Inspiration Comments

A Career Built From Instagram: What Comes Next?

Written by: Zanita Whittington

It’s no secret that a good chunk of my career has been built out of instagram. Just a couple months ago, I celebrated 10 years of my blog (here’s my first ever post!)  and Instagram wasn’t really around back then, in fact it wasn’t until four years later that I started to use Instagram really poorly and another couple years until I started to take it seriously… sort of.

I’ve never really found the energy to ‘play the game’ as well as I should have – simply because I refuse to abide by the rules of a popularity contest. This attitude has worked against me in the sense that, I’ll still post images I love – even if I know they won’t rack up the likes. The new algorithm determines that posting this way will lead to newer posts gaining less exposure. Such is life! However, it has ensured that I’ve retained more of my own unique mark on the platform. I’m certainly not re-writing the book – but by refusing to allow myself  sweat over whether my posts get widespread approval, I’ve been able to retain a sense of self.

This mindset has also helped me appreciate my work beyond the platform. I’ve been so involved with using instagram that I have all knowledge to apply the same tropes that have widespread appeal – but I’m always seeking new things, experimenting and doing my best to create work that’s surprising. Sometimes I don’t succeed – but these skills help in other areas of my career. I don’t aspire to be an influencer for ‘influence’ sake but I love working with brands to create cool content – these collaborations and projects provide the means to realise bigger ideas.

Essentially Instagram has become a tool and a learning ground for everything I am today. Lately I’ve met many of my peers who are at a loss for what’s coming next. Types of posts that would go viral just a year or two ago barely make a mark. So what can be interpreted from this change? Instagram demands more. One of the most common interview questions I’ve been asked, especially early in my career – What’s coming next for bloggers and instagram? I’d always give the same answer – it’s just going to get better. I don’t mean that it’s going to be a walk in the park for everyone who embarks on the quest for success, in fact, the opposite. It’s even harder to make a splash – which is better because anything that lifts the standard for content, is a positive change. It elevates the standard and further legitimises the creatives who use the platform for their bread and butter.

While the term ‘influencer’ is much the dirty word – just like the moniker of ‘blogger’ became so and still is till this day – if we look at it on an individual level, there’s much credit to be given to talents who have curated large followings across many genres. I’m talking about artists, activists, sculptors, comedians, poets… Any type of field where you can share an idea, creative work and concepts.

Addiction to social media (and let’s face it – if you’re reading this, you’re probably a bit of a social junkie just like me) can unfortunately leave us feeling pretty depressed, sub-standard, like we aren’t living up to and enjoying certain expectations we might have for our lives. I’ve taken the mindset of being responsible for my own influence, begun to purge my feed of certain inane and formulaic accounts – and filled it with those that are surprising and inspirational. I do my best to put less of my personal and creative value in numbers and likes and more into being new and creative – and leave the rest to fate. As I once heard quotes by our beloved OG social fashionista, Leandra Medine:

“It’s better to be everything for someone rather than something for everyone.”

So there’s alot of reward to be had by being involved in the sharing economy if you just look at it the right way. Frankly I’ve only found success in this way of thinking – my account grows without feeling like I’m forcing it or playing to some kind of strategy that isn’t true to the work I want to create. It also curates my audience to be the type of person with a discerning eye for my interests. So for now, I’ve got Instagram as an integral arm of my career – but if it all falls apart, I’ll have a body of work and a unique point of view that will always have value.

Meanwhile – Enjoy some of my fave accounts to follow across a number of genres on Instagram! These are run by incredibly talented individuals who remind me to keep challenging myself.



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I haven’t graduated yet

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if you date me, you get both red like the blood and blue like the sea

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40% OFF Everything Today !! Direct link in bio #FramedPrints #framedart #collageart #society6

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Life 3.0 – Inspired by a book about AI of the same name. . BIGASSANNOUNCMENT AF BOI I’ve digitized myself. Achievment unlocked. ☑️ I’m starting a new chapter in my life. After working around the globe in London, Tokyo and Munich with amazing people over at @man.vs.machine @futuredeluxe @aixsponza and @onesal_studio I’m going freelance for good now. It’s been a couple of amazing years. I’m super gratefull for the time spent working with you guys. More to come. . Music by SoundCloud/eash_music . . #c4d #octane #render #cgi #life #future #design #3d #patreon #aftereffects #singularity #ai #cinema4d #animation #motiongraphics #surreal #magic #art #digitalart #photogrammetry #portrait #facetattoo #tattoo #instagram #420 #sexyvideo #real #dream #newborn @thednalife @motiondesigners @love.watts @subfoldr @superchiefgallery @motiongraphics_collective @lucidscreen @bender_acid @xuxoe @artselect

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(Detail) from the Healing Garden: echinacea blossoms, aloe, Roman chamomile, and pansies- all rendered in semi-sweet beet sugar. More show notes below: “Glass Garden Lost & Found: Of Healing & Knowledge” Inspired by the Orto Botanico di Padova, the world’s oldest academic botanical garden in Padua (est. 1545), this work picks from its collection of healing and poisonous plants, presenting them either living or hand-carved from sugar. Representing the original purpose of the Botanical Garden, and where legend has it the Medici’s concocted poisons with which to smite their enemies, artist Maayan Zilberman offers guests a chance to exchange a Roman Chamomile blossom, representing a manifestation of communal healing and growth, for a nectar and edible gold-infused candy Oleander sprig, a lethal plant symbolizing knowledge and awakening. Maayan offers each guest a chance to become one with the theme of the exhibition, replacing one piece of organic material with an edible version of itself, allowing the viewer to help the sculpture installation of edible flowers and plants come to life with each participation. Each day the artist will invite guests to take part in this trade at Glass Garden Lost & Found between 1-3:30PM, the hours we are most alert according to the Circadian Rhythm. #edibleart #maayanzilberman #sweetsaba #botanicals #sugarart #healing

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