Using Instagram to Find Design Inspiration

Using Instagram to Find Design Inspiration

Sarah Andres
January 9, 2024

If you’re a designer, you know the importance of inspiration. Seeing other people's work can give you ideas for your own. But where should you go to find inspiration? One platform that always works is Instagram.

Instagram is a platform that heavily relies on visuals. You can find photos and videos depicting some incredible photography or mind-blowing illustrations. You can take this illustration's elements and breathe your originality into them by looking around. This post will tell you how to use Instagram to its fullest.

First, Follow Popular Accounts

The best start for finding design inspiration on Instagram is to read articles listing the most popular accounts to follow. Not all of these accounts will necessarily be your style, but they can be a springboard to find accounts that are more in your niche. Plus, you can see how these accounts appeal to as many people as possible while sticking to their style.

Use Keywords and Hashtags

Do you know what your niche is when it comes to design? Instagram has an excellent search bar that you can use to find artists in your niche. Enter any keywords or hashtags associated with your niche. Don't be afraid to experiment to narrow or broaden your niche. Then, enter them. You can find many artists of varying styles you can follow.

Like and Follow Illustrations and Illustrators That Interest You

Another tip is that once you've seen an illustration that looks interesting or an artist that you enjoy, drop a like and give them a follow. There are several reasons for doing this.

It Shows Support

First, you're helping a person get their work out. Every time an art piece gets a like, it invites more people to like it, thanks to Instagram's algorithm. A like and follow can also make an artist feel great, especially if they are smaller. While you’re at it, be sure to leave a nice comment.

The Algorithm Will Recommend Similar Content

Instagram's algorithm is complex. Every time you like something, the algorithm takes that as your potential interest. The Explore page will recommend new content based on your likes and follows. If you see some art that inspires you, then like it. The algorithm may start to suggest more content based on what you want. You can discover more artists and more ideas for your own designs.

The Chance for Collaboration

If you support a smaller artist on Instagram, they may want to give you a follow-up. They may even want to work with you if they enjoy your work. One way that you can grow on Instagram is to collaborate with others. So be sure to support smaller artists!

Look at the Followers of Your Favorite Artists

Don't let the algorithm do all the work for you. Like most algorithms, it can get things wrong and trap you in a bubble. You may start seeing the same art. However, a thriving artist consumes art in many styles, as the most successful artists will have evolving art styles over the years.

So, if you see an artist you like, check out who they are following and look at their followers. You may also want to check out the comments section.

Why should you do this? You may discover accounts with even more great art to inspire you. Many artists will follow a diverse amount of styles as well. This way, you're not put in a bubble, and your inspirations are varied.

Be Inspired, But Don’t Compare Yourself to Them

One downside to looking at the many artists that Instagram provides is that you may end up comparing yourself to them. You may feel your work is amateurish, while the people you follow have perfect art.

These feelings are natural, but you must fight them. If you're a new artist, remember that everyone starts somewhere. The great artists you find on Instagram used to be on your level. Through persistence, they became who they are today.

However, even with experience, you may be overly critical of your work. It happens. Many people have impostor syndrome; even if you're a success, you still feel like you know nothing. These feelings are natural, and you should not let them consume you. Of course, that's easier said than done for some people. Consider seeking the help of a counselor if you cannot overcome these feelings.

Don’t Use Instagram Too Much

Instagram can be a great platform to find inspiration. However, it can be addictive. You may end up spending hours on that platform. This can eat into your time of actually being creative. Set yourself a 30-minute limit each day.

Some people will take some time in their schedule to look at Instagram and set themselves a timer. Once the timer ends, they close Instagram. Others may use distraction apps that can put a time limit on Instagram. This is helpful if you use Instagram multiple times daily, as it can be hard to keep track.

Use Other Social Media Platforms as Well

While Instagram can be a great platform, don't limit yourself to just that. Check out Twitter/X, TikTok, Deviantart, and other places artists go. The same rules apply to those platforms as they do to Instagram: feed their algorithms with liked artists and show support, but don't spend all of your time on them. You may space them equally, or you may check one social media account a day.

Create Your Own Account

When you feel confident, create your own account and showcase your art there. You can find plenty of articles on how to market your profile and reach the audience you desire. For example, you can use the right hashtags, collaborate, and buy IG shares.

Final Thoughts

You can use Instagram as a source of inspiration in several ways. With so many artists on the platform, you may find their art can help you evolve yours into something magical. With that said, go out there and find some great art.

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