You like Instagram. We like Instagram. Which is why we’re bringing you lessons on how to keep your feed fresh from those in the know.
Today’s inspiration comes courtesy of Labyrinth of Collages (do you follow? You should: @labyrinthofcollages). Filled with dreamy creations that always spark joy, each collage celebrates female muses, complete with magical swirls and a sprinkle of glitter.
Melbourne-based Paria is the whiz behind the designs. She credits Instagram for helping her gain a following, as well as many cool collabs, turning her account into a burgeoning business.
Here, the artist reveals how it all began and the positive message she hopes to spread…
Let’s go back to the start – how did your account begin?
It was in 2015 when I started creating collages. I was 16 and in high school. I’d post the images on Instagram as a hobby and a creative outlet. I wasn’t thinking about getting Insta famous or gaining followers and never expected anyone to pay any attention to it. It was mainly borne out of procrastination and avoiding school assignments!
Why did you choose to focus on famous women?
At the time, I was developing my views on feminism. I wanted to focus on females who positively inspire me in everything from fashion to career so every collage I made revolved around the brilliance of women. I’ve since donated profits from the work I’ve done to Time’s Up and the Kind Campaign in order to champion women’s rights.
So when did it take off?
It was thanks to @riawna [celebrity hairstylist with 425k followers] who would regram collages I had made of her travels onto her own grid. The exposure led to me creating a collage for shoe brand @maraandmine as well as Jenna Dewan. That was surreal! I’m now regrammed by magazines like Vogue and ELLE.
How amazing. And which collages prove most popular?
The well-known celebrities are most engaged with because they have the biggest fan bases. It also helps if the images are related to something topical like a new movie. My most popular posts ever were from the 2018 Met Gala – there were so many A-listers in beautiful outfits, everyone’s searching for the images and it’s an Insta-worthy event. The perfect storm. I also love the Kaia Gerber post I made from her Vogue Italia cover and the Rihanna collage a shoot with British Vogue in 2018.
“People can see if you’re being authentic so stick to what you’re good at. Your passion will shine through.”
What’s your advice for reaching #gridgoals?
The key is to create art that gives you joy. There’s no point in trying to please followers or chase likes. People can see if you’re being authentic so stick to what you’re good at. Your passion will shine through.
I also believe in being consistent, posting regularly and having a loose plan – I prepared content for International Women’s Day, for example. Just don’t sacrifice your creativity. It’s about balance, which is something I’m still learning.
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s all about women who motivate me, who are independent, unapologetic, and passionate. I might flick through a fashion magazine to find them or look at runway and red carpet images online. I’m also inspired by photographers like @zoeygrossman and designers like @jasminedowling. Ultimately, my collages are guided by my own feelings and where I’m at personally. There’s usually an emotion that I want to convey.
Any new muses we should keep our eye on?
Adut Akech is a powerhouse in the modelling industry. She’s one of my favourite muses – I’m working on collages of her at the moment so stay tuned.
When did your account evolve into a business?
It was when I started getting several messages a day to create a custom collage. For the first time, I realised I could make money from the art. So while I’m at university, I’ve been growing Labyrinth of Collages rather than making money through a regular job. And it’s still growing!
You’ve done some great collaborations – how did those come about?
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been approached for opportunities to collaborate and create for brands, publications and people that inspire the collages I create. That was all thanks to me posting my images on Instagram. Even when I didn’t have a clear aesthetic in mind, I just loved creating and sharing and eventually, it paid off.
What are your go-to tools of the trade?
Adobe applications are everything. They’re a little complicated to use at first, but it’s worth teaching yourself and mastering apps like Lightroom. Sometimes, I go back to basics and use paper and scissors to create something handmade. It takes me back to being younger, cutting out fashion editorials and collaging on my bedroom walls. How things have changed!