By Aswan Magumbe

At what point did Instagram stop being a digital scrapbook and start becoming a portfolio?


Instagram is blooming into an exciting landscape for creatives, young and old, to utilise whatever engagement they have or can muster in the hopes of broadening their reach. Gone are the days where you’d try to maintain the privacy that a private IG account allows; everyone’s on public, and everyone’s showcasing their work, almost like a trophy displayed in its case - and some definitely have more than others.

London-based stylist, designer and creative director Esi Adjei-Ampofo uses her Instagram page as a portfolio for future clients, she acknowledges that Instagram is a powerful tool for nurturing creativity and offering inspiration to others. “Having your work on social media gives a feel of ‘here I am, take it or leave it’ which feels more authentic,” she says. However, can the authenticity be lost when that professional profile becomes a curated page for your ‘target audience’ - and isn’t this the very thing we’re tired of? 

Posting your work on Instagram can start to feel like leaving your character, skill set and business up for questioning. For creatives especially, validation is important but there’s nothing more fulfilling than knowing you’re good, without the external perspectives. And when the algorithm is set up to highlight the best content rather than right place, right time, it can be hard not to associate views, likes and general engagement with your work status or credibility. 

Now more than ever, we’re in tune with creativity to exceptional extents. But if Instagram really does become a marketplace for employers, we’re left to wonder if IG is just the new CV and we’re all in a waiting room about to pitch… 

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