10 top reasons for artists to be on Instagram

Why every contemporary artist should be on Instagram ( 2022)

The reason why 21st-century contemporary art should be on Instagram is that you can permanently show insights into your artistic practice.

Instagram is all about seeing and being seen.

You get visibility and reach for your valuable works of art, new target groups from art lovers and art collectors. You can explore different art styles and especially discover new fans and like-minded people in the art movement.

Instagram is one of the leading social media platforms for artists, art, and creative people.

80 Million posts, shares, and 40 billons images/media are stored on the social media platform.

contemporary artists on instagram today
Artists in digital transition | Image credit @pic jumbo.com

The Artist in digital transition:

A common question I get asked on social media and from artists I’m working with is: do I need an Instagram account as an artist and why is it important?

In this article I’m going to answer and say YES, it is important, followed by 10 reasons why.

10 reasons why artists need an Instagram account

1. Gives you initial exposure

Instagram gives you exposure. Especially when you’re just starting out, Instagram is a great platform to show people that you exist.

door opener for artists instagram, kurt cobain
Instagram your door to enter the art world | Image credit @ credit Omkar Patyane

2. Increasing exposure online can get you noticed by galleries

Not everyone is based in one of the major art world cities and can stroll into a central London gallery and make an in-person introduction with the gallerist.
With Instagram, you can tap into the global art world network and let the galleries come to you by becoming discoverable.

visibility on the web, globally
Anyone searching can find you! | Image credit @Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

3. Shows credibility and trust

Whether galleries discover you through Instagram or they find your work through an exhibition you’ve taken part in, galleries generally today WILL look you up online to see what you’re about. 

And one thing galleries look out for when they Google you is how you appear on Instagram.

online exposure for artists, credibility, reach
Forming bonds of trust | Image credit @ Tim Samuel

4. Demonstrates social proof

Ever heard of the expression “it’s not what you know but who you know”?

Having an Instagram account can demonstrate “social proof” meaning that people can see who you’re associated with already; which galleries or artists are liking, commenting, and interacting with your posts.

munchies art clu, support artists
Thumbs up from your community | Image credit @ Kevin Malik

5. There’s limitless reach...

Think about it.
With Instagram, you can tap into not only your local art world but the entire global art world network.

Your work is no longer bound by the city you are based in, nor the small village you may live in.

Your work is accessible from anywhere in the world with limitless potential outbound and inbound reach.

limitless global reach, exhibitions, art scene
No limit to the reach you can achieve | Image credit @ Daria Shevtsova

6. You are in control

You can be the creator AND the curator; you can decide how you appear on Instagram.

You can take the reigns into your own hands.

You get to choose what and when to share your work, be it in your studio, works in progress or finished pieces in a show.

You can essentially control your own market and that globally.

easy guide to using intagram
Don't worry you got this | Image credit @ sum+it

7. It’s a portal for opportunity

Being present on Instagram allows you to tap into a multitude of networks, art specific and beyond.

Not only does this allow for outbound reach, but this also opens portals for inbound reach from big brands and businesses who are looking for artists to work with.

Many artists are approached through Instagram for collaborations and partnerships with others inside and outside of the art world.
instagram door opener for all contemporary artists
With just a little bit of research you can turn Instagram to your portal to the global art world | Image credit @ Julia M Cameron

8. Connecting with other artists and high-profile individuals, Building relationships and trust

Connecting with others on Instagram allows for building trust, which is essential when building relationships.

Instagram stories allow you to share intimate moments with your followers, which will lead them to feel connected to you and a connection with your work.

ig the great connector, achievement
Reach out and connect with the like-minded | Image credit @ Nothing ahead

9. Boosts confidence

For artists who are no longer in art school and connected to a university network, gaining feedback from your contemporaries can encourage motivation and help drive momentum.

Receiving critical feedback can be constructive and can boost your confidence; it’s reassuring to hear that people like and appreciate the work that you are creating.

my way or the highway, take control
You can be your own boss and chose who you want to connect with | Image credit @ Ron Lach

10. It’s a great tool to sell art

An increasing number of artists are selling works directly through Instagram and bypassing the gallery selling method.

Artists no longer need to wait for the next exhibition to sell and present their work.

On Instagram they can directly access collectors and galleries globally all year round.

artists, support, emerging, visibility
Invest in yourself beyond the canvas | Image credit @ Bret Sayles

Instagram is an essential tool for artists in the current time we are in but being on Instagram is just 1 part of the equation.

If you don’t know how to use it properly you wont get the much out of it.

Having an account and not doing much is just as good as not having one.

So take the initiative and learn a bit more on how to optimise your account so that those algorithms start working for you.

Last bit of advice

Write a bio – tell people you are an artist, list any current or upcoming exhibitions here as it will be the first thing people see. And don’t forget to include a link to your website.

Post only high quality images and consistently.

Combine posting occasional images of your work with images of what you’re influenced by: books you might be reading, other artists’ works etc.

Be social!

Follow galleries and other artists, like and comment on their posts.

Instagram’s algorithm responds positively to users engaging with other users.

BONUS TIP: Tell your followers that your works are for sale (providing that they are!); Never assume people know they are for sale.

AND if someone DM’s you, enquiring about an artwork, respond to them as soon as possible, common courtesy and of course to avoid losing a sale.