5 Artists to Add to Your Insta Feed in 2024


Feature image courtesy of Faulksie's website

5 Artists to Add to Your Insta Feed in 2024

A new year means endless opportunities to discover your new favorite artists, and social media is a great avenue to find them. We’ve compiled a list of five artists who share their works on Instagram who you should be following in 2024. Each artist on this list brings their unique flair and style to their work, but all of them seek to deliver a burst of joy, humor, and fun to the world.

Learn more about these artists utilizing Instagram as a platform to its fullest, and take a look at their deeply joyful art to start your year off on a positive, hopeful note.

1. Anna-Laura Sullivan

If there’s one artist on this list you’re already familiar with, it’s likely Anna-Laura Sullivan (@annalaura_art). With over half a million followers on Instagram, Sullivan’s art has reached the likes of celebrities such as Lil Nas X and Gigi Hadid. The Brooklyn-based 26-year-old creates nostalgic, whimsical, children’s book-esque watercolor illustrations and comics that feature animals experiencing the powerful emotions that come with life’s everyday, mundane beauties. 

In one illustration, two bears sit at a homey-looking table decorated with a colorful pastel tablecloth and quilts. The two take turns spreading butter and cinnamon on pieces of toast, happy to be in one another’s company. The entire scene is enveloped in a heart, referencing the caption within the illustration: “In my heart, we are together having cinnamon toast.”

Another comic features two monkeys—critters that frequently show up in Sullivan’s art to due their significance in Buddhism, which Sullivan is a practitioner of—sharing a rainy evening inside together. One monkey reads on the floor while the other knits in a chair by the fire. “I’m sorry, bestie, it must be so boring to spend time with me,” the knitting monkey tells their friend in the next slide.

“What! No way!” The other monkey exclaims. “We don’t have to do a thing, I just enjoy our time together,” they reassure.

“I feel the same!” The first monkey agrees. “You make me happy just by being near.” The two sit closer together with content smiles on their faces. The final panel is a little warmer in color than the previous ones, representing the peace found by simply enjoying the wordless company of a loved one.

It’s hard not to get the warm and fuzzies (or maybe a sudden waterfall of happy tears) when looking at Sullivan’s art—especially when it comes across your feed when you least expect it. Her style resembles the doodles you might’ve done in the margins of your homework when you were a kid, and as you scroll through the comments, it’s easy to see that others feel a profound connection to the childlike wonder and purity that Sullivan’s art evokes. 

“Every piece of art you post is so therapeutic to reflect on,” one commenter remarked on a comic that features a squirrel character unapologetically enjoying the things they “used to do as a kid.”

In a December 2023 interview with Jennifer Zhan for Vulture, Sullivan discussed her childhood, spirituality, her creative process and inspiration, and more. She mentioned how she takes inspiration from Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, the makers of beloved playful, fantastical films like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.

“I’d like to do what Studio Ghibli did for me, which is glorifying those mundane moments that seem so insignificant. But those are what our lives are built upon.”

Photo-Illustration: Anna-Laura Sullivan. Photo: Josh Katz via Vulture
Photo-Illustration: Anna-Laura Sullivan. Photo: Josh Katz via Vulture

Whether you’re feeling down, grateful, inspired, in love, or anywhere in between this year, Anna-Laura Sullivan and her crew of wonderfully enlightened animals will be there for you. Be sure to follow her on Instagram to see her art regularly. You can also support her on X, TikTok, or Patreon.

2. Sophia Ren

With so many traditional artists and painters posting on Instagram to spread their work to the masses, graphic designers often get lost in the shuffle. Sophia Ren (@renographics), a designer and illustrator from the Midwestern U.S., ensures that her graphics have an eye-catching, bold, stylistic edge. 

Bearing a resemblance to traditional American tattoos with their vibrant color palette, minimal shading, and bold outlines, Ren’s graphics pop off the screen. In 2023, Ren created a design for every day of the year. Each varies in tone and its subject, but they often feature nostalgic toys, cats, or references to musicians like Phoebe Bridgers, Ethel Cain, or Alex G.

Traditional American tattoos compilation via The Honorable Society 

Ren also pokes fun at her Midwestern identity by satirizing its cultural quirks. One design pays tribute to “Midwest Nice,” the quaint brand of hospitality found within the region. “Ope, I passed ya!” reads the illustration’s text. Another collage-style design features a “generic” highway one would find when traveling through the Midwest, with billboards advertising the World’s Largest Truck Stop and turning to Jesus. “I Want to Leave,” reads the graphic, parodying the “I Want to Believe” slogan from The X Files.

The gorgeous, vibrant colors of Ren’s graphics and their humorous yet relatable content will surely elicit a laugh when you see them on your feed on a hard day. Sophia Ren is still posting fresh, new designs regularly on Instagram. Outside of Instagram, you can also support her on TikTok, RedBubble, or Ren’s own online shop.

3. Charlie Faulks

Instagram is a great tool for young artists wanting to put together a visual portfolio of their work to showcase their unique style and their own personal projects. Charlie Faulks (@faulksie), a 19-year-old character designer, writer, and showrunner based in New Zealand, shares his stylized, cartoonish fan art and original works through the platform.

View this profile on Instagram

Charlie Faulks (@faulksie) • Instagram photos and videos

Faulks has drawn caricatures of TV and film’s most popular properties, including Breaking Bad, Adventure Time, and Succession, reimagining these beloved live-action series as animated ones. Faulks often demonstrates his masterful ability to exaggerate and highlight the prominent features of our favorite celebrities and characters by drawing one series of characters in the styles of others. He’s drawn the Sopranos as the Simpsons and characters like Loki, Barbie, and Spongebob in various animated universes.

Throughout January 2024, Faulks has participated in “Caricature Resolutions,” a 31-day challenge where artists are challenged to create a caricature of a specific celebrity or historical figure daily. So far, Faulks has posted his interpretations of Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, Donald Glover, and more.

When he’s not capturing the likenesses of recognizable figures, Faulks is hard at work producing his original animated web series, Bloke of the Apocalypse. In addition to Instagram, you can connect with him on TikTok or YouTube to see more of his work.

4. Wednesday Holmes

Wednesday Holmes (they/them) (@hellomynameiswednesday) is a queer author, illustrator, and designer based in London. On Instagram, they create fun, colorful, motivating, doodle-style illustrations “about and for queer people.” Their illustrations feature encouraging messages on gender identity, sobriety, and mental health, delivered to the viewer by a smiling animal, ghost, mountain, or flower. 

In Holmes’ world, everything beams with a bashful smile, and the color palette is nothing short of psychedelic. The thick black outlines that appear around everything in Holmes’ art make their pieces feel like coloring book pages, satisfyingly and meticulously colored to nostalgic perfection.

Like Anna-Laura Sullivan, Wednesday Holmes has made the warm simplicity of childhood their brand. And to much success, as well. Holmes has been commissioned to design projects for several big-name organizations and companies, including Instagram itself, Gucci, Amazon Music, BBC, and Footlocker. In June 2023, in celebration of Pride Month, Holmes collaborated with Dr. Martens to release a limited edition pair of Jadon boots featuring their artwork for the company.

To see more of Wednesday Holmes’ smiling friends and funky designs offline, you can visit them on their website or online shop.

5. soleoado

If there’s been snow on the ground where you are recently, you’re probably already sick of the gray, lifeless slush it’s melted into and the overcast skies that accompany it. Bringing bright, lively colors to your Instagram feed may just be the best medicine for the winter blues and a social media feed that might be just as boring. Taking one look at their profile grid, it’s clear that queer Puerto Rican artist Leó (he/they) (@soleoado) is just the artist to add to your following list.

View this profile on Instagram

Leȯ (@soleoado) • Instagram photos and videos

Based in San Francisco, Leó creates both digital and physical motivational quote paintings with bright colors and bold, textured strokes. Using acrylic paint, Posca pens, and sometimes collage elements, their artwork brings life into every quote that’s featured. The 3D texture combined with the abstract, calming blend of background rainbow shades allow for soleoado’s art to aid in healing, “especially for those who are ‘on the margins’ of society,” notes their website.

Some of soleoado’s work features simple affirmations — “You can reinvent yourself as many times as you need,” one painting with lots of orange and blue shades reads — while others feature quotes from fellow artists such as Banksy or celebrated authors such as Paulo Coelho.

Outside of Instagram, you can support soleoado by looking at their original copies, prints, shirts, and other merch featuring their artwork on their online store or by following them on TikTokTwitter, or Facebook.

We hope you’ve found at least one artist on this list to follow and support in 2024, in addition to having an introduction to creators whose work wouldn’t usually appear on your feed. Although these five artists are scattered across the globe and have varying signature styles, their colorful, eye-catching designs all embrace the whimsical, silly, and meaningful aspects of life. And isn’t that precisely the energy we need to carry with us into 2024?

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