The mobility of business: Instagram opens doors for young artists

Nicole Johnson

Thin pen lines, detailed screen prints and hefty brushstrokes traverse the vibrant Instagram feed of, the informal Instagram business account of Izzy Shilakes. The Marin Academy senior regularly shares video clips, photos and stories on her page, showcasing her artistic process in creating custom products for an ever-expanding customer base. The app has been her primary platform in promoting her products and services, which range from painted Hydroflasks and clothing to stickers and posters of her own design. 

Though largely a background operation, Shilakes’ account has instilled several lessons that she feels have prepared her for the personal and professional future. Shilakes also appreciates the sense of community her profile has provided, as she finds connections with new and familiar users a valuable asset. 

Marin Catholic junior Turner Wallenstrom shares much of this enthusiasm for art, and channels it through an Instagram account of her own. Under, Wallenstrom fills requests for friends and newcomers to the page, creating custom digital collages and selling original stickers. 

In recent years, social media platforms have begun to serve not only as sites for personal connections, but as mediums for commerce. According to Instagram, over 200 million app users visit at least one business account a day, which the company has developed special features for. Business profiles provide operators real-time statistics on performance, user interaction with product information and countless other points of reference for commercial accounts. Online platforms such as Instagram prove increasingly effective in boosting and creating sales for startups and name brands alike. As the app continues to grow, so does its possibilities for entrepreneurs of all demographics.