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  • Writer's pictureHannah Ghafary

10 Artists You Should be Following on Instagram

Guess who’s back, back again? It’s me, and this week I’m here to get you up to date on ten talented artists on Instagram worth giving a “follow” if you haven’t already. Social media is an amazing tool because it has broken down the boundaries for any artist to connect to their audience. It is a free way to broadcast your work to the millions of people that traffic through social networks every single day. That being said, it also means that there are so many amazing artists out there to find on Instagram it could be almost impossible to pick the “best” ones. Of course, an artist is not defined by how many followers they have, or even how many people want to buy their work, but rather by making work that others can connect to. I’ve compiled a list of ten intentionally very different artists with differing styles and follower bases, because they are all awesomely talented individuals that could bring some pizzazz to your timeline (in no particular order): 

1 A L E X A M E A D E


These paintings look like nothing out of the ordinary, right? Look again. If you look closely, you’ll see that these paintings are actually photographs. Alexa Meade is a one-of-a-kind installation artist whose work collapses the depth of our three-dimensional world into a seemingly flat painting. Meade paints on real people and objects using colorful, painterly strokes to create the visual illusion of a two-dimensional scene. I’ve been following her career for several years now, and Alexa’s work is unlike anything else I’ve seen. This young artist has made quite the entrance into the industry in recent years, with a style that is all her own, even collaborating with musical artist Ariana Grande on her God is a Womanvideo. She also recently did an incredible Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition called Immersed in Wonderland. Alexa Meade’s bold, unparalleled style is revolutionary, and hers is a name you will want to remember as her artistic career continues to flourish.

2 J A S O N D E C A I R E S T A Y L O R


Banker by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Jason DeCaires Taylor is hands-down one of my all-time favorite artists. A sculptor, professional underwater photographer and self-proclaimed environmentalist, Jason creates public underwater installations in the ocean that promote environmental awareness. This pioneering artist designs his sculptures using pH neutral materials which promote natural coral growth to offset the damaging effects of climate change. These eerie, foreboding underwater scenes often make powerful statements on human progress while exploring the aesthetics of decay and rebirth. Taylor established himself as an internationally renowned artist in 2006 with his creation of the world’s first underwater museum in the West Indies. Today, it holds a title in the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic and the site stands as a National Marine Protected Area. Jason is an artist that deserves our attention because not only does his work provoke significant dialogue, but it also allows us to appreciate the natural beauty of our world while supporting and fostering marine life preservation.

Inertia, an exhibit at Musa, off the coast of Mexico. Photograph by Jason deCaires Taylor

3 S K E L


0 Likes by Jason Skeldon (left). American Greed by Jason Skeldon (right).

Artist Jason Skeldon, who works under the alias SKEL, is best known for his colorful, graffiti-esque creations. SKEL’s vibrant, fun style is most tastefully offset by his powerful statements and references towards pop culture and current events. Skeldon likes to work with spray paint, acrylic, watercolor, stencils and resins. Today, Jason’s work hangs coast to coast in the United States as he gains increasing recognition from the art community. Comedian Kevin Hart and singer Taylor Swift are just a few of the names he boasts in his notable repertoire of clientele. If you find yourself inspired by the works of artists like Banksy, you will be sure to find Jason Skeldon’s work to be visually remarkable and thought-provoking.

4 I R I N A C U M B E R L A N D


The first time I saw the work of Irina Cumberland, I had to do a double-take when I realized I was looking at a painting, not a photograph. This incredibly talented artist has a never-ending passion for painting photorealistic-style water. Cumberland found emotional shelter in creating these peaceful seascapes after leaving a stressful medical career for what she believes is her true calling. And the best part about her work is that it’s one with a cause, as five percent of all of her profits go to the Gyre Institute, which aims to empower action about the pollution crisis and search for sustainability. If you love the beach as much as I do, you will find yourself drifting away in Cumberland’s paintings on a rainy day while scrolling through your feed.

5 T O M A S Z M R O A R T


Tomasz Mro is an artist I stumbled upon about a year ago, and I absolutely fell in love with his work. Mro pulls on elements of fashion and graphic design to creates unique, haunting portraits which explore a range of emotions and expressions. He works in watercolor, gouache, graphite and ink. He almost always experiments with selective color somehow throughout his work in a way that creates an ethereal and eerie atmosphere. Tomasz is best known for his Yellow Series (pictured above), which was what first drew me to his work when I discovered it. If you enjoy portraiture or figure drawing, Tomasz Mro’s unique graphic style will impress and inspire you to push the boundaries of traditional portraiture.

6 O B R A Y C O W A N


I just recently discovered Obray Cowan, but right away I found myself riveted and inspired by his psychedelic, other-worldly artwork. Obray is a North-Carolina based tattoo artist, who just recently started sharing more of his drawings and sketches. When he is not designing tattoos, he works mainly in pen and there are rainbow elements in almost all of his ethereal designs. He’s very interactive with his followers, and Obray’s work is definitely worth a look, especially if you like tattoo art.

7 A L Y S S A S I L O S


I first saw Alythuh’s work about a year ago when someone sent me her “Pot Heads” painting, and I was obsessed with everything she made from that second on. Alyssa Silos, often known by the alias Alythuh, creates colorful and illustrative works primarily in colored pencil and oil paint. She pulls inspiration from her travels and the beauty of the feminine figure. As both a full-time artist and world traveler, her profile is sprinkled with photos from exotic trips that will make you want to quit your day job and go see the world. Establishing herself as an international artist, Alyssa also recently presented her first international solo art exhibit in Japan. Alythuh is worth the follow because she is the queen of female empowerment, ad she will bless your feed with her amazing travel adventures and even better art.

8 T A T S U Y A T A N A K A


Tatsuya Tanaka is an artist who uses conventional household items as props to build miniature worlds. Tanaka manipulates scale in a way that prompts viewers to look at everyday objects and activities from a new perspective. He depicts ordinary scenes like mowing the lawn, getting a parking ticket, and walking the dog in a unique and oddly satisfying way. Tatsuya also makes many references to modern pop culture in his art. Though his works often depict some kind of action taking place, they are oddly peaceful and still in a captivating way.

9 L A I N E G A Y


Laine Gay is an artist I found quite recently, and I will start by saying that her work is not for the faint of heart. As a survivor of sexual abuse, Laine’s works focus mainly on themes of sexual violence, growth, female empowerment and mental health. Through figurative elements in her work, Laine attempts to capture the beauty and resilience of the feminine spirit. In her most recent showcase, boldly titled TRIGGER WARNING, Laine attempted to recreate her childhood bedroom where the traumatic experiences took place. She filled the walls with paintings depicting her personal experiences and recovery in an attempt to prompt an important dialogue on the ongoing prevalence of sexual violence and the lasting impact its survivors feel. Laine stands bravely as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault everywhere, and her work touches on experiences and emotions that many young women can relate to and gain empowerment from. If you find yourself interested in any art that relates to the feminist movement, I strongly suggest checking her work out.

10 P I P P A M C M A N U S


After more than a decade of work in the industry, Pippa McManus has risen through the ranks to become one the best-known fashion illustrators in Australia. This young artist creates beautifully ornate works that play up on elements of modern beauty and fashion. Her style often incorporates the use of selective color, rendering monochromatic female figures in colorful clothing and jewelry. Pippa frequently references images of Haute Couture fashion, which she sometimes shares with her followers. McManus’s distinctive and captivating portraiture style is a great inspiration to much of my work. I was lucky enough to receive a limited edition print of her Wedgewood Wonderland as a Christmas gift this year, and it did not disappoint. If you are interested in fashion or character illustration, Pippa McManus’s bright, trendy work is sure to bless your timeline.

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