Three Rising Artists of the Digital Visual World

Image credit: Guillaume KurkdjianInstagram’s visual community has made it the network most likely to be home to already famous artists who use the app to share bits of their work. But Instagram is also home to some previously unknown creatives who have become “Insta-famous.” For these “mobile photographers,” huge followings and creative influence have led to collaborations with brands like Nike, Volvo, and National Geographic. Many of the most famous and followed Instagram artists have been on the network since it was launched in 2010, and are proof that creative consumers on visual social networks are ones to watch. As new visual networks emerge, the talent pool of digital artists that brands should know grows as well. We're looking outside of Instagram to some of the other visual networks fostering big talent, and creativity is everywhere. Brands are already beginning to tap into these new sources of artistic innovation, and it won't be long before campaigns from Vine and Tumblr artists are just as common as those from traditional photographers. Here are three rising artists of this digital visual world to watch:


1. Keelayjams: Vine artist

One of Vine’s most popular users, Keelayjam (or Kyle M.F. Williams), is no stranger to strange content. Keelay’s Vines delve into the ridiculous, often featuring cardboard cutouts in strange situations and food being thrown or set on fire. In July, Keelay made headlines for “breaking Vine” when he gave his username and password to his followers and let anyone who wanted to post content to his feed—an experiment he felt was necessary because he was getting too hooked on likes and letting popularity control his video content. At the time, he had 64,000 followers, and many uploaded content to his feed trying to imitate his style or gain their own notoriety. Keelay’s fame has…


Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?

The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies