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Instagram inspiration: 5 handles to follow for design inspo now

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From taxi ceilings to typography, specific and curated timelines make it easy to find ideas and inspiration

How often do you scroll through your Instagram feed and find yourself double-tapping almost every post of a few select accounts? Irrespective of your artistic preferences, design buffs can agree on a few things. Whether you’re looking at organised drawers, unique doorways or city-specific graffiti art, the devil is in all the details. Check out our picks of Instagram timelines that may as well be called art.

What started out as a joke to see how many pictures she could take before running out of ideas, steam and interest has led Mumbai journalist Rachel Lopez to feel like the joke is on her. Why? Because over 400 photographs later, she’s still finding new ones all the time. But for this curator of the ‘world’s largest collection of taxi ceiling art’, the goal is simple—document the diversity and breadth of design in Mumbai taxi interiors for the world and for people from within the country who are happy to compare notes about their own colourful means of transport. When looking through this timeline, look for everything from the unforgettable Gabbar to a work that could easily be attributed to renowned Turkish abstractionist, Fahrelnissa Zeid.

At a time when most people are either busy looking around to grab that perfectly composed shot, this collaborative handle with 823.3k followers proves that looking down can be just as fantastic. While bright, well-shot, Instagram-worthy photography isn’t hard to find, there are many things about this timeline that stand out. Apart from the sheer variety of flooring patterns, textures and inspired colour combinations, there’s also the staggering variety of cool shoes from around the world. Besides the symmetry of art deco geometrics, animal prints and mosaics, what we find particularly magical is the confluence of typography and flooring and the rare but stunning instances of street art that keeps us coming back for more. So, the next time you encounter some decidedly unique patterns underfoot, tag them with #selfeet or #fromwhereIstand and you might just be lucky enough to feature here

Since 2015, Aditi Khandelwal, a master’s student at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, had begun noticing with increasing interest, letterforms around Nariman Point in Mumbai, an area where she headed to for work. “Old type signs have so much character and shooting them has changed the way I navigate the city. My eyes now automatically scan corners, gates and facades in anticipation of an etched letterform that might pop out at me,” she says excitedly. As someone who was new to the city and interested in typography, photography and architecture, she spent a lot of time walking along the quaint by-lanes of south Mumbai and photographing some of the old, idiosyncratic type signs on building facades—many of which were rusty, faded remnants of a bygone era. While the art deco strip facing Oval Maidan is a well-known visual treat, what Khandelwal really wants to capture are “more scripts like Devanagari, Gujarati and the like”.

If rugs and quilts and audaciously patterned textiles are your thing, then award-winning Australian quilting designer Rachel Daisy’s work should be right up your alley. As someone who only discovered her love for quilting in her 30s, her signature pinwheels and bright colours are, she says, a result of many creative inputs over her formative years. Growing up in the 70s to parents who were both artists and a home awash with colour—a lime-green bathroom, bright-red lounge room and attention-grabbing Marimekko curtains—it’s easy to see how much of her design is so instinctive. A florist by profession, Daisy also attributes some of her eye for design and arrangement to her experience with arranging flowers for windows and shoots. But her white-walled sewing room is what she fondly calls her “happy place”, where she makes sense and art from heaps of colourful fabrics. Look to her deliriously happy timeline for everything from delicate florals and nature- inspired patterns to loud geometric and abstract works that really stand out.

For Delhi-based film curator Gaurav Raturi, what began in 2012 as a passion project to capture and record interesting graffiti that was popping up around Delhi, became an Instagram handle with 100 contributors sharing walls from across the country. Their Instagram hashtag #greatwallsofindia now has over 4,000 tagged photos. While the art form goes way back to 1970s New York and is still tinged with rebellious protest, Raturi is excited to reclaim it differently for India. “I want to show a new kind of colourful India—from fort walls in Kochi to Mumbai, Manali, Dharamsala and Kashmir, India has more life and colour than just its traditional art forms,” he explains. Look to this artsy, edgy and often politically themed timeline for stunning expressions from various and sometimes obscure corners of India.

While this line-up has enough to keep you scrolling for a long time to come, other worthy mentions include @artdecomumbai for a peek at Mumbai’s art deco architecture, @malta_railings for different railings and patterns of Malta’s balconies, staircases, windows and fences and @vaishnavichandrashekhar who captures unique architecture and design elements from her travels around the country.

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