Why Illustrators should pay attention to their Instagram Feeds

Aside from being visually pleasing, having a beautifully planned and curated instagram feed is one of the best things you can do for growth and recognition as an illustrator. You’ll know a well curated feed when you see one, the artist might use color, proportion, or style in a way that unifies their artwork, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Chances are that most of your favorite illustrators have very cohesive, and beautiful feeds even when viewed in the grid format. 
Here are a few Illustrators that perfectly exemplify what it really means to have a consistent, cohesive and curated instagram feed, you can clearly see how various elements throughout their artworks serve a throughline in their feeds. 

View @meredith_schomburg
on instagram

View @silvia_rossana
on instagram

View @banachkarol on instagram

View @lucaswakamatsu on instagram

Video from TikTok

Why is it so important?
  1. First impressions matter. When someone first comes across your instagram page, you often only have a couple of seconds to make a good first impression, basically your first nine tiles should be treated like your visual elevator pitch. It is within this first few seconds of looking at your page that someone will make that snap decision on whether or not they are going to follow you, and you need to present yourself, your style, and who you are clearly and succinctly. If your content is all over the place, and you’re jumping between styles, this creates cognitive overload in the viewer, and makes that decision to follow you that little bit more difficult.

  2. It helps communicate your brand and style. Clearly showing clients, customers, and followers who you are in a clear and cohesive way makes you and your work way more memorable, helping you stick in their minds in a more memorable way. People may not remember your name, or handle, but will definitely remember you if you have a unique and distinct style, you want people to be able to say something as specific as, “oh, that’s that illustrator who draws people with massive feet, and only uses pink and blue.” 

  3. Thirdly, Showing that you can curate your feed, demonstrates that you have an eye for detail, and your creative skills stretch beyond illustration. As creatives we are often hired and sought out for our abilities to help out with creative elements that go beyond illustration, and showing that we are able to curate our images in a way that is compelling, reflects well on our creative skills.

So, How do I do it? 

For some illustrators this process comes naturally and they might not have to proactively think about their feed, but for others (me included), we may have to take extra steps to make sure that our feeds are feeling consistent and cohesive. Here are some tips that I’ve personally used when thinking about posting to instagram.  

  1. We can’t avoid the face that most people will view our feed in the grid format, and so we need to make it a habit to start creating and curating with the grid in mind, there are numerous instagram planning apps out there that enable you to preview your grid, my personal favorite is “Preview”. Using these kinds of planning apps can help you understand if something doesn’t visually fit in with the rest.
  2. This is a big one, but having a distinct and unique style is very important and you only want to post work that is reflective of that style. So if you do a lot of client work, and are working in many different styles, you shouldn’t post this work just for the sake of posting, it may be tempting to post all your work to show how flexible and versatile you are, but first, it’s important to take a step back to figure out whether or not it works in the context of your whole feed.
  3. Define a color palette for yourself, this can be as broad or limited as you like, but try and decide on a palette to commit to for at least the next 9 pieces you create, you can always pivot and slowly morph your work into a new color palette, the main thing is that you’re showing cohesiveness and consistency. I have collected a few of my favorite resources for finding and combinging color palettes, the list can be found over on my Resource Page. 

Hopefully as you start to incorporate these tips into your instagram, you’ll experience more growth and engagement, just as I did. It’s important to curate with your audience in mind, so take advantage of the platform that is instagram to present your work in the very best light.