The Quick Q & A editorial in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine is a much loved regular feature, in which we ask 6 artists the same 4 questions. In the December 2022 Issue 39, these were the Quick Q & A questions:
- What is your favourite part of the creative process and why?
- What are your thoughts on the use of AI technology in art?
- What do you want the viewer to feel when they view your work?
- How do you feel about the recent changes to Instagram, I.E. reels, deprioritizing photos?
We feel that the artists’ responses provide such a valuable insight for our community of artists that we wanted to share one Quick Q & A response from each issue with you, going forward. The December 2022 Issue 39 print issue is sold out, but you can download the digital magazine via our webstore to read more. To ensure you never miss an issue again, you can also subscribe to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and have each issue sent straight to your door each quarter.
Excerpt from Issue 39 // December 2022 Quick Q & A editorial: Kristen Egan, Jenni Pasanen, Elizabeth Blair Stephenson, Clare Toms, Bénédicte Voglio and Jennifer Parks respond to the below Quick Q & A:
How do you feel about the recent changes to Instagram, I.E. reels, deprioritizing photos?
“I am not surprised by recent changes to Instagram, wherein photos appear to be deprioritised. The focus on reels and ads is lame, but not surprising. I am usually bombarded with product ads rather than art while scrolling through Instagram. I get messages from people who follow me and do not see my posts. Art from fellow artists rarely appears on my feed. Instead, there are multitudes of “shop now” options. Perhaps the masses prefer impulsively consuming products over thoughtfully appreciating artworks, and that is reflected in the algorithms. When a photo-sharing, social network platform morphs into a bundle of product advertising campaigns, it is a reflection of us. The collective “we” determines what we see.”
“It’s very different from when I first joined the app, but social media platforms have evolved rapidly and brought a profound impact on artists and the art world ecosystem. Change is inevitable and updating features will continue happening, but it’s an increasingly controversial mix of people genuinely engaging versus pushing their own agendas, personal data being tracked and/or sold, inequality of access, and the prevalence of mental health impacts. Instagram (like most companies) seems to hunt profit, compete with other platforms, and are losing their uniqueness in the process. The worst part is seeing less of the artists and galleries who I want to support. In 1973, artist Richard Serra said, “If something is free, you’re the product”…and here we are today.”
“Instagram has been one of the driving forces of my career, but as many artists can relate, it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship. I’m not a huge fan of the TikTok-ification – I still barely know how to use video filters – but sometimes it’s fun to share process clips or do a short video piece. Personally, I haven’t actually seen evidence of photos being deprioritised; my photo posts generally get much higher views and engagement than my reels. My IG reach has fluctuated so much over the last few years that it hasn’t been worth trying to make sense of it. I think when you have something interesting to share, you should go for it. And if not, don’t stress about trying to feed the algorithm.”
“At first I absolutely HATED it! I took a pretty long social media break throughout the pandemic and when I decided to get back onto IG, I barely recognised it. I definitely miss the photos. I even signed and shared that petition really hoping they would change it back. But maybe this is just where the future of social media is heading. It seems like everyone is doing the reels now. In all honesty, I really don’t care that much. It’s just an app. Though, an app that I truly appreciate as an artist. I don’t think I would be where I’m at without it. I don’t think I’d be doing this interview!”
“Instagram is a magical tool. Without it, I would never have found your wonderful account! It allows me to discover a lot of modern and old artists. I love making reels. Putting images and music together delivers and even more powerful result. But it’s a lot of extra work. I am a trained photographer accustomed to working with still images, so it was complicated for me to make “living” images. But it’s something that I have now integrated into my communication process. There are many amazing applications on our smartphones that allow us to make beautiful videos, but you have to study them well! Today, you have to follow and listen to the great God Instagram when you create and consume art.”
“Hmm, for this question I don’t have an answer as I haven’t used Instagram that much lately due lack of time and lost content. Lately, I have had just enough time to load images in the app and reply to DMs. It is a really handy platform to view works, it works as an easy access gallery, as most people using social media do already have Instagram. Sadly, lately, Instagram has lost its appeal as it is so filled with influencer commercials, affiliate click bait, or someone trying to sell drop shipping items. Most of the content is just that or a video someone posted two weeks ago to TikTok. Even though you follow only art accounts you cannot escape the marketing.”