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Top 10 tips for Instagram for artists

Top 10 tips for Instagram for artists

Art directors (and agents!) are increasingly finding fresh work and discovering new artists via Instagram, as well as using it to look for artists to commission for jobs. Showing your art can be a fantastic way to get noticed, build a following, and land paying illustration jobs.

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The Make Art That Sells Instagram feed shows off tons of gorgeous student artwork, plus it’s a fab place to hear about our sales, freebies and giveaways – give us a follow!

It’s an easy interface to work with, and anyone can do it. Here are 10 top tips and pointers from the Make Art That Sells team:

1. Make sure people can find you! Consider using your or your studio’s name as your Instagram account name. If your Instagram is very different from your name, think about including both when signing your work to make it as easy as possible to find you.

2. Give a clear explanation of who you are and what you’re doing in your profile, and include your email address or link to your website or online shop.

Instagram has recently given some accounts the ability to add more than one link. If you can still only include one link in your bio (we feel you!) then think carefully about whether you want to use it to link to an external page with several links or directly to your own website where you can then share more links.

Sirjana Kaur MTP prep 1

Make Art That Sells student Sirjana Kaur created this art for a free #MATSprep assignment for My Toy Pitch. She shared it on Instagram, where it was spotted by Cartoon Network, who then asked her to do some freelance character design.

3. Be creative with your photos of your artwork as well as simply sharing your art. Give them context and a setting by showing them next to your art supplies or in your studio or wherever else you’re working.

4. Reels – short films – are huge right now! Film a short video of you at work, a selection of artwork or a timelapse video of art in progress and the actual product.

5. Share pictures of your studio, work space or bits of inspiration throughout your day.

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Photo and art by Make Art That Sells student and Global Talent Search Winner 2015, Katie Vernon, who is now represented by Lilla Rogers.

6. Post seasonal content. Have fun doing a countdown to holidays using relevant images.

7. Large global art projects like the #100DayProject, #FolktaleWeek and #InkTober are a great way to find other like-minded people and to get in front of a bigger audience.

Claudia Marianno RBH Melanin Pride 2

Make Art That Sells student Claudia Marianno got her first international children’s book illustration job after an author saw the art she created for our FREE art history class, Redrawing Black History, on Instagram. (Claudia’s art, left, and her front cover, right.)

8. #Hashtags should be relevant and clear. Art directors use hashtags to find style, media, subject matter and categories (such as children’s book illustrations). Do your homework and see what other artists are using. Use a little humor. Don’t be too general. Consider #CapitalizingEachWord (known as Pascal Case or Title Case) to make it more accessible for people using screen readers.

9. Post with consistency and regularity. Schedule the time into your weekly calendar and stick to it. While you may find certain times of the day or week are ideal to post, remember Instagram is worldwide and it’s always a peak time somewhere.

10. Engage your audience when you post. If you’ve done two different colorways of a design, post both and ask them which they like best and to reply in the comments portion.

Brian Lambert 1

Make Art That Sells student Brian Lambert was offered an illustration gig after a publisher spotted this character from art he created for Assignment Bootcamp: Portfolio on his Instagram account. He is also now represented by Lilla Rogers Studio.

And lastly, have fun with it! This is an enjoyable way to share your work, connect with other artists and to get your work directly in front of art directors, publishers, editors and other potential clients.

Did we miss anything? What’s your best Instagram tip? Head over to our Instagram here and add your comments – and give us a cheeky follow too.

Lots of love

The Make Art That Sells team xxx

P.S. Did you know we’re also on YouTube and Tiktok? Come give us a follow!

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