Instagram can be a gold mine for creative inspiration, but it sometimes feels like artist accounts on the ubiquitous social media platform are more self-promotional than authentically engaging. With 400 million active users, it can be hard to find quality content outside the tropes and cliches.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite artists using Instagram in unique ways — from digital installations to math-infused origami masterpieces.
New media artist and programmer Grayson Earle is constantly breaking down boundaries between tech and art with interactive exhibitions and hand-crafted digital games. The process, from conceptual sketches to halfway-completed hardware, is documented on his Instagram account alongside a heavy helping of glitch art and tongue-in-cheek tech humor.
Earle is based in Brooklyn, where his work was most recently shown in the AgitProp! exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.
Manila-born, Texas based artist Dan Lam and her friendly [and touchable] neon-hued sculptures.
Robert J. Lang ⚡️first laser-scored origami🔥 2 weeks of school left! I’ve missed origami so much A photo posted by robby kraft (@gridpaper) on
Speaking of art and engineering, Portland-based artist Robby Kraft’s account is well worth following for anybody with an interest in data structures, fractals, and the visual side of mathematics.
Vincent Floderer A photo posted by robby kraft (@gridpaper) on
Kraft pays the rent coding for software development companies and dedicates the rest of his time to an obsession with applying his math skills to the art of origami. Newcomers to his account will find hundreds of mind-bogglingly complex creations.
We were asked to send inspirational images for a new exciting photo shoot and found this one which I think I have never had a chance to post. #mermaidsarereal #tbt on Saturday #whynot #olek with the magician #karlgiant @jonathanlevinegallery #sendinglove @jesslucci 💋 A photo posted by olek (@oleknyc) on
Olek is an engaging street artist working with crochet and fabrics — all while avoiding the cutesy trappings of “knitbombing” you might be wary of after visiting your local edgy arts district.
Natural details and field guide realism are central to the craft of tattoo artist Pony Reinhardt at Tenderfoot Studio, also in Portland. Work out of the studio shows a strong inspiration from classical nature illustration as much as traditional tattoo art aesthetics, resulting in a unique output that’s as comfortable on the wall as it is on your arm.
Better known as Bootymath and semi-legendary for his social media antics in “weird Twitter” circles, illustration artist Zach Fox displays a formidable talent for color and composition on his more subdued but equally entertaining Instagram account.
A video posted by zack fox (@dickjusticemayanprophecy2012) on
Fans of alternative comics might connect his distinctive fixed-line work to the likes of Ron Rege or Gary Panter, although with stronger sexual themes and a stronger color palette to match. Fox also does album art for Awful Records and album reviews for Noisey.
—Words by VAGA editors.