Thoughts on Instagram

Published on Apr 5, 2019

Everyone says what you need to do to improve your craft is to practice. So I started an Instagram a few months ago to get myself to post consistently. I would be able to see myself improve by looking back at my earlier work. 

While I have been able to get that, there are some other things I've learned as well.

There's a great artistic community on Instagram

I've "met" several other artists now and everyone is so supportive. Everything I post, people chime in with wonderful comments. Their support encourages me to continue drawing. There are times at work where I'm itching to get back to drawing (although maybe that's a bad thing). With so much hate going around in other parts of the world, it's great to be a part of a community that is overwhelmingly positive.

People are so talented

It's very inspiring to see all the different kinds of art out there. Some people have been drawing their whole lives. Some people (like me) are just getting started. Either way, having all of that creativity around me is really exciting.

With all the good, I think there's also a dark side to Instagram. Since I've started following other artists, I've seen some negative side effects.

People become slaves to "the algorithm"

At some point last month, Instagram made changes to their algorithm. As a result, people started to see their reach dropping. People were freaking out and spinning up efforts to increase their engagement.

I think it's human nature for people to want to drive their numbers. Especially those who are building a career out of their art. It makes sense. It's like us keeping an eye on our landing page traffic.

However, it saddens me to see that their art is being influenced by their numbers. 

It's addicting

It's embarrassing to say but I've clocked around 10 hours on Instagram in the last 7 days. It's by far my most used app. Granted, a lot of those are probably me using it as reference while I draw. Still, that's pretty insane to me.

I find myself glancing over at my phone during work to see what's new. Disabling notifications will help with this. I appreciate the likes but I can't be bothered by them throughout the day!

At the end of the day, I think Instagram has built a very impressive platform. Entire careers are launched on Instagram. I love how visual it makes the world and its ability to create connections. I'm excited to create more art.

@brianball's request, here's my artstagram!