Limiting your social media usage is wise at times like these - but it’s also good advice to make sure your feed is full of things that will cheer you up.
Since museums and galleries closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, their social media accounts have been working around the clock to try and keep would-be visitors with their usual supply of things to see and do.
From gentle drawing challenges to full blown turn yourself into an artwork challenges - we’ve been delighted to see how creative and colourful the art world has been across the ‘gram.
If you’re missing getting out and about to London’s galleries, we recommend giving these accounts a follow.
Museums and galleries
Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy’s Twitter account has been cheering everyone up with ham drawing challenges and Henri Rousseau/Joe Exotic mash-ups. The gallery is leading the way on Instagram too, with posts and stories giving insights into its rich history and world-class collection, as well as family activities and art-based mindfulness exercises, all delivered with wisdom and humour.
The Hepworth Wakefield
Barbara Hepworth’s gorgeous sculptures are a balm for even the most frantic of minds, but the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery - named after her - is also sharing calming pictures of flowers blooming in the gallery’s garden. It’s also setting regular creative challenges under the hashtag #THWCreates, with this week’s task to create a picture inspired by the view from your window.
Curators from the Netherlands’ national museum are offering unusual glimpses into its collection via video posts, and colouring in pages based on its paintings on its Insta stories.
Fascinated by auctions but always been just a bit too skint to actually participate in one? The curators from Christie’s are answering questions through Instagram stories, alongside posts offering fascinating insights into auctions past and present.
The Design Museum is helping its followers stay busy throughout the closures. It is hosting regular conversations with designers through Instagram TV, with the museum’s director Tim Marlowe asking the questions. Plus, its #LunchAndLearn series is aimed at helping people to learn new skills and crafts.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met Museum in New York is giving its followers plenty to do, with interactive quizzes on its Instagram stories, its #MetSketch challenge continuing through quarantine and all sorts of brilliant insights into its collection.
White Cube gallery is getting the artists involved, with Tracey Emin and Antony Gormley posting their self-isolation lockdown diaries on the account . Gormley’s most recent post featured a set of biscuit plates he’d just made, while Emin signed off with a video tour of her studio.
Natural History Museum
Nature and the great outdoors is one of the many things none of us are taking for granted now that we’re stuck indoors. The Natural History Museum’s Instagram account will give your feed a burst of outdoor life, with its #NatureDrawingClub offering its followers regular chances to get artistic.
National Portrait Gallery
Learn something new every day with the National Portrait Gallery’s #PortraitOfTheDay, putting the people depicted in its collection under the spotlight. It is also hosting Instagram takeovers, with photographer Mary McCartney recently taking the reins.
Artists and illustrators
It was recently announced that Grayson Perry will become the nation’s art teacher, in a new Channel 4 series to keep the nation creative under lockdown. Find his latest prompts and suggestions on his Instagram account.
The brilliant sense of humour in David Shrigley’s surreal illustrations makes his account a must-follow right now.
Get to know your favourite new artist with this account that showcases work by emerging talents. It currently features work by the 2018 winner of the Evening Standard Art Prize, Ashton Attzs .
When he's not soothing the anxieties of bakers, Noel Fielding also has a side-hustle as an artist. He's been using his social media accounts to run his own art club, encouraging all of his followers to join in.
Much-loved illustrator Gemma Correll is nailing our current surreal situation with funny drawings about our new WFH lives.
Nina Cosford’s warm illustrations look beautiful but are also full of great self-care reminders.
These teeny tiny artworks are a daily marvel - and we’re loving the latest posts that show life under lockdown (under a magnifying glass).
Projects and activities
Isolation Art School
A huge number of artists have been getting involved with this initiative to provide free art lessons for children and adults alike. Set up by Keith Tyson, it has so far seen Quentin Blake give drawing lessons and Jonathan Yeo teach a live portrait painting class. Follow now to see what else they have in store for the coming weeks.
Tussen Kunst & Quarantine
This viral account asks people to turn themselves into an artwork using objects from around their house. It’s been one of the great social media successes since self-isolation began - and loo roll features heavily.
The Great Women Artists
It’s always a good time to follow Katy Hessel’s brilliant account which celebrates the work of women artists. Hessel’s talented eye for wonderful artworks is matched by her encyclopedic knowledge of the subject matter - and she now runs a spin-off Great Women Artists podcast too.
Art for Mental Health
This account shares artworks that address the experience of ill mental health, as well as raising awareness of how art can be used to help look after your mental health.
All of the artworks on this account are for sale - it features works on paper, sold at £50 each and then sent through the post, to support self-employed artists.
Things I Have Drawn
Guaranteed to make you smile, this account features drawings by two boys aged 8 and 6 - then carefully reproduced as photos by their dad.