Meme-Making 101

Museum Resources
Content Lead
Museum Resources November 12, 2020 Meme-Making 101

Over the last few weeks, there’s been a big movement to cancel the popular Instagram account @fuckjerry. (You can see follow the conversation online by checking out the hashtag #FuckFuckJerry.)

Here’s the lowdown:

FuckJerry often reposts content from other joke creators without giving them credit – and then reaps the rewards. The creator of FuckJerry has built a hugely successful, multi-million dollar empire off the hard work of other people. As more and more information about FuckJerry has come to light (including their involvement with the Fyre Festival), many people have unfollowed the notorious account.

At Museum Hack, we love memes. But we also love transparency and integrity. That’s why we started making all of our own memes for our Instagram account a few months ago. As we were sharing memes we loved from our account, we realized it was often really hard to trace their original creators and give them proper credit. So, we decided to make our own!

As we’ve committed to creating our own memes, we’ve learned a few key lessons. If you or your institution wants to start making your own memes, here are our best tips, from Museum Hack social media champion Hayley Milliman:

This painting is great because it’s funny all on its own. The caption just adds an extra punch!

#1: Look at Some Art

One of the best ways to get inspired for memes is to look at art. When I am creating memes, I spend a lot of time perusing through Wikimedia Commons. I’ll often sort the paintings by activity and then see if inspiration strikes.

Look for images that are bright, high quality, and elicit an immediate reaction. You want your image to sell the story itself. The image can (and should) be just as laugh-out-loud as the caption.

#2: Draw From Your Real Experiences

Have some real-life trauma you’re working through? Make a meme about it!

I like to joke that memes are like free therapy. If you want to know what’s going on in my life, just check out Museum Hack’s Instagram account!

In all seriousness, I do often draw on real experiences to create content. If I had a fun night out with my friends or an interesting interaction with someone, I might end up making a meme out of it. What makes a meme funny is if it’s relatable – if it’s your experience, chances are, it’s somebody else’s experience, too.

I got a sweet dress with pockets right before making this meme.

#3: Ask For Help

Totally lacking in creativity? Ask for help! Since my friends know that I make memes, many of them will send me artwork they find funny or scenarios that made them laugh.

You can also poll your audience for their creative services. We ran a meme contest for Halloween that generated dozens of hilarious entries. Many popular meme accounts also take submissions to help populate their feeds.

There’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration… as long as you give proper credit!

#4: Use a Tool To Create Your Meme

Using a tool to create your memes helps give your feed consistency and makes your life easier so you’re not spending hours trying to edit or resize text.

I use Kapwing to make my memes. You could also create your meme in Photoshop or Canva or any other photo editing software.

#5: Have Fun With It!

Don’t stress too much about making memes. If finding inspiration feels impossibly hard, come back to it later! Meme-making really is an art. Sometimes, the muse just doesn’t strike.

What Do You Meme?

Memes can be really fun! But since they’re created and shared so easily, we need to do a better job of giving respect to the artists and comedians who give us this free content. If you have information on the original creators of any of the original memes on our account, please let us know so we can update our captions to give credit.

written with 💖 by Hayley Milliman

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