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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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art, color, sketchbook, alia penner, portraits, los angeles, pop culture, User Feature, Instagram,

Chasing Pop Visions and Cartoon Dreams with @alia_pop

For more whimsical portraits and fantasy stylings, follow @alia_pop on Instagram.

“I want to create a fantastic world of hypnotic color and classic dreaminess,” says LA-based artist, Alia Penner (@alia_pop). “I have painted on people, horses, bouncy castles and even a school bus.”

Bold patterns and colors are everywhere in Alia’s work, which ranges from high-profile fashion shoots to giant, painted Starbucks cups in Hollywood. But her Instagram account feels more like a special curation of the art she makes at home—a bright mishmash of celebrity face collages and quirky magazine cutouts.

“Just for fun, I started coloring in the New York Times every Sunday, using it sort of like a sketchbook. I added color to the iconic black and white images of starlets, then put them on Instagram,” she says. “They really popped.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alia’s daily sources of inspiration are just as eclectic as her art: she lists balloons, polish movie posters, hand-tinted films and unopened paint cans, among others. At the end of the day, though, her job is about having fun.

“My favorite projects are the ones that feel like play from start to finish,” she says. “I’m a child at heart.”

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Photography, Art, design, Artists on Tumblr, Architecture, kaws, honor fraser, los angeles, arthursday, Instagram,

KAWS’s Man’s Best Friend

For more photos and videos from Man’s Best Friend, explore the Honor Fraser Gallery location page and follow @kaws and @honorfrasergallery on Instagram.

Brian Donnelly's (@kaws) latest show Man’s Best Friend at Honor Fraser Gallery (@honorfrasergallery) in Los Angeles includes new sculpture, drawings and eye-popping, precise paintings on shaped canvases. “I try to understand why certain experiences stick with me and repeat over and over in my head while I go about my day,” he says. “I try to create work that will have this same effect.”

KAWS began as a graffiti artist and rose to international acclaim. His phenomenally popular work has even been featured as a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The show for Honor Fraser is a fresh approach to his bold yet cryptic reinterpretations of popular culture.“The work in this show is a marriage between the familiar and abstract, the stark and colorful,” he says.

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Art, visual arts, writing, Black and White, brazil, sao paulo, User Feature, Instagram,

Shooting letters with @verenasmit

To see more photos of Verena’s play on words follow @verenasmit on Instagram

It all started with an old typewriter and some tired expressions. “I began playing with the clichés we hear all the time,” São Paulo visual artist Verena Smit (@verenasmit), says. “I’ll cross out a letter or a word, but make it so it can still be read. While there’s a part that rejects the cliché, there’s also a part that would like to somehow embrace it.”

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photography, art, collage art, layers, instagram,

Slicing It Up with @bedelgeuse

To see more collages, follow @bedelgeuse on Instagram.

“When I cut paper there is a release of tension, like the object I’m cutting out is confined in the paper and I am releasing it,” explains New York-based paper collage artist Travis Baker (@bedelgeuse).

Travis never planned to become an artist but when he came across anatomical and botanical illustrations in 2009, he naturally started cutting and pasting. “Since these illustrations were done around the same time period, they had a similar aesthetic. My mind instantly came to the idea to create collages from it.” Over the years Travis has built up a large image library which he adds to over time, sourcing illustrations in old science and medical books. “My inspiration is the energy that exists between human and nature,” he says. “So much emotion is expressed by using anatomical imagery.”

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Art, Fashion, illustration, cartoon, rio de janeiro, brazil, User Feature, Instagram,

Between Dream and Life with @iamlubi and @iamfubi

To see more photos and videos from Lubi and Fubi’s colorful carioca life, follow @iamlubi and @iamfubi on Instagram.

Rio de Janeiro illustrator Luiza Bione’s (@iamlubi) portraits of herself as a colorful character named Lubi blur the line between daydreams and reality. Luiza has been documenting her life through colorful illustrations for as long as she can remember. As a small child she created a cartoon version of herself called Lubi and has been illustrating herself for the past 18 years. “Through illustration, even bad moments—like waking up with a bad hair day or sitting in traffic for hours—become funny. Drawing also makes virtually any scenario possible: if Lubi wants to visit the moon she can.” Luiza began using Instagram after her boyfriend Paulo Delvalle (@paulodelvalle) suggested it might be the perfect way to really bring Lubi to life, telling her story as if she were a real person. “Last year on Valentine’s day, Paulo made me a card asking me to be his girlfriend. He created an illustrated version of himself called Fubi, and that’s how (@iamfubi) was born. Since then, I’ve been drawing Lubi and Fubi based on our lives as well as all the things we dream of doing.”

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photography, art, design, crafts, embroidery, Australia, nature, user feature, Art Thursday, Instagram,

Embroidering Nature’s Patterns with @meredithwoolnough

To see more of Meredith’s nature-inspired creations, follow @meredithwoolnough on Instagram.

“I have been collecting skeletonized leaves for as long as I can remember,” explains Australian artist Meredith Woolnough (@meredithwoolnough), whose elaborate embroideries mimic coral, leaves and other forms from nature. “I have always found inspiration in the natural world.”

Meredith’s particular method of embroidery is well-suited for patterns inspired by nature. “I work with a unique technique that allows me to create embroidered structures that exist without a base cloth. It’s not your typical embroidery.”

A near perfect Scribbly gum leaf Meredith found inspired her largest work to date. “I mapped out the internal structure of the leaf and translated the design into a dense network of stitches,” she says. “It took me months to complete and it almost sent me mad, but I am so happy with how it turned out.”

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Photography, collage art, user feature, futuristic, Instagram, art,

Entering Mystical Worlds with @charlie_davoli

To explore more of Riccardo’s abstract sceneries, follow @charlie_davoli on Instagram.

Italian Instagrammer Riccardo Schirinzi (@charlie_davoli) layers images to create imagined worlds by “playing with paradoxes and mixing up real environments with surreal interferences.” Using iPhone editing apps for the process, Riccardo’s inspiration is the real world around him.

“When I walk down the street, I shoot anything that catches my attention, creating a data base of potential photos to work with,” he explains. “My influences are the metaphysical stream of De Chirico, the geometry love of the Bauhaus era and the super pop culture of Warhol and Lichtenstein—all mixed up and topped with a bit of retro-futuristic sci-fi style.”

All of his works are driven by the fun and freedom of creative expression, and Riccardo enjoys sharing his fantastical settings. “I’d love that anyone could enjoy a ride in my amusement park. Just like going on a roller-coaster!”

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photography, art, design, crafts, sculpture, singapore, star wars, Art Thursday, user feature, instagram,

Rekindling Creativity Through Sculpture with @skl0_

To see more of Sam’s creative endeavors, both sculptural and beyond, follow @skl0_ on Instagram.

“My earlier work was mostly based on self-taught design and street installations with wheat paste and stencils,” explains Singapore artist Sam Lo (@skl0_), whose photos showcase the diversity of her creative interests. “But lately I have fallen in love with sculpting, tattoos, watercolor and the aerosol can all over again.”

“My love for sculpting started just a little under a year ago,” she says. “I hit a creative drought and was looking for a medium I could really connect to as an artist.” Sculpting has exposed Sam to new sources of inspiration—like the world of designer toys—but has also come with another benefit: “I find the whole process really meditative.”

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photography, michael tatalovich, standup2cancer, cancer survivor, inspiration, art, user feature, instagram,

My Bout of Horrible Luck—and Incredible Postivity, by @mtat95

To see more from Michael’s visual journal of his life before and after recovery, follow @mtat95 on Instagram.

"My name is Michael Tatalovich (@mtat95). I am 18 years old from Las Vegas, Nevada. I lived a relatively regular life up until last year: I played volleyball, was in photo class and just generally liked being a teenager. Then last May, I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer.

A lot of the images I wanted to share were pretty shocking, and Instagram was a way to directly share these difficult moments with my friends and family. But my photography also shows that life has its hardships and triumphs, its love and its loss, and its pain and its joy. Keeping those things in perspective is what makes us all human.

I went through 11 weeks of chemotherapy last summer and then had my left femur replaced with a titanium prosthetic. After surgery, I did another 22 weeks, finally finishing in March with an incredibly bright prognosis. Although my hair is growing back and my port-a-cath has been removed, I am still dealing with the consequences of my illness. I still use a cane to walk. I can no longer participate in volleyball. I still have to go in for check-up scans, some of which come with high levels of radiation exposure. I will have to get the titanium replacement replaced once it wears down, about every 10 to 15 years.

My Instagram feed is a wonderful chronological archive of my high school life. I can very easily look back to exactly one year ago and see what I was going through. The road I have traveled has been long, daunting and painful. The road ahead comes with its own distinctive set of challenges. But more often than not, I choose to look back for a good, light-hearted laugh at what has changed.

Yes, I am gay. Yes, I am a cancer survivor. Yes, I like science. But I am none of those things individually. I am a human, hurdling through space and time at the same rate as all of the other beings on this planet are.”

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Photography, Art, portraits, Photojournalism, Black and White, social issues, User Feature, InstagrammerAbroad, Instagram,

Capturing “The Human Drama” with @qsakamaki

For more metaphorical documentary photography from Q. Sakamaki, follow @qsakamaki on Instagram.

“Through photography, we can feel, see and freeze the real essence of the human drama and share it with the world,” says Q. Sakamaki (@qsakamaki), a Japanese photographer, writer and educator. He has been living in New York for the majority of his career, documenting social issues in the United States as well as around the world for Japanese publications.

On Instagram, he shares snaps taken on his iPhone, including some experimental shots that he shares to gather feedback from the community. Whether capturing an image of a Harlem-bound subway passenger or schoolgirls in Tokyo, he strives to capture the human elements in moments that affect both individual people and society as a whole.

“My personal philosophy,” says Q, “is that all types of photography somehow contain self-metaphors, even in documentary photography and photojournalism.” As a Japanese living abroad, he takes a more intimate approach when shooting in his home country. “These days, I like to shoot the changing and unchanging scenes that could be metaphors of Japan—or even those of my identity itself.”