You may have seen the work of Grace Miceli, also known as @ArtBabyGirl on Instagram, flaunted by social media stars like Tavi and Lena Dunham, as well as friend and collaborator Petra Collins. Upon visiting her profile, you quickly understand why: her art is perfect for a platform like Instagram, with pieces like Drake lyrics printed on totes in the style of Jenny Holzer's "Inflammatory Essays" and crop tops that read: “Girls At Night On the Internet.” Here, Miceli shares the secret to her social media success (as well as the name of her celebrity lizard.)
How did the name @ArtBabyGirl come about?
I curate an online exhibition space called Art Baby Gallery, so it stems from that. And according to Urban Dictionary, a “babygirl” is “funny, sweet, cute, outgoing, proud, sexy, spontaneous, adorable, trustworthy, honest, sincere, loving, wifey-type, babymamma-type, soulmate, wonderful, beautiful & amazing” and I’m definitely all of those things.
Do you make art specifically for Instagram?
No, but it’s my platform for testing ideas. Often I’ll make a drawing and post it on Instagram and then gauging by performance it might become a shirt etc.
How does social media inspire/influence your work?
It’s an integral part of my practice. I use it to find inspiration from my peers all the time. I’ve also started to realize that the accelerated pace of social media has pushed me to have the drive to always be making new work and trying different things.
How does it feel when people like Lena Dunham and Tavi support you on social media? Can you describe your relationship with other female artists on Instagram?
It’s awesome. I feel so lucky to have so many creative and just generally rad women supporting me and my work. I think we definitely have developed a community amongst young female artists on Instagram and other social media platforms that is really encouraging and motivating. We shout each other out and collaborate on the regular. It feels great to be a part of that.
Any selfie rules? How many do you take before posting?
Always use natural light if possible and the 3-second timer. Bursts are your friends! I take anywhere from 5-30, it depends on how much planning I’ve done before I start. Also you probably shouldn’t smile.
How do you balance personal and professional posts? Or are they one in the same?
It’s probably 1/3 personal posts, 2/3 business related. I’m lucky to have friends who make cute things or will model for me so the lines are often blurred.
The one thing you would never post?
Food pics, unless it’s a video of my lizard eating worms.
What’s your lizard’s name? Does he/she have their own account?
Drew Barrymore. I've thought about making him an account, but I'm nervous he would get more followers than me.
Do you use an editing app when you post your art?
Squareready if I’m posting a drawing that doesn’t have a large enough white background, but that’s it. I don’t like how filters look ever, sorry.
My drawing of the Frosted Flakes cereal box that says "I don't know who I am anymore, ha ha ha ha!" I guess a lot of people can relate.
Your first Instagram?
158 weeks ago, at MoMA PS1 Warm Up in 2012 when Le1f & Mike Q played and I had just put on a cherry temporary tattoo.
Social media pet peeve?
Haters, bye y’all!
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I’m dropping a series of shirts with Stefan’s Head, a clothing brand that operates solely through text message, so keep your eyes out for that. Also Art Baby Gallery is having its first IRL group exhibition at Alt Space in Brooklyn called “Girls At Night On The Internet” it opens August 21st.