From painting to posting

Angela Yang, Asst. News Editor

Most people tend to use social media to paint a picture of their lives for others to see, but Diamond Bar High School juniors Meghan Shen, Paul Lam and Priscilla Chang have utilized Instagram as an outlet to literally paint pictures for their followers.

 Recently, a community of artists has been thriving on Instagram.

Accounts often post to thousands of followers and some offer to take requests from fans for a commission. In a world that’s so dependent on social media, it’s not uncommon for some people to form a career out of making art on Instagram.

 Shen started out following a lot of Instagram art accounts in the eighth grade, occasionally entering art contests hosted by the larger accounts. According to Shen, she did not win many of those contests at first, but eventually began to win.

 Her art account, @megsketchbook, has accumulated almost 2,000 followers since it was created over three years ago. Shen says the account has grown more than she expected.

“It has been a mostly positive experience and it’s fun,” Shen said. “I used to pass by these random people and they’d compliment my art.”

Shen uses colored pencils to create a variety of drawings such as animated characters from Disney movies and other well-known television shows. She also draws animals and paints a variety of colorful designs.

 Shen said she enjoys creating her work because art is a relaxing pastime for her.

 Much like Shen, Lam has been creating his art for a long time, having taken  classes at a young age. However, he only recently began sharing his drawings on Instagram. His account @paulychromy has been active for around two months.

  Lam used to paint with watercolors, but has now progressed to using copic markers more often. On his account, galaxy effects are featured in most of his watercolor drawings, and he creates detailed portraits of characters such as Iron Man.

 “I kind of look at [making art] as a way of getting rid of stress, getting away from my problems,” Lam said.

Chang also enjoys creating art to share because it provides her with an excuse not to do homework. Chang has been exercising her artistic skills since the sixth grade, “mindlessly doodling” whenever she was able to.

She took her drawings to Instagram around two weeks ago. So far, her account consists sketches of anime characters, a few paintings and digital art creations.

“There’s not a lot of comments, but usually when someone comments I feel compelled to say thank you but usually I’m not that polite,” Chang said.

Having a few years of art classes under her belt, Chang typically uses pencils or pens to create her sketches, occasionally incorporating markers. She creates digital art as well, using her tablet and a stylus.