State of the Art interviewed contemporary millennial artist Shane Miller to learn more about the favorite social media platform for artists today: Instagram. Shane has become one of the best-selling artists on Instagram, and epitomizes the ways that artists all over are leveraging social media platforms to grow and develop their art business. Shane, a contemporary encaustic painter located in Nashville, Tennessee, has become one of the best-selling artists on Instagram. With a previous career in physical therapy, Shane has dedicated himself to his art full-time since 2014. He now sells 40% of his art on Instagram, and has been featured by sites such as Forbes.

Sites like Instagram enable artists to make direct and instantaneous connections to art lovers and potential collectors, and have completely changed the game when it comes to selling art. Ethan talks to Shane about the future of social media platforms, the changing art world and how a musician has become one of the bestselling artists on Instagram.


Top 5 Takeaways:


1.) Instagram enables a low-stress personal connection between artist and art lover.


“I think just having that direct access to clients and really connecting with people, it helps tremendously. People casually scrolling through their Instagram and then see this piece of art and they feel compelled to ask about it. It just really opens up that conversation as opposed to someone walking into gallery or being intimidated by walking into the gallery.”


2.) How to get noticed on Instagram.

“I think artists who have a particular style and post their work that falls within that style have more success than the artists on Instagram who are just dabbling with a little bit of everything and they’re going all over the place. You have to experiment to find what you excel out in, what you enjoy. But I think people who have their style already in mind and stick to that had more success on Instagram.”

3.) Artists can use Instagram like a visual journal.

“Instagram is visual; it’s visually based and the artist can talk about their work right through the comment session, they can engage with their fans through comments. It’s very accessible and it’s like a journal for the artists to kind of log their studio work.”

4.) Open up the studio.

“I think people will appreciate knowing a little bit kind of behind the piece or what they are just thinking or even just like what the artist is thinking aside from when they’re in a studio, more about what is the artist doing outside of the studio and outside of painting, like who they are as a person. I think that’s something new that before the internet wasn’t really a thing for artists, the gallery would kind of be the middleman and people, there is this kind of air of mystery surrounding artists.”


Shane Miller. The Battle Within Our Hearts. 30 x 48 inches; oil and encaustic on canvas.


5.) Meaningful content lets you stand out from all the noise.

“I think the people who will take time to create meaningful posts do have more success and more followers, because you know it’s just content. People crave content, so if you have a good content then people are going to respond to that versus just snapshots of noise or clutter, you know there’s enough of that already.”


Discover more about the art of selling on Instagram by listening to Shane now on our new podcast series State of the Art. You can find Shane Miller on Instagram @shane.artistry or on his website. Don’t forget to subscribe and review! And take a look at our Instagram to see what’s next on State of the Art.