Present Your Artwork On Instagram: Show It Better | Olga Sh | Skillshare

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Present Your Artwork On Instagram: Show It Better

teacher avatar Olga Sh, food illustrator | graphic designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Little Briefing


    • 4.

      Making Styled Shoot


    • 5.

      Post-processing Images


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Nowadays it’s absolutely impossible to imagine our life without Instagram. And if you’re an artist, designer, calligrapher or maybe you just draw for fun, I bet you share your artworks with the world in the Instagram.

But we all know, that Instagram is a visual social network first, hence your works should be well presented. Because a sloppy photo can ruin impression on highly elaborated and sophisticated art you’ve put a lot of time and effort in. On the opposite, a good picture can only emphasize all the grace of your art.

This class is about presenting your artwork on Instagram. I’ll share with you the main details that will help you to make nice images of your artwork. This class will cover preparation, styling, shooting and post-processing (in some easy, though effective ways) of your images.

First, we will talk about little things to keep in mind, when shooting your artwork and a little bit about overall management of your account. 

Then we’ll jump into composition, backdrops, and props discussion. And, finally, we’ll talk about post-processing your images in different apps. Because, if you have a smartphone, you can achieve great results without being professional photographer with a bunch of equipment. It depends on your desire and passion only.

I hope this class will help you to advance in your artworks media coverage.

And if you aren’t a premium member here, on Skillshare, I prepared 25 free enrollment links for you .

Hope you’ll enjoy this class. And if you like my class, I’d really appreciate your positive review and feedback!

And, as usual,  I'm always here to help you) 


Meet Your Teacher

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Olga Sh

food illustrator | graphic designer

Top Teacher

My name is Olga. I'm a food illustrator, graphic designer, educator, content creator, and busy mom. For now, alcohol-based markers are my favorite tools. I believe that everyone can draw. My mission is to show that everyone can learn anything. The main thing is courage and desire. I'm proud to be Skillshare's Top Teacher. Top Teachers are high-quality teachers on Skillshare. I love step-by-step tutorials. In them, you can see everything from start to finish, and you can repeat the whole process. This is exactly how I made my classes on so that you will succeed too. And I hope my classes on Skillshare help my students to try out something new, overcome their doubts, learn something new, believe that everything is possib... See full profile

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1. Trailer: It's hard to imagine our life without social networks today and if you are in some artistic activity, I bet you share your artwork in the Instagram. That's a cool thin because in the Instagram, you can not only share your artwork with the world, but you can find inspiration, find new clients, or just find some new creative mates. But Instagram is all about visual impression, so your artwork should be well-presented because a sloppy photo can easily ruin all the impression of your artwork you've put a lot of time and efforts in. On the opposite, a good picture can emphasize all the grace of your artwork. In this class, I want to share with you the main details that will help you to make lovely images of your artwork. First, we will talk about things to keep in mind when choosing your artwork, and a little bit about overall management of your account. Then, we will jump into composition, backdrops and probably discussion. Finally, we will talk about post-processing your images in different app because if you have a smartphone, you can achieve great results without being a professional photographer with a bunch of equipment. It's all about your passion and desire. Welcome to my class. 2. Class Project: As a class project, I suppose you to create a composition using your artwork and some props, and take a photo of it using your new knowledge. It would be really great if you create several compositions with one artwork or if you will make several compositions with different artworks. 3. Little Briefing: First, I want you to pay attention to one little obvious, but crucial thing. You will spend a lot of time and effort getting a nice picture. It's really hard and almost impossible to take a picture from afar, on the floor angle, in a dark room and get a good image in the end, no. You will spend some time on finding perfect shooting angle, picking suitable props, creating composition, shooting dozen of pictures and post processing some final images. Again, it's time consuming process, but I think we shouldn't neglect the quality of our work presentation. It's fare enough, I think. If we've put much effort in our work, why not to put a little bit more for presentation's sake? Your artwork deserves it. Since this is briefing, I'd like to talk a bit about management. First one, should I separate private and business account? I'd say it's up to you, but let's get a little bit deeper view. Usually people talking about separating your very own private account and your business account. Well, if we are talking about you as an artist, posing as a brand and your followers as not your so-close friends or mates, that would be almost 99 percent true. Because your pizza, your dog, new pairs of sneakers are non blessings your followers are so much interested in, so it's better to separate your accounts. On the other hand, if you've been there for a long time and have reasonable amount of followers, you may consider to use only one account. But it's not that easy, as it may seem. You have to balance your more or less private life with your public life and the image you intend to be your brand. First, share your working moments too. Sneak peek, work-in-progress image, and maybe some videos. Second, show your face sometimes since your own story becomes your brand story and usually people are interested in a personal background. That's where you'll be in more close relationship with your audience, with your followers. Third, don't be shy to show materials you are working with. It's a backstory of your own and each of your projects, so keep that in mind. You can try to use a trendy flat lay, just carefully lay out your brushes, paper, ink, laptop, and any other stuff you like. Then take a picture from the top of it, something about 90 degrees would be nice. Next, be helpful. It will be good if you will post something useful for your followers. Material reviews, tips and tricks maybe and you'd better two do it on regular schedule, every Wednesday for example. I think an image with some natural backdrop, a lot of negative space to place neat headline is the best decision. You can save sometimes using stock photos here. But since you should be helpful with that posts, be ready to write something special and really useful. The last thing is an overall style of your account, mood it has. Your feet should be cohesive and harmonic. It's much better when you follow your internal guidelines and create cohesive and appealing experience. Try using shortlist of filters or even just one for all your folders and you may want to use similar light conditions. Managing your Instagram account, it's really big topic, but for our purposes, we can stop hear and move to our next section. 4. Making Styled Shoot: Welcome back. In this section we will go through some details when you take picture of your artwork with your smartphone for Instagram. Well, a lot of things are almost the same as taking pictures with camera but there are some differences. First main thing is the most known, most obvious, and most forgettable. Take pictures of your art in a daylight only. Perfect time for shooting is from morning to the time slightly afternoon. Only exception if you're a professional photographer and have proper equipment. Yes, we want sometimes to share our creation with the world as soon as possible, even if it's in midnight, well, it would be better to wait for morning. Artificial light usually disturbs colors of your artwork and white balance. You may end having instead of clean white, some dirty greenish and some yellow shade of white. Try to take shots with similar conditions because light changes during the daytime and thus also your results may vary. Either way, best weather is a cloudy day. You'll get soft light evenly spread on your scene. If it will be direct sunlight, you will have more contrast, rule shadows, and more time to spend on processing step. Try to avoid shiny weather until you're sure about results you expect. One more thing, don't forget about reflectors. I don't mean professional stuff. Even a white A3 paper sheets tabled to a cardboard or a white foam board will make shadow smoother, light more even, and improve your results. Some relatively cheap and easy DIY solution will work, and don't forget to turn off your flash. Second is the shooting angle perspective. The best one for shooting artwork is straight from the top. There are less chances that your art will be distorted, and it will have maximum visibility. You should try to keep your smartphone parallel to the surface. Try avoiding tall things in your scene and chose some flat props. Long brushes and tall glasses, tall flowers devices are not good. Just lay your brushes and your flowers near the artwork. Third, composition. Don't forget about the "rule of thirds" when making a composition, and almost there before the app has built-in grids to help you. Don't make your artwork take almost of your final image, leave some more air, some negative space for viewer eye to rest. If you're setting up some minimalistic composition, your artwork, some simple backdrop and a couple of prop items like a bridge of plant and brushes should do the trick. If you want to use more props, you will spend more time to find matching ones. Next, backdrop. When choosing a backdrop to use first thing to consider is, doesn't my backdrop takes the attention from my artwork. As a rule of thumb, if your artwork is vivid and saturated, try using more neutral backdrop and essence won't be fitted it. Some subtle tender artworks or calligraphy, you can use small text to read backdrops like old bleached wood planks. The best natural backdrops are light-grey, some non-dyed rough fabric, wooden planks, or trendy concrete backdrops. If you don't have natural backdrops like old table, concrete, or bleached wooden floor, you can always buy or make one by yourself. I'll leave a couple of links though tutorials for you. Another thing to mind when taking backdrops, they can add delight and it's good sometimes for example, to have some matching warm artwork and warm backdrop. But don't get carried away with overheating or overcooling image. Your artwork is the lead remember that. Next one, don't be shy to use a themed props. For example, if you shoot drawing, add brushes tubes with paints, palettes and pencils. If calligraphy, try adding a pen ink pot, and don't forget about additional things like pieces of fabric, nice bands, ribbons, flowers and so on. Finally, always keep in mind the motion, the mood, the story you want your photo to tell, and select your props respectively. For example, that each some ouster, calm, and concentrated mood to some minimalistic letterings. Use some simple day planner laptop, black notebook, and pen for example. For Christmas mood, some field tree branches, gingerbread, cinnamon rolls will do the trick. These were the most crucial things about shooting your artwork. Of course, there are many more little things to talk about, like apps we use for shooting and so on. Lots of them are subject of experience and personal preference. Don't be shy to start a new discussion if you want to ask something or share results of some interesting things. Now we will go to our next section, post-processing your image on your smartphone. I'll see you there. 5. Post-processing Images: Welcome back. In this section, we'll talk about post-processing your images. It's a rare situation when your smartphone photo doesn't need any post-processing for purposes we discussed here. Well, that's because there are no ideal conditions and rear people. But don't get upset because we can fix it without any Photoshop skills and Photoshop itself. Your smartphone and a couple of simple apps would be more than enough. My favorite apps are Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and InstaFlashPro. The first two are free apps and you can use only them, but InstaFlashPro has much more to offer. First go Snapseed. It has super-useful brush tool. You can easily tune exposure, change temperature, control brightness and saturation in selected areas. Another nice tool is selective correction. Very helpful to tune your background, soften shadows and so on. You can even make your background gray-scale. Because I used Snapseed mostly for color by a black and white balance and exposure correction, so I've mentioned only these tools, but there is much more tools you can experiment with. Now, the InstaFlashPro. This one can literally take out your image out of the shadows, which is very cool if you walk in on image taken in a rainy day, for example. A lot of options on color or light correction, shifting shadows even more than needed, I think. Well, personally, I'd use only this one if it had that Snapseed brush selective correction functionality for selected areas. Now, we will talk about so popular VSCO Cam. Well, here I use only filters. Previous two apps had them too, but they don't seem good to me. My favorite filters here are A5 and A6. They bring good contrast and I like E-series filters too. They make images warmer. But if you're working with any filter, you should be careful. They can make your image to look better, but often they will distort the real colors of your artwork. Sometimes, as final touch, I slightly tune general sharpness and brightness in the Instagram app itself before posting. Because the final result varies from app to app, and I like how Instagram app handles it. Now, let's take a look at the workflow I usually follow with an image of my artwork. Here I have opened the photo of my artwork in Snapseed. It's absolutely raw, just crop to square proportion. I then tune the upper pencil icon in the lower write and the toolbar will open. There is a lot of them as you can see. Well, I was lucky enough to get nice folder. So I'm here just to play a bit with lights and shadow on a background and so my first brush tool. In lower left corner, we have brush icon, to select zigzag type of brush. There are lighten, dark imbalance, light exposure, temperature, and saturation balance. In the middle and bottom then we can adjust hardness strength switch to erasing mode. I need exposure right now. As I swipe my finger back and forth, you can see image changing in the places I've swiped. I've painted all the area around my artwork, so it's time to check it. Well, sometimes it's hard to seen if you haven't overlapped your intended area. The tool is here to help. Just tap an icon in lower right. Yep, it seems fine to me. If you push too much like I do right now, you can select eraser mode by decreasing or increasing two level and fix things up. That will do. More into InstaFlashPro. By the way, I'd say that InstaFlash is almost like desktop version of Light room, and I like it even more than Lightroom Mobile. Well, here we have some common tools like shadows, highlights, brightness, temperature, and white balance. I'll play a bit with them. Hear are some light equalizer with more range to play. Great. I think I need direct more light. Well, I have that in my overall Instagram's style. We can add this with fill light and soft light tools. Now play with warmth a bit and set some vibrance. Here's nice dark. To set some [inaudible] , we can do some general colors in saturation, hue, and brightness with color equalizer tool. More dark, I suppose. Here we go. Usually I use sharpness tool and enhance tool. Well, I want blue tones to be more deep. Let's do it. Again, the noise. There are more tools to get different styles, but I want you to be curious and try them out yourself. VSCO, well, we're here for filters. Well, slide A6 is good. I'll just turn it down to little volume. Good. The final touch, a bit of Instagram fine tuning. I'm slightly using Lux correction just a little bit. Add a little structure, just like a game. Fade it a little, and sharpen it a little. I think it's fine, even a bit overdone, but nice. Last step is to write a post. I've described three apps I usually use when processing images, but there is much more. Even Instagram itself slowly implements more editing features, but I think it will take a lot of time before Instagram will become one and only app most of people use. If you use any other cool photo editing app, share it with us in discussion section. 6. Final Thoughts: In this class we've talked a bit about how to nicely present your artworks on Instagram. One more advice I would like to give you, don't give up and try harder. Don't be afraid of experimenting, trying out some new backdrops and probes, different composition until you find the perfect one. Remember, practice makes perfect. You will see as time pass, that your compositions became more interesting, shots bright and clear, and can bring across the exact mood you want. Just be ready to put some effort into it. I hope you found something useful in this class. Thanks for watching.