Artists with over 100 Thousand Followers on Instagram

There are some working artists from our immediate community and others whose work I admire on Instagram who have more followers than the Jeff Koons' (257 thousand followers) and Damien Hirst's (263 thousand) of the world. I visited with some of these 100 thousand plus artist and others who only have a few so we may learn how social media impacts a career and sales. I hope galleries and museums are reading this too since so many are still brick and mortar and are slowly dying in the world of social and virtual reality.


Henrik Aa. Uldalen (614K)

Insights into Instagram from Henrik Aa. Uldalen

When did you join Instagram?
I joined Instagram on the 25th of December 2012, after getting my first proper smartphone. I was heavily encouraged by Thinkspace Gallery to do so.

Which other social sites do you post your work on?
I have a Facebook account that I occasionally post images to, but Instagram has become my platform of preference.

How many followers do you have on each site?
I have 614.000 on my private account and 347.000 on Paintguide. My Facebook account has just around 28.000 followers.

Do you spend money having a post sponsored?
I paid for one advertisement once, but found it inefficient. It also felt like a scam from Facebook to let me buy the attention of my own followers, as they seem to have restricted it to make more money.

Did you buy any of your followers?
I have never bought any followers and have never considered doing it. 

Was there a specific post which triggered additional followers?
I had it as a rule to post at least one image a day on Instagram, but lately I've fallen short of my promise. I will try to get back to old heights at some point, but the whole Instagram thing has drained me quite a lot the last few years.

Have you made any sales from your IG posts?
I have made a lot of sales through my Instagram. Most small pieces, sketches and studies can easily be sold through the platform, letting me work more freely with my bigger work. 

Have any galleries contacted you after a post?
Most of the galleries I am currently working with have contacted me after I made joined Instagram. It's been brilliant in getting me out in the public, something I've never enjoyed doing. Instead of going to art shows and mingling, I can now post a few photos and it will do almost the same job. 

Have any companies approached you to sell their product?
I have had a few companies approach me to advertise for them in return for money or products. But as you can imagine, there are not that many companies which see artists as a valuable source of influence unless they want to promote artist materials.

What percentage of your followers are fans versus business contacts?
It's difficult to say really, I like to think that everyone that follows can potentially be a client at some point, but the fact is that most of my clients are returning clients. So perhaps less than 1 out of 1000 is a client.

Do you have any recommendations on how someone may increase their followers?
I did a lot of giveaways in the beginning, which really helped getting my work spread. The most important thing is to create new content and share images consistently. If you share too many posts on Facebook you're considered annoying, if you don't share enough on Instagram you're just gone. If people choose to follow you for your art, you must share your art. I would say 2-3 images a day is optimal, perhaps fewer and some stories to show some behind the scenes of your creative production. 

Do you use hashtags and if so which have you found to have been most effective.
I never used much hashtags, but I'm sure people find it useful. I just don't like the look of too many hashtags, as it feels a bit messy. 


Dina Brodsky (265K)

A post shared by Dina Brodsky (@dinabrodsky) on

Dina doesn't seem to use many hashtags hardly and I see she could instead of copying and pasting a web address on a post which doesn't work on Instagram, she should say instead to visit the link on her profile instead.


Eloy Morales (122K)

Eloy Morales posts are bilingual since he lives and works in Spain. His work is shown in New York, Spain, and Munich. Like Henrik, he doesn't use hashtags and he mostly posts his artwork and announcements of the courses he teaches. You may sometimes see posts of his kids working in the studio with him or the occasional appearance in a show. He has been on Instagram since 2014. Although his Facebook Fan page has 31 thousand fans, he hardly ever posts there anymore and mostly uses Instagram. He says followers increase when platforms such as publications with many followers tag him and his art. 

Unlike Henrik, he does not sell any artwork through Instagram. He has his galleries working for him. Although he is approached many times by galleries and companies through his Instagram.


Ali Cavanaugh (130K)

"Prayer" 18 x 24 inches 2015 #💔 #prayer #lasvegas #watercolor #alicavanaugh

A post shared by Ali Cavanaugh (@_alicavanaugh_) on

Ali Cavanaugh uses hashtags. She keeps it simple and sticks to hashtags which are related to her work including #watercolor #watercolour #aquarelle . Notice how she spelled watercolor for the USA and British audience.


Benjamin Bjorkland (142K)

Benjamin pretty much sticks to posting images of his art or his dog or both. His hashtags are simple and relevant to his artwork #art #contemporaryart #oilpainting. Although maybe he should start using #dogsoninstagram as well.


Nick Alm (140K)

Experimenting with gouache. Such a weird medium. #art #nude #barstool #gouache #experiment

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Nick mostly posts his art. You don't see any selfies although occasionally you will see studio shots, publication pages, a frame, or an occasional golf ball on the green.

Here are some of his hashtags: #wip #workinprogress #watercolour#watercolor #falling #nude #konst #art#artstarsmag #akvarell  #toolazytostretch


David Jon Kassan (239K)

David actively sells work on Instagram. For example take a look at this post which is a beautiful drawing. If you are a collector here is an artist who you want to follow. Notice the hashtag #drawingforsale

If you are still not sure what hashtags are or why they may be important for an artist who does not have 100 thousand followers, click on any of the hashtags on Instagram and it will take you to a listing with all the artwork which falsl under that category. For example when you click on #drawingforsale you will see all the artwork listed recently available to buy through Instagram.


Here are additional artists who surpass 100K follows. 


Here are some suggestions if you would like to increase your follows. 

  1. Post at least once a day. 
  2. Post your artwork and not your lunch.
  3. Use hashtags as needed but do not overwhelm your followers with too much information.
  4. Suggest followers to click on the link on your profile for further information.
  5. Update your profile with the link you wish to promote such as where to buy your art.
  6. If you need to start from scratch or clean up your Instagram, you may archive your lunch.

There are many other artists which have over 100 thousand followers on Instagram but I'd like to bring to your attention some interesting Instagram accounts which have less followers from our members and published artists.


"Pressure #1" 40x60" oil on canvas 2017 #heydulce

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Follow PoetsArtists 

Now up on our page. Follow the link from my profile. @henrikaau

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