Are you an Instagram lover? I certainly am!
One of the reasons I enjoy it so, is the worldwide access to amazing artists and their art, as well as the opportunity to correspond with them and they with me. After signing onto the site a couple of years ago, I am now following just shy of 800 artists. Unfortunately, that makes it more difficult to keep up with them. My solution is to periodically go through my saved posts of artwork that I am drawn to. That jogs my memory and I can tap on the particular save to take me to the artist’s current post.
Because I enjoy so much of the artwork out there, my saved list is pretty large. I recently did a round figure count and got to about 3000 saved posts before I stopped; I figure there are probably another couple thousand more to go. It appears I need to do a bit of culling…
An artist I track is following over 1600 other artists (she has 18,000 plus following her!). I haven’t asked her how she keeps track of them. One thing she does do for her followers, though, realizing that not everyone can follow her daily, is to message them with her current post. Most everyone will check their messages so I suspect the viewing rate is pretty high. A pretty efficient way to communicate since all one has to do is click “all,” and out it goes. Maybe I need to consider that.
The thing is, I just really enjoy seeing how another artist works, what their focus is and how they go about exploring an idea. Over time, one can get a pretty good feel of the depth of thought and exploration that goes into a work. I like most artwork for that very reason. It doesn’t mean I want to live with it and I’m not talking about judging it in a formal way, though the quality of an idea and of the work certainly makes a difference. But, I have found that by understanding the process of the artist and watching how their work evolves, I gain an appreciation of what they are trying to do. Inevitably, that makes it enjoyable on multiple levels.
An additional bonus is the way each piece, be it traditional, abstract or conceptual, has something in it that peaks my interest as a practicing artist. It may be the brush or line work, an unusual medium or material, or a whole new way of interpreting an idea that intrigues me. I learn a lot about myself,
as well, as I view the artworks. Often there is a cultural reference that I am not familiar with, or a marginalized perspective that I haven’t considered before. There are social or political activists points of views that open my eyes, allowing me to see a problem or a solution in ways I’d not thought about. All of these aspects and more inform my own thinking process; inspiration abounds!
Using the Instagram platform has compelled me to get my work out there, which was my main intent. However, what I gain from doing so is what happens when I give back. Engaging with an artist whose work I am following with a thoughtful comment, now and again, usually means they will do the same when they view my work. It’s not all about “Likes,” nice as that may feel, it’s about connecting artist to artist through our work.
How fortunate we are to be able to do that with just a tap of a button and a scroll down the screen.
Thanks for reading!
BTW, you can find me @lynnfoskettartist