Curating Instagram?

  • Arghhh!

    My brain hurts … really, it hurts so much. This past week I have done nothing but think and think and think about my Instagram feed. I made a lil podcast about this, and honestly, it made me realise how confused I really am about the question of … should you curate your Instagram feed?

    In 2015 I had a feed for my photos, and one for my art. My big dream, which I've recently started doing, is turning some of my photos into my character lilSOPHIE. So I thought, why have two feeds, when my photos are sort of related to my art … so I merged the two feeds in 2015 and honestly, I go back and forth on if this was a good idea or not.

    Dunno what triggered it, but last week I woke up thinking, feed needs to be ART only. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Actually hurts my head now and distracting me from posting anything new, or even sitting down to draw.

    Thing is, it seems like both ways are right. There is no wrong way, or is there? That's the thing … I keep going back and forth. There is a way to bring multiple things together and keeping things looking nice on the main feed, or, you can stick the sub passion into a story highlight folder and focus the feed on the main passion.

    Or, you can just say sod it and post whatever the hell you want lol I dunno, one minute I'm like it doesn't even matter! It doesn't does it, yet it seems like such a drastic decision lol After recording that podcast I woke up and achieved all my photos, just as an experiment to see how it felt. At first it was nice, now, a few days later I'm wanting to unarchive them.

    Honestly … this really hurts my head!

    What do you think? Should your Instagram be focused on just art?

    I'll stick a photo in here of what my feed/feeds could look like, but how do you make a decision, when both ways seem right?

    alt text

    The funny thing is, I realised, even if you focus it on just art … you still than struggle with curating the feed between say, realistic pencil drawings and cartoony characters lol

  • @Sophie-Lawson I would do two instagram accounts (you can easily switch between them), one for ONLY art and one for ONLY Photos. I personally like only illustrations accounts and I don't like it, if there are many posts with other things.

  • Moderator

    What is your goal for your Instagram accounts?

    Are you demonstrating the kind of work you're seeking? Are you sharing for your own personal satisfaction? Are you looking for work as a photographer or an artist, or are you showing that you can translate photos to stylistic illustrations?

    I wonder if maybe you ponder what you're trying to get out of each feed, it might help you decide if you need to combine them? What are you using them for? What, ultimately, is their purpose?

    I know a lot of artists that have a photographic eye, but they're ultimately not photographers. Even Norman Rockwell took his own reference photos for his paintings. It's a useful skill. But is that what you ultimately want?

    Food for thought. 🙂

  • Pro

    @Sophie-Lawson You're right that there is no good or bad way to do this, and you've likely seen both done succesfully on Instagram which is why you might be so confused. What you need to ask yourself is what you want to accomplish with your instagram, and that will give you the answer.

    Do you want to use your instagram to attract professional illustration contracts?
    Do you want to get modelling/photo contracts from it?
    Are you looking to build a brand around yourself and your art to sell products to an audience?

    If you want to get professional contracts, you should keep you feed clean and focused only on that thing: art for art contracts, photo for photo/modelling contracts. BUT if you want to build a brand and eventually sell products to your audience, sharing photos of yourself can be highly beneficial! People can get to know you and relate to you more, which helps you build your brand. Especially since in your case, your photos relate to your character Lil Sophie as well and it all seems cohesive as one brand.

    So take some time to figure out what you want out of your Instagram, and this will help you see more clearly what you need to do 🙂

  • @NessIllustration said in Curating Instagram?:

    You're right that there is no good or bad way to do this, and you've likely seen both done successfully on Instagram which is why you might be so confused. What you need to ask yourself is what you want to accomplish with your instagram, and that will give you the answer.

    Thank you @NessIllustration . I went away and thought about this. I made a decision, and than a bunch of Synchronicities seemed to settle the conflict 🙂

    I thought, let's try an experiment, achieve all the photos, and see how that makes me feel.

    It felt good for a few days, but than I thought … hmm, no, still doesn't feel quite right. So I asked for help on my feed, threw a lil pink box with white text on a post, and than an hour later I looked at my feed and that pink box surrounded by all my drawings looked pretty cool. Than I thought … hang on, a photo surrounded by drawings may look cool too.

    I unachieved a photo and it did, than I realised.

    The conflict wasn't about if I should have only photos, or only art. The conflict was about balance, it was about having too many photos!

    I made a system of 10 pencil drawings, 1 photo, 10 lilSOPHiE's, 1 photo <REPEAT UNTIL> …

    I tested it in photoshop and think it looks quite nice. I also sprinkled in the odd quote box too, so it's now focused on art with the photos acting as sort of transition pieces. Here's a pic :

    alt text

    It's weird how things click sometimes. I learnt one big lesson though, you need to stop thinking about it and just try something until you find something that works 🙂 It's funny again, because I was at Life Drawing last night and my teacher said pretty much the exact same thing … he said you need to place a line down, ask if it looks right, if it doesn't, change it. It will soon tell you when it is 🙂 This was honestly what happened with my feed, it told me when it looked right 🙂

  • @Coreyartus Thank you for helping 🙂 You know I reached a point where I actually realised I don't care about followers or likes. I than thought, well hang on a minute, what's the point than? lol I realised, I just want to share the story of how art has helped set me free, and I think the photos play a part in that. I looked into Norman Rockwell … never heard of him before his illustrations are so unique. There's something really weird about it, in a nice way, but I can't explain it. Really weird feeling.

    @MichaelaH Thank you Michael, I know what you're saying. I really do, because I am the same as you, but there is just something inside of me that knows deeply there's a sweet spot of balance where you can focus a feed on say art, while still sprinkling in this other thing and it working together cohesively.

  • Hi, sophie's ps mockup looks interesting. I guess the best way to find out if it works is just to try it out. Does any of you use a post scheduling tool for Instagram?

  • Ugh, I've been having this exact problem - I think I've been going back and forth in my head for weeks now, and I still can't decide/commit. Another part of it is that my photo account has more followers (I started it waaay before my art account), and my art account isn't anything really official or curated, so I feel like it is more like a scrapbook. For what it is worth, though, I totally agree that having personal pictures on an art account is fine if they fit your theme and don't stick out like a sore thumb. I think the most successful "brand illustration" accounts do both but managed to make it look integrated. I'm just terrible at discovering my aesthetic so I haven't been able to manage it yet lol XD

Log in to reply