See how four Offset illustrators use Instagram to extend their reach and reach mainstream success, and take some inspiration from their incredible feeds.
Instagram is chock full of illustrative eye-candy—but as an artist, how can you stand out amongst a sea of accounts and seemingly endless visuals?
These days it’s not easy to “stop the scroll.” Instagram commands a serious presence in our lives. One billion monthly users (yes, you read that right) spend an average of 28 minutes a day using it. Which means, professionally, it can be a lucrative place to be.
Illustrator Amber Vittoria—who created illustrations for The New York Times and Gucci —found mainstream success on Instagram. In an interview with Creative Boom, she says “Social media has helped democratize the industry for illustrators: no longer do we need to seek agency representation to find work, as we can use these platforms to help find work for ourselves.”
Offset Illustrator Louise Lockhart‘s work for Flow Magazine.
And while the pressure to constantly post or to judge your success by certain metrics is an aspect of social media illustrators need to consider, it can be a boon to your career—so long as you maintain a healthy relationship with it.
Don’t be intimidated by Instagram or its numbers. Here we take a look at a few Offset contributors who are using Instagram to creatively promote their work.
Offset Illustrator Louise Lockhart | Instagram: @theprintedpeanut
Louise Lockhart is a UK-based artist who takes inspiration from the everyday objects around her. She’s “never one to follow current design trends.” Instead her work favors images that are colorful, jolly, and playful, lending a timeless quality to them. Louise also owns her own company, The Printed Peanut, where her illustrations adorn household items like tea towels, books, games, and even soap packaging.
While Louise mentions The Printed Peanut in her Offset contributor bio, we love the way she’s smartly branded her Instagram profile to promote her company. Scroll through Louise’s feed and you’ll notice Printed Peanut products interspersed alongside examples of editorial work and print for sale.
Louise also uses Instagram Stories in a thoughtful way. Through her saved highlights, you can window shop, see her illustration work in-depth, or learn more about the artist herself. Of course, Louise has a call-to-action in her bio (you know that “link in bio”) that redirects to her online shop.
Instagram Tip #1: Center your company’s brand on your Instagram—but don’t forget to still promote your freelance work as well.
Offset Illustrator Ana Galvañ | Instagram: @anagalvan_comic
Ana Galvañ is a former advertising professional turned illustrator and comic designer. Ana’s style combines vibrant color, cultural iconography, and comedic references. Her work has graced the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Guardian among others.
Ana’s illustrations are not only a colorful pleasure to look at on Instagram but also a source of inspired reading material as well. She often shares her latest editorial work, linking back to the original article, and—something we especially love—crediting the art director and writer too. In the media, it really is the sum of the parts that makes a piece of work successful. Not only does crediting the writer and the art director expand the presence of all those involved, but it’s nice to see credit where credit is due.
This is a conscious shift we’re seeing many creatives embrace: to acknowledge your peers, co-creators, and co-collaborators. (Just consider food media where the photographer, food stylist, prop stylist, and recipe developer are all credited in a single photo.)
Instagram Tip #2: Credit (and tag where possible!) your peers and co-collaborators when posting about a shared project.
Offset Illustrator Rachel Peck | Instagram: @hihowareyouuu
Rachel Peck is an Australian-born illustrator whose playful and bold style highlights the unusual in the everyday. She has “a penchant for pastels” and largely draws inspiration from 1980s nostalgia, childhood wonder, and classic cartoons (read: The Simpsons). So how does she leverage Instagram to promote her work?
One consistent theme behind Rachel’s Instagram profile is using the carousel feature to highlight the different stages, or perspectives, of her work. Sometimes this is a video sharing the process behind a piece. Other times, it can offer a variation on a drawing. This allows prospective clients and fans to see her work in a more holistic way.
She also uses Instagram stories (which she saves to her highlights) for documenting her process. Another aspect of her Instagram profile that we love? Her transparency in addressing her audience. Whether she’s sharing a tool she’s excited about or an in-progress look at a new piece, her endearing honesty is refreshing.
Instagram Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to document your progress as an artist, and speak plainly to your audience (in short: be yourself!)
Offset Illustrator Anne Albert | Instagram: @byebyesea_studio
Anne Albert is a freelance illustrator based in Berlin. Her style leans heavily on graphite pencils as well as the use of bright, bold colors, and her work has featured in several international magazines and newspapers.
On Instagram, Anne will often share where her work has ended up—and not just once either. We love how Anne leverages a project into multiple posts. For example, she recently posted about a print publication she contributed artwork to. Instead of just mentioning it just once, Anne gives us a look at the project in its entirety, plus all of the separate illustrations included.
If you worked hard on a project, why only post about it one time? Keep in mind that prospective clients won’t necessarily have access to the final product, so sharing your work in-depth allows them to really see your contribution.
Instagram Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to post more than once about a project you’ve worked on.
We hope these Offset contributors and corresponding tips will inspire you to take your Instagram profile to Instagram portfolio. If you’re not already, follow us at @ShutterstockContributors for more visual inspiration. We can’t wait to see what you create.
Top illustration by Rachel Peck.
Looking for more ways to master social media? Check out these articles: