Gwennan Rees

Blogger and Illustrator

The Problem With An Instagram Theme.

The Problem With An Instagram Theme.

Oh just look at my latest blog post titles.... quite the negative nancy aren't I? Can you tell I've been in a bit of a tizz lately? 

Instagram has long been my favourite social media platform, even after the fucking algorithm and even though I always get more engagement on Twitter, it's Instagram I look forward to browsing. 

I wrote this post last year on why I was resisting an Instagram theme and then I held my hands up a few months later and wrote this one on why I caved

The images above are a selection of snaps from my Instagram images since last October. They're different, they're different themes but I *think* they look like mine, they look like they come from the same account and they're relatively samey. They just kinda fit ya know?

But they still don't look quite cohesive enough, not quite enough like the themes that work best, that get the biggest following and the most engagement. I've mentioned before my love of Hannah Gale, Katy English, Robowecop....these are the accounts I aspire to look like, not to copy but to have a theme that works as well as theirs do. 

I want a theme that feels more me, that reflects more of my life, that I can interject the snaps of the Welsh countryside with some flatlays, some artwork, something from my house. As well as the architectural theme I had going on when I went to Manchester or Lacock worked, it's not sustainable because it's just not my real life.

And that is what I think is the biggest problem with Instagram themes. It's not real life.  

It's important to remember that whilst the themes of our fav Insta uses are amazing and are a reflection of their lives and their surroundings - they're curated. They're made to look a certain way. If their living room is blue and their Instagram theme is pink, that living room is never photographed. If their most successful posts are dark, heavily saturated shots of city buildings but they spend the weekend in a lush green village, the village don't get seen. 

We all do it, I curate mine, I plan what I'm posting in what order it'll look best in. One of the things I said I didn't want to do was to not post a picture because it didn't fit with my theme and lately? That's exactly what I've been doing. One shot just doesn't quite sit right with the others? Deleted, never to see the light of day again. 

Instagram has always been the highlight reel but now I think we're taking it to excess with themes. That's not to say I don't like them, I bloody love a successful theme. I like to look at them, I like to follow them, I like to gain inspo from them and I like designing my own. But I think the important thing maybe is creating an Instagram theme based on our real lives. 

I read a post not all that long ago, I can't even remember who wrote it where they mentioned their Instagram theme really clicked for them when they realised trying to curate a bright white theme wasn't sustainable when they lived in dreary grey London and it just finally sunk in. That's the key to a successful Instagram theme - something you can sustain for a long time. 

For me, snaps of the green landscape around me IS sustainable. Unless I want to go gloomy and dark and then what do I do in the summer? Or do I go bright and light and lets face it, how many days are there of those in Wales? It's all about what's sustainable to you and how you live and then shooting like billio when you get the chance. 

Coming up on my Instagram in the next few days is a change in my theme that I'm super happy with, like my favourite incarnation of my theme since I started it and I'm hoping this one will stick. It's more spring like, I have core colours I've focused on, it relies on decent natural light but the subject matter is something I can take 293924274982 photos of in half hour when the weather is good. 

It feels more me, it has more of me and my life and my home in it and I'm really excited to see what it does for my following and my engagement. 

Keep your eyes peeled and follow me below!














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