First Impressions of Instagram

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Instagram by Instagram. For Instagram

Earlier in the year, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get myself active across social media. I’ve had a Facebook profile for a long time and a Flickr portfolio created solely to show Kingston University, but I didn’t have a platform that felt right for uploading comic book pages regularly. Or stand alone pieces. Instagram came up a lot in conversations with friends, both artistically minded and not, so I created an Instagram account.

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A picture I made in it’s natural size…

I installed the Instagram app on my PC and spent about an hour messing around and talking to friends trying to figure out why I couldn’t upload images from my PC into Instagram. It seems Instagram was designed to be used on phones primarily, and simply would not allow for desktop computers to upload to it. Strike number 1.

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This is how the image appeared on Instagram. No joke at the top or Batman at the bottom. Truly, ‘this is not justice’.

After accepting the reality of the situation, I resolved to send stuff to my phone, from my PC, and upload from there. This is when I found out that Instagram crops uploads to be square. I exclusively work with rectangular canvases, since that’s the shape of comic book pages or the ratio of a screen. The idea that I would fundamentally alter my work flow to upload to Instagram was/is just too great of a leap. Strike number 2.

I followed friends and was followed back, I had a look at some cool stuff and even made the occasional upload. I found plenty of cool accounts, but, in observing my behaviour, I started wondering if Instagram is even beneficial for exposure. Typically, I would look at some stuff, ‘like’ some stuff, then stop using the app. I was barely any wiser to the creators in question and certainly not inclined to pursue some sort of financial transaction with anyone. Strike 2.5

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‘Cool stuff’ I find on Instagram. Great for me to use for reference, but not so great for the artists to stand out..

I spoke to an old friend of mine, someone who’d been using Instagram for a long time. As soon as I mentioned it, they regaled me with stories of how the app had been updated in such a way that it had become difficult to conveniently follow the upload progression of those you had taken an interest in. So here I was, underwhelmed by what I’d experienced, being told by someone who knew better, that Instagram had, in fact, seen better days. Strike number 3 aand yuuur out!

I don’t really think Instagram is what I was looking for in a promotional platform. In fact, about three hours after creating my Instagram account,  I jumped ship to Tumblr and had (and continue to have) a far more enriching experience as a creator and consumer.

I know this all sounds quite negative and I guess it is, but it’s not like I blame Instagram for not meeting my needs. I came to it blind and it just wasn’t the right fit. Just last week an old friend contacted my through Instagram and we’ve since started a collaborative project together. I’ll keep using Instagram and try to keep a regular uploading schedule, but I’ll simply be putting the same stuff that’s on Tumblr up on Instagram. Usually on the same day. Today, actually. Monday is my blog, Instagram and Tumblr upload day.

Just search for Coltcougar (no spaces) on Instagram and you’ll find my meagre offerings. Next time, we’ll talk about Tumblr and see why it’s more my speed.


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