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6 Black Female Artists Changing the Instagram Game

If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that we could all benefit from diversifying our lives (yes, even if you feel like you already have). While in-person encounters and real-life conversations are undeniably necessary, another way to discover and amplify new voices is simply to change the accounts you follow and repost on social media. For this reason, we chatted with six of our favorite Black female artists who are making Instagram a more colorful, more inspirational space, one square post at a time. Below, learn what inspires them, what you can expect on their feed, the mottos they live by, and more. And, whatever you do, don’t forget to click ‘Follow.’

Lo Harris

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Instagram Handle: @loharris_art

Medium: Digital

Inspiration: Gratitude, self-love and celebrations of friendship and femininity

Goal: To create joy for others and inspire them to feel a sense of gratitude for being alive and well-loved.

In Her Own Words: “I’ve always been artistically inclined, both as a visual artist and as a writer,” she says. “The process of creating is incredibly rewarding for me. It’s soothing, it’s methodical, and it’s incredibly unique for every artist. It’s a great privilege to watch my work come to life through an artistic process and logic that is entirely unique to my own way of seeing and thinking.”

Fun Fact: She was in the NBC page program (which 30 Rock made famous) and got to watch the SNL cast practice for the show.

Life Motto: “‘Live Your Best and Stay Blessed!’ — which essentially means invest in yourself, protect your joy and find some gratitude in your success,” she says.

Melissa Koby

Location: Tampa, FL

Instagram Handle: @mkoby_

Medium: Watercolor, digital

Inspiration: Women of all colors, shapes and sizes

Goal: To make people feel good and to create feelings of comfort and connection.

In Her Own Words: “Honestly, I create art because I feel very deeply and am very emotional, yet totally awkward in expressing myself verbally,” she shares. “If I could eloquently get online and share videos on issues without breaking down crying, I would. My art is my language. Everything I have been sharing for the past few weeks has come from things I want to say.”

Fun Fact: She watches The Office on repeat while she works. “I’ve gone through the series, from start to finish, four times since 2020 started,” she says. “I still cry during the finale.”

Life Motto: “Keep your head up. Keep your heart strong,” she says.

Shae Anthony

Location: Greater Atlanta, GA

Instagram Handle: @sheisthisdesigns

Medium: Digital, wood

Inspiration: Her mom

Goal: To help women and girls of color celebrate their beautiful shades and textures

In Her Own Words: “Any kind of ‘making’ is soothing for me,” she says. “I get in this zone and it’s just me and my project!”

Fun Fact: She absolutely loves to swim, but can’t float at all.

Life Motto: “‘Don’t take no wooden nickels,’” she says. “It’s something my dad always says to me. It keeps me curious and inquisitive about everything. I love that about myself.”

Reyna Noriega

Location: Miami, FL

Instagram Handle: @reynanoriega_

Medium: Digital, paint

Inspiration: Women of color’s vibrance and perseverance, travel and color

Goal: To provide more representation in the arts for Black women and women of color in themes that bring them joy

In Her Own Words: “I’ve always had the need to leave crumbs of my story and I want them to live on beyond my existence,” she says. “My writing and my art, becoming a part of some people’s human experience, gives me that opportunity.”

Fun Fact: When Reyna was little, she would find her dad’s sketchbooks so she could draw in them. “Luckily he was more flattered that I was taking after him than he was annoyed,” she says.

Life Motto: “‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis’ — my first tattoo and Latin for ‘Art is Lasting, Life is brief,’” she says.

Edinah Chewe

Location: United Kingdom

Instagram Handle: @wildlogic

Medium: Pencil, pens, acrylics, oil pastels, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

Inspiration: Quotes and words that can be turned into “a poetry of art.”

Goal: To offer a design space to explore wild and free ideas through various mediums and forms of creations. To inspire, encourage and empower followers to dare to dream.

In Her Own Words: “[Art] is something I’ve always done, even when I didn’t know what it was,” she says. “Even in secondary school, I’d draw in my school diaries, dreaming of another world. So, I believe it’s more than ‘what I do’ and is instead an innate part of who I am.”

Fun Fact: She listens to opera and classical music when she creates, and has 14 piercings in her ears.

Life Motto: “Don’t worry about the could haves; if it should have, it would have,” she says, noting that the original author of the quote is unknown.

Kendra Dandy

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Instagram Handle: @theebouffants

Medium: Acrylics, digital

Inspiration: Women, plants, beauty, cocktails, animals

Goal: To uplift, bring joy, fun and glamour, and, of course, to sell.

In Her Own Words: “It’s just natural, I can’t explain it,” she says. “It’s what I always have done and will continue to do.”

Fun Fact: She’s started a home bartending adventure during quarantine and uses her artwork as the background of the photos she takes of each cocktail.

Life Motto: “Just get it done and have a drink afterward,” she says.