Friday, July 14

Intentional UN-intentional Instagram Posting

Instagram(IG)....700 million users as of April 2017*
 A wonderful way to share and connect both publicly and privately and entirely made up of images with or without text that may comprise of popular trending hashtags to further aid in being "found" and connecting with others of common interest.

Instagram has been under fire many times for such things as changes in TOU, allegations of censorship, timeline algorithms (one that drives me batty!), and "shadowbanning."*
- all of which seem to be ongoing, valid complaints....and yet for the artist, photographer, creative, and visual minded persons...IG remains the most popular platform for displaying the beautiful moments of our days.

In search of connection and creativity....

Several months ago I found myself in a creative slump and began to search out ways to increase views to my current work, hoping that this would in-turn give my portfolio a much needed boost. So I read as many articles I could find on how to best "work" my IG account, attempting to learn all I could about hashtag lists, building cohesive page collections, being sure to intentionally plan out (and plan ahead) all posts to make sure that they were as visually appealing to my followers as possible. One of the things I learned was to look at the page as a 9 square collective, being sure that each square fit together in such a way that it drew they eye to the next image and made the follower want to continue scrolling through your account. (The longer a visitor lingers, the better chance of personal connection...but what are they connecting to and is that all there is to it?) I do have to say that the effort was beautiful....

Instead of mis-matched, disorganized images, all were carefully plotted out, color coordinated, and layed out in such a way that they felt like a complete picture...

It was sweet, colorful, cheerful, whimsical, well-thought-out....and zapped my creativity even more.

I ended up putting in SO much time in planning out my 9 square page ...making sure the colors, styles, shapes, messages were so 'on point' that it started to stress me out and take time away from creating anything new which stressed me out even more. It also made me feel like I was trying to portray myself as this polished person who had it all together (I mean, if my IG looked perfectly neat without anything out of place, surely THAT is who the artist must be, right? Sooooooo WRONG)

...offering the authentic "Me."

While all of these images were indeed mine and represented my WORK, I had to wonder...did I only want to have others connect to my images - while I stayed unattached from the follower...or did I want to build a real person-to-person connection? Am I only my work? Is this who I really am? Not even close.

My life as a Farm-girl Painter is anything but organized. There are early mornings, late nights, lots of painting, and lots of mud, chicken chasing, fence mending, garden digging, snowman sketching. My plans for the day often have to change with the weather (literally) and while I try to work from a to-do list each day, not everything gets checked off.

In reality, my life looks a lot like this:

While there is nothing wrong with the perfectly polished IG display, it is definitely not for me.
I want to know others, not just have them know my work. I need that real connection.

I am finding that when I embrace my authentic messy self, it is resonating more with others who need to hear that it is ok to accept our unique imperfect lives. I want to develop friendships, not just collect followers. While art is my work (and a job I am blessed to have!)...those I meet through my work...and my farming adventures, and my heart for Christ, baking days, and canning episodes....mean SO much more to me.

So if my IG looks a bit scattered and unorganized, it's okay...I am working toward being intentional with my unintentionally planned posts. I hope you find one that speaks to you ♥

Creative friends....what are your thoughts?
Do you plan out all your posts to be seen in a certain way?
Do you feel it is better to stay behind the scenes and only show your work?
Would you rather a follower connect with YOU as a person?

I would love to hear your thoughts ♥


  1. Hi Jen!I love your post. I believe it is important to connect. It seems many of us artists are so bent on having a huge following either on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., we forget to acknowledge those who love our art and follow us. I am so thankful for interaction, comments, thoughts on my artwork. Helps me get to know my followers and they get to know me.

    1. YES!! While art is what we do (and a HUGE part of who we are), it's the person-to-person interaction. I see so many IG accounts that simply post, post, post (whether planned out collective style, or general images) but NEVER connect with others by engaging by replying to comments or asking questions, just "here's my stuff, buy it"...I can't be that way. I'd rather have a tiny following with real connections than a huge following with no heart.
      Sales of ANY kind is hard, no doubt and the pressure to produce and promote can be overwhelming, but rarely does quantity (without interaction or connecting on a life-level) equal quality and loyalty. At least for me, it never has.