Some of the most creative art around disappears every 24 hours.
Snapchat artists have become the newest social media celebrities, but their content doesn’t last long. When Snapchat introduced the Snapchat Stories feature in October 2014, the platform moved from a quick messaging service for friends to a place for a new breed of social media stars to build their brands. While many established social media stars from Vine and YouTube have flocked to Snapchat for more connection to their followers, the platform’s mixture of art, comedy, and real-world photography has also bred its own form of superstar. As you try to figure out the best Snapchat hacks, tips, and trips to beef up your personal account, we’ve got eight essential Snapchat stars to follow that will keep you entertained with their blend of pop culture, art, and silliness.
1) Shaun McBride (Shonduras)
McBride is the original Snapchat superstar, the first Snapchat-born success story. As a snowboard sales rep in Utah, McBride didn’t have much in the way of social media until his younger siblings bullied him into setting up a Snapchat account. Now businesses like Taco Bell pay McBride $30,000 to promote them on his channel, and prices for prime Snap real estate are only increasing.
2) LACMA (LACMA)
It may be new media, but Snapchat is also booming for an established art institute. LACMA, or Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is using the platform to engage a whole new generation with the world of fine art. It was the first museum on the service, and it manages to turn art into, well, more art—this time with funny captions.
3) Geir Ove Pedersen (geeohsnap)
For his snaps, this Norwegian artist combines pictures of unsuspecting people with creative drawing. He likes to infuse the mundane with elaborate stories to try and make up a brand new world for his subjects.
4) Cyrene Quamico (CyreneQ)
By day she’s a freelance graphic designer for Verizon, but on Snapchat, she transforms into a pop culture artist, mixing the photoreal and illustration for personal work and for profit, if you’re a brand looking for some Snapchat buzz.
5) Christine Mi (Miologie)
Christine Mi likes to take her followers on adventures, snapping shots from beautiful locales. She also adds the quirk of graphics to her photos, making her the perfect mix of aspirational living through Snapchat and high-end graphics creations (Mi says some of her art takes between 20 and 40 minutes per snap). She also likes to snap back and forth with her fans privately, meaning you can get some completely unique art from Mi if you’re a follower.
6) Thom White (moochiemane)
A dance major at the University of the Arts, Snapchatter Thom White is living a social media fantasy, reimagining himself as Disney princesses on the platform. This Snapchat artist takes normal pictures of himself, then transforms them into princess looks, from Tinkerbell to Snow White, all for his adoring audience. He can also turn himself into other looks, like old ladies, and shares dances on his YouTube channel.
When you're interacting with a cute follower and one of your followers tweets/follows them pic.twitter.com/t2l9GtyxVY— Selina Kyle (@thomeography) May 28, 2015
7) Mike Platco (mplatco)
Mike Platco fancies himself a wizard or superhero in his Snapchat double life, using the platform to add some fantasy to his everyday reality. He’s also a professional Snapchatter, lending his artistic talents to shows like ABC’s Pretty Little Liars and NBC’s The Voice. That means as one of Snapchat’s premier artists, he’s turning his fun into a paycheck.
8) Mark Kaye (MarkKaye)
Snapchat isn’t just still art. It’s also a world of shortform video, and no one takes more advantage of that than Mark Kaye, who hosts the platform’s first talk show. On Talkin’ Snap, Kaye has been able to interview celebrities from the social media and mainstream world, covering the pop culture topics that matter to his dedicated Snapchat audience. He’s carved a niche out for himself as the “Jimmy Fallon of Snapchat,” and he’s continuing to entertain with his brand of semi-live entertainment.
Illustration by Max Fleishman