December 3, 2020 | Alyson Stanfield

Growing Your Art Business on Instagram with Jeanne Rosier Smith

So many artists have benefited from Instagram. This isn't news. It comes up frequently in my interviews, and it's so ubiquitous that I haven't been able to pinpoint a specific lesson to devote an entire episode to.

Until now.

Pastel drawing of crashing ocean waves in blues, greens, and grays
©Jeanne Rosier Smith, New England Seas. Pastel, 20 x 40 inches.

Jeanne Rosier Smith's success on Instagram wasn't random. She made a conscious decision to focus on using Instagram to grow her following and expand her art business, and it has paid off. As you'll hear, she has been deliberate with her use of the platform, while also allowing a great deal of flexibility in the process.

It's important to Jeanne that using Instagram is, above all, fun.

In this episode, I talk with Jeanne about the strategies she has used for the past 3 years to build a following of 37,000 and reach the 6-figure mark in sales for each of those 3 years. You'll also hear about how she maintains good relationships with her 8 galleries even while selling on Instagram, and why she doesn't schedule posts in advance.

Music by Wildermiss.


  • Jeanne shares her personal art history and passion for pastels. (2:08)
  • The instant feedback and fun factor that has made an Instagram strategy the right choice for Jeanne. (5:48)
  • Steps that will take your Instagram account to the next level. (7:45)
  • Connecting with collectors starts with sharing your inspiration. (11:56)
  • The frequency of your posts needs to reflect your growth goals. (14:15)
  • Which content results in the greatest connection, followers, and sales? (15:49)
  • Is the ROI worth the effort of maintaining an Instagram account? (20:41)
  • Maintaining a good relationship with galleries while growing on Instagram. (25:22)
  • Marketing opportunities that will result in sales. (28:42)
  • A look inside Jeanne’s personal collection. (33:45)
  • Do your posts need to be scheduled in advance?? (34:45)
  • A successful hashtag strategy starts with thinking like a collector. (40:09)
  • Is there a best time of day to post on Instagram? (44:46)
  • A peek at what Jeanne is currently working on. (45:51)


Jeanne Rosier Smith in her studio with her boxes of pastels
Jeanne describes this photo: Me with my glorious pastels. It's been a 20-year addiction and it's a joy entering my studio every day.


  • “I have to enjoy what I’m doing or I’m just not going to do a very good job at it.”
  • “I feel now that I have developed a community around this Instagram account.”
  • “Instagram is really powerful because it allows collectors to get to know the artists in a much more personal way.”
  • “My sales have gone up by 20% every year I’ve had this Instagram account.”
  • “Engaging with my community helps define my audience and what people respond to.”

About My Guest

Jeanne Rosier Smith with her painting Jeanne Rosier Smith studied art at Georgetown University and later at the DuCret School of Art in New Jersey. After earning a Ph.D. in English and teaching college English for 10 years, she made the switch to full-time professional art in 2005. She now teaches workshops in her Sudbury, Massachusetts home studio, nationwide and internationally, and is represented by 8 East Coast galleries.

Her subjects are diverse—landscapes, portraits, food, and the sea—and she is best known for her paintings of the ocean’s waves.

Music by Wildermiss

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