A Poet’s Guide to Instagram’s Hidden Gem

A Poet’s Guide to Instagram’s Hidden Gem

Welcome to an artistic side of the ’gram



It was early 2021 when writing became a method for me to confess truths I couldn’t speak out loud. The world was still under quarantine at the time. Technology was used to catch a glimpse of the outside world from our restrictive walls—it provided easy access to the happenings around us and to the people we cared about, despite not being an eyewitnesses to the news.


Some days, it was all too much to take in. While I was fortunate to have a smartphone in order to communicate with the people I was distanced from, the nonstop reliance on it soon became an overwhelming reality. (To be continuously updated on catastrophic events was another thing.)


Most days, I’d have to take a step back and breathe. Poetry became my friend on lonesome days spent sitting in a corner of my room. Songwriting was my acquaintance on sleepless night—I even tried making a tune with whatever music-maker app popped first in my search bar. Words became my sanctuary while the world was burning.


The irony was that everything I considered doing in leisure came from the time I aimlessly scrolled through Instagram (of all platforms, I know). I saw a post that featured a paper collage of a girl cutout surrounded by messily torn or cut words stuck on the page of a diary. There was also Gracie Abrams, who (at the time) was known for making the most heartfelt songs in her bedroom.


Since then, my algorithm has pushed me to follow self-proclaimed poets and artists. Things surprisingly came full circle. Instagram was the fresh air I never thought I needed.


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Where traditional and new media meet

I’m referring to the “hidden gem” of Instagram, as I like to call it. It’s the ’gram’s side where pen-and-paper enthusiasts come together to express themselves through words and visuals. They challenge the traditional style of conveying emotions by meeting new media halfway. Paper collages, which feature personal poems or underground song lyrics, are scanned and posted with little to no context yet easily resonate with a lot of people.


If I were to describe this side of the ‘gram, I'd say inspiring. It overflows with creative freedom and vulnerability made only to embrace feelings (that I didn’t even know were there). I’ve found suppressed honesty from seeing ones that tell me words I don’t often hear. There are times when I’m not even aware of my own burdens until I come across a poem about the imperfections of humanity. I think it’s fascinating how heavy poems are often designed in the brightest colors available.



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A post shared by Louisa Renee Choi (@louisaachoi)


When inspiration finds its way to us

Filling my feed with messy art created from genuine emotions has defined what’s authentic online for me. Imagine: an intense grasp on a certain feeling is met with validation on a platform where everything is  curated or “too good to be true.” People see the beauty in posts that are realistic because they know exactly what it feels like.



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A post shared by Alexa (@leeeeksy)


The community made from this hidden gem on Instagram swears on leaving a space for everyone to appreciate quiet words amongst the chaos of the world. There’s a sense of nostalgia that comes from seeing paper collages, and it simply but effectively hits home. There’s a charm in how something as mundane as torn package paper (think from the mail or an old movie ticket) can be turned into art.



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A post shared by @dissolvve


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For me, the comfort in writing stays

I will always find solace in writing. I know this best because my emotions sometimes take over, and I’d rather keep quiet. My thoughts are hidden at the back of my mind until I’m reminded that I can express them without having to speak them out loud. Someone out there might be feeling the same, and all I have to do is to grab a pen and a sheet of paper to find clarity.


It’s okay to feel, I scribble on my two-year-old journal. And the rest always seems to fall into place.



Words Bianca Villena

Art Macky Arquilla

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