What’s a great way to build an art insta – im trying but it just doesn’t seem to increase ?Question from hasanmjmemary
This is such a common question from younger artists. This artist has been kind enough to volunteer their instagram page for critique so we can see why they’re struggling to grow.
The biggest problem most artists have is that they’re putting the cart before the horse. In other words, you’re doing it backwards. You’re worrying about building a following for a skill you’ve not fully developed yet. That’s not to say you’re not going to be amazing, and in this case I can see they will be.
Let’s start with what I like. First, I love the mission statement “Art to inspire”. That’s awesome! It gives you a goal. You’ve posted reference photos for artists, so you’re sharing something helpful, you’re showing your own work! That’s great!
Ok, so why are you not growing?
- You’ve been posting for all of 5 minutes.
- You’re still at the beginner stages of your art journey. Just wait till you see how awesome your work looks in 5 years, I can tell you will get there with the right amount of work!
- Your reference photos/photography is also in the beginning stages skill wise.
- You’re essentially putting in 15 min of work and expecting the payout of a 60 hour work week.
Let’s break these down.
You’ve been posting for all of 5 minutes.
You’ve been on instagram for 3 months with a grand total of 29 posts. It can take YEARS of quality posts to build a following. You’re using irrelevant hashtags like “graphitetracing”. Do some research on the hashtags you use. They need to be both relevant to your content AND something someone else would search. There are all of TWO posts on instagram with that hashtag.
You’re still at the beginner stages of your art journey. Just wait till you see how awesome your work looks in 5 years, I can tell you will get there with the right amount of work!
I love that you’re getting the hang of instagram now and posting while you’re learning to paint and draw. I don’t want you to stop doing that. I do want you to be realistic though about your growth. I don’t say this to discourage you, but quite the opposite. If I don’t say it and you don’t understand why you’re not growing, many give up from that. Think of the accounts you follow. What value do they provide you? Is their work really advanced and you like to look at it for inspiration? Are they offering their professional artist advice that will help you to grow? Are they showing the tools they use that you might be interested in using too? Are they selling paintings or prints that you would gladly hand over money to own?
When we’re beginners, our content is not likely doing any of those things. Our content when we’re beginners is fun for our friends and family to see, but strangers don’t have a reason YET to follow.
Our reference photos/photography is also in the beginning stages skill wise.
I love this aspect of your instagram. You’re offering something to other artists and it sticks to your mission statement of “art to inspire”. Photography is just like any other medium in art. It’s going to take time and practice to get good at it. In your case, your backgrounds aren’t staged and your subjects are all lopsided. Straighten out your photos. You have stuff cropped out of the photo that shouldn’t be. If setting up still lifes for photography is something you really want to offer, just like your art, you need to study and improve. It’s a great idea though!
You’re essentially putting in 15 min of work and expecting the payout of a 60 hour work week.
This is the big one. You just started but you want the reward (followers and views) of those who put in a LOT more work than you have. You need to spend more time on perfecting your art. Quick sketches and hour long projects aren’t going to get you followers. Coloring kids coloring pages isn’t going to get you followers. Those who turn coloring pages into high views are doing more than just coloring, they’re totally changing them into something else. Quick still life shots aren’t going to get you views. Random hashtags you’ve not researched won’t get you views.
You’ve got potential! I’m excited to see where you take these ideas when you combine them with more experience! I can see you’re art will be amazing in time. Now you need to level up your skills and keep posting. It’s going to likely take years before you get to the same level as many of the artists you likely follow. Remember none of them got to where they are overnight either. Keep sharing your work on instagram to better learn hashtags, but if you expect to compete right now with artists who have spent 2o years mastering their craft, you’re going to be really disappointed and I would hate to see someone with your potential give up because you had unrealistic expectations.