As you know, dear reader(s), last week I asked the question: “what the hell is Instagram trying to tell me?” In other words, can I tell from my most popular posts what subject matter interests my audience most? If I’m honest, I’m curious to know what’s most likely to sell. In last week’s blog post I mentioned that I had a couple of posts that have blown up on Instagram, at least compared to my normal like count. So I decided to post a link to my blog on my Monday morning Instagram post with a carousel post featuring those two popular ones, plus eight more of my most popular posts. And guess what? That one blew up again and is now my most popular post yet!

Evil Ben, 11″ x 14″, oil on canvas, 2020.

On a side note, I have no idea if it lead people to read my blog post. I don’t have any analytics on my site (which I’ll get on soon) and I still can’t enable comments on my blog. It turns out, in spite of what I’ve said recently, it will be a few months before I can make that happen. It’s a long story.

Anyway, here’s the thing that I find interesting about this Instagram stuff. While there was one Star Trek painting (my painting of Mr. Spock that I cleverly titled First Officer) in that carousel post, there is a noticeable lack of the geeky, nerdy–whatever your preferred term is for the stuff that you might find at such places as, well I guess, comic cons. I’ve done a goodly number of paintings of characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc, some of which (he says humbly) are pretty damned good paintings! But none of them have done particularly well on Instagram, except for that Spock one, which has done okay. Well, I suppose all that is only partly true. A couple of the Star Wars paintings that have average like counts, are pending sale. That sale, assuming it still happens, is directly the result of Instagram posts. But it’s delayed (understandably) due to COVID.

Finn, 11″ x 14″, oil on canvas, 2020.

So if you’ve arrived at this blog post today from Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve posted another carousel of 10 paintings. These are some of my favourites from the world of geeky/nerdyness. Because I’m not gonna lie, I really like a lot of that stuff. Having said that, maybe one of these days I’ll write a post about my relationship to popular culture.

One thing I’ll say now, is that as a rule, I don’t re-watch things. Once I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. It’s a rule that I’ve broken a number of times, mostly when I was younger. I mean, I’ve seen the original Star Wars at least three times, but only as a kid. I’m pretty sure I’ve never watched it as an adult. I think I’ve seen the second one a couple of times, but I’m positive I only saw the third one once. So I guess what I’m saying is, most of the time I don’t have a particularly special connection to the characters. I do, however want to paint memorable characters and (especially) interesting faces, like the ones shown here.

So Instagram, there is a lot of stuff from the sci-fi, comic book etc. world. Do you want to see them painted in my style? Will anyone buy them? Let’s see how today’s Instagram post does!