women fists raised in air

10 Artstagrams for Love and Equity

Not too long ago, I decided to go on a social media cleansing spree: a far-and-wide reaching deletion, unfollowing and unfriending of any accounts that were filling my timelines up with hatred and bigotry. In these accounts’ places, I followed more positive ones, with my timelines now seeing messages of joy, acceptance and love. Keeping these nice messages around is important for wellbeing, especially if my last article really resonated with you – the stress of exam season may have you feeling beat down and worn out! That said, here’s a list of some really cool Instagrams (in no particular order) that always bring me joy and may also be great pick-me-ups for you to celebrate endurance during these hard times. Enjoy!

  1. Image with a pink background featuring a ribcage filled with shining yellow lights. The caption reads, “Let your heart remind you that you deserve good things, even when your brain has you convinced that you don’t.”

    First of all, let’s make one thing absolutely clear: Hana Shafi kicks ass. The sheer talent that comes out of this Toronto-based femme artist always inspires me, and furthermore, so does her vision. Shafi uses her doodles to share messages of inclusivity, self-love and of course, rebellion – truly the perfect mixture of values coming out of exam season, no?

  2. Image with a light pink background featuring a group of femmes surrounding a table. Caption reads, “Build your own table.” 

    Ashley Lukashevsky’s drawings are always so vibrant and bursting with colour to highlight wonderful messages of inclusion while emphasizing the importance of community, queer liberation and Indigenous rights.

  3. Image with a pink background with red and pink roses. The caption reads, “Black and brown femmes to the front.”

    The Unapologetically Brown Series is headed by New York’s Johanna Toruno, which she describes in her bio as “a visual series utilizing public space for storytelling by QPOC/POC”. The coolest thing about this series is that it gets mobilized in the streets of NYC, printed and pasted on walls, posts, just about anywhere Toruno can get around to! Definitely something to keep your eyes peeled for if you’re heading south of the border!

  4. Image with a white background, featuring a circular rainbow surrounded with white clouds and a yellow moon and sun. Within the rainbow is a blue background, the caption reading: “One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time.”

    This is simply the cutest account I have ever seen in my life. Beyond the pure adorableness of the drawings and the simple, uplifting messages they share, I love Littlearthlings because she is a Burlington-based artist! If you’d like to support this local artist, check out her Etsy.

  5. Image with a dark brown background and a hand holding a flame with yellow light and sparkles surrounding it. The caption reads, “Reclaim your personal power.”

    For anyone who appreciates some rather psychedelic art with hints of spirituality, I give you the amazing Asja Boros. Boros is by far one of the most talented Instagram artists I’ve come across, and her messages always ground me no matter what state I’m in!

  6. Image with a mixed purple, pink and blue background with various plants and sparkles, featuring five brown femmes. The caption reads, “Femme blessings.” 

    Every time M blesses my timeline with a new pop-of-colour and heartfelt reminder, my mood brightens instantaneously. Similar to artists discussed previously, M uses their art to bring together marginalized groups and celebrate our existence!

  7. Image with a yellow background featuring a pink, cracked cup fallen over with bandages on it, spilling black liquid. Within this, the caption reads: “Existence is exhausting.”

    Dina Rodriguez is soo badass. I love her graphic designs with all my heart and how straight-up her captions can be, like this one for example. While it is awesome having a bunch of uplifting and heartwarming messages on my timeline, ones like these are sobering reminders that simply existing can, in fact, be a really hard time. You are under no obligation to fix that or feign happiness, either.

  8. An image featuring a large, diverse collection of people in a sunny field with a blue sky and rainbow. The caption reads, “We can make this world more magical!”

    The amazing Wednesday Holmes – Instagram is a better place because of them! Their colourful, playful art cheers me up the moment I see it, and it is also super informative, like Holmes’ photo collections “5 Harmful Myths About Trans People” or “How To Advance Gender Equality In Your Everyday Life”. If you want a smile on your face when you log onto Instagram, this account is the place to be!

  9. Image with a beige background featuring two people laying together in their underwear. The caption reads, “Find someone who respects your authentic self!”

    Informal but educated sex-ed is important, and Shrimp Teeth is here to serve that up! This account is a queer- and survivor-friendly space that sheds light on so many important topics relative to sexual health, relationships and bodily autonomy.

  10. 10. LSPIRG

    Image with a white background and a wreath made of various, colourful flowers. The caption reads, “Body shaming is not okay. How much you choose to eat this holiday season and always is up to you. #HomeButNotAlone.”

    Okay, at this point you can probably tell I’m in love with LSPIRG and the work they do. This collective strives to create and maintain a community of justice, equity and sustainability here at Laurier Brantford and Waterloo. Check them out and all their wonderful initiatives!

  11. Duh! Our social media team is rocking it online, filling up your TL with motivational quotes, gift give-aways, relatable memes and the cutest pups you’ve ever seen. Head over to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and follow us now!

If you follow me on Instagram (@_destinyeden), there’s a 100% guarantee you’ve seen at least one of these accounts, given I’m constantly flooding my story with these artistic messages of joy and justice. All of these amazing artists inspire so many people through their gorgeous work and the messages that come with it, but unfortunately, many also struggle with their work going uncredited or stolen.

So, keep your eyes peeled, and make sure if you use or come across the works of these badass artists to show some love and give credit! I hope these accounts spark just as much joy for you folks as they have for me. Happy winter break, Golden Hawks!