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Instagram 10k Followers

by GymDreams
My journey to 10k, my most popular posts, and the people who made it possible.

I have achieved a major milestone — 10,000 followers on my Instagram account! When I started the account back in April 2023, I couldn’t have imagined reaching this level of engagement in just four short months.

In this blog post, I’d like to briefly outline my Instagram journey, introduce the inspiring people I’ve encountered along the way, highlight the popular posts that surpassed my expectations, and give a nod to the dedicated contributors to open-source AI generation tools. Their personal commitment to creating and sharing these tools has been instrumental in making all of this possible.

Table of Contents

Backstory

I started posting my AI works to DeviantArt around April 2023, and have slowly made some friends on that site. One day, I came across the works of someone who shall no longer be named, and we chatted for a bit. I learned about the active AI art community on Instagram, and decided to give it a try, and started my account at the end of April in 2023.

I have had an Instagram account for more than 10 years, but I’ve never used it beyond keeping in touch with friends. For work, I run an Instagram for my business, so I am familiar with the platform, but it was mostly used to simulcast on all the social platforms, and I have never truly used IG thoroughly besides cross-posting the same messages on it.

So my real foray into Instagram really started with @GymDreams8. It’s with this account that I started engaging using Instagram substantially — browsing other artists’ posts, delving into works that piqued my interest. My AI works are deeply personal — they represent sentiments I wouldn’t have shared elsewhere if not for this profile, so seeing the positive comments about them made a huge difference. If I had had this medium to express myself as I do now, my past two decades might have panned out quite differently. Regardless, I’m grateful for the opportunity to voice these feelings now, instead of bottling them up until my time on this earth ends.

People of Instagram

I have come across many amazing people on Instagram, and I’d like to give a few shout-outs to some of them here — without them, my experience on Instagram would’ve been a lot more dull, and I honestly wouldn’t have been so active on the platform as I have.

@BrawnyAI makes AI art of men, spanning an insane range of subject matters. He has a wicked sense of humor — making things that I would never in a hundred years ever do — but which always brings me joy when I see them. Cue: weird happy animated cat dancing in the corner accompany men chopping up wood; or the awkwardly bizarre lip-synced voice over that he posts with his vlog. It makes me happy to see his content, and I’m glad that over time we have developed a friendship that’s beyond just about AI art, and so much deeper about life and philosophy. You would never have guessed the depth of this man simply by looking at the images he post. He has a lot of heart, and a curious brain that come with it. He’s also the most advanced GPT user I have ever known, being able to use it almost like a programming language — I am in awe! Instagram would never have been the same without him.

@feet45paris is someone I have met through unusual circumstances. If you work with AI for long enough, then you’d know that they are terrible at drawing hands. But what many didn’t know is that be it in Midjourney or Stable Diffusion, they are even more terrible at drawing feet. Because of that, I went on Instagram looking for poses and depiction of feet, so I can possibly make better renders with them. It‘s through this exercise that I came across feet45paris’ post with his suitcase. Compared to all the other Instagram accounts that post about feet, I find it interesting and inspiring. If you look at all of the photos that he posts, they’re all very creative — a fact that is not often seen in similar accounts. A lot of them are conceptual, but not in an over-produced over-art-directed kind of way. They are small ideas exploring a simple subject matter, done as selfies controlled by an Apple Watch. They’re raw, creative, and fun. Overtime, we have developed a friendship over chats, and I’m really happy that we’ve found each other. We also chatted so much on a deep personal level, and talked about art, design and the things that we create. He would often suggest ideas that I haven’t considered, and in fact, I have made some series purely based on ideas that he suggested I do. He kept my creative juice going and my IG experience would have never been the same without the wonderful conversations we’ve shared together. Some of my most popular series wouldn’t have been created at all had it not been our chats together. He is my muse and a friend, and I hope that some day I’d get to meet him in person in the future.

@benfinkart is a talented photographer who has enjoyed much commercial success in food photography, and has been making fine art personal works about men, with a visual vocabulary that’s uniquely his. His work has a highly emotional quality to them, mostly due to his process — he paints encaustic over photography, so the end products are paintings, but they’re highly photorealistic, and are based on photos he has taken himself. His works touch on a lot of mythology — and as it is a topic of interests of mine, they’re something that I respond to very well. I have had many great conversations with him over time, and I’d like to thank him for encouraging me to not only express my experiences through the visuals, but also writing them out in words. Materializing my thoughts in a verbal manner has really deepened my understanding about the works, and as they are expressions of my mind, I‘m able to understand myself in ways that I had never thought possible before. I am forever grateful for his generosity in sharing his suggestions and knowledge with me.

@8.billion.others aka @pigling.ai is a talented gay photographer who is currently exploring AI works. I know his real identity, but I’m not sure if it’s ok for me to mention it, so for now I would simply skip that until I get an Ok. We have enjoyed so many conversations about Midjourney, and the fun things and tricks that we found along the way. We’re shared so many fun chats over the months I’ve been on Instagram. I also appreciate the critiques he gave to my work, often pointing out things that I was not even aware of. He challenges me to think about my works in a much deeper level, and I appreciate the constant laughters he brought into my life — there was never a single dull moment. I have tried to get him to post his works on Instagram since I started the account. It only took him 3 months to finally started posting works as @pigling.ai — featuring pigs as the subject matter. They’re hilarious and visually sophisticated. Now I just wish that he would post more often, and hopefully he could get up to speed with Stable Diffusion soon, so as not to be so limited by the restrictions imposed by Midjourney, and I can finally see what he is truly capable of.

@oliver.kartak is a graphic designer based in Vienna. I had no idea who he was when I stumbled upon his hilarious yet visually sophisticated sculpture titled Sculptures for Museums | No 12, while browsing the #synthography tag. We chatted quite a bit. I later found out that he is the Dean of the Institute of Design at the Institute of Design at University of Applied Arts Vienna, and had worked with Neville Brody — a designer I respected a lot when I was just a design student. I truly didn’t expect to run into someone who works in my field (design), with credentials that I admire. Besides that, he has a wicked sense of humor, and is so eloquent — both in his visuals and in his writings. I took a leap of faith and told him my real identity during our many conversations. I’m glad that he still talks to me afterwards. (ha). He’s straight, but possibly one of the most gay-friendly straight man I’ve ever known, and is generous with his comments and opinions about the work I made, which often surprises me because they’re just soooo gay. LOL.

There are countless others who made this journey rewarding — you know who you are! I enjoy my frequent chats with you and you have kept it real and fun for me.

Top Posts by Likes

In this section, I’d like to share some of the stats of my highest performing post on Instagram. I truly didn’t expect them to reach this level, but yet here we are.

These posts are sorted by the number of likes they have received. In truth, it might not be very fair to compare them directly like this, since the posts were posted at different times — some are quite new and some are quite old. It’s hard to truly sort them unless I work on my own formla to calculate the likes over time. But that would require me to write something from scratch, so until I have time to do that, I’ll just sort them by likes, a simple insight made possible by the Meta Business Suite.

1. Jocks - Back Alley Chronicles

Jocks - Back Alley Chronicles, with Stable Diffusion and Virile Animation
Jocks - Back Alley Chronicles, with Stable Diffusion and Virile Animation

2. Jocks - Locker Room Chronicles

Jocks - Locker Room Chronicles. Players from the Rugby team hang out after practice. Rendered with Virile Animation.
Jocks - Locker Room Chronicles. Players from the Rugby team hang out after practice. Rendered with Virile Animation.

3. Wrestling Bros at the Beach

Wrestling bros at the Beach. Paintings with Stable Diffusion and Airfuck’s Wild Mix.
Wrestling bros at the Beach. Paintings with Stable Diffusion and Airfuck’s Wild Mix.

4. Rugby: Suddenly Gay. Sweat, Rain, Tackle.


5. Submission

Submission, Wrestling. Paintings, with Stable Diffusion, Virile Fantasy and Depth Control Net.
Submission, Wrestling. Paintings, with Stable Diffusion, Virile Fantasy and Depth Control Net.

6. Rugby Match, Suddenly Gay. Sweat, Rain, Tackle.

Rugby Match, Suddenly Gay. Sweat. Rain. Tackle, created with Stable Diffusion and Virile Fusion
Rugby Match, Suddenly Gay. Sweat. Rain. Tackle, created with Stable Diffusion and Virile Fusion

7. Couples at the Beach, DS2

Couples at the Beach. Paintings based on earlier works, with control nets in Stable Diffusion, Virile Fantasy.
Couples at the Beach. Paintings based on earlier works, with control nets in Stable Diffusion, Virile Fantasy.

8. Rugby: Suddenly Gay. Sweat, Rain, Tackle.

Rugby, Suddenly Gay. Sweat. Rain. Tackle, created with Stable Diffusion and Virile Animation.
Rugby, Suddenly Gay. Sweat. Rain. Tackle, created with Stable Diffusion and Virile Animation.

9. Rugby: Suddenly Gay. Sweat, Rain, Tackle.

Rugby Match, Suddenly Gay. Sweat. Rain. Tackle, created with Stable Diffusion and Virile Fusion
Rugby Match, Suddenly Gay. Sweat. Rain. Tackle, created with Stable Diffusion and Virile Fusion

10. Liquor Poster

Liquor Poster - Kiss. Bold saturated colors, Mid-century design, latex shorts. Stable Diffusion with Virile Fusion and Airfuck’s Wild Mix.
Liquor Poster - Kiss. Bold saturated colors, Mid-century design, latex shorts. Stable Diffusion with Virile Fusion and Airfuck’s Wild Mix.

People of Stable Diffusion

If you didn’t observe a pattern from the stats about my most popular posts, let me spell it out for you — although I got my start in Midjourney, every single one of the popular posts was rendered using Stable Diffusion. And you know what made this truly special? Every single checkpoint model I used that got popular were made by these two gay men:

To make all of this even more special, it’s the fact that they would chat with me , a complete Stable Diffusion n00b, when I landed on the server just 3 months before. None of the growth on my Instagram account would’ve been possible had they not published their models on Civitai, and I wouldn’t have learned so much about Stable Diffusion and the finer tips and tricks if they had not been so kind to share their knowledge — and I am forever grateful. Thank you. 😘

Of course, it‘s not just the model authors on Unstable Diffusion that had made a difference — I learned so much talking to people who are active on the channel, especially @zakalwe404 and Czach aka @mid_bi_west — I am thrilled that they are both now on Instagram so I could explore their works beyond just on Discord. Both of these guys are at the pinnacle of Stable Diffusion AI Art — you should definitely give them a follow!

Endnote

Last but not least — thank you to all of my followers! Your support to me and my works has meant a lot to me — more so than you could ever imagine. Thank you! 😌