Remember in my New Year post and I mentioned using Instagram as a place of inspiration instead of jealousy? Well I went on a following spree of illustrators last year. I found a lot of good ones out there (later posts?). But the one I freaking love the most is Maria-Ines Gul.
I’ve always admired artists that are simple/minimal, clever, and interesting. I think it’s partly because those are my goals as an artist/illustrator/designer but I also know/appreciate how hard it is to do so. Simplicity is hard!
Maria-Ines Gul’s illustrations are perfection. They are perfectly quirky, understated, witty, interesting, and minimalistic. They are feminine but not girly. They are current but not trite. I basically want to be one of her illustrations.
I love the range she has in her work. Some pieces are super minimal while others are worked up a bit more with detail and whimsy.
All of her girls just seem so cool. Like I said… I want to be one of her illustrations (probably the least cool thing to say).
Who’s inspiring you these days?
Back in May I had an opportunity to attend a VIP party to view the first Southern Living Inspired Home in Montgomery, Alabama. I partnered with one of the sponsors, Legrand, and took over their Instagram for the night.
The home is located in the relatively new neighborhood development, Hampstead, which is a sustainable community combining homes, restaurants, retail, offices, schools, a YMCA, and even a community garden. From the moment I turned into the neighborhood it felt familiar. I found out later that the same designers who designed Seaside, Rosemary Beach, and Alys Beach designed Hampstead and it is just as ideal– a little bit of a The Truman Show vibe.
The home is really beautiful. It overlooks a lake and is adjacent to one of the community pools. Like I said, ideal. One of my favorite things about this home is the courtyard/patio area. I can imagine having a dinner party or two out there. Throw it back and play a little flip cup maybe? Cornhole anyone?
I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with the interior designer for the project, Brooke Johns. Brooke is super sweet and talented with a very supportive husband, Phillip. Phillip was responsible for getting Legrand as a sponsor. Phillip is a self-proclaimed “lighting fanatic.” My first ever meeting with such a person, ha! Lucky for me, Legrand reached out to a local “design fanatic” to attend the event and Instagram on their behalf. And Instagram I did…
As a relatively new homeowner I’ve noticed even the smallest upgrades can make a big difference in the overall feel of your home. Light switches are one of them! I wish when my dad changed out all of our light and electrical outlets I would have known about Legrand. Beauty and function, y’all.
Basically I hung out for a couple of hours, played on Instagram, and talked to people. You know, MY FAVORITE THINGS.
I had a great time at the event. I was a little nervous leading up to it since I’ve never Instagrammed for someone else much less a big company but it was AWESOME.
As always, you can follow me on Instagram here.
There’s so much to say about Instagram I thought it needed another post. I feel like all people use Instagram a little differently but there have been some fun things I have discovered. Here’s my little breakdown:
Challenges vary in scope. Sometimes they can be daily challenges, weekly challenges, or challenges for the month. They can be used by a company for a chance to win something or they can be geared toward sparking your creativity. I think challenges are fun because they make you think about what kind of photo you’re going to post. Everyone loves a good challenge! Here are a few I thought were fun:
- It’s My Week :: This account gives you a weekly theme like places or food and you interpret it however you feel for a chance to be featured on their account. Even if you don’t want to participate this account has beautiful photos.
- 100 Days of Happy :: This isn’t just for Instagram but the challenge is documenting what makes you happy for 100 days in row. In turn you’ll be happier. I’m all about the happy.
- Capture Your 365 :: If you need a little more direction, Capture Your 365 lays out daily challenges each month. You also have a weekly prompt if committing each day is too burdensome.
- If you need more ideas, either google or search in Pinterest for “instagram challenge” and you’ll find something you like.
I’m calling them collective hashtags because I don’t know if they have an official name, they are kind of similar to challenges but a little more loose. I’m most familiar with ones within the design community. Bloggers/designers/whomever come up with a hashtag and invite people to use them. The result is pure eye candy and also a great way to find new folks to follow. Here are some of my favorite ones:
- #poppytalksummercolours :: Blogger Jan of Poppytalk hosts this hashtag every summer. She also does one for every season. The fall one is my favorite! She asks people using the hashtags to post particular colors on certain days to make the hashtag feed extra beautiful.
- #DSpattern :: Design Sponge hosts a few different hashtags (#dsfloors, #dstexture, #dsrainbow, #dslettering) but this one is my favorite to peruse.
- #ABMlovesmurals :: The girls over at A Beautiful Mess like Design Sponge come up with some fun hashtags every now and then. They are also a fun/inspiring account to follow. Also check out #ABMlifeiscolorful.
- #dresstherainbow :: Super fun Brittany of House Lars Built has done a few hashtags that she also makes challenges for herself. Her latest one is so fun and I can’t wait to see how she’s going to do it. You can participate and win a $500 gift card to ASOS. All the details here.
There have been a few people that have caught my eye because of their GENIUS creative use of Instagram. Sometimes I’m like “Why didn’t I think of that!?!?” I’m always intrigued by other people’s creativity and it pushes me to be on top of my game. Here are a few example for you viewing pleasure:
- @sophieandlili :: Jennifer Vallez is a doll-maker, illustrator, and designer. I started following her account because I saw her genius idea of watercoloring other people’s (popular) Instagram feeds. Hello, smart advertising! You can see them all under her hashtag #igwatercolorstories.
- @dailydoodlegram :: Illustrator Geffen Refaeli creates these simple pen illustrations that combines one element from two other people’s Instagram pictures. They result in a provoking and magical little illustration. She always includes the handles of the people she’s borrowing from so you can see the original inspiration images. They are really incredible.
- @rachelryle :: I can’t begin to fathom how Rachel makes these AMAZING illustrated stop motion Instagram videos. They are so freaking cool and I’m in total awe of them on the daily. Amazing I tell you! Go now and watch them all! I’ll meet you there.
As always, is there anything I’m missing that I should know about? Let me know what your favorite hashtag is to follow.
Instagram is my favorite form of social media. I’m pretty particular about who I follow because I use it mostly as a place for inspiration (aside from a couple satirical accounts). I love discovering and following artists, illustrators, designers of all kinds, and stylists. It was really hard but I narrowed down my favorite Instagrammers to a list of twelve. I divided them into two categories for you: Art Makers and Artfully Fun.
@juliarothman :: Julia is an illustrator and is always working in her sketchbook like a good artist should. She and a couple other cool gals have a drawing club and I’m insanely jealous.
@charlottelovely :: Charlotte Love is a stylist living in London. I don’t know anything about her but her pictures are always a welcomed dose of fun and whimsy in my feed.
@helenmccullagh :: Helen is an Australian artist that paints mostly florals. I love seeing into her process and details of paintings in progress. Her work is really beautiful if you’re into flowers.
@kindahkhalidy :: Kindah is an artist and surface designer in California. Her work is so playful and colorful. I just want to bottle it up and keep it in my pocket for when I need a shot of happiness.
@alkeemi :: I’ve included Kimia’s work in this post from a few months ago. Not only is she a painter but the art curator at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. How much cooler can you be? She has a great eye.
@petra_borner :: Petra is another artist I included in the Artists You Might Like post like. You might also like her Instagram feed. I like following her because she posts a mix of process, inspiration, and finished work.
My favorite Artfully Fun Instagrammers:
@emilyblincoe :: Emily is a rad photographer who crazily organizes random things like cherries, crackers, and leaves. She has a super cute puppy to boot. She adds soothing eye candy to my feed.
@shopbando :: If there is any girl gang I want to be a part of it’s the Ban.do gang. Fun, colorful, witty, I can’t say enough about how much I think this brand is THE COOLEST.
@thedogist :: You’ve probably caught on that I love dogs. I can’t resist a great photo of a dog on my feed and these are exceptional. I love how he captures their personalities and always tells their name and age. So cute.
@kellyoxford :: Kelly is a writer with a silver tongue. Her observations are hilarious. I found her on Twitter a few years ago and thought she was so witty and honest. The captions for her cats are the best.
@cestmarie :: Maria Marie is a Mexican based photographer and stylist. I love how light and pastel her feed is. It makes me want to eat cake and take better pictures. That’s a good thing.
@graymalin :: I don’t follow a lot of travel feeds because to be honest it makes me feel envious. I try to avoid that feeling. Anyway, Gray’s aerial photographs of beaches are too dreamy to deny.
I hope you’ve found some new folks to follow on Instagram. There are literally millions to follow. Are there any you think I would like? Who is your favorite? You can also find me on there!