Instagram isn’t just for posting selfies anymore. Vogue recently asserted that Instagram has become the “World’s Most Talked-About New Art Dealer”. It has become a medium for artists to make a living, by using Instagram as an online portfolio. Combined with other factors, such as connecting with the right followers, utilizing quality photographs, and making art that they are passionate about, this app has been the recipe for success for many artists.
This article is a perfect example of the enormous success that artist Ashley Longshore has achieved through Instagram. Her art regularly sells for $30,000 or more, to very elite clients worldwide. In one case she spoke about, she attracted the attention of a client who practically demanded a painting she was working on, and it wasn’t even finished yet! Once a painting is sold, she gets color prints ready and even works some of that same print onto her unique furniture pieces.
Martin Parr is the first artist of 100 that elite Christie’s lists as an Instagram artist to follow. They referred to him as a maestro of “subversive wit, humor, and sense of nostalgia”. In this interview with him, however, he explains that failure and lots of hard work are key to achieving success as an artist. He is a British photographer that has been perfecting his craft for 40 plus years and concurs that photo sharing sites like Instagram generate more interest in artists, which is always fantastic (and lucrative)! Some of his suggestions for young artists include observing people and producing a lot of ‘crap’.
Shane Miller is a 26 year old artist based out of Nashville, and lives the life many would be quite envious of. The most essential part of his morning routine is checking his Instagram, as it is the source of 40% of his art sales. He jumped on the Instagram bandwagon when he agreed to promote a post in exchange for a painting of his in 2017. Due to the enormous number of followers his friend had, Shane’s followers grew from 500 to 3500 instantaneously. Although his work is featured in two galleries and he is represented in three states, he sees Instagram as a long-term ‘bet for his career’.
Instagram is more than a bet for artists; 32% of all online adults use Instagram, according to The Pew Research Center. An even more promising statistic that Pew found was that 31% of Instagram users earn $75,000 and above. According to Hiscox Art Online’s 2017 Trade Report, online art sales increased by 15% between 2015 and 2016, which added up to a cool $3.75 billion. Who said artists can only achieve fame and fortune once they die? In the digital age, all they need is Instagram.