Instagram – why it’s good for artists like me; and my fave Instagram artists

Here’s a post about my love of social network Instagram, and why I think it’s the bees knees for visual thinkers and artists. Also, at the end I recommend some cool people to follow, whose pictures I really enjoy.

Instagram is my favourite way on social media to find out about new artists. It’s the natural place for artists to show off – not only photos of art work, but photos of the artist’s lifestyle (where they go, who they see), and behind the scenes views in the studio.

Sunset through my bedroom window blinds #sunset #shadow #stripes #TalR #posters #bedroom #pink

A post shared by Helen Dryden (@helen_dryden) on

I have found loads of artists I enjoy following, who I would never have heard of through other means. As there is no gatekeeper of taste, you can find stuff that isn’t in journals, museums or galleries. Or if it is in a gallery – it’s probably a gallery you’ve never heard of before. It’s so exciting!

I guess this is true of the internet/social media generally, but what makes Instagram different from twitter or Facebook (my other faves) is the fact that it is image based, and so it is a real pleasure to scroll through the feed. I find twitter a strain, as it is text heavy, and looking through it can be tedious. The sheer volume of information on twitter and Facebook can make checking your notifications feel like an admin job sometimes.

So far, I’ve not got fed up with Instagram. Perhaps I find it so interesting because people seem to edit their images and only post what they think will have impact. Plus, I am selective about who I follow, so only follow those who I like the most, (or people I know – but only if they post good pictures. Or else I’ll follow them on Facebook).

I use Facebook mainly for my personal relationships. Instagram is a place where I can post my photos of my artwork without worrying that I’m boring my friends, who aren’t necessarily into my art. Facebook is where you’ll find my holiday snaps and pictures of my family. If you want to see my photography and paintings, then head to Instagram. Though, inevitably, there’s some overlap….

I’ve been told that curators often curate using Instagram, but that they wouldn’t admit it! Ha ha! Also, people make sales directly this way, which is very exciting, as it means that an artist can post a photo of their latest work, and it can be bought straight away. There are of course a lot of gallery sites dedicated to selling art online, but I’m guessing it’s a thrill for the collector to buy something that has just been finished that very moment, and hasn’t made its way onto the gallery site yet.

It’s easy to find cool people to follow on Instagram, and as you start liking stuff, the clever algorithms will start recommending similar things. Or you can go off piste and use hashtags to look for specific things.

But in case you are new to all this, or just in case you are looking for new people to follow….

Here are my current faves:

Obviously, the first account I’m going to refer you to is my own!

Next, my favourites: They aren’t necessarily ‘undiscovered’ artists. They are pretty successful, a lot of them. But the only reason I’ve heard of them is cause of Instagram – I’m now a tad more informed about what’s happening out there. Cheers, Instagram!

Misaki Kawai

Guy Yanai


Darby Milbrath

Joakim Ojanen

Amir H Fallah

Eric Firestone

Miranda Skoczek

Gabriel Luis Perez

They’re all artists/gallery folks, but the last one is my chum Nicola Chapman who posts a punk rock mom feed. And her photo of her sunburned butt inspired one of my most recent paintings!

by Helen Dryden –


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