Returning To Instagram

This weekend I decided to take the plunge, and return to Instagram.

I haven’t used it in more than two years, and didn’t think that I would use it again.

But on reflection, Instagram seems the most logical social network for sharing my future artwork.

Here’s why.

Instagram is the most visual social medium, and it does what I need it to

Where better to share your artwork, than the most visual social network of them all?

I’ve used sites like Behance, Dribbble and DeviantArt in the past, but found that they weren’t really suited to what I was trying to achieve creatively.

Instagram, on the other hand, has a huge, varied and loyal user base where I can upload my work quickly, and tag it in such a way that it reaches the most people.

Which reminds me…

#ihatehashtags #buttheyrehandy

Like many people, I strongly dislike hashtags, in practice if not in theory. There’s nothing worse than a heap of hashtags littering a tweet or photo.

However, hashtags remain useful for finding and curating content, and gaining new followers. They became even more effective last year when Instagram allowed users to follow hashtags, in addition to following users.

There is no denying that their usefulness played a part in my return to Instagram, particularly since Facebook’s hashtags really aren’t up to scratch.

Nonetheless, I promise to use hashtags as responsibly, and sparingly, as possible.

I’ll still use my Facebook page

My decision to share work primarily via Instagram has nothing to do with Facebook’s ongoing PR meltdown, or any of its earlier nightmares. Instagram is, of course, a Facebook product, and Facebook has served my artwork well these last two years.

I’ll continue to post updates and blog posts on my Facebook page, but plan to keep the quick-fire updates – e.g. works-in-progress, videos, stories, etc. – solely for Instagram.

I used to cross-post from Instagram to Facebook a lot, but I find it lazy these days and want to avoid it as much as possible.

I’m approaching Instagram differently this time

When I previously used Instagram, I shared photos in a similar pattern; craft beers, Angus, musical instruments, Angus, gigs, Angus, tattoos, Angus, holidays, Angus, the occasional piece of artwork, and Angus.

(Did I mention that I shared pictures of Angus?)

Angus, with his name tag.

Angus, with his name tag.

After several sepia-filtered years of beers, border collies and bass guitars, I had gotten really bored of my Instagram feed (no doubt others did, too).

I closed my account, posting my pictures on Facebook instead, before starting a page for my drawings.

Two years on, my artwork now makes up about 90% of my overall Facebook use. The other 10% is made up of commenting on friends’ posts, or posting on other pages; I only occasionally post on my own timeline.

The reason I commit so much time to this – creating work, sharing it, seeing what people think, gaining commission work, etc. – is because I love doing it!

I lacked that commitment and focus last time I was on Instagram; I’m positive that a different approach will result in a different outcome.

That’s all, folks

That’s it for this public service announcement – if you want to follow me at my new Instagram page, my handle is @robertpaulartist.

Look forward to seeing you there, and sharing some new work there soon.

RP

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