When I first created an Instagram account I promised myself I’d stick to the aesthetically pleasing, those who use their filters correctly and their Instagrams to creatively document how they see the world. That was a couple of years ago now, and not completely to my regret, I’ve since followed such accounts as @fuckjerry and @thefatjewish. Memes at their best, but memes all the same. My Instagram feed is no longer solely an indulgence in the arts, but a few accounts shine through that remind me of the aesthetic potential of the “pictures” social media app.
Conor Harrington is an Irish painter, whose former work as a graffiti artist has seen him come indoors to exhibit. His feed is a generous offering of his imagery, with extraordinary talent reminiscent of Francis Bacon’s warped, realistic painted humans. I had the immense luck of seeing Conor’s work in New York, and the opportunity to follow such an interesting artist on a social media platform is just what this century needs.
If I was an emoji right now, I’d be a ‘monkey hiding eyes’ emoji, which I enjoy using to convey how I’m a little embarrassed at something I’ve just said, but not really, cause I’m still a cute little monkey. Barbie’s Instagram feed is full of genuine style, and maybe my adoration is due to all these amazing clothes being tiny enough to fit on a Barbie doll, and maybe I’m in awe of this plastic fantastic still being the height of fashion after all these years (see Moschino’s new collection featuring person-sized Barbie clothes).
Modernism is all around us, and this Instagram vies to document the great work of our design ancestors. The modern movement has seen many design staples become part of the furniture in our homes, but the influence of good, clean lines has remained strong in many, many parts of the world. And it should be, because usually, it’s made of concrete.
Benedetto Demaio works predominantly with colours, and even a cursory swipe through his feed is utterly pleasing. His creative photography work is on a background of blue, with splashes of other colours, but always within the same colour scheme. Demaio is a true example of someone who’s seen potential in the medium of Instagram, and his little squares are always full of creativity and inspiration.
We’re based in Liverpool, and so we love it when other people are too, especially if they’re as talented as Craig Robson. Follow him for a comprehensive look at his current projects, as well as a much-needed heads up about future merch releases. The monsters that come from the mind of Daggers for Teeth, that somehow make it through his arm and through his pen, are the stuff of nightmares. And that’s the way he likes it. Craig is always designing for the coolest brands around, so he’s a good one to follow if you’re looking for an avenue into following other salt-of-the-Earth graphic designers. The Secrets logo is the best underground trophy to have; expect a nod and a wink off fellow wearers of Craig’s patches and badges.
I came across @o_odang after @shakeshack featured a fan painting of theirs, and the feed had the quality of – “hang on, there’s something here!” It appears to be pretty much a collection of drawings, personal snaps and – my favourite – food. I’m of the idea that Instagram is exactly the perfect place for food pictures. I want to see your meal. I want to know if I want to eat it too. I especially want to know if it’s at a restaurant or a cafe that I can eat at. @o_odang’s feed is experiencing a Christmas touch at the moment so get in their quick for cute little ideas. Even if you don’t understand Korean, her illustrations speak for themselves.
Lucille Clerc is an artist I have long admired, so I was delighted to find her feed. She offers an insight into her process, and although the images are few, there’s plenty of detail in there to pore over. As Lucille’s success expands it’s great to see where her work can be purchased, such as lovely biscuit tins from Fortnum & Mason.
Lucy Sparrow is an artist who created a project setting up a corner shop – but all the goods are made of felt. Her creations are adorable in their recognisable normalcy, and are actually available to buy from her website. Join Lucy on her process as she somehow gets through sewing hundreds of these products, alongside her best mate Basil the banana. The rows and rows of boxes of fabric Cornflakes and bottles of Marmite are delightful to the eye, you’ll end up overawed with Lucy’s ability and capability.
There’s a special niche to the Instagram image, its square size has dominated image making as the platform has grown more and more massive, and iPhones now even offer a square camera setting so you know from the offset that your subject fits into frame. One artist who’s gone the square route is @gangsterdoodles, who draws on 3×3 post-its which are of course – in the main part – square. The coolest ones are, anyway. Expect fluorescent drawings of all your favourite hip hop stars, with a few current and iconic personalities thrown in, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Urkel.
I couldn’t resist including this beautiful dream of a Chihuahua. Little Bean has the best tonguey-smile on Instagram, any upload of his will have you crying “OOHH MMYY GGOODD” to anyone who will listen, much like I have here.