Caroline Richards ’22
Although it has a degree of status simply because it has been around a long time and has objectively high user numbers, Instagram’s new update received a lot of backlash because it essentially transformed the otherwise creative social media platform into a consumer-based/ad-based algorithm that is, in my opinion, though I think I’m speaking for the majority here, 1) difficult to navigate and 2) incredibly annoying to spend time on because of its emphasis on tailored ads and brand promotions which get in the way of the stuff we actually want to see: literally just the accounts we follow. Given the simplicity of that request, you’d think it wouldn’t be too hard for Instagram to comply, but alas, why show them what they want to see when you can bombard them with disturbingly specific ads for products they thought about an hour ago and make a larger profit? Fair enough, I guess. However!
Although Instagram’s general algorithmic structure may be working against you, there are still ways to tailor your feed so that it brings you some certain degree of joy (perhaps even knowledge) outside the clothing ads and the ten or so people whose posts you care about seeing.
The answer, in my humble, largely irrelevant opinion, lies in finding and following art accounts. Even if you don’t know much about art or previously enjoyed art to begin with, there are so many well-run, niche art accounts on Instagram that are worth following; it’s arguably one of the only things this app is good for anymore.
There’s something profoundly refreshing about Instagram accounts that aren’t trying to sell you something, convince you of something, or brag to you about something. That being said, here are my top five art or creatively-centered accounts to check out in your spare time, though I encourage you to do your own searching based on your interests. I promise it’s worth it.
Poetry account (self-explanatory) that posts an impressive range of poems and poets in short, digestible displays. They don’t go overboard with the colors, graphics or general appearances, which I appreciate, and they don’t over-post so you won’t be overwhelmed every other hour by poems, but you also won’t miss them on your feed. They also sometimes do collaborations with poets (recently Ocean Vuong), or they might emphasize a specific poet one week (recently Lucille Clifton). If you like poetry you should definitely follow this account, and if you don’t like poetry, stop reading and get help.
Really wacky, utopian themed architectural and interior design posts. Mildly trippy and psychedelic but definitely not in the annoying, Amazon wall-tapestry way if you catch my drift. It’s very well curated and fun. Even if you don’t decide to follow them, I would recommend scrolling through briefly if you have a minute just to see it. For further reference, Tyler the Creator is a big fan and based his home in LA on a lot of their ideas.
Probably my favorite Instagram account of all time. Purely filled with quite literally dark and gloomy art, mostly paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Lots of Goya and Grimshaw, and heavy on the Russian landscape paintings (rightfully so given the theme). They keep it simple and post once a day, and the quality is always high and worth looking at several times over. It weirdly doesn’t make me feel sad and gloomy, it just makes me appreciate the universal human experience of pain and suffering. Somehow this is both reassuring and humbling.
A classic for my movie lovers out there. They always post great stuff, be it clips from famous movies, iconic movie quotes, collages of actors, fun facts about film history, or behind-the-scenes photos. They also run a killer Instagram story with voting polls and video moodboards which are fun to engage with. They have a pretty good range of genre’s and eras as well, though they tend to keep it pretty contemporary.
Really well-curated, very relaxing modern photography account. They have their asthetic down to a science, but not in the exhaustive-influencer way that plagues the Instagram explore page and makes you want to throw up. They don’t post products but they do include (and tag) some really cool artists and photographers which do so you can choose to look into those further if you feel inclined. I always like when they come up on my page each day and I’ve found other really interesting creative accounts from this page. Highly recommend at least scrolling through.