Young visual and performance artistes are using Instagram as a platform to promote their work and express themselves creatively. We speak to a few young artistes, whose hashtags read much more than #selfielove.
Against mithai pink and canary yellow backgrounds, postcard artwork graces 27-year-old Anamica Jain’s Instagram profile: PostcardsfromIndia.
Anamica, who has close to 2,500 followers, says: “When I travel, I send postcards to friends and family. It is not easy to get postcards, you have to hunt for them, and that makes the process more fun. So I sometimes make postcards to send.”
What initially started out as a hobby, soon turned into a profession for Anamica. “My friends told me to sell my artwork.” She also feels Instagram is the perfect medium as you can reach out to a lot more people. “Many students get in touch to buy my postcards.”
Her Instagram photos include not only postcards but also snail mail, stamps, a pen and a note, and sometimes even props. “I am trying to expand my Instagram page to include images of food or make-up.”
This young artist, who turns 18 this year, was selected for the Counter Speech Fellowship, by Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLCA) that tied up with Instagram to get teen visual artists to start meaningful conversations on important issues. Anushka chose body positivity. “I presented the idea, that, if we label people by how they look, we miss out on getting to know them as human beings.”
Anushka is a digital artist. Her art work includes portraits of Kell Maresh from The Darker Side of Magic, Jude Duart from the Folk of the Air series, actor Jenna Coleman, and more. “I began pursuing it since 2014. In school, I had created an art team, worked on posters and that is how I got interested in art. I also enjoy making portraits and practise drawing comic book characters”.
She then adds that she prefers Instagram over other sites. “I use my account as a portfolio. It has a huge community of artists and musicians. It also has a huge user base of people my age. During the second week of my Fellowship, I handled the bullying page and talked to a girl who had reached out to share how she was bullied. I spoke to her for a while and put her at ease. Art leads to that kind of conversation,” says Anushka whose Instagram handle is @Anushkadraws.
Eighteen-year-old Ishita, who was chosen for the Counter Speech Fellowship, has garnered a loyal following. For the fellowship she composed a catchy song: Skirts or Pants. “I addressed gender stereotypes in that song,” says Ishita, who learnt to play the guitar as a child, and picked up the ukulele, a stringed instrument similar to a guitar, from YouTube videos. Her talent for singing, composing music, and playing instruments have been appreciated in the Bengaluru music scene. “Instagram is a good platform to share your work as the community is far more accepting of interesting artistic work. I see many artistes my age who prefer the app to other social media sites because it is a photo and video-sharing app,” says Ishita. Her handle is @ishitasings.