Blog / Visual Art

Musée d’Instagram: Who I’m Following & Why They’re Awesome

In an age of digital technology I try my best to regulate my obsessions, or make them as fruitful as possible. Instagram is both a crutch and a well of stories for me. I tend to check Instagram when I feel restless or when I need a pick-me-up, but its most useful to me when I feel stuck creatively. For this reason, I try my best to curate my feed so that it supports the artist in me.

I am fascinated by our culture of sharing; the disconnected way we use “time-saving” tools to feel less alone in the world, and to “sell” ourselves and our ideas. Without mentioning the downsides, as an artist, Instagram is one of the easiest way for me to study, admire, and bounce ideas off other peoples work.

Like going to a gallery, Instagram provides access to the art of others, but unlike traditional methods of viewing art, Instagram can afford followers a glimpse into the personal lives of others. This, I think, is quite neat. With some barriers removed, I can study, admire, and connect with artists at any moment. I can appreciate (like) and engage (message) with artists, rather than just view their work. I can collaborate, mention, and promote other artists.

In the spirit of sharing, I’ve pulled an image from a few of the artists I look forward to seeing on a regular basis. It’s safe to say that they have enriched my life in a tangible way and I’m so impressed and grateful for them; this is a peak at my handheld museum of creative inspiration:

A recent follow, Harmonia Rosales’ re-imagining of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel went viral because she painted God as a black woman. It’s a stunning piece and I love that it (purposely) sparks a dialogue about cultural acceptance, race, and identity. I love what Rosales told Huffpost about it: “We have been taught that God created ‘man’ in his own image. In fact, we have created God in our own image. So ‘God’ is whoever we want God to be, a representation of the ideal, of the divine, of wisdom and love and pure creativity.”

I am captivated by Darla Jackson’s sculptures, her process, and the detail that creates the darkness of her work. I’ve always had a thing for dead birds but this snake heart really gets me.

A post shared by Micah Lexier (@micahlexier) on

Micah Lexier is an experimental Toronto artist whose work can be seen around town, including an awesome permanent exhibit at Leslie TTC Station.

I’ve never been here but those sandwich boards have never let me down. 👌🏽

Something new on the horizon using this illustration 🦇

A post shared by Bill Crisafi (@billsafi) on

Bill Crisafi is an incredibly talented illustrator and photographer who inspires me in insurmountable ways, and who I dream of collaborating with.

I met Amber when I was in Philly last September. We went to a sweet bar called Tattoo’d Moms. There was a craft show and voter registration night going on and Amber was one of many extremely rad artists we met that night. Love her work, her message, and her engagement with her community. ✊🏽

Roz Borg is an Australian succulent artist who does insanely detailed, small-scale work with the delicate plants — I mean, succulent nails. Wow. She’s inspired a lot of ideas for our wedding and I love that she does such unique work with living organisms.

Tiff, I’m pretty sure, is a yoga teacher and birth doula. I started following her last year when I went on the prowl for body-positive and breastfeeding-positive parents. I wanted to surround myself with more bosy-positive breat-positive imagery since I have such a disjointed relationship with my own body and was newly surrounded by first-time moms. The transformation of the body is real, and I want to support it. If you don’t see it, it’s harder to believe it.

In addition, Tiff is also really great at sharing her life and family with her followers in a beautifully framed way. I can’t say I’d be as open to having my children on a social platform for the world to see but I do love watching their family grow and go on adventures that seem really awesome and fun. They’re also always smiling, which makes me really happy.

I feel in my heart that Carlyn is a master of intention and manifestation. Her beeswax candles pulse with so much energy and light, I can’t get enough of their beauty and presence. I keep mine on my dresser to remind me of their power; my power to manifest my truest wishes.

Leo Thomas is a German photographer with an amazing lens and sense of humour. I thoroughly enjoy his stories…… and adventures.

Whatever you believe, it’s important to surround yourself with a community that supports you. Adrienne Rozzi is such an amazing illustrator.

Shiyana sculpts dreams into mugs, pots, and bowls and I am always so enthralled by her work. I hope to own one of her pieces some day; bring a little bit of her creative energy into my home.

Getting some colours on… 🎨 #firstcoat

A post shared by pamlostracco (@pamlostracco) on

I haven’t met Pam yet but her profile was recommended to me and I followed her upon seeing her amazing work, only to realize that we are about to embark on an artist residency together in a few weeks!

End of a long day. #londonunderground

A post shared by Miranda July (@mirandajuly) on

Miranda July makes me laugh and we all need to laugh.

Headline has a way of saying what I feel about coffee… and so accurately.

The Chariot leads the way. #thewildunknowntarot

A post shared by The Wild Unknown (@the_wild_unknown) on

My favourite tarot deck that I’ve recently procured, The Wild Unknown by Kim Krans is a beautiful, mystical, and approachable adventure into our past, present, and future lives.

My sweet cousin Angel, Helen, Jenny & I together in Florida earlier this year in moth synchronicity. This is a piece I wear daily, often rubbing my finger over its furred body & thinking of all I've lost: to death, to misunderstandings, to the natural cycle of friendships & so forth, but also all I've gained from those losses: a deeper understanding of myself & internal/external conflicts, the age old cliche of new doors opening. 🖤Moths have a very short life span, often living long enough to mate & only coming out a night. My planchette moths on the other hand are eternal, made to be passed down, made to protect & comfort you. All the rings picture here are currently 20% off for the next 30 min before my annual Death & Taxes sale comes to a close: use code 'TAXDEATH17' at checkout: direct link to the shop via my profile. Repost from @jenvonhaunt #bloodmilk #psychicarmor #belongingtoyourself

A post shared by Blood Milk Jewels (@bloodmilk) on

I found Blood Milk through Bill Crisafi (as above @billsafi) and I love their posts. As mentioned in Adrienne Rozzi’s post (@poisonappleprintshop), surround yourself with your community.

I’ve been doing yoga for 12 years and every so often social media links me with a yogi-spirit. I think I’ve been following Andrea for a couple years now (also name-spirit!), and I love her energy and positivity. She’s pregnant now and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her — due any day now!

Silence. ❤️ #kbscript

A post shared by kal barteski (@kalbarteski) on

Kal is so inspirational and talented. I used to be in love with pen-ship and calligraphy so Kal’s art is right up my alley. I love all her quotes, paintings, and products, and her love and advocacy (in a real and smart way) for polar bears warms my heart.

i feel nothing.

A post shared by BoJack Horseman (@bojackhorseman) on

Whoever runs this account would get all my jokes ever.

🌻🌻🌻

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

Rupi Kaur is a fantastic poet whose journey I admire. I think her voice is important and I’m really glad it’s being heard.

This is a clothing company that I adore. For every product purchased a pound of waste is removed from our oceans. I love their advocacy and their sense of adventure. I love that they work with purpose (and their products are beautiful and of good quality).

Our tree has come back in bloom #zenterrarium

A post shared by ADAM + DAVIS (@crownflora) on

Crown flora above and Bookhou below were two of the first business I followed on Instagram. They’re local artisans and I love their photography, and their work. I’ve never been to either store but when I stumble upon them, it’ll be great and I’ll enjoy it in a strange, colliding way. I feel lucky to live in the same city as them.

🌧

A post shared by Bill Crisafi (@billsafi) on

In compiling this list, I realized that the above profiles were all found through app recommendations or tags from people I already followed. My network. Most of them are rooted in North America so in the spirit of expanding outward from my home continent, I am now on the search for artists from other pockets of the world.

Any recommendations?

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