtags to help you get noticed on the platform. Advice for mastering your phone’s camera is here, 5 Tricks to Take Better Smartphone Pictures, and our review of the phone app; Art Tools App for Plein Air Painting takes you through the phone app that will save you time when painting in the field.

 Blogger: Julie Snyder

Julie Snyder is a professional artist and also the programs director of Workshops In France.  A native of Scotland, she is a seasoned traveler who splits her time between California and France.  You can learn more about her role with Workshops in France here.

Shirley Hambrick artist

Check out more blogs about art workshops, tips and hacks for artists traveling in France and Scotland.

Sargent And Spain Exhibition Delights

Sargent And Spain Exhibition Delights

Being a frequent traveler, arguably his genius was the ability to capture the light of the Mediterranean. In this collection, you can see that particular Spanish light. It’s similar to the Mediterranean light we encounter in Provence and Tuscany. The take-away from this show is the inspiration and invigoration that comes from travel can ignite any artist and when you are Sargent, the world will look upon the pieces for generations to come.

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