The Latest from American Women Artists

Carrie Waller Abundance


Instagram is a popular social network for sharing images and short video clips. Purchased in 2012 by Facebook, Instagram has more than 600 million monthly active users as of December 2016.

To organize and sort content, Instagram uses hashtags – a keyword or phrase preceded by the pound symbol, #. Instagram users can search for a specific hashtag in order to find new accounts to follow, content they want to share, or simply find images related to a topic they enjoy, such as #cats, #dogs, #coffee, and many others.

In the artist community, you’ll find a variety of hashtags: 

  • media-specific, such as #pleinair, #watercolor, #oilpainting, #ceramics
  • subject-specific, including #figurative, #stilllife, #flowers, #portraiture

You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, but we recommend keeping it under ten.

Because so many AWA members are avid users of Instagram (and more are signing up every day), it only makes sense for AWA to use its Instagram account to share and promote member content. That was the rationale behind our #NewWorksWednesday feature: members can tag images of their most recently completed – or still on the easel or worktable – artwork with #NewWorksWednesday, we search for the hashtag and we “regram” (Instagram’s shorthand for sharing content) the results on AWA’s account on Wednesdays. It’s become a fun way to discover and share the work of our talented members.

If you’re still figuring out how to include a hashtag on your Instagram posts, here’s how to do it.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your smartphone
  2. Take or upload a photo of your latest work
  3. Choose to add a filter (this is optional; the default setting is Normal), then type # followed by text in the Caption field
  4. Double check your caption for spelling, then tap on Share

Here’s an example of a post we did for #NewWorksWednesday. (You’ll see we included that hashtag as well as #art and #womenartists.)

original IG post on AWA acct with NWW hashtag

If you already have a post on Instagram of your latest work, you can add the #NewWorksWednesday hashtag either by editing the caption or by including it in a comment on your photo. Here are some examples.

AWA member with hashtag in caption

In the image shown above, the artist included the hashtag in the caption (circled). To access the caption to make edits, click on the 3 dots at the top of your post, select Edit, and then make any changes to your caption – such as adding a hashtag.


adding hashtag to comments section of your own IG post

In the above image, the artist added the hashtag to the comments section of her post (circled). To add a comment to one of your older posts, click on the balloon icon below the image and enter whatever text you like – including a hashtag.

Happy posting!