I am no expert when it comes to Instagram, but I am slowly but surely finding my feet in this great platform that is ideal for artists and other creatives.
Instagram offers great opportunities for exposure, networking, and just finding staggering inspiration from some of the world’s best contemporary artists.

Feel free to check out my Instagram Profile @LieselArt and I would love to hear feedback if you have any additional tips or advice.

Instagram Do’s

Instagram Artist Tips Dos


Make sure your images are sharp and have good quality contrast and lighting. Posting bad quality images are going to hurt your “Brand” more than you think.

There are over a 1000 Instagram Art Accounts that might feature your artwork. Search and find those that works well with the type of art you create and follow their procedures for a possible feature. Some might be easy like adding a specific hashtag in your posts. Others you might have to email or DM.

Another good strategy is to collaborate with other Instagrammers. It can be something simple like posting a photo and tagging the art material brands that you used or even the local shop which you bought it from. To something more advance where you strategically partner up with another Instagrammer.

Whichever is the case, this is a good strategy to use that not only will increase awareness of your account, but help you build up networks with other creative people and brands.

You can add up to 30 hashtags to all your artwork posts, this is a great way to provide exposure to your work. The key is that is must be absolutely relevant to your work. Search through various hashtags and make a list of at least 30 – 50 hashtags that you can use and interchange on a regular basis.

Adding location to your posts gives you a much greater chance that a person that is searching for that specific location will be able to find your post.  So if your post is at a specific art gallery add their location, which will benefit both the gallery and the artist in the long run.

Similarly, also use at least one location specific hashtag.  If you are a South African Artist, for example always add #southafricanart #southafricanartistor even #artsouthafrica

Your content is important, so mix it up by experimenting with different types of posts from videos, work in progress, gallery exhibitions, demos, fun behind the scenes and more.

Instagram is a social media platform, therefore be social.  Follow people whose work you like or inspire you.  Like and comment on other artists’ work (just be authentic) and leave a better comment than “Nice work.”

If you post any artist work which you find inspirational, always give credit and tag them in your post, if he/she is on Instagram. Similarly, also credit the photographer’s whose work you may have used as reference material.

Instagram Artist Tips - Don't


You might gain lots of “followers” in the short run, but most of these followers aren’t necessarily fans of your work and many might quietly “unfollow” you after a day or two.  Be authentic only follow accounts who truly inspires you, who are genuine followers or are your perfect target market.

Not only is it extremely lame but it can result in your account being blocked and it damages your brand in that it shows you are not authentic.

Do not comment on other artist’s picture by requesting them to check out your account, except if you are a feature account and therefore can provide a benefit to the artist.

Rather just post a nice thoughtful comment on their work, with no expectation that they will return the favor.  You need to give before you can receive.  The General Rule is never be spammy.

When you only use popular art-related hashtags like #art #painting #drawing your chances of likes and new followers is basically a few seconds, before it is bombarded with 1000 if not 10000 of new posts.  The key is to use maybe 1 – 3 popular hashtags and then find hashtags that is more specific to your art and has between 1000 up to 600 000 lifetime posts.

You may love your cat, but if their photo isn’t relevant to your work or creative life in someway, I will suggest that you rather post that photo on a completely separate personal account or even open an account for you cat on it’s own.

If you have a lot of similar photographs make use of the Instagram multiple post feature.  However, ideally it is better too spread your photos over a time period with maximum 1 -2 posts a day (with at least 4 – 6 hours gap).

A general guide is that for every 10 normal posts (Pure Photos/Videos), you can add 1 promotional posts.  Promotional post includes invites to exhibitions, giveaways, competitions etc.

Test out different days and times to see when is most of your followers on Instagram.  The odd post on Saturday and Sunday is fine, but it is isn’t ideal time to post your important photos.