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Five SVA Faculty Accounts to Follow on Instagram
August 5, 2021 by Rodrigo Perez
A photograph of what look to be small clay figurines on pedestals.

Figurines created by SVA faculty member Taili Wu (MFA 2009 Computer Art) for Greenwich House Pottery.

Credit: Taili Wu

“It’s Instagram’s world, and we’re all just living in it.” So began a feature on Instagram-savvy SVA alumni in the spring 2018 Visual Arts Journal, and it continues to be true today, as newer features like Instagram Livestreams and Reels keep millions of users returning to the social-media service.


As summer comes to a close and the College looks ahead to a new academic year, we wanted to spotlight five faculty members with Instagram accounts worth following. All are working professionals in their respective fields and use the platform to highlight personal work, advertise to prospective clients and engage with the greater art community. Let’s take a look.

Designer, illustrator, printmaker and SVA Continuing Education faculty member Natalya Balnova (MFA 2013 Illustration as Visual Essay) is known for her hand-drawn and colorful illustrations, which have made their way onto book jackets and periodicals such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice andThe Boston Globe. Her work consistently comes up in our monthly roundups of the most-discussed on SVA Portfolios on Behance.

BFA Animation faculty member Taili Wu (MFA 2009 Computer Art) is an illustrator and stop-motion animation expert. She also goes under the name Monster Shaper, so-called for her love of making creatures and puppets. A self-proclaimed “animal detective,” Wu has created work for clients including Adidas, Facebook, Subway, Tsingtao Brewery, UnitedHealthcare, Verizon and Ziploc. She is passionate about sharing stories with playful design and tactile illustrations, and her Instagram account is a showcase for her creative activities.

Influenced by dance and movement, Elizabeth Bick is known for striking photographic work. Her expertise is utilized in myriad departments—MPS Fashion Photography, BFA Photography and Video and Continuing Education—and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s, W, The New Yorker, Artforum, Time Out, Vice, and more. Bick’s arresting street photography was recently highlighted in Hyperallergic; her work also featured in the spring/summer 2021 Visual Arts Journal feature on dance and photography.

Irish-born faculty member David Sandlin has been painting, printmaking and creating installations professionally since moving to New York City in 1980. A recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Sandlin has also received numerous grants and honors, including a fellowship with New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and the Lamar Dodd Chair of Art at the University of Georgia. Sandlin’s versatile talents as a cartoonist, illustrator and painter serve him well as an instructor in MFA Illustration as Visual Essay, BFA Fine Arts, BFA Illustration and Continuing Education.

Brian Gonzalez (BFA 2009 Film and Video), is a visual artist, filmmaker, and art consultant who teaches in BFA Film, Humanities and Sciences and Continuing Education. Gonzalez also goes by the name Taxiplasim and has garnered accolades for his film, performance and installation work, which has appeared in such venues as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Art Basel Miami Beach, NADA Art Fair, Lincoln Center’s Dance On Camera, NYC’s Armory Arts Week and Cutlog Art Fair. His multidisciplinary video works aim to offer multi-sensory interactive experiences that bring us closer to personal catharsis. His Instagram work is just as compelling.