Pinterest as muse

Photo Credit:  Social Media Delivered
Photo Credit: Social Media Delivered

I discovered Pinterest over the Independence Day weekend and am obsessed.

Before I get to why I love it, I wanted to update my readers on my last post, “Confronting a disappointing piece.”  Two of you commented with some excellent advice on divorcing myself from the “comfy confines of the art nursery” (love that) in order to get more used to creating art in different venues.  I took the advice to heart and it worked. Thank you!  I found myself taking my journal places and sketching in the back of it in unusual locations, such as waiting for my state inspection sticker or at the neighborhood pool during shade breaks.  I also started a new painting at Michael’s (my instructor) studio and, despite the lack of air conditioning, I’m back to painting like before. I feel relieved and free to be unstuck!

I’m still not sure how long it will be before I return to work on the previous piece I set aside.  Michael reassured me that it’s OK if it’s a long time as my subject matter was ambitious.  July 13 – August 3, Austin’s Pump Project will host Michael’s first solo show in seven years.  Titled “Accumulation and Interruption,”  the show features 25 new, large canvases that loosely rework mythological themes.  I’ve been watching Michael prepare for this show for almost a year and know that he had an 89% “success rate,” discarding two paintings as unworthy.  Knowing that helped a lot.

Thanks to everyone’s support on this topic, I am back to making art with glee.

And collecting it on my Pinterest boards.  I might be late to the party on this one, but over the weekend I finally started dabbling.  The push was that my collection of “things I want to paint” was getting harder to organize and find.  By Sunday I had amassed 135 pins, but I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what I believe is an overlooked social media site.  In case you’re late to the party like me, here’s a quick recap:  Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.  Two of my favorite words are in their beautiful positioning statement:  collecting and organizing.  Be still my heart.  It is a digital bulletin board for visuals, shareable with my friends, family, and anyone else.  In addition, I can peak at the boards of friends and complete strangers and repin their pins to my boards and follow them so that I can see when they pin new images.  I’m learning a lot about people I know by seeing their pins.  Fascinating.

Let’s dive into the collecting and organizing aspects of Pinterest first.  I’m inquisitive and love to collect things that interest me.  I like to store things (don’t worry, not in a “Hoarders” way) and compile things that at some point may be valuable.  At work, people often remark that I pull out a relevant piece of information or an artifact with ease.  I find so many things interesting that organizing all this input can be challenging.  I’m a huge fan of Evernote for collecting and storing written information, but I have been frustrated with how to collect and organize visuals.  This has become more important as I’ve been painting more.  I had been saving inspirational visuals (often referred to as an “artist’s morgue”) to my iPhone camera roll and to a folder on my PC.  With Pinterest, I am able to collect and organize visuals of my art, artists who inspire me, and imagery and photographs that I might want to paint at some point.  It’s the ultimate visual content curation site.

I can also express myself visually (this means I can communicate meaning and passion quickly) on any subject, no matter how broad or how niche.  Whereas this blog is dedicated solely to the creative process, my Pinterest boards can showcase all the things I’m interested in.  Fashion, design, architecture, travel, books, gadgets, places, nature, food, people……anything.  My largest board right now is My Style, where I’ve amassed over 100 style/fashion images that represent and inspire me.

But wait, there’s more!  Not only is it inspirational, Pinterest is also educational.  I can envision using it in my professional life as a marketer, collecting and sharing pins of infographics, white papers, branding best practices, graphics and typography, web and app design, events, and marketing wisdom.  It is a natural place for storytelling through visuals, and I can see myself collecting pins that will help me visualize stories later in PowerPoint.  It is a natural place to learn.  I can closely view and study my favorite artists’ work up close in one place, without having to jump from website to website.  I can learn about new artists I might never have found otherwise.

Best of all, Pinterest is a place where I can dream.  This is somewhat different than using it for expression or escape.  It’s about collecting visuals that symbolize and embody dreams, passions, and goals and sharing them with others.  I can use it to plan, whether it’s planning my next painting or my next trip.  Visualizing our dreams and desires makes it just a little easier to get on the path to realizing them, and a little bit of accountability sneaks in when we share them with others.  Because of this, I believe Pinterest will play an important role as muse in my creative process moving forward, in the studio, at the office, and everywhere else in between.

So tell me, what do you love about Pinterest?

3 thoughts on “Pinterest as muse

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  1. To be honest – I really dont like Pinterest. Social Media has gone too far for me. I really don’t want to collect and organize or ruminate in full view of an anonymous audience. Facebook is bad enough – i know too much about casual acquaintances as it is. 🙂


  2. Jonathan, you can make your boards private! That way you can plan out your remodeling and landscaping projects without everyone seeing what you’re up to. I have a couple of private boards that I’m not willing to share with the world. Gets my creative juices flowing and allows me ruminate (great word) while keeping some things to myself.


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