For many people, Instagram (and other forms of social media) is a place to share pictures of classmates and stay updated on their followers. While I can't help but fall into this category sometimes, my primary use of Instagram is as a source of visual inspiration. When I come across an image that speaks to me, I screen-shot it, email it to myself, crop it into it's original square, print it out, and glue it into my sketchbook. I constantly refer back to my favorite images to find interesting patterns and color schemes for my paintings. I find interesting people to follow by clicking on the "following" tab under "news" to see whose photos my favorite followers are liking (whew, that was a mouthful of Insta jargon). I consider my favorite photographers on Instagram to be artists, thus worthy of an "artist study" in my sketchbook. These people, to me, are truly artists because they are using their creative minds and their eyes for good composition everyday - whether or not they are artists by career. I think that is the beauty of Instagram (and the entire internet, for that matter). It gives artists all around the world the opportunity to organize, perfect, and showcase their work to others who are interested. Yes, there is a lot of crap labeled "photography" on Instagram, but get over it! You can still find plenty of users who post thought-provoking, eye-catching photos. I have found that because Instagram is something I check everyday, the images have a larger impact on my work than images on an artist's website or museum that I have to make an effort to look for, and only do so occasionally. Checking the accounts of photographers who live all over the world helps me feel personally connected with the places I want to visit most: New York, Moscow, Amsterdam, Barcelona, San Francisco, Sau Paulo, etc.
These are some of the artists I follow, check them out!