If you haven’t already picked up Instagram are kinda curious but don’t know where to get started.
Here is a brief run down on what, why and how to do Instagram.
What is Instagram?
The definition on Wikipedia is:
Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
This is a pretty good definition in my opinion but in other words you take photos then you share them through the instagram app. Other instagram users can find your photos but the photos can also be spread out to other areas like facebook, twitter etc.
Why use Instagram?
There are a few of my reasons why instagram is good for artists:
- If you are marketing your art, you will be wanting to get your art out to many people rather than having it sit in your studio waiting to be seen. By posting your art “out there” you will be sending it to the people on instagram who follow you, but also if you add hashtags to your photo it will also go out to other people. Anyone who looks up a hastag that you have used will find your post so you can reach some people or groups of people who might not already be a fan of your work. Some of these people might not use facebook (or follow your website, twitter etc) so its a good way to get in touch with new people or target groups of people. There are businesses who post or follow trends on instagram there is a huge scope to tap into areas that are not currently used. Its also a great way to connect with these people instantly. Its on their phones afterall.
- By using hashtags you can target areas specific to you to get to these people so this might be in subject matter ie. #portraits, #colouredpencils but it can also be in location so eg. i live on the central coast nsw i will often hastag #centralcoast #centralcoastnsw so that means that if anyone is looking for other people in my area or artists in my local area my posts will come up and i can connect with these people. So its quite effective in a way thats different to others forms of social media.
- Obviously it is visual ie. it uses photos, so unlike twitter your not limited by characters, you can post your work in photos, and it gets your message across instantly but the benefit is that you can also include text as well. It’s generally a good idea to post lots of your artwork with some good hashtags but a few photos about YOU as the artist is a good idea as well so people can find a connection with you as the artist or like i mentioned above your local area. Unlike twitter and facebook Instagram is not limited by the number of hastags you have in your post so its great in that regard. You can also post a hashtag later and it will get picked up or you can tag a friend if you want them to see a photo that you have just seen.
- Probably one of the most crucial ones for me is that its quick and easy, i am constantly taking photos on my phone to capture the moment particularly in class. I can take a photo write a quick message and upload it pretty quickly whilst on the go. I don’t need to be at my computer and write a big long post if i had to wait until that happened i would rarely post anything. You can also set it to pull your instagram photos and post automatically to your blog if you wish and I do that myself on my own blog at www.creativehardt.com.au/blog)
Now to the how…
Like with any new “thing” to learn I always find the best thing to do is jump in and do it. Don’t be scared!
Don’t be too overwhelmed by trying to learn all the ins and outs to start with, that will come once you familiarise yourself with it, just do it a few times a week for a little while to see if you can work it into your weekly schedule. Again its about connecting to other people, not whether you necessarily enjoy it yourself, if you really want to get your art out there.
Steps to getting started:
- Start by downloading the app and signing up for an account on your phone.
- Try posting a few pics either from photos you have on your phone or take a new photo. Instagram has some great filters that can make your photos look better but you don’t have to use these if its of artwork i often will post with no filter.
- Use the search button (magnifying icon) to find people “users” you know and follow them. Users start with at @ symbol try searching for “@auscp” – oh that’s us 🙂 Also see our list of Australian Coloured Pencil Artists using instagram at the bottom of this post.
- When you post your photo type a small message and try adding a couple of hashtags the good thing is once you have added the hashtags once you don’t have to type them in everytime they should come up automatically that you can paste in through autocorrect .. or you can have text file you can copy and paste your common ones when you get more advanced.
- HASHTAGs to try are : #auscp, #colouredpencils, #australianartist, #drawing, #pencils
As a pencil artist if you use the hast tag #auscp your photos will be grabbed and automatically collected with other Australian Coloured Pencil artists who use this hashtag and your photos / artwork is automatically displayed on this site, its a neat way of people being able to find you and you finding everyone else.
- Next step is (maybe you do this a bit later if you feeling a bit overwhelmed) search on “hashtags” or “users” that interest you and start to follow them, then everytime you log into instagram you will be able to see your selection of photos from people that you follow.
- TIP for advanced users: A really good tool for you to view your instagram posts on your computer is http://iconosquare.com. You can’t post photos to your account from there but you can comment and view and do hastag research, it an easier way to manage your account if you are on your computer.
Australian Coloured Pencil Artist Instagram Users
(please send me your details if your not on this list)
Australian Coloured Pencil network – @auscp #auscp
Belinda Lindhardt – @bellind
Karen Hull – @karenhullart
Julie Podstolsk – @juliepodstolski
Michelle Ripari – @artmripari
Susan E. Robjant – @susanerobjant.art
Jennifer Ridge-Cooke – @jmridgecookeart
Robyn Jean Grace Garnet –@robyngarnet
I hope this helps, please leave any questions below.