I’ve been using Instagram for about four months now and I guess the self-imposed trial period is over. The results? …I’m glad I took the plunge. It’s become a quick daily dose of fresh images from artists all over the world that not only emphasizes the immensity of creativity out there, but also the tenacity and commitment that people devote to their individual practices. From that perspective alone, it’s very inspirational.
Community, even a virtual one, is key when one spends large chunks of each day working in solitude, relying mostly on a pooch, books on tape, podcasts, and NPR for company. No question, Instagram is not a substitute for my in-person critique group and my art friends who live both near and far; it doesn’t come close to the reciprocity those personal relationships afford. But I am learning to appreciate it as a passport to the global creative community, a platform that demands very little while offering a lot if it is approached mindfully.
On the whole, I have been fearful of social media because of the perceived time drain (I sit pretty firmly in Cal Newport’s camp). And while I’m sure you could spend hours on Instagram if you wanted, my concern that it would become an overwhelming time commitment hasn’t materialized. Instead, it’s a very compact opportunity to find a sense of connection by seeing what’s going on in all sorts of studios and galleries, while offering a taste of process, materials and inspiration.
And, as I become more familiar with the work of the people I follow, it’s been fun to watch as individual works progress toward completion, to vicariously celebrate openings of people I will likely never meet, and to be able to appreciate the beauty in our world as others see it. It’s a pretty cool thing to be able to tap into the wide world of folks out there who also find meaning and fulfillment in getting into their studio each day, trying again and again, because it’s just what we do.
The above images are a tiny handful of my favorite artists to follow. Explore their work further on Instagram and on their websites.
Inma Serrano of Spain: Instagram, Website
Lisa Smirnova of Russia: Instagram, Website
Veronica Cay of Australia: Instagram, Website
Miguel Rodriguez of Washington, DC: Instagram, Website