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5 authentic Instagram accounts

After my last article on microblogging and on request from a few lovely boss friends, I realized it would be helpful to share a list of a few of my favorite Instagram accounts who share their work and life in an authentic and exciting way.

Instagram is usually not the place we think of when it comes to being real and authentic. In fact, it’s more often than not quite the opposite. With the typical Insta-famous accounts, we get a highlight reel of perfectly filtered, edited, and posed snapshots of what we’re supposed to think is real life.

But, why can’t it be both? Beautiful and real.

Why can’t we be inspired by images and timelines of content creators who are their true selves and reveal the beauty in that? I’m happy to report that there are plenty of fine examples of this already on the platform.

The first thing I do when I wake up and last thing I do before getting ready for bed is get on Instagram. You might be thinking I have a serious problem. Writing it here even makes me take pause. In actuality, though, it’s one of the most inspiring parts of my entire day!

That’s because I have curated a mental list of inspiring creators on Instagram who are constantly sharing the most interesting, original, and genuine content.

Many of these creators are also taking full advantage of the Instagram Stories and Live options, too; making the experience all the more personal (more or less) in real-time.

I find that, thanks to Instagram’s algorithm (see there is an upside to it!) and a dash of my daily story-watching habits, the first things Instagram is showing me are the accounts that inspire me to create, be real, and be vulnerable.

I even find myself checking in with these accounts in particular instead of just letting the main feed wash over me. There’s so much to consume on social; so, why not be deliberate with your time and who receives your attention?

Check out these fantastic accounts and what they’re doing that works, according to my humble opinion. I hope this list will inspire you to keep being vulnerable and authentically you in your content; no matter where you’re sharing it.

And, let me know who you’re following that inspires you. Sharing is caring!

Fran Menenses, Illustrator and Etsy shop owner (@frannerd)

Fran’s art is fun, relatable, and a feast for your eyeballs. Her illustrations are full of color and whimsy, but also tap into the feelings and emotions we’ve all been through. Thoughts on aging, dealing with negative feedback, finding (and losing and finding again) your muse, and binge-watching too much Netflix.

Fran is refreshingly open about her career and life as an illustrator; offering insight into her materials, process, and what it’s like to make art your career. For any of you creatives wondering how you can share your creative journey, take notes from Fran.

Melissa Hartwig, Creator of Whole30 (@melissahartwig)

I included Melissa in my last article on microblogging, but she’s worth repeating here. Melissa is one of the most inspiring business leaders I’ve encountered on Instagram. She created the undeniably successful Whole30 program and is a NYT best-selling author. You’d think someone this successful wouldn’t need or want to share their life and work, but she’s making sharing part of her success story.

I saw this quote on @marybethlarue’s feed, and it stopped me in my tracks. This TOTALLY explained my 2017; full of questions framed as challenges, growth, and opportunities. How much was I willing to share, how far back was I willing to look, how brave was I going to be? I met last year's questions with a variety of answers, most often along the lines of "Why now?" and "Um, a little help?" and my personal favorite, "WTF, God." It was confusing. It was uncomfortable. It was relentless. And more often than not, I floated around feeling lost, wondering, "Who the eff am I to be out here claiming I can help other people?" • And then, like the plot of a well-written mystery… everything began to make sense. Answers, framed as new connections, fresh starts, solid grounding, and satisfying achievements. This is why I had to dig that up. Here is where I was being led. This is what I am meant to do now. Answers which I met with responses like, "FINE I GET IT," and "Yes, okay, thanks," and my personal favorite, "Oh." • I certainly don't think I have it all figured out now, or that these answers are the FINAL answers, tied up neatly and wrapped with a bow. They're just little rewards from the universe, helping me stay connected, motivated, and on the path I'm meant to follow. Signs that sitting in the discomfort, doing the work, and keeping my heart open through process was exactly what I was meant to do. But damn if the last 30 days doesn't reaffirm my faith in, well, just about everything. Maybe that was the point. • #yearofquestionsyearofanswers #justmelissa #helpthankswow PC: @southernlivingmag

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Melissa is refreshingly candid and open; sharing her experiences running a business, health and fitness journey, balancing life and work, and recovering from drug addiction. She’s honest about how hard it can all be, but inspires you to go for it anyway. A great account I check every single day without fail.

Caroline Kelso, Made Vibrant – (@ckelso)

Not only is Caroline’s Instagram beautiful to look at, thanks to her amazing artwork and illustrations; it’s also a place to become inspired to do more in your work and life.

I love this quote from @elizabeth_gilbert_writer in #BigMagic about commitment to our creativity. ⠀ . ⠀ Today I shared with my email list my own familiar pattern I fall into when I enter into uncharted territory with my art — first the curiosity and the excitement and the discovery of a new tool or medium or process, then the fear and doubt and self-criticism when I'm not immediately comfortable with it. When my work doesn't live up to my own taste standards. ⠀ . ⠀ But the truth is… pushing past that discomfort and committing to PRACTICE is, as Liz says, when "interesting begins." That's when creativity becomes not just an act of expression, but an act of self-evolution. ⠀ . ⠀ If you're ready to push the boundaries of your own creativity, learn a new skill, and commit to practice this summer, I definitely recommend trying out #iPadLetteringforBeginners. The course closes in just a few hours! (link in profile)⠀ .⠀ Either way though, I'm trying to remember this advice as I use the iPad to continue to map uncharted territory within my own creative skillset. I hope you'll do the same!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #ipadlettering #ipadpro #ipadart #applepencil #procreateart #abstractaffirmationsdaily #handlettering #lettering #digitalart #handletteredart #digitalart #choosemust #liveyourtruth #risingtidesociety #dreamersanddoers #peoplescreative #makersmovement #liveauthentic #bloomyellow #makersgonnamake #madetomatter #creativelife #bigmagic #creativepreneur #communityovercompetition #theimperfectboss #soulfulcreative

A post shared by Caroline | Made Vibrant (@ckelso) on

Caroline is extremely open with her advice on a multitude of subjects. She’s constantly sharing tips, tools, and ideas for those interested in hand-lettering, illustration, and branding; much more often for free than as part of her paid suite. She’s so passionate and excited about what she does that when she actually is selling, it doesn’t feel like it.

Bethany aka Lil’ Sipper, Food Blogger – (@lilsipper)

Lil’ Sipper is not your typical health and food blogger on Instagram. Yes, she shares delicious, healthy recipes with stunning photography that makes your mouth water. But, there’s something special about the way Bethany interacts with her audience. Every single day, from dawn to dusk (literally; this woman is usually up around 5am!), she is on Instagram Stories sharing what she’s eating, recipes she’s working on, shopping trips, advice, honest product reviews, and funny moments in her day.

Most will scroll pass this pic and/or even comment without even thinking twice "Eating Disorder." Sad really. But this is the result of when you have a list of severe IBS symptoms and not being able to digest food properly (among other internal issues stated on my blog) Food was not absorbing into my body, hence nutrients was basically being stripped away…even though I was eating. That's the result on the ⬅️LEFT. But the result on the RIGHT➡️ shows that Y O U C A N O V E R C O M E these problems. I did – without any meds, surgeries, feeding tubes, and with the guidance of my holistic dr ate my way back to health. 🍽 Literally. . I thought I was the only person on the planet🌎 dealing with this, come to find out there are countless others that can relate…sadly suffering. 🙏🏼 I now know why God allowed me to nearly die and experience this, to help those dealing with the same or similar issues. I don't have all the answers, but I do have some helpful tips and guidelines if you want to heal your gut and start living! On my blog💻 I have a page called "10 Steps To Heal You Gut" which I personally took my own time to create. It's 100% FREE. I don't make a cent from it. It's just something I am passionate about and want to share how I got my health back and how you can too.❤️ . And if you don't know my story, click the "About Me" section on my blog. www.lilsipper.com (link in bio) . LASTLY:👇🏼 If you know someone who needs to read this, tag them! #lilsipper #TransformationTueday . . . #FoodIsMedicine #Hope

A post shared by Gut Health, REAL Food (@lilsipper) on

She is so open about her ongoing battle with life-threatening IBS and devotes hours to responding to comments and questions from followers who look to her for solutions. 322k people tune into Bethany’s posts because of her integrity about the products she shares and her commitment to helping others. It’s really a beautiful thing to see and experience.

P.S. She even still takes the time to respond to every single person who tags or DM’s here. That is some dedication to her followers and shows how grounded she remains. And, probably a big part of why her following has consistently grown.

Adriene Louise from YogaWithAdriene (@adrienelouise)

Adriene is all about remaining authentic and ‘finding what feels good’ for you. You see this in everything she puts out into the world. In her yoga videos on YouTube, she’ll crack jokes, laugh about her creaky floor, let her sweet dog Benji wander into the shot, and just plain old ‘be herself’. The quality, beauty, and aesthetic of what she makes is top-notch, yet the feeling is so warm and casual.

The yoga routines are low-barrier so anyone can join in and she’s not showing off with crazy moves that look good on camera but aren’t achievable for a novice like me in my living room. She puts an emphasis on enjoying the movement rather than trying to achieve a certain pose or an idealized body shape. In fact, she outspokenly discourages trying to be or do something other than what’s inside you. Yet, she still manages to inspire you to reach new goals. Pretty bad-ass, if you ask me.

 -A

Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash

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