#2 Do I have to make Reels?
Reels are your friend
Reels are a love-hate subject! On one hand, many people hate the way Instagram has prioritized and forced out Reels, but it's not going to change, so you may as well go with the flow, and leverage the views you'll get from Reels that far surpasses photo content.
One of the most important distinctions between Reels and all other Instagram content is that Reels are pushed out to Explore, and now have their own feed in the App. They also have a 'follow' button right on the video, versus a picture post that goes out mostly only to your followers. All this leads to more discoverability for you.
Video just performs better than photos, on all social platforms, as it is more engaging, grabs people's attention faster than a photo, is more memorable, and statistically just drives more traffic. In order to be seen, you must get better at video, and the only way to get better at something is to do it. You know how you can't get better at push-ups by reading about them, you have to do them? Same thing with video.
Think of it this way, again, as a creative you have a massive advantage with content. You have a tangible real beautiful thing (painting, drawing, sculpture, craft) right in front of you that deserves to be out in the world. Remember that art is subjective, there are always going to be people who love, or hate, or like, or dislike, or are indifferent to your art, so you may as well give value and share it. You don't have to talk or posture and feel uncomfortable. Take videos of your art itself, you don't have to be in the video!
Take a short 10 second video panning around your art, zooming out at the end. Take a time lapse video. Buy a little phone tripod online, there are tons of options. Take a WIP video (work in progress) Google "How to make art videos". Watch other artist's Reels. Practice taking your own, upload, repeat.
I use the Adobe Rush app, it is a paid app, however there are many other free apps out there such as imovie, that will allow you to edit video. I stitch together little segments to make longer videos showing my art process. But just start with taking a ten second movie on your phone and posting it, adding a catchy tune from the inbuilt Reels library.
Or, you can just film segments in the Instagram App, and download a copy before you post it (we'll cover why this is important in cross-promoting)
Let's move on to #3.