As I mentioned at the end of my previous blog post, I now need to focus my attentions on the visuals of my instagram account, and the image that I want to create when sharing my work online. Up until now, it hasn’t been particularly curated, and I want to change this, starting by investigating these four accounts:
@polina.bright has the biggest following of the following four accounts, with 1.2 million followers. Their artworks are largely stylised pencil and watercolour portraits of women and animals. The style and image of their instagram account fits with their works, as the images are all pale in tone, generally with a white background (due to the colour of the paper) and pastel or pale colours, which, although there doesn’t seem to be a particular system to it, all work together in harmony, creating one cohesive theme. The profile photo is a photo of the artist, which clearly shows who the account is run by – and appeals to the algorithm, which promotes photos of faces over that of other content). The highlights don’t have any particular covers to them either – they just showcase the artworks. This is quite a simple, and low maintenance design, which seems easy to replicate – although the photography would have to be quite exact and precise in order to capture the works at their best for the platform.
Sofie is an artist who I have previously had some contact with, and whose work I am keen to showcase here, due to it’s use of my favoured medium (coloured pencil), but because of the very clear design of the page. Sofie also has a large following, of 38,300 followers, which is probably due to a combination of the very defined visual style, and their skill. All of the posts on their account follow the same visual formula: a photograph of the drawing – either finished or in process – against a quilted white background, with the pencils used in the drawing process arranged around the edge of the frame. This style is very bold, but clearly showcases the medium alongside the work, and the points of the pencils also aid in focusing the audience’s attention on the subject of the work, by acting as arrows or lines of focus. Although this may not work for all of my works, due to the variety of media that I use, this is a style that I would be interested in experimenting with and possibly investigating via other means. The profile photo is a cropped image of one of the artworks, which instantly provides the viewer with an idea of the style of work this artist works with, as well as providing more publicity for the work. The highlights have no covers – which is not something that I would repeat on my account, as it doesn’t look as neat as it otherwise might.
@francescaapage is an artist who I have followed on instagram for a while now. Her incredible watercolour and gouache paintings of marine life have enchanted me, and her work within the scientific illustration community creates a direct link between her works and my own. Although less structured than either the @sofieart_ or @polina.bright accounts, her instagram draws the audience with her use of vibrant imagery and the maintenance of a distinct theme: underwater life. The colours and imagery used all reflect the theme of her work, and showcase it effectively and successfully, whilst often only showing fragments of works as the main slide, which draws the viewer in. Showing details of the work also allows the audience to appreciate the effort that has been put into the piece. Again, the profile photo is a photograph of the artist, although in this photo the artist is standing in front of her works, which incorporates both the algorithm’s love of images of people, with the fact that this is an account to showcase art. The highlights have no covers.
@cj_hendry account is also one which I have been following for a while, again, due to their use of coloured pencils in their work. Like @francescaapage, @cj_hendry also uses details of their works in order to draw the viewer in, but they also show their works from a distance, in order to provide a sense of scale, which also provides gravitas to the works – as seeing them in a situational view makes the works yet more impressive and arresting. Much like @polina.bright, @cj_hendry uses a pretty simple formula of photographs of the works against white or pale backgrounds, which really highlights the intricacy and detail that is exhibited there. The profile photo is an image of one of the artist’s works, which sits perfectly within the circle and creates a very bold, strong advert for the style of art which will be displayed here. The highlights have no covers.
These four accounts are extremely successful in the ways that they display and exhibit their art online, and I definitely want to do the same when I remodel my account. These are the main points that I have taken away from these accounts, and which I will endeavour to emulate in mine:
- Photograph the works against pale backgrounds to highlight the works themselves.
- Experiment with photographing the medium alongside the work, or using the medium as a photographic tool in order to focus the viewer’s attention.
- Put covers on the highlights.
- The profile photo should reflect the art you create as a whole, to be of yourself – clearly showing the viewer either who you are, or what your work is like.
- Try showing details of the work on the first slide and then putting the full work behind that. This creates more interest in the work and forces the viewer to spend more time on your post.
- Situational or gallery views can be very effective with certain works or styles of work (large scale, or multiple, related works in one space).