Social media is an important tool for any artist or creative as we discussed in ‘How to time manage your social media’ post. Having an online presence can raise your profile to a global network, help you sell your work and even attract the attention of commissioners or galleries.

Using hashtags in your social media posts is key to boosting your success of being discovered online. Here is an essential guide to hashtags for artists and makers:

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a key word or short phrase preceded by the # symbol that becomes a tag or a search term. We recommend you use capital letters in hashtag phrases to make it easier to read. It also means screen reader software reads out each word separately to help people using assistive technologies, for example use #ArtistsOnInstagram instead of #artistsoninstagram.

When do I use a hashtag?

Hashtags help users find you and your posts even if they aren’t following you already, if you have a public or business profile. You can also follow hashtags on Instagram to keep up to date on the latest trends or other artists and makers. For example, #MeetTheMaker is a hashtag where makers share who they are and what they do with the global maker community.

You can also join online discussions on Twitter centered around national or international topics by using certain hashtags and joining the conversation. For example,

#MuseumHour happens every Monday evening from 8-9pm where museums and the heritage sector across the UK (and sometimes internationally!) discuss various topics. Our Culture+ programme manager Jane recently hosted a session with Poole Museum and travel blogger Emily Luxton discussing digital media influencers.

#InternationalWomensDay was a national campaign this month (8 March) to raise awareness about gender equality across the globe. They even had a hashtag for the theme this year which was #BalanceForBetter.

#Inktober happens every October where artists, illustrators, tattoo artists and more to share their work every day throughout the month.

How many hashtags should I use?

The number of hashtags you use depends on what platform you use. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post and Twitter is limited to 280 characters per tweet so you need to think about the amount of space you need for your tweet, and the most useful hashtags you want to include.

Of course, it stands to reason that the more hashtags you use the more likely your posts will be seen. However, always use hashtags that will be most effective too, as we outline in the next section.

Literature Alliance Scotland recommend to keep hashtags to a minimum as people using assistive technologies or keyboard tags to navigate can find it difficult to get through them. Read more on their Accessible Social Media Guide here.

You might want test which hashtags work best for you based on the number of new likes or comments you generate from the post.

New hashtags emerge all the time too, so keep an eye on what is trending in your sector or national campaigns that appear.

Which hashtags should I use?

There are thousands of hashtags to use online so it is best to look at which ones are most effective for you and the posts you want to be discovered.

Here are 4 things to think about when deciding which hashtags to use:

  1. Keep it relevant – using pointless hashtags that don’t say anything about your business, campaign or practice will waste vital space in your post and won’t attract the right followers.
  2. Be specific – the hashtag #artist has over 60 million posts already so you will more likely be seen if you use more specific hashtags that suit your practice such as #weaver #printmaker #linocut or #glassblower.
  3. Describe the content – on Instagram and Pinterest it is good practice to identify key things in your image such as colours, materials or artist and maker processes so people searching for this can find your work easily.
  4. Consider your location – some commissioners or gallery owners search for artists or makers in certain locations or regions. Make sure to use the location option in your Instagram post and use hashtags such as #Dorset #SouthWest #BritishMaker if this applies to you.

See our list of top hashtags to use for artists and makers below.

Can I create my own hashtags?

Of course. You can create any hashtag word or phrase you want for example a campaign name or unique artist process you use in your practice.

However, bear in mind your unique tag will not be too searchable when you first use it. You can direct others to use your branded hashtag to raise your campaign with others.

Hashtags for Artists and Makers

Below is a list of useful hashtags to use for artist and makers in various categories.

It is not an exhaustive list, so you might find more in your own searches that relate to your own particular practice or campaign – and you can even create your own!

Copy and paste the most relevant ones to you and your creative business for your next social media posts.

Creative Business Hashtags 

#ArtForSale #MyCreativeBiz #MakersGonnaMake #Craftsposure #InTheStudio #SupportHandmade #MarchMeetTheMaker #JustACard #SmallBusinessSaturday #ArtMagazine #ArtFinder #Gallery #PopUpGallery #PopUpShop #CraftFair #TradeShow #CraftMarket #Artsy #Etsy #Folksy #CampaignShopSmall #OurCreativeIsle #ShopIndependent #ShopSmall #ThinkBigShopSmall #CommunityOverCompetition #SocialEnterprise #SocialEnterpriseUK

General Creative Hashtags

#ArtistsOnInstgram #MakersOnInstagram #ArtistsOnTwitter #MakersOnTwitter #InteriorStyle #InteriorDesign #PaintingOfTheDay #WorldOfArtists #TraditionalArt #AbstractArt #ContemporaryArt #MakersVillage #ArtLovers #FineArt #OriginalArt #ArtLife #WorkInProgress #EmergingArtist #Artgram #DoodleArt #VisualArt #ArtOfTheDay #ColorSplash

Daily Theme Hashtags

#MeetTheMakerMonday #MakerMonday #WIPWednesday #WednesdayWisdom #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #FriYay #FlashBackFriday #FridayFeeling

Women in Business Hashtags

#WomenInBusiness #Mumpreneur #CreativeWomen #BusinessWoman #WomenWhoLead #WomenWhoDraw #IWD #InternationalWomensDay

Dorset, South West and UK based Hashtags

#Dorset #DorsetMakers #DorsetArtists #DorsetHour #VisitDorset #BritishMakers #UKArtists #BritishArtists #SouthWestUKArtists #SouthWestUKMakers #SWIsBest #SouthWestUK #BritishCraft

Designer/Makers Hashtags

#HandmadeIsBetter #MakersMovement #FeelingFolksy #TheHandmadeParade #CelebratingHandmade #MadeToCreate #ModernMaker #DoItForTheProcess #LiveTheLittleThings  #WeAreTheMakers #CalledToBeCreative #HandsAndHustle #Slowliving_Create #CaptureMyCraft #InstaCraft #HandmadeWithLove #TheMakers #ToolsOfTheTrade #MakersWorkshop #CreativeLifeHappyLife #CreateMakeShare #CreateEveryday #ShowYourWork #IMadeThis #CraftingIsMyTherapy #MadeByHumans

Painters Hashtags

#PaintAnyway #InstaPainting #PaintPaintPaint #AcrylicOnCanvas #OilPaintings #AcrylicPaint #AcrylicPainting #PaintingProcess #PaintingOnCanvas #PaintingOnWood #PaintingOnPaper #PaintingStudio #PaintingADay #PaintingForSale #PaintingFun

Illustrators Hashtags

#DrawADot #PenSketch #DailyDoseOfPaper #IllustrateNow #FreelanceIllustrator #IllustratorsOfInstagram #Illustrationgram #IllustrationArtist #IllustrationDaily #DrawAnyway #IllustrateYourWorld #InkFeature #IllustrationOfTheDay #DrawingPen #DrawingStyle #DrawingDaily #DrawingByMe #IllustrationArts #InkArtist #InstaDrawing #Inktober (every October)

Process /techniques Hashtags

#Pencil #Charcoal #Watercolor #Digitalart #Ink #LineDrawing #Markers #AcrylicPaint #Linocut #OilPaint #GlassBlowing #GlassArtist #DigitalIllustration #PaperCraft #TextileArt #FabricAddict #PaperCut #PaperCutIllustration #StreetArt #MuralArt #LargeScaleArt #Sculpture #Sculptor #WoodTurning #BookBinding #Seamtress #Weaver #SilkPainting #PrintMaker #Photography #DigitalPhotography #MovingImage #Ceramics #PottersOfInstagram

Twitter Hours Hashtags

#DorsetHour happens between 7:30-8:30pm every Monday night, where everyone who is based in Dorset can connect and introduce who they are and what they do.

#HandmadeHour is on Wednesdays at 7:30pm & Sundays at 8pm on Twitter, which is about bringing handmade, craft and customers together

#MusuemHour is every Monday night from 8-9pm for the Museum and Heritage sector to discuss particular themes presented by the guest host each week.

#UKBizLunch happens everyday from 12-1pm as to talk to other UK based businesses online.

#SouthWestHour is every Thursday from 8-9pm

Tell us which hashtags you use by sharing your tips or queries with us in the comments below or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

Illustration by illustrator and designer Bethany Lord