Instagram for Artists

Instagram is a an ideal platform for artists to promote their work and connect with more fans, because it’s a highly visual and social platform. If you have great art and great images of your art then you’re poised to start growing a following on Instagram. In this article we teach you how to effectively use Instagram to connect with more fans and sell more art.

An engaged Instagram following is a powerful tool to grow an art business. It’s become increasingly common for artists to make sales and receive commission requests directly through Instagram. So, how do you go about using Instagram in a way that builds interests and gets more eyeballs on your artwork?

Posting your art

Art lovers follow Instagram feeds that are visually appealing. Seems obvious, right? But many artists throw up crappy images of their work. Don’t do it! Make sure the images you’re posting are visually appealing and do your artwork justice. The images you post on Instagram should be clear, evenly-lit, and artistic to represent you as an artist.

Make your Instagram posts interesting. It’s often a good idea to post work-in-progress pictures as you work on a piece and then the completed work– a cool way to tell the story of an artwork from start to finish.

Put thought into the captions you post with your images. Give people a glimpse into your personality. Be creative, interesting, vulnerable, funny…be yourself. Use image captions to tell a deeper story about the pieces you’re posting and your artistic process and passion.

Using your Instagram profile link

Many artists are unaware they can change the link in their Instagram profile as many time as they like. Why does this matter?

Instagram only allows you to have one link in your profile and you can’t add clickable links to your posts. Every time you post a completed artwork on Instagram you can change the link in your bio to the URL where your followers can actually BUY your artwork. So, if you’re selling your work on your personal artist website or Vango (or any other online sales website) you can change the link in your bio to the specific URL where someone can purchase the artwork you’ve posted.

Then in the caption of the Instagram post, say something like: “Click the link in my Instagram bio above to find this work for sale on my website.”

You could also use the link in your Instagram profile to push for commissions. Let’s say you finish a commission piece and post it on your Instagram. Change the link in your bio to a webpage dedicated to commission requests and in the image caption say something like: “I had so much fun completing this commission piece for such and such. I love working with my clients to help make their vision come to life. If you’d like to commission me for a piece, click the link in my bio and let me know what you have in mind!”

You can also offer discounts on prints or originals– post about it in the caption of a post and link to where your fans can take advantage of the discount.

BE CREATIVE and always be thinking of how you can make your Instagram posts ACTIONABLE.

Using hashtags to grow your Instagram following

Hashtags (#) are how Instagram posts get categorized and how people often search for Instagram accounts they’d like to follow. If you include #art in the caption of an Instagram post, the post will get grouped with all other #art images. Anyone searching for the #art hashtag will see your artwork in a feed of images with the same hashtags.

Hashtags are a great way get your work in front of new art lovers and grow your following.

It’s a good idea to include a few hashtags with every post. Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags with every post, but studies show that posts with anywhere from 5-12 hashtags are the most effective (use too many and the post begins to feel spammy).

You only want to use relevant hashtags that will get your posts in front of people who are searching for artwork similar to your own. Here’s a list of some of the best hashtags to use on Instagram to help your art get found:

#art #artwork #artshow #artgallery #newartwork #femaleartist #figuredrawing #modernart #mixedmediaart #stilllife #photography #abstract #abstractart #abstractartist #watercolor #watercolorart #watercolorpainting #watercolorartist #oilpainting #painting #paint #artist #artistic #creative #creativity #creativelife #artsy #acrylic #acrylicpainting #portrait #portraitpainting #portraitart #landscape #landscapeart #landscapepainting #contemporaryart #beautiful #instaart #instaarty #instaartsy #instaartwork #instaartist #instaartpop #instaarthub #instaartoftheday #instartys #instaarte #instaarts #instaartistic

Choose 5-12 hashtags that closely fit your art and brand and are also heavily searched hashtags. Then every time you post you can copy and paste these hashtags into the caption of your posts.

When choosing your hashtags it’s also a good idea to pay attention to what hashtags other artists (especially those with large followings) are using to promote their Instagram posts. (Here’s an article about how to use hashtags and other strategies an artist used to grow her Instagram following about 300K)

Apply to be featured on artist feature Instagram accounts

There are tons of Instagram accounts solely dedicated to featuring artwork and many of these accounts have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of followers. It’s not uncommon for an image featured on these accounts to have tens of thousands of likes. This is a great way to get your artwork in front of thousands of art lovers.

You can submit your work to be featured on these accounts usually by posting an artwork with a # or @ of the feature account. For example, if you were submitting your work to be featured on Art Sanity’s Instagram you would include #artsanity in the caption of your Instagram post. Look into the guidelines of the specific Instagram account you want to be featured on and follow their submission process.

Here are a few artist feature accounts on Instagram:

Art Sanity:


Magic Gallery:

The Art Shed:

Art of Visuals:

Artistic Dreamers:

Art Spotlight:

Engage with your followers

As with all social media, you can’t simply post your work and then sit back. It’s important to engage with your fans. Answer their questions, respond to their comments, and find ways to interact with them.

If someone tells you how much they love your artwork in a comment, let them know where they can find it for sale. Even if they don’t purchase the artwork, anyone else reading through the comments on your post will see where the artwork can be purchased for sale.

Follow other artists you admire and engage with their posts. This is not only a great way to support and encourage other artists, but also can help you get in front of their audience of fans.

You can’t operate in a vacuum on Instagram. Set aside some time each week to interact with other people and to think strategically about how you can connect with more artists and art lovers.