Instagram Round-Up: Instagrafite
@Instagrafite is an Instagram profile that has been getting a lot of attention. With over 685k followers, 12oz Prophet caught up with them for an exclusive interview.
Tell me about Instagrafite?
We started Instagrafite in October 2011 as a profile on Instagram. We believed that there existed an opportunity to showcase pure street art. It came about from our passion for street art and our desire to communicate this passion. The concept was to create an open gallery where everyone can participate by contributing photos of graffiti and street art. Instagrafite has now become a major collaborative gallery focused on street art with followers from around the world. Our objective is to expand the culture by creating and promoting art projects both with artists and brands that are interested in a shared exploration of the art and vision of street art culture. We help products integrate the universe of art and brands that share a community vision by connecting with people who have similar interests. Instagrafite has given us a lot of opportunities to meet people and travel which we are really grateful for.
What is a regular day for you?
We live in São Paulo, which is one of the main cities for street art in the world. It’s natural for us to see art in the streets everyday wherever we go. Like many people we have regular jobs and interact with the urban landscape on our way to work, during work and on our way home street allowing us to photograph street art and to look out for new installations to be photographed. We post at least five pictures a day on Instagram from submissions we get by email or from our private collection. Posting pictures is done on a set schedule, so if that means that we need to make a post during a meeting we’re going to do it. Answering 60 emails per day is typical for us. People submit pictures and we pick the best to post on Instagram.
Do you write graffiti?
No, we just post pictures. We are a conduit for street artists to reach a wider audience.
What inspires you?
While living in Buenos Aires we were inspired by the graffiti and street art. Living and travelling abroad inspires us. Now we live in São Paulo and it has graffiti on every corner. The people of the city inspire us to document and share the art we see in the streets. In São Paulo graffiti represents more of a good part of the city than the bad. People here don’t see graffiti as a bad thing like throwups. Here, the graffiti is more of an art, a protest ballad, a sentence that a person reads as they go to work. Our goal is to engage people and make them reflect at the graffiti and street art we see in the streets. We try to make people look at the city in the different way. When we launched Instagrafite, we received an email from a fifty year old woman from Rio de Janeiro. She said that she didn’t like graffiti but when she saw our profile and pictures she began to change her views and began to think that graffiti might be a good thing.
The streets, cities, artists and Martha Cooper are great inspirations for us.
How did you get so many Instagram followers?
Our platform is for everyone not just for graffiti artists or street artists. We believe that three words got us to where we are today. Persistence, democracy, and stewardship. Everyone can contribute to Instagrafite no matter how old you are. We always post quality pictures with positive messages that we believe in. We also always give credit to the photographer. When we manage and select the photographs of street art, we ensure that they are consistent and fit with our concept. If you were not to look at the photo credits it would look like it was always the same person taking the pictures.
What is the best time of day to post on Instagram?
The best time is when it’s midnight here in São Paulo, which is 1am in New York City and the afternoon in Japan. It is a good time to get views from people all around the world.
What advice do you have for Instagramers?
Do something that you believe in. Do something that is real for you and good for others. We’ve been on the popular page a few times and every time we got there it was because of good messages, not boobs, sex or malicious things.
Would you rather go swimming with great white sharks or have spiders crawling on your body?
We are adventurous but if we had to choose, it would be swimming with sharks no doubt because we hate spiders.
What are your plans for the future?
Travel, travel, travel. Meet more artists and people. We want to do more projects with the brands that we are affiliated with and new ones who are interested in what we do. For us it’s not about money, it’s about passion and we believe that good things happen when you follow your passion.