3 Ways to Use Instagram for Inspiration

One of the great things about Instagram is the pure volume of work that gets posted every day. When looking for inspiration, it's better to cast a wide net and sift through the results than put yourself in a position where you have to backtrack for more ideas. You can dial in your search results from your favorite creators — and other designers you’ve never even heard of — to find an endless supply of ideas.

1. Use the Recent filter instead of Top when searching

Seeing what the top creators are making and posting on Instagram can surely spark some inspiration, but when you have the time, you should try the Recent filter to sift through great new content. This will produce some results that you may not have noticed before. Sometimes it’s the small creators that produce the gems in the design community. You might have to scroll past some content that isn’t related to your search, but I promise if you keep going, there will be a piece of inspiration worth scrolling for. You can find the filter on the top right of a hashtag search feed.

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2. Take a quick scroll through the Explore content

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Instagram uses the Explore function to aggregate images it thinks will interest you. I recommend you set up a separate Instagram account dedicated to design. This will give you better results when you search for inspiration. Results for this will vary depending on what your daily scroll looks like. The Instagram algorithm learns what to put in front of you based on what you have already searched. You can find this feature next to your home feed in the form of a magnification icon. I would highly recommend searching through the tags filter for the best results when looking for inspiration.

3. Look to people that your favorite creators follow

One great way to find your new favorite creator is to see who your current one follows. When trying to find inspiration in a sea of content, it’s nice to do some digging on your own as opposed to letting algorithms search for you. Say you follow E.J. Hassenfratz, a Denver-based designer. E.J. posts cool stuff all the time, but I also bet that he follows some pretty cool people. People that you maybe haven’t heard of like Julian Braun, who is a freelance 3D artist out of Berlin, Germany. These connections can be super valuable when expanding where you get inspiration. This can also lead you to broaden your knowledge of industry professionals as well as other groovy people.

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Instagram is an endless source of creativity. Sure, you can use existing algorithms and defaults, but they will only get you so far. By following these tips, you can adjust how you interact with the platform and find inspiration each time you open the app.

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