Social Media and Artists: The Imperative of Networking in the Digital Age

How to effectively showcase your art and personality as an artist on social media platforms? Should content cater to populist trends and entertainment to draw in audiences? Or is it better to stay true to your artistic vision and trust that your audience will find you organically, even without an extensive social media presence? Alternatively, is simply sharing photos of your works from exhibitions and studio sessions sufficient? In this article, an art historian and social media manager for cultural projects, Asya Ivanova shares her perspective on these pertinent questions facing artists today.

At the same time, Asya aimed to describe the strategies employed by artists on Instagram to promote themselves effectively. We hope this article serves as a resource for aspiring artists seeking to carve out their niche amidst the vast sea of information. Additionally, it is intended to offer insights to anyone interested in enriching their Instagram feed with content centered around art and culture.

In this piece, Asya delved deeper into Instagram, as it stands out today as the most globally-reaching social network, offering ample opportunities for collaborations and public exposure.

Let's take a moment to address a seemingly fundamental question: why should artists invest effort in developing their Instagram presence? While the answer may appear obvious, it's crucial to underscore its significance. Instagram serves as more than just a platform for self-promotion; it also functions as a dynamic portfolio. While many artists maintain traditional websites or PDF portfolios for clients and partners, social media opens up additional avenues. It offers unparalleled visibility as well as providing a human face to your art. By showcasing your work on Instagram, you humanize your artistic process, allowing people to connect with the person behind the art. Moreover, it fosters collaborations with fellow artists and creatives, expanding your network and opening doors to exciting opportunities.


Do we know any successful examples of artist presence on Instagram?

Not everyone feels comfortable with public exposure, but for those who are open to it and utilize platforms like Instagram, Reels can be a powerful tool for self-promotion as an artistic figure. Take, for instance, Anatoly Shabalin K.'s (@anatoly.shabalin.k)  Instagram account, where he offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation process of his sculptures and objects. Anatoly, currently based in Berlin, showcases his work with a narrative flair, captivating storytelling, and high-quality imagery. The language used in his descriptions is straightforward and authentic, reflecting his personal voice. Despite being a Russian-born artist now residing in Berlin, Anatoly chooses English as the common language to connect with a wider audience.


While investing time in content production for social media platforms undoubtedly requires personal commitment, the potential benefits can be substantial. However, it's crucial to note that the number of subscribers doesn't necessarily correlate with audience quality. While social media popularity may not directly translate to increased art sales, it can provide a sense of validation and support from your audience.


This sentiment holds particularly true for artists who have pioneered their own techniques, such as Jeppe K. Ringsted, whose Instagram handle is (@jepperingsted), hailing from Copenhagen. Ringsted's artistic journey involves both travel and the creation of environmental art. Employing a distinctive method, he utilizes ink to craft intricate patterns on water surfaces. What sets his approach apart is his commitment to using non-toxic ink, comprising carbon (soot) and sap extracted from moon flower leaves, ensuring minimal impact on aquatic ecosystems. In this case, it seems that beyond the chance to engage more people in discussions about environmental issues and share the artist's technique, there's also an added incentive for the artist to expand their activities, given the evident demand for their work.

Cyprus. How do local artists present themselves in social media?

Given this publication's specialization in the Cypriot community, the focus will be on highlighting the approaches of local artists. Artists in Cyprus generally adhere to the same strategies for presenting themselves on social media as their counterparts worldwide. By exploring their accounts, we can discover valuable insights. 


Nikolas Antoniou (@nikolas_antoniou) demonstrates his artistic technique through visual narratives, showcasing the application of strokes on canvas. His profile boasts a well-crafted header, providing immediate insight into his artistic style, preferred medium, location, and avenues for further exploration of his work (including a website link). Additionally, featuring a pinned post elucidating basic techniques or outlining his artistic ethos adds value to his profile. Another noteworthy example of an account with a quickly readable personal message is British Artist Based in Cyprus Jamie Jones, known as (@just.jamie.jones). 


Panayiotis Andreou's (@panayiotis__an) Instagram profile showcases his art through high-quality photographs, interspersed with personal and conceptual selfies. After all, it's a common dilemma: where does one begin when navigating the transition from a regular individual who enjoys taking selfies to an artist utilizing Instagram as a platform to showcase and potentially sell their work? And it seems that Panayiotis Andreou finds a balance.


Another artist who also finds a balance as it seems in dialog with an audience is Danae Patsalou (@danae.patsalou). Danae’s profile maintains a balance, avoiding an overload of job descriptions or content. Additionally, Andreou includes a link to a website, offering visitors more comprehensive insights into her artistic projects. Instagram thus serves as an intermediary, enticing viewers to explore further and immerse themselves in both the personality and works of the artist.


Consistency in posting and maintaining audience engagement are crucial factors that artists cannot neglect. Without regular updates, followers may forget why they initially subscribed to an artist's profile amidst the deluge of information on social media platforms. An excellent example illustrating this principle is Anastasia Fainberg, whose Instagram handle is @vaasialis. Based in Limassol, Fainberg's profile stands out for its consistent posting schedule and high-quality imagery. Despite not featuring her face prominently, the captivating still-life compositions and meticulous attention to detail draw viewers in. This consistent presence and visual allure ensure that followers remain engaged and eager to explore her latest creations.


Daphne Christoforou's (@daphne_christoforou) social media strategy is characterized by thoughtful post curation and a distinct color palette that hints at her artistic identity. By sharing videos of her work process, Christoforou not only provides insight into her artistic methods but also extends an invitation for viewers to step into her studio virtually. These videos serve as enticing previews of what visitors can expect during an in-person studio visit, further enhancing engagement with her audience.

Chiaki Kamikawa (@chiakikamikawa), an artist based in Paphos, goes beyond simply showcasing her finished works for exhibitions on social media. She generously shares her artistic journey, including developmental processes and archival drawings. This transparent approach not only offers insight into her creative evolution but also reveals her authentic identity as an artist.

So, let's circle back to questions we kicked off with: Is there any recipe for a successful social media? What tone of voice should an artist choose when communicating with an audience?  


It is clear that there is no single answer, but maintaining authenticity is key when growing social media accounts, especially for artists. By revealing the behind-the-scenes aspects of one's artistic process, which are often unseen by those outside the artistic community, artists can provide a more holistic view of their creative journey. This involves crafting engaging narratives, maintaining high-quality visuals, posting content consistently, and striking a balance between personal and artistic content. Leveraging modern tools like Instagram reels can further enhance the storytelling experience and captivate the audience.

Furthermore, in today's world, where viewers often prefer to hear directly from the artist rather than read lengthy curatorial texts, social media platforms offer a unique opportunity for artists to train themselves in explaining the concepts behind their projects. By using their voice to narrate their creative journey and articulate the ideas behind their work, artists can forge deeper connections with their audience and foster a greater understanding and appreciation for their art.