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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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photography, art, television, lol, comics, Toronto, Neighborhood Watch, street art, user feature, Instagram,

A New Cast of Characters for Toronto’s Neighborhood Watch Signs

To see more of Andrew’s creative Neighborhood Watch modifications, follow @dcmism on Instagram.

Where some may have seen only an old sign faded after years of sun exposure, Toronto artist Andrew Lamb (@dcmism) saw an opportunity. Since 2012, Andrew has treated his hometown’s weathered Neighborhood Watch signs as a blank canvas, adorning them with whimsical figures from pop culture.

"My work tends to deal with altering urban infrastructure in a playful manner," explains Andrew. In this case, it’s about repurposing municipal infrastructure to "invoke nostalgic happy memories" with the help of characters as diverse as Zelda, Bruce Lee and the Planeteers.

What are the keys to success when modifying a sign? “Use a laser printer, not an inkjet,” says Andrew, “and don’t fall off your ladder.”

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Art, fashion, tavi gevinson, terry richardson, karl lagerfeld, pharrel williams, User Feature, tiffany cooper, Instagram, suzy menkes,

Winking at the Fashion World with @tiffanycooper_

For more of Tiffany’s black-felt-pen drawings featuring fashion personalities from Suzy Menkes to Tavi Gevinson, follow @tiffanycooper_ on Instagram.

Paris Instagrammer and illustrator Tiffany Cooper’s (@tiffanycooper_) pop-culture comics are always drawn with a gentle wink. “I especially like mocking the fashion industry,” she says, “but in a nice way. Making people laugh is the ultimate thing for me.”

Just two years ago, Tiffany was struggling to find her place in the fashion world and had begun sharing a few of her drawings online. Last week, her first line of designs debuted in Paris along with a book edited by Lewis Trondheim (@LewisTrondheim). “I wish I could have told unemployed-and-beat me that after only a year or two I would end up at Colette (@Colette),” she says, “launching my own brand and being edited by one of my favorite editors in the world!”

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history, portrait, art, Nelson Mandela, Mandela Day, photography, Instagram,

Paying Tribute to Madiba on Mandela Day

To see more tributes to activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela, explore the #MandelaDay and #Madiba hashtags.

Nelson Mandela was only 33 years old when a speech he gave incited a protest in Durban and first landed him in jail. Over the next 10 years, Mandela would be arrested three more times for his work fighting South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime until a 1962 conviction for sedition sent him to prison for the next 27 years.

“I was hoping to capture some sense of the hardships he suffered,” retired Johannesburg math lecturer Vivien Budge (@vivbudge) says of the young Mandela portrait she painted, “the anger he must have felt at the injustices he witnessed and the relentless tenacity, determination and courage with which he fought for his beliefs.”

After his release in 1990, Mandela helped bring an end to apartheid in South Africa and became the country’s first black democratically elected President. Mandela, who died last December but would have been 96 today, continues to inspire South Africans and others around the world to this day.

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art, aquarium, Art Thursday, Japan, Instagram, goldfish, photography, edo period, hidetomo kimura, Tokyo,

Tradition Meets Technology at the 2014 Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium

For more photos and videos from the exhibition, explore the COREDO室町 (Coredo Muromachi) and アートアクアリウム2014 (Art Aquarium 2014) location pages and browse the #アートアクアリウム (art aquarium) hashtag.

The Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium 2014 opened last Friday at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Tokyo, Japan. This exhibition features 17 fish tank installations designed by “art aquarist” Hidetomo Kimura, whose work brings more than 5,000 goldfish on display in 70 aquariums.

These extraordinary aquatic installations are decked with LED lights, projection mapping, music and even scents. While the technology involved is quite advanced, the aquarium designs are inspired by Japan’s Edo Period (1603–1868) and incorporate traditional motifs such as classic glass fish bowls, folding screens and lanterns.

Hidetomo’s works will be on view at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall until September 23, 2014.

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art, illustration, mexico, dance, teen, latin america, User Feature, Instagram,

Drawing on Emotion with @literaluis

For more of Luis’s sketches, follow @literaluis on Instagram.

"I’ve been doodling since I can remember. At times, it even becomes a totally unconscious act. No blank sheet of paper is safe with me as long as there’s a pen or pencil around,” says 17-year-old Mexico sketch artist and dancer Luis Ruiz (@literaluis). Luis characterizes his style as cartoon-like and says he never intends for his characters to really resemble the subject. “The relevance I see in them doesn’t lie in who they are, but what they would say if they were able to speak,” he explains.

Luis finds creative inspiration from listening to others. “My favorite things to sketch are portraits because of how much they reveal about a being or a person: a nostalgic gaze, lips sealed as if they had something important to say, even the way hair is styled. The possibilities are endless.” Relating to his subjects is also a part of Luis’s creative process. He explains, “I enjoy seeing the contrast between my characters’ portraits and my own. By standing next to them, I am reminded that they are a part of me and that their feelings were once my own. Nowadays everyone is eager to share their own story, however only a few are keen to listen. Listening to someone else makes you realize how human we all truly are and how our emotions aren’t as alienated as we may portray them.”

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design, art, sneakers, sneaker art, nike, reebok, puma sneakers, new balance, User Feature, Instagram,

The Sneaker Creatures of @hazzyboom

To see more of Hazzy Lin’s sneaker art creations, follow @hazzyboom on Instagram

Graphic designer Hazzy Lin (@hazzyboom) is a self-described “sneaker head.” Living in Taipei, Hazzy combines his love for street wear with his talent for illustration to create some of the most imaginative collections of sneaker art on Instagram.

His first sketch of a mutant shoe-creature was a monster inspired by a pair of Nike Air SB Jordans. The response from his followers encouraged him to continue experimenting, leading to more elaborate designs like his Reebok Pump with the face of an attacking dog, the fins of a shark and the body of a high-top.

Hazzy’s success for creating fantastical sneaker transformations has led him to start his own graphic design operation. When he needs a bit of inspiration, Hazzy scrolls through all his favorite Instagram sneaker accounts and keeps an eye on the #sneakerart hashtag.

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photography, fashion, design, art, Paris, tim walker, sofia coppola, Margot Breby, User Feature, Instagram,

Overcoming Shyness with Margot Breby

To see more of Margot’s whimsical photos and videos, follow @margotbreby on Instagram.

For Paris Instagrammer Margot Breby (@margotbreby), her style was always a way out of her shell. “I am very shy, and fashion is a good way to express myself,” she says. “Growing up, I wanted to become a stylist and I drew outfits I dreamed of wearing.”

Margot’s serene, light-soaked Instagram photos have also helped with her shyness. “It brought wonderful people into my life,” she says. “People who became true friends. I never imagined that when I began a year ago.”

Margot’s inspiration comes from eclectic sources, many of whom share her whimsical outlook. “I really love Sofia Coppola’s and Wes Anderson’s movies and Tim Walker’s photography,” she says. “I am also very inspired by other Instagrammers.”

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os gemeos, graffiti, Instagram, Art Thursday, art, brazil, street art,

Entering the Colorful Kaleidoscope World of @osgemeos

To see more photos and videos from A ópera da lua, explore the Galpão Fortes Villaça location page and browse the #osgemeos hashtag.

A circular installation pulls spectators into the colorful world of Brazilian twin brothers and graffiti artists Os Gêmeos. Their new art exhibit, A ópera da lua (“The Moon Opera”), features paintings, sculptures and a video installation where works are connected by doors and windows. The artists are known for incorporating storytelling and fantasy into their exhibits, where surreal elements blend together in a multicolored collage as if seen through a kaleidoscope.

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User Feature, Israel, dudi ben simon, art, design, products,

Finding Art in the Everyday with Israel’s @dudibensimon

To view more photos and videos of Dudi’s everyday art, follow @dudibensimon on Instagram

"While sitting on the couch, I saw a pile of bowls on the counter; it looked to me like a sleeve. The next day I took a picture of it,” says Tel Aviv creative director Dudi Ben Simon (@dudibensimon).

Dudi says his inspired by the people and everyday objects around him, such as his niece, a friend with great shoes and a blue-haired coworker. “Since studying history of art at school I was fascinated with what can be made by using objects and daily pieces when they are disconnected from their original use,” he explains.

Often an idea is born “in a matter of minutes,” Dudi says, and adds that he is guided by his feelings towards something with little planning ahead. “A year ago I purchased a plate with a black swan image that I had been dying to take a picture of but couldn’t find an idea,” says Dudi. “One morning, I opened the fridge and in front of me I saw some green beans—I took the photo that second before I left to work. I also take the photos on the same table or hardwood floor. It amazes me how different it turns out every time.”

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art, vintage, crafts, user feature, paper cutouts, Jorge Miranda, Instagram,

The Lives of @yorch_miranda’s Paper Cutouts

To see more scenes from Jorge’s creative mind, follow @yorch_miranda on Instagram.

For Miami filmmaker Jorge Miranda (@yorch_miranda), working with miniature paper dolls provides a refreshing flexibility. “These photos have become for me a faster way to express my ideas with actors that don’t complain and don’t need to get paid,” he says.

"Using objects that we interact with in our daily lives makes it easy for people to understand and relate no matter where they come from," says Jorge, whose whimsical portraits draw inspiration from his film work and creative Instagram communities like @graphic_arts_bnw. “I hope people realize how easy is to have fun with items we see every day.”