Out of all social media sites, my needs and desires from a platform most happily align with Instagram. For many years I had a private account, only sharing with friends and family, but within the last year I made a new account in order to network with other homeschooling families, homesteaders and makers. I’m slowly developing and nurturing these connections with people across the country, and even across the globe, and loving every minute of it. I’ve found inspiration for homeschool activities, knitting and sewing, gardening and animal husbandry. Perhaps the most amazing and mutually beneficial aspect of Instagram, however, is connecting with artists in their own space and on their own terms.
Last year I found an artist in Bath, England who made the most delicate flower sketches. I was able to connect with her through a direct message and commission an image I had in mind for a tattoo. Next, I found a tattoo artist who specialized in florals here in my home state of Maine and within no time I had this synergetic Queen Anne’s Lace forever cast upon my skin.
More recently, I was turned onto an artist in Northern Ireland who does illustrated portraits of children and, within a few days after inquiry, my inbox lit up with a sketch of Petunia ready to use for valentines of all shapes and sizes. With intentioned art at hand and a messy dining room table, something simple like valentines have turned into much more meaningful keepsakes.
I suppose this reads like an advertisement for Instagram, and perhaps it is, but I see it more as a “thank you” to makers, growers and caregivers of all sorts who share their work and knowledge through daily pictures and stories, in turn illuminating this common space with value and camaraderie. Whereas bickering and sanctimonious rants seem to fill many of the other social media platforms, I still find Instagram to be a community-oriented, humanizing space where the world truly becomes a bit smaller and meaningful sociability still exists. If you’re there and want to connect, please do!
I am going to link to the artists I spoke of above, so please check them out!