We first met designer and art lover Ariel Adkins during Aspen ArtCrush 2017, and immediately, we were taken back by her attire. Precise patterns and splatters of paint graced each of her outfits, and we quickly noticed that her designs indicated artworks—on and off view, famous and upcoming. When we explored her Instagram account, @artfullyawear, we saw her dedication to make works of art something you can wear. Below, we hear from Adkins for this week’s Social Spotlight.
WHITEWALL: Who do you love to follow?
ARTFULLYAWEAR: I like to use my feed as a constant inspiration source, so I follow people that will add color and intrigue when I go for a scroll. I love @camillewalala—her work is amazing, and it’s so much fun to take peeks into the way it permeates her life. Some other artists I love on Instagram are @_jujujust_, @paperfashion, and @rossoncrow. A recent obsession is @cassie_stephenz. She is an art teacher in Nashville, and I love seeing the fun projects she uses to teach her classes about art, and her outfits are so much fun!
WW: What is your top tip on social media?
AA: Curate your content but let your followers know you’re a real person! A turning point for me on social came when I started sharing behind-the-scenes shots and process videos of my work, not just the final product. People began asking questions and following along with my work in a different way, which has allowed me to have more meaningful engagements (and even some in-real-life connections)!
WW: What’s a meaningful follower interaction you’ve had?
AA: About a year and a half ago, Seattle-area artist Carrie Schmitt (@carrieschmitt) reached out to me on Instagram, introducing herself and suggesting that if I ever ended up in Seattle, perhaps we could do a project together. As luck would have it, I was headed to Seattle the following week! We met for the first time in real life when she picked me up downtown and brought me to her idyllic studio in the mountains, where we collaborated on a hand-painted garment inspired by her work. We discovered that we are kindred spirits in many ways, and have stayed in touch. To this day, the garment we created together is one of my favorite pieces because of the friendship it symbolizes.
WW: One rule you live by on Instagram?
AA: On Instagram, as in life, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It sounds old-fashioned, but it’s really true! If you want people to engage with your content, engage with theirs. Ask questions, follow hashtags, post your own take on things to participate in conversations. Most of all, be nice! It really works, and it will help you find your niche in the sometimes-overwhelming Insta-landscape.