Graphic, art buyers percentage Instagram, tips for artists

Instagram for artists 2023

In 2023, Instagram is still a prime choice for artists and art businesses, owing to the following three factors:

1. Back to Photos: Instagram shifts focus back to images from videos, respecting audience preference. The TikTok copycat era just favoring videos is over.
2. Increasing Dominance as an Art Marketplace: Instagram is confirming itself as the go-to place to purchase Art. Instagram use by art buyers is rising – 74% in 2023, up from 71% in 2022 and just 34% in 2015. In 2023, 29% of art buyers bought directly via Instagram, a significant increase from 21% in 2022*.
3. Artists Lead Influence: 78% of online art buyers see artists as the chief influencers, a jump from 71% in 2022. Galleries follow at 70%.

Graphic, artists as influencer percentage Instagram, tips for artists

Instagram tips for artists 2023

Instagram’s algorithm constantly changes and uses separate algorithms for ranking various content types – the Explore page, Reels, Stories, Home Feed, and Search:

1. Post frequently to appear on the Explore page

The Explore page features fewer Reels and highlights photos and carousels, benefiting artists. What it takes: Frequently posting is crucial to get a chance to appear, as your content shelf life is now shorter. IG wants you to stay longer on the app.

2. Socialize for exposure to Stories

Your connection with followers here prevails. To strengthen it, use DMs, reply to DMs, and utilize IG Video calls. Consider automating DMs if stories are your focus. The key is retention: if your viewers stay or skip your stories quickly.
Remember: Stories are the ideal selling platform because containing a direct link (for accounts with over 10K followers). It’s also an excellent method to introduce your audience to your offers.

3. Choose the right keywords for the Search

Search and hashtags are regaining significance. Repeat the relevant keywords in your content, captions, bio, and hashtags. Understanding how people find you is crucial, and for this, you need to know the semantics that define your art. Yes, this is SEO, but for Instagram.

4. Post at the right time for the Feed page

The content displayed in Feed mainly involves those followed, but now, the type depends on the viewer’s preferences. If they favor photos, they’ll primarily see photos. Ranking factors are related to time:

  • Posting at times when your audience is active.
  • The speed at which your posts receive likes, shares, and comments.
  • The duration viewers spend on your posts – interesting captions and detailed images can encourage this.
  • Recent interactions with your audience.
  • Consistent posting – the more regular, the better for the algorithms. But remember, as an artist, visual quality comes first.

5. Focus on quality for REEL

Getting shares is the most important for Reels. So your posts need to be the best possible:

  • Poor or sensitive content gets penalized.
  • Avoid blurred, non-original content, excessive text, watermarks, and politically sensitive material.
  • Don’t use borders. Instead, fill the entire screen with your top-quality image.
  • Make it better: When you know how to define your art, you can observe your competition, and try to make better content quality or originality.

Here is our article about how to make Art Reels.

Instagram tips for artists

How to use Instagram as an artist.

Instagram is the most influential social media for the traditional art market, digital artists, illustrators, and every kind of image-based business. There are many online miraculous methods to succeed with this social grail. Yet, stay cool-headed; it’s about common sense:

What we forget about social media

In social media, there is the word “media.” It means the stuff between you and your audience. It is contrary to immediate. So it is the same as a book, a monument, tv series – it is media – instead of focusing on a method for hashtags, you should know yourself and your audience. There isn’t any simple method for that.

Content not considered by Google

You can re-publish the content on your website. Search Engines won’t penalize it as plagiarism. On your website, the content is yours.

You don’t own your Art

You cannot make any exclusive contract with a magazine or a platform if your Art is on Instagram. Once deleted, you can. “We do not claim ownership of your content, but you grant us a license to use it.” (Source: Instagram)

Fast execution

The more you post, the more it pleases the algorithm. If your artworks require a lot of time, consider adding studies, close-up details, sketches, and work-in-progress photos. But don’t lower the quality of your posts for the sake of posting.

Rejection to algorithms

If your post doesn’t have likes, it’s not necessarily the algorithm’s fault.

Quality posts work less but still work. You won’t progress if you cannot find your responsibility in failing. We tend to overstate the influence of the algorithm. Many who complain about not getting enough likes are overvaluing their Art.

Relate to trends

Many artists are complaining because you need to follow trends on social media. It doesn’t have to be Fandom but also news related. It’s a way to be opportunist but to live with your time. Picasso didn’t go to Guernica; he didn’t even care.

Don’t try to impress.

It will only bring jealousy and hurt proximity to your audience. Focus on your work’s personal aspects, weaknesses, and what makes you different. You can show great Art with humility.

Instagram tips for artists

Posting Art on Instagram

Connect Instagram with Facebook

Posting Art is for reaching the most and for that you need to connect your Instagram account to Facebook. Facebook shares worldwide. You can allow it on the settings:

Instagram tips for artists - Sharing Instagram on Facebook

How to post Art on Instagram

1. Quality Photography

First impressions count. If the photo quality is poor, you risk losing potential followers. Ensure you have good lighting (natural light is often best), and try to capture your artwork from multiple angles or include close-ups to show detail.

Here are our 15 tips on how to photograph your artwork for Instagram.

2. Composition Matters

Instagram is a visual platform. How you present your art matters. Consider incorporating props related to your art-making process, such as brushes, paint tubes, or your workspace. This adds context and can make your post more engaging.

3. Consistency is Key

Try to maintain a consistent aesthetic across your posts. This could be through similar filters, consistent lighting, or sticking to a specific color palette. A cohesive feed will be visually appealing and encourage users to follow you. For this, you will need to define and follow a content strategy. Combine two of the styles below and stick with it:

  1. Inspirational: Artivism, artist lifehacks, morale,
  2. Educational: Painting tutorials, how-tos,
  3. Entertaining: painting with music, talking while painting,
  4. Promotional: Trying and selling art products, and promoting art events.

Image version of the guide for your mobile

Instagram tips for artists infographics guide
Instagram tips for artists
“I think an artist always needs an adventure they are on, to pull their followers with them.” Ali Cavanaugh

Instagram for artists DOs and DON’Ts


Make Art, not content.

When promoting your Art on social media, the feeling is very mixed. You know it’s necessary, but at the same time, you feel reluctant. There are 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram. Even if you are not a fan of social media, you still need to get your Art out there. Using Instagram will influence your Art, but don’t make it the primary influence.

Work on your style

Experiment with your style! It can be a particular theme, look, or vibe. Once you find your visual identity, be consistent with it. Imagine your account is like an art collection; you are the artist and the curator of this collection. You want to show progress but stay within the same line of work.

Make engaging content

Many artists are using Instagram as free cloud storage to safe-keep their photos. They are not doing a lot to attract social interactions. The title of the Art? Untitled. The description? Oil on Canvas. Comments? No replies. It is not engaging! You are not stimulating dialogue between you and your fans.

Instagram tips for artists

Don’t wear too many hats.

“Proud mother of two” – “Artist and Musician” – “Artist and Actor”

Amazingly, you have a lot going on, but you are wearing too many hats. It’s best to say which artist you are (painter, sculptor, digital artist).

Don’t write a boring Bio

“Hi, my name is Mark. I am an artist. I have been drawing since I was ten years old.” You are 30 years old, and nothing has happened for the past 20 years? You are not defined by when you started painting but by how you develop as a human being. Mention something interesting: Why do you want to paint? What is the news happening in your career today?

Don’t mix Work / Life.

Do you want to share some fantastic honeymoon moments, fabulous parties, or the first baby steps of your child? You might like to share them with your fans: but I would not suggest doing so. You will appear unprofessional, especially when you share photos of alcoholic beverages.

Don’t depend on professionals.

I talked to an artist about why he has not updated his Instagram for a long time. He told me that he was waiting for a professional photographer to come in and shoot. Timing is everything! Choose between having a decent photo today or a perfect one tomorrow. Don’t wait on the professionals. Learn how to take photos yourself so you can react fast.

Don’t use too many hashtags.

I have seen artists who are using up to 30 hashtags. Please don’t. You can put 5-6 relevant hashtags at most. Otherwise, you look desperate. Less is more. Consider posting the hashtags in the comment section (it has the same effects on the algorithms).

Don’t get paid following.

I asked once an artist: which artworks received the most likes on your social media? He said: ‘The ones I spent most promoting.’ You got me.

Don’t think of Instagram as a Website.

We surveyed on our Instagram, and out of 400 artists, 60% did not have a website. They used social media like Instagram as their online portfolio. It is hazardous! You can lose your social media account, and you have no way to get it back.

You should have your website instead. This way, you can rank on Search Engines, make an online store, and join all the social media. Plus, your website is protected by law as your private property.

instagram tips for artists

Is Instagram good for artists?

Instagram is an opportunity with a cost. And like any opportunity, it can take you away from your goals if they are not firmly defined.

The myth of the artist making Art for himself alone is just wishful thought. Social media or not, artists are human and must deal with their environment. Instagram is a part of it if an artist decides to use it. Is Instagram good for artists? Here are the PROs and CONs:


It allows selling your Art directly.

Many artists get to Instagram for the sales possibility, even if few use it. They can directly sell to collectors and cut the traditional art market artist/galleries/art fairs. It only works for artists who are mature with their business. The cut the art gallery gets has a reason—many collectors prefer to deal with galleries than the artist because of their professionalism.

It helps you be productive.

Well, this works if you find a way to post a lot without degrading your visual Art. Otherwise, burnout isn’t far. If your technique is slow, you must find a way to counter that (process, drafts).

It facilitates networking.

Because Instagram is still trendy, the amount of spam is high and prevents from making new connections. It is even increasing if you have a small account. Otherwise, once your account is popular, it becomes easier to connect with people. If two versions follow each other’s, it creates a bond and benefits the way to collaborate and reach.

It gives inspiration.

If you pass the stage of these two extremes: “my art is unique” / “this art is too good, I will do the same”, then Instagram can be an excellent window to the trends and inspire you. And in fact, one of the best ways to be inspired is to watch things outside of the art niche.

To get the benefits of Instagram, you need to focus on what makes you an individual: your authenticity (the sum of your passions, skills, and personality).


It can trigger imposter syndrome.

By Envy or jealousy, Instagram can shut you down, as what you see is a mirror of reality. To counter that, be true and deal with your weaknesses; make them a part of your visual expression.

It sucks your time.

The main reason why Instagram is your free enemy. It takes time away from your life and your work so it can serve you ads based on your interests. And Instagram is increasing this aspect because it is gradually changing from social-based to interest-based content (like TikTok). And like a bowl of ice cream, it will wait for your weakest moments to predate you.

It deviates you from your plan.

Instagram can and should influence your objectives as an artist if it’s your primary social media. But it should be the base of any of your plans. Instagram is someone else business, not yours. An efficient way to counter that is when you feel you should make some art and post it to get likes; you are on the wrong path.

It can censor your Art.

Instagram’s censorship mainly follows American values. Nudity but also wars and status-quo are themes traditionally approached in the Art. They decide what to suppress and don’t have to explain the reason, even if it’s your account.

Hard to reach your existing audience.

Because of the degrading interest in the platform, Instagram is now copying the TikTok algorithm. It evolves from Social-based (meaning that you see who you follow) to Interest-based (meaning what will appear in the timeline is what you are interested in, even if you don’t want to see it). Consequently, your collectors and followers proportionally discover your content less.

Too many unpredictable algorithm changes.

The algorithm changes privilege what shareholders have to say, and users are secondary. It leads to abrupt changes we don’t understand and often impacts artists negatively.

Instagram tips for artists

Instagram artists’ Q&A

How do artists get noticed on Instagram?

For new people to find your Art, combine captivating Reels and photo posts with relevant hashtags. Focus on creating emotional and personal content rather than trying to impress. But don’t let Instagram take over your creation time. 

Is Instagram worth it for artists in 2023?

According to the Hiscox online art trade report 2023, Instagram is still rising as the leading social media for buying Art. Instagram use by art buyers is rising – 74% in 2023, from 71% in 2022. In 2023, 29% of art buyers bought directly via Instagram, increase from 21% in 2022. Consequently, it is almost mandatory for artists to use it.

How do artists grow fast on Instagram?

Don’t blind yourself: Instagram is first a marketing agency. The primary way to grow fast is to invest in ads. Then it is about how you are well-known or how well-known people or institutions can recommend you. It won’t work if you don’t have a recognizable art style. Most other ways to grow fast are exceptional and feed on your hope. If it’s free, you are the product.

Instagram tips for artists
Lachlan MacDowalls scholar of graffiti, street art, digital culture. Book: “Instafame, Graffiti and Street Art in the Instagram Era”
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