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Trending reels for artists that will make you go viral

If you’re on Instagram you know that reels are taking over. In fact, Instagram reels are the easiest way to reach thousands of people.

Currently one of the biggest creative reel trends on Instagram is when an artist shows steps of their process synced to the beat of the audio. Any audio can be used, but popular sounds for this trend include the audio by user nirajvaishnav_.

Keep reading to learn how to let your art go viral in 2022 using reels on Instagram!

Should I use trending songs on Instagram reels or can I use any audio?

Since your goal is to have as many people watch your reel as much as possible you must use songs that are currently trending. It’s more likely that people outside of your following find your reel whilst browsing the reels using this popular song.

Other benefits include:

  • If people like the audio you use they are more likely to save your video
    • This results in engagement which gives you greater exposure
  • People might watch your reel multiple times because of the audio
    • This results in greater views which is what the algorithm likes
  • Your reel will show up in the feed of that particular audio, giving it a permanent place to live outside of your own Instagram page
    • People might find your reel weeks after you posted it

There are several ways to go viral using reels. But there are specific ways for artists to go viral.

creative reel ideas

How to go viral on Instagram reels for artists

Using trending audio will always be a big, if not the biggest, factor when it comes to viral reels. These reels will be seen by fellow (hobby) artists and others. The ”Others” group include:

  • People who are interested in your art after stumbling upon your reel
    • They watch it, like, save and/or share your reel and leave
  • People who want to buy your art
    • They browse your feed, possibly give you a follow and buy something

When it comes to attracting fellow artists here’s how you might go viral using Instagram reels:

Show scenarios of relatable situations artists deal with. When artists relate to you, a connection is established. The relatability of that specific situation validates their personal experiences which are comforting and or amusing.

And let entertainment be one of the biggest industries on social media.

Just take Hayley Morris for example. Morris creates reels about the female reproductive parts. Her reels are insanely popular because they are so relatable: half of the people on Instagram are women.

Her reel about periods has a whopping 17,4 million views. Why? Almost every woman deals with it ( = relatability) but it’s still somewhat of a taboo ( = makes people watch and comment).

Morris’s reels are highly entertaining as well because she created characters out of those organs. We can use the same formula and apply it to artist-related situations.

The formula for successful reels for artists

When we analyze Morris’s reels, we see that she consistently uses the same components.

The basic formula Morris is using is:
Entertainment (funny characters) + relatable content (most women have periods) = succesful reel.

On top of that the taboo that comes wiht the topic periods (let’s face it, not too many people like talking openly about them) make her reels controversial in perhaps a positive way.

Try to apply this to your reels. The 4 basic components to add to your formula include:

  • Entertainment (Make it funny)
    • Maybe include a funny twist
  • Relatable (make people feel like they’re not alone)
    • Think of positive and negative relatable moments
  • Uniqueness
    • Try to think outside of the box as Morris did
  • Taboo
    • This can be certain topics
    • This can be things that every artist does but don’t openly admit (like tracing)
    • This ensures heavy engagement in the form of comments (but be prepared for negative comments as well)

Reels that are driven by the ”Other’s” group

When it comes to customers, people want to see the creative process. Reels that show how much work goes into a certain craft give the end product so much more worth.

A timelapse of the process of your art is extremely popular. It shows the time and effort put into the art. People love to see things grow into something beautiful. This type of reel does not only attract fellow artists, it attracts people who admire your skills.

This can eventually lead to customers.

reel ideas for artists

For this, I suggest you show yourself on camera. You don’t have to show your face, but seeing an actual person (from the back) work on something reminds the viewer of physical human, and most importantly, skilled labor.

How to find trending music for artists on Instagram

You find trending music for artists on Instagram by:

  • Browsing reels and looking at how many likes that reel has
    • The more likes the more likely the audio is trending
  • Open the music tab when creating a reel on Instagram
    • It will automatically show trending audio at the top
  • In the search bar add a certain hashtag and browse its reels
    • See what the top performing reels are using as audio

To use non-trending audio I recommend having a following that thoroughly engages in your posts.

This way the engagement of your followers gives a boost which the algorithm picks up on. Who knows you might be a trendsetter!

Trending reels for artists in 2022

Trends come and go but here are the current Instagram reel trends for artists:

1. Show your favorite illustration

The reel example below has nothing to do with art but we can use the concept for something similar.

Make a reel in which you show your favorite drawing or painting you’ve ever done.

The audio says: ”Don’t tell anyone I told you this but uh… you’re my favorite.” How cute is that?

Trending Reel Audio: Lunas_golden_life

2. Show your current project

Let the people know what you are currently working on.

The audio says: ”Show your coffee and what you’re working on. ”

Audio

3. Show your sketch

Show a sketch of yours. You can either show a great sketch or use the audio to show a sketch that’s rather… questionable. Remember, relatability is key! You can always elaborate in the caption.

The audio says: ”Show me a dirty little sketch of yours and then I’ll show you mine.”

Audio

4. Show steps of your process

Show certain steps of your process which are synced to the music. This is currently one of the biggest reel trends on Instagram.

Audio: by Nirajvaishnav_

Another version of this trend is this one with the following audio:

Audio

5. Show a timelapse of your creative process

Show a timelapse of your process followed by a great reveal at the end.

Audio

6. Real time vs actual time

To fit everything into a few second reel you just have to speed things up. To let the viewer know this is not realistic, include the sped-up version and the actual real-time footage of the creative process.

The audio includes Eminem rapping followed by a young child stuttering. So cute!

Audio

7. Show your art concept / show how to solve a problem

So this audio can be used for two different reels.

The first one is to show parts of your ideation followed by the (finished) reveal of a concept of yours.

The second reel idea is to show a certain problem that you have followed by how you solved this problem.

Audio

8. Intimate process sharing

Romantizise your process by filming yourself and adding dreamy mosic to it. This surely will charm the viewer!

Audio

9. Show me a beautiful view

This audio says ”Show me a beautiful view” so you can first show your artwork and then show your surroundings. This is a great reel video for plein air artists.

Audio

10. Show your favorite art supplies

This audio says: ”These are a few of my favorite things” So this audio is perfect to show your favorite art supplies.

Audio: by lexsauce10

I love simple art reels!

Just a disclaimer: it’s incredibly hard to find the original owner of the audio. This can be songs by artists or original audio. If you know the original audio of some mentioned above let me know so I can change it to give the owner credit.

Art reel ideas

There are so many things you can show as an artist. The key to going viral with a reel is to match it to music or specific audio that is currently trending.

The following ideas will probably trend for as long as reels are a thing. The key is to match it with the current audio trends!

Here us a list of reel ideas for artists:

  • Show a sketch
  • Show your workplace/art studio
  • Show your favorite supplies
  • Take us art shopping
  • Show your filming set up
  • Show your art haul
  • Show your least favorite and most favorite artwork
  • Your personal tips when it comes to your art
  • Timelapse and include a clock so we can see how much time you invest
  • Go air pleining
  • Artist struggles
    • Like accidentally dipping brush into your coffee
  • Your top 5 favorite art stores
  • Your favorite color scheme
  • Show each step from eginnng to end
    • First clip is you grabbing your supplies from the shelves, then taping down paper, after that mixing your paints etc.
  • Show your worst artwork to date
  • Reenact something embarrassing

If you have any more ideas let me know in the comments so I can add them :)

Instagram reels trending songs for artists in 2022

The audio you use for your art reels does not have to be art specific. In fact, if you use any trending music your art will be shown to non-artists, resulting in possible customers and or followers!

I collected audio that features current trending music in general and art audio specifics.

Here is a list of trending reel songs (or music) for artists in 2022:

Instagram reels hashtags for artists

With each reel you can post a caption, just like with regular posts. Here are the best hashtags to use for creative reels:

Illustration hashtags for Instagram:

  • #illustrationreel
  • #illustrationoninstagram
  • #illustrationow
  • #illustrationdigital
  • #illustrationaday

Sketch hashtags for Instagram:

  • #sketchbookartist
  • #digitlasketching
  • #sketchingtime
  • #sketchzone
  • #sketchdraw

Paint hashtags for Instagram:

  • #paintingfromlife
  • #painting*insert topic*
  • #painterlife
  • #paintingoftheday
  • #paintingisfun

Creative hashtags (works with any craft)

  • #creativereel
  • #creativesofinstagram
  • #artreel
  • #reelstrend
  • #reelexplore

I purposely chose hashtags that don’t have high competition. Meaning that when you would use a hashtag like #illustration which has 195 million uses your reel gets buried and your chances of getting viewers are minimal.

The previously mentioned hashtags should make your reels more accessible for people browsing that hashtag.

creative reels

Just be sure to only use hashtags that are relevant to your reel. You can use up to 30 of them.

Instagram reels duration

Since your goal is to get the most engagement out of your viewers its best to stick to a 15 second reel. This way your reel is more likely to loop which count as extra engagement.

Too long of a reel will result in people leaving. It’s better to upload longer clips as a video.

How often should I post reels as an artist on Instagram?

This is probably one of the most important factors regarding reels.

Artists should post as many reels as they can without dropping the quality. If that, for you, means twice a week you should post twice a week.

I was reading comments of a popular gouache painter and in one of her comments, she mentioned that she started to gain the majority of her now 60K followers after the 30th day of consistently posting every day.

The Instagram algorithm is constantly changing. So the best thing to do is to post as often as you can as long as you keep the quality of it up.

Find a nice balance that works for you.

How to make art reels on Instagram

First you need to have clips on your phone. You can either film in one sitting or create multiple short videos which you stitch together.

How to create an art reel on Instagram

  1. When you have Instagram open, swipe to the left
  2. Select reel
  3. Select the reel duration for example 15 seconds
  4. Tap the plus icon in the lower right corner and pick your videos
  5. Click ”Next”
  6. Click Skip
  7. Press the music icon on the top to add music, a voice over or sounds effects
    • this is where you can take audio from your saved audios and imported audios
  8. Hit done
  9. Hit next once your ready
  10. Edit your cover
    • You can add an image as your cover from your camera roll
  11. Add a caption and hashtags
  12. Hit share once you’re done

How to automatically sync to music with Instagram reels

  1. When you have Instagram open, swipe to the left
  2. Select reel
  3. Select the reel duration for example 15 seconds
  4. Tap the plus icon in the lower right corner and pick your videos
  5. Click ”Next”
  6. Choose from the suggested audio or tap ”Search” and pick your own
  7. Hit the arrow to the right
  8. Hit next
  9. Edit the cover to something eye-catching and hit done
    • You can also pick an image from your camera roll
  10. hit share
reels for artists

You can pin your reels to the top of your grid and remove them from your grid (this way they are stored in your reel section, accessible to anyone).

Final thoughts

Point is, there’s no way of telling if a reel becomes viral. Sometimes they become viral weeks after posting.

My suggestion is to measure into your own success. To me it was celebrating that my reel reached over 4,000 people with an account for less than half of those people.


I hope I informed you enough to go and create your own reels. Think of me when you go viral ;)

♡ Laura

P.s You might also be interested in creating this kind of Instagram post to instantly boost engagement

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