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Four Tips to Help You Break into Digital Art on Instagram

When I was graduating high school, the one thing I asked for from my parents was an iPad. I knew that I wanted to make the transition to paperless learning in college, and this piece of technology would afford me the perfect opportunity to be able to do so. Little did I know, this tablet would provide me with a massive community of creators and innovators from across the world.

Fast forward to freshman year of college. I began following Catherine Iacono (@cathconfolio), at the time a senior at the University of Georgia who created the most amazing digital drawings through an app called Procreate on her iPad. I thought to myself, “Well, I have an iPad, I’m creative—I’m going to try this myself.” So I did. I started drawing based on reference photos for months before starting my art account on Instagram (@graphicsbylivvy).

I started following other artists and making connections with women from London to Singapore, Ecuador to Alabama, and beyond. Before I knew it, I had the opportunity to work with tens of other artists in collaborations, support each others’ small businesses and watch their accounts flourish.

Really, though, the key to starting a successful art account is time. When I started posting, my drawings were minimalistic and hardly even comparable to the work I create today. You can see that with other artists as well. As long as you start, you will improve and you will find an amazing community of like-minded people, and I can guarantee that. If you want to hone your skill first, though, keep reading to find tips on how I have improved my drawing skills to create more complex drawings.

Download Procreate

This is specifically if you have an iPad. Procreate may carry an upfront cost of $9.99, but let me tell you it is WORTH it. Not only is drawing therapeutic, it has allowed me to launch my business and has even led to internships. Procreate has tons of amazing, versatile features, and the face of the app is easy to navigate as well, making it worth every penny.

Give yourself plenty of time for each drawing

Obviously you will get quicker and quicker over time, but I used to rush through my drawings and only allot myself time to create a minimalistic-style drawing. Now, I will spend hours on a drawing, even if this means stepping away for a few days, and I never rush to finish a piece. It ends up so much better that way!

Choose reference photos that appeal to you

When I started out, I felt so much pressure to choose similar images to other artists, and follow a similar style. But honestly, I didn’t love it. After a bit I started choosing images that I liked and made my page stand out from the rest. I still do this, and it makes the process even more fun.

Don’t sike yourself out

This was another big thing I did early on. For some reason, I convinced myself that I couldn’t do more detailed pieces. In reality though, I just hadn’t tried creating more detailed drawings yet, so I was more nervous that they wouldn’t turn out well. But let me assure you—go for all the detail in the world if you want to! You are capable of so much more than you think you are and your designs will SHOW that.

Believe me, you are already way more talented than you think you are. I dare you to start creating today. Months down the line, you won’t regret it.

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Olivia is a sophomore at Boston University majoring in advertising and journalism with a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship. At any time you can find her working on her small business, scrolling through Instagram and Tik Tok, or searching for the best avocado toast spots in Boston. Find her on Instagram @heyitsoliviataylor and @graphicsbylivvy!
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