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Instagram’s explore page has catered its posts just for you. If you happen to save or double tap multiple makeup videos, then that’s what Instagram shows you. If you save memes, those will frequently appear on your explore page too. Sometimes though, we need a break from what we’re used to seeing. It never hurts to reconnect with art. The beauty of Instagram is that artists can display their work online like a free international museum.

It’s important to note that there are so many artists out there and no one is better than another. Below are only a few examples and a generalization of popular styles from artists who draw mostly characters and people. Check them out on Instagram to spice up your feed.

Big name artists

Among many others, these artists are constantly referenced and admired in the art world for their versatile skills and expertise in colouring and expression.

For exmaple, @Cyarine is known for creating cute girls with doe eyes and great hair.

Others like @Loisvb are masters of digital colour compositions, while @_picolo is known for his expressive comic-style, his characters have a storyteller element.

“Cute” style

Generally, I see this type of art being quite popular amongst teens. These characters tend to have an animated aesthetic and are created using solid colours. Artists all over Instagram are using this "cute" art style, whether the artists are professional or not.

For example, @acatcie and @meyoco are known for cute, gradient, and pastel girly vibes. Each character looks as sweet as bubble tea. Their style reminds me of juice boxes. While others like @moonvika_svet and @singajelly often illustrate nostalgic ‘90s style characters using vintage warm tones.

@itslopez is also popular and has garnered over 1 million followers for her fashionable Disney character recreations. These characters are done in a doodling-like style and will make you relive all your childhood dreams. Sometimes K-pop is also featured.

“Professional” style

Using complex shapes, lighting, and colours, these artists are familiar enough with the human shape that they’re able to make each character seem alluring and alive.

@guweiz is an artit known for slightly post-apocalyptic, ninja-esque, Asian girl vibes. They often combine urban elements with traditional Japanese history.

Using a completely different style, @memeruizcruz creates characters with angular faces in a more cartoon-like style. Thier art is both striking and endearing.

Finally, @cutestintrovert, a lesser known artist with only 40,000 followers, creates characters with a good mix of blended and crisp lines. Her art is often softer and more fairy-like, making it seem soft and poignant. 

“Landscape” style

Landscapes are wider, more pulled back images of a scene, land or countryside. Instagram artist @by.sau does this well through detailed scenes, reminiscent of romantic paintings. This style feels spacious, lonely, and lost-in-thought like scenes of an anime film.

Meanwhile, @pascalcampionart has published numerous covers for the New Yorker. His art has the jazzy vibes of the big city lifestyle. The city life never looked so cozy and wonderful.

“Illustrative” style

This is an art style that could be made into posters or wallpapers. These artists are compositionally suave and use comic-like illustration in their works.

@missupacey's art is like a burlesque show. Witchy girls are drawn curvaceous and dangerous in order to prove her illustrative talent. 

Instead, @pixkefir's artwork is an explosion of detail. With intricate characters and scenes, their work is like a collage where your eyes will never be bored.

Using a completely differet style,@loputyn is the queen of soft lolita and earthy tones. She often uses the tropes of big bad wolves and innocent girls.

Digital Fantasy

This is a style of art that whisks the viewer away to another world. Artist @feverworm does this well. Just like their username describes, their art uses cold, corpse-like, and poisonous colours.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, @gaw.ki creates furry creatures with docile souls and soft bodies.

Taking inspiration from fantasy and video games, @titovviktor mixes up using several different mediums. They are known for their characters elongated bodies that resemble aliens wearing avant-garde high fashion.

@petemohrbacher's work is somewhere between machine, angel, and man. The art is unique in its high fantasy with rich depth. Divine, sublime, and spiritual, these figures are worthy of worship.

However, @namendart creates stunning art using just muted tones. Still these colours pop with the intense lighting and details in each image. Their work is both delightful and magical.

Watercolour

There are also many other artistic mediums used on Instagram apart from the typical digital illustration. Watercolour is a stunning medium used by many artists to create stunning, colourful, eye catching art.

For example, @artofhieu creates emotional art that feel as if the viewer has descended into a dream. The use of deep blues and negative space adds to the design aspect, while the realistic skin of the characters depicted is rendered to feel intimate and human.

@jizhoushiorg's art is minimalistically cropped, translucent, and sweet. This artist makes the edges of watercolour, which uis usually loose and washed out, obey one intended clean shape. This shape acts as almost like a window into the actual image. 

Artist @sashaunisex is a tattoo artist by day. This artist creates elegant geometric flowers and animals, which are shaded in a way to look crystallized and glassy.

Oil

There are many artists using oil paint as their medium of choice for their art posted on Instagram.

One perfect example is @baotpham, who illustrates peaceful Asian girls amid flowers. Her art in smooth shapes and excellently blended colours, so what’s not to like?

Meanwhile, @anniestegg's style is straight out of an art museum with a soothing, lullaby-like twist. Her work is an homage to portraits of the romanticism era, which are all innocent, soft, and lovely.  

@bryanmarktaylor makes mundane city-scapes and vegetables look intensely interesting. Like classic impressionists who dabbed their canvas with paint rather than perfect structure outlines, this artist applies this loose technique to modern day cityscapes.

Finally, @jasonandersonart is artist behind the cover art of Billie Eilish’s new song ”Everything I Wanted.” They break cityscapes into abstract shapes with pastel lights. 

With many more to explore, these accounts can open your eyes to the wide range of art available in the modern day. Instagram can really function as a digital museum. 

Ruisi Liu

Toronto MU '23

Ruisi Liu is a film student at Ryerson from Ottawa who enjoys drawing and binge eating thai express shrimp rolls (the rice paper wrapped ones). She also watches too many philosophy and Vox docs on YouTube. Instagram: @ruisi.liu
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