Instagram is usually categorized as a social media network. This isn't really incorrect — we do go there to post photos of nights out, see what friends are up to, and stalk exes — but that classification misses a larger role the app fulfills.
Instagram is a cultural institution that is equal parts digital museum, cabinet of curiosities, and nasty woman gallery. If Facebook has become the social media platform we go to for news and Twitter the one we visit for live streams, then Instagram has become the space for finding inspiration, creativity, and, often, a dash of quirkiness. As writer Molly Young said in this week's The New York Times Magazine
, Instagram, with its Explore tab, has "ushered in a golden age of personal eccentricity."
There is no better place to find this than the profiles of female illustrators, animators, miniaturists, painters, and jewelers whose masterpieces fill Instagram and expose you to rainbow-filled worlds of fancy. Their feeds are escapes from the ordinary. But often, instead of escaping completely, they make you want to pick up a pen, a paintbrush, a sewing needle, or a piece of paper, and join in.
Ahead, 20 creators you should follow, stat.