Getting started on Instagram for artists

Artists ask me all the time how they can get their work “out there”. The standard entrepreneurship toolkit of finding and solving customer problems doesn’t fit so well for artists.

I now recommend the twin social platforms of Pinterest and Instagram, followed closely by Tumblr. A talented illustrator friend, Pepijn de Jonge, is getting started on his social media involvement to share his art. I’ll keep track of his progress on my blog. Pepijn created the awesome artwork about Tom the Mouse that goes on the front page of every worksheet I hand out for my digital marketing class.

Tom Goss illustration


Pepijn chose to start with Instagram. As with most things, where you start is vastly less important than just starting. With that in mind, Pepjin downloaded the Instagram app, created an account, and started uploading some of his work.

Pepijn early Instagram

His first question about Instagram was:

As you noticed I started my storybook thing on Instagram.
And I just saw I got my first responses on it by complete strangers.

I’m exploring pictures with the browser and liking them and writing comments, that may lead people back too to me, but I can’t really find artists. It’s mostly pretty girls, shoes, dogs and holidays.

I suggested that he try searching on tags. Go to the explore button, then search on top, then change the setting from people to tags. You can try tags like drawing, art, instaart, creative, etc… I think you’ll be able to find your niche with a little searching. Here’s what a search for the hashtag illustration yields:


Pretty cool stuff!!

Using hashtags yourself is the next step. You can try adding one hashtag per post when you’re ready. Please don’t add 10! I hate hashtag overuse…

I’ll look at what Pepijn is doing with Pinterest next.

Some other stuff to look at

Here are the slides (full of great examples) from a class I taught in Paris for how creatives can use social media to win more customers. Worth clicking through quickly for inspiration.

Posted in Digital Marketing for Everyone, Marketing, Social Media

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