Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world (more than 1 billion active monthly users in 2021), so an Instagram presence can bring artists new clients and help them popularize their portfolios on microstocks.

Perhaps some of you have already tried to use Instagram as a promotion tool and were disappointed. Indeed, like any social network, in order to become popular on Instagram, you need to generate content frequently and interact with your audience, which can be time-consuming.

However, it is difficult to name a group that finds it easier to generate content for Instagram than illustrators and photographers, since they are likely to have dozens of original images in their archives. So what they need is to post their works with the right hashtags.

Earlier, we talked about which hashtags will help photographers’ Instagram posts go viral (Instagram Hashtags for Photographers). But in this article, we focus on illustrators.

stock illustration instagram artist


Why use art hashtags (Instagram)

A #hashtag is a powerful navigational tool on Instagram. They are added to image descriptions and become clickable after publication. By clicking on them, users can go to the search results page, where all the images whose authors have added the same hashtag to their descriptions are presented.

In addition to allowing Instagram users to find content on the same topic, hashtagged words can be used as a search query. You can open the Explore section on Instagram and start typing your keywords in hashtag form (like #modernart) or as regular worlds  (“modern art”). In the first case, the search engine will immediately show you publications with the desired hashtag, and in the second case, you can choose to search by hashtags.

The idea behind hashtags is to help people discover new content that they might be interested in. Thus, hashtags alone can help you reach people who are not your followers and who are not targeted by our Instagram ads. In addition, Instagram algorithms take hashtags into account when automatically (that is, without a user request) recommending content in the Explore section. Another place where you can use hashtags is in your profile bio.

Useful Instagram hashtag generators in 2021Instagram Hashtag Generator by Influencer Marketing Hub, Display Purposes, All HashtagIngramer Hashtag Generator , Sistrix

Instagram hashtag tool


Where to integrate Instagram art tags

You already know why you should use hashtags in descriptions of your artwork and other images on Instagram. The next questions you should ask are which hashtags to use and where to place them.

There is no rule on Instagram regarding the use of hashtags. However, it is worth keeping in mind that Instagram users see only two lines of text (up to 125 characters) under your image while scrolling through their news feed. To see the rest of the text, they need to click on it (or select “See more”). Image descriptions are also limited in size: you have only 2,200 characters to express your idea.

So here is an informal rule for you: Integrate hashtags into your image description only if they fit into the context; all other hashtags can be added after the description text or in the comments.

Best Instagram hashtag length: from 6 to 20 characters

Recommended number of hashtags for an Instagram post: up to 10 (30 max)

Read this insightful article to learn even more about captioning online images — A Checklist on Creating Catchy Photo Captions for Social Media.

Instagram screenshot

As you see, the first comment (not the image caption) includes hashtags. 


Tips on using art hashtags on Instagram

When it comes to popularizing your content by using hashtags, you’ll need a strategy. First, you should decide how you will use hashtags. As you might guess, we have a few recommendations:

— Integrate hashtags into an image description 

Hashtags are clickable and therefore colored blue. Just like emojis, they make your text less monotonous and more dynamic, by increasing the reading depth. In addition, Instagram tags integrated into the body text save space for other necessary hashtags. Some services (for example, this one by Influencer Marketing Hub) allow you to automate hashtag generation based on what’s on your image.

— Mix popular and niche hashtags

This will allow you to reach a wider audience as well as a smaller number of loyal geeks looking for specific content. Use this Instagram tags generator to see which hashtags are frequent, average, and rare; then pick a few of each kind.

— Create unique hashtags to help users navigate your profile

Use specific hashtags to label your artistic series. Add these hashtags to your bio to draw more attention to them.

— Watch hashtag trends 

Some hashtags are highly seasonal, and some become incredibly popular on certain days. If you manage to post relevant content with a hashtag that goes ballistic, there’s a great chance that your profile or illustration will be seen around the world. To follow hashtag trends on Instagram, use this free tool. You can also start searching for hashtags on Instagram and see how many posts have the same hashtag.

— Create a custom (“copyright”) hashtag

It should be simple and memorable. In the future, you’ll want to motivate people to use your custom hashtag in their posts, when they show others your work or compare other people’s artworks to yours.

— Create a list of hashtags that work best for you

This will increase your chances of expanding your audience, because you will be more likely to catch the eye of people who follow certain hashtags. Experiment with different hashtags and compile a list of those that really bring you new followers and reactions. Use those hashtags regularly.

Illustrators to follow on Instagram in 2021: Bodil Jane (@bodiljane), Helene Baum-Owoyele (@helene.baum), Rob Hodgson (@berthodgson), Geffen Refaeli (@dailydoodlegram), Daniel Frost (@danielfrostillustration), Ping Zhu (@pingszoo)

Instagram screenshot

An author used popular descriptive hashtags. 


Best hashtags for artists on Instagram

Describing your image

Since Instagram is a visual-based social network, the most useful hashtags for artists there are those that directly describe what’s going on in your illustration. There are different approaches to such descriptions: some list the objects depicted in the picture, and some tell a story about them. Test both approaches to see what works for you.

Object-based hashtag description (example) — #landscape #storm #tree #nature #field #soil #leaf #root #sprout #dirt

Hashtags telling stories (example) — #walk #meetingfriends #feelinggood #holidays



Genre tags help Instagram users find new illustrations in the artistic technique they prefer. Use variations of popular genre names. As usual, people subscribe to hashtags of this kind, so make sure you add genre labels to your masterpieces with a mixture of frequently used, common, and rarely used tags.

Best hashtags for artists (“watercolor” examples) — #watercolor #watercolour #watercolourart #watercolorist #watercolorstudy #watercolourist

Another example (“fashion illustration” tags) — #fashionillustration #illustrationfashion #fashionillustrations #fashiondesignillustration #fashionartillustration



Hashtags of this type give you an opportunity to connect with a wider audience than just those who know a lot about genres and art techniques. Here, we are talking about people who are looking for visual references and inspiration on social networks. Before generating your list of hashtags, consider what mood your illustration conveys. Remember, expressive images have great social media reach.

Best hashtags for artists (“happy” examples) — #happy #happytoday #instamood

Another example (“bad day” tags) —  #badday #nobaddays #badweatherday #badmoodtoday #instamood


Popular art and artistic Instagram community hashtags

This group of hashtags will help you make your profile more recognizable among colleagues. To accomplish this, your task is to designate your content as illustrations and show that you are an illustrator, in order to motivate people to visit your Instagram profile, see your other works, and follow you. These are high-frequency queries that are relevant to your professional niche.

Best hashtags for artists (examples) — #artist #artistsoninstagram #illustrator #illustratorsoninstagram #illustrators #illustratoroninstagram #illustratorsofig #visualartist #artistavisual #visualartists #artoftheday #sketch #instaart #creative #illustrationartists #digitalart


Stock illustration and Depositphotos tags 

To show that your work has commercial appeal, you can add microstock- and illustration-related hashtags to your hashtag list. These are low-frequency queries, so the competition among such posts is low and the audience that uses these hashtags will definitely see your content.

Best hashtags for artists (examples) — #microstockillustration #stockillustration #depositphotos #microstock

Instagram screenshot

Here, we used hashtags related to illustrations and artists.


Art series and personal Instagram tags 

If you’re planning to become a stock illustration influencer, then you definitely need hashtags that navigate your content. Almost every Instagram blogger tries to catalog the content they produce in order to increase the reach of old content and keep people interested in checking out their posts on the same or a related topic. We recommend using your personal hashtags in Stories, News Feed posts, and your profile bio. Explore more here — Best Practice for Designing Instagram Stories.

Art series hashtags examples — #[your name]_sketches, #[your name]art, #illustrationsby[your name]


Now-trending, seasonal, and event Instagram hashtags 

Don’t use hype hashtags to try to make irrelevant content popular. Once you learn about a surge in popularity around a hashtag, think about which of your works can be used to best illustrate it. A safe bet is to use hashtags related to holidays (like New Year or Christmas). People are more likely to respond to holiday illustrations, because bring up associations with holiday joy.

Trending hashtags that can be useful for illustrators — #love #instadaily #picoftheday #fashion #beautiful #smile #art #life #nature #friends #summer


Geo hashtags

Despite the fact that Instagram has a separate section for indicating the location where the photo or illustration was born, you can draw additional attention to your portfolio on this social network using hashtags of cities and countries, which are also popular. Moreover, you have an advantage over photographers: you can add tags for locations that inspired you to create your illustration.

Instagram popular geo hashtags — #city #dubai #california #america #sanfrancisco #roma #chicago #sanfran #sanfranciscocity #Seattle #UnitedStates #newyork

Instagram screenshot

You can find a couple of location-specific hashtags at the beginning of the list. 


Wrapping up 

Instagram is a good way to make a name for yourself online if you create visual content. And Instagram hashtags are attributes that will help you double and triple the effectiveness of your presence on this platform.

Above, we described the basic rules and principles for how artists can use hashtags in their publications. For example, you shouldn’t use more than 10 hashtags, and you should avoid hashtags longer than 20 characters. In addition, hashtags should reflect the essence of your illustration. Or perhaps they help your posts go viral.

Tracking popular hashtags on Instagram can also be a smart time investment for you. Witty holiday cards or posters that express your social position in the context of a hotly debated topic on the Internet will usually generate more audience reactions and bring new subscribers to you.

Instagram provides you with a great opportunity to earn more on stock images, but we believe that this is not its main advantage. With Instagram, you can get real-time feedback on your work and help you find your passionate fans. Learn more about how to promote yourself on Instagram here — How to Gain 20K Instagram Followers.

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