Pinterest: Virtual Sketchbooks


Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 13.24.10Yes, I begged to use the Beta version of Pinterest when it first came out. I knew immediately that it would be a great way for visually oriented people to keep track of interesting pages or images. I could never remember bookmarks or links. Pictures were something I knew I could remember! I just needed a system to organize them. That was where Pinterest came in handy.
To be honest, I might be a visual artist but I have never been good at keeping a sketch book. Any time spent in a sketchbook could be spent on the actual artwork! I also do not work well when confined to such small pages. Doodles in margins work well for me, but sketchbooks intimidate me. Pinterest became my virtual sketchbook; my Pinterest boards are like the inspiration boards that you see illustrators and designers use.

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My Inspiration board and its pins have an obvious purpose even if its contents might seem random to an observer unfamiliar with me or my work. Sigh! Just scrolling through these colours and images provides me with pleasure. I doubt I can pick a favourite. Some pins are artwork from other artists, such as Cy Twombly. Others might be pictures of jellyfish, agate stones, flowers, or microscopic views of cells.

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Some boards, such as Caged Birds Sing in Gardens, might be inspiration for specific projects that I have in mind. I remember listening to a podcast about a town of psychics in Florida. I imagined lots of Spanish moss hanging from large trees, old houses with gingerbread trim, and playing off the title, women in Victorian dresses or aprons stuck in some mode of domesticity. The images reflect these thoughts.

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When I scroll through my feed filled with images posted by the pinners I follow, my mind sometimes plays games with me and connects two seemingly random images. I have juxtaposed them on this board with verbal descriptions connecting them. I have just started using an app to collage them in one image with two or three panels. I need to follow up on that and combine more of my pins to make more collages.

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I also have a collection of drawings that I can look at when I need to be inspired by what other artists have done or are doing. It is like one big art book filled with pictures.

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One day I thought it would be great to see an exhibition comparing and contrasting Canadian and Australian landscape art. Since I do not have a huge budget or government funding on my side, I arranged a virtual exhibit all of my own on Pinterest. I am still learning more and more about Australian artists that were unknown to me prior to this. If anybody wants to fund this project, let me know!

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Some are just random boards of pictures that I like or that intrigue me. You can use the boards for many different purposes.
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I am not doing these all by myself. Boards can also be open for collaboration. This inspiration board was set up by Alabama Chanin, the clothing company. Some people post some interesting pins; some do not. Some choose to advertise their own products and websites. Sigh! Some spoil it for all. That is the chance you take.

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WARNING! Several of my friends have become hooked on Pinterest. Some use it to pin ideas for their own novels or artwork; some use it to advertise their projects; some use it instead of a blog as a creative outlet customizing each post; some use it as a scrapbook for recipes or exercises. Some people will like it, but some will not. My advice is to follow a few people or a few of their boards that you really like to avoid the posts that you do not like and that might set your teeth on edge. Just narrow your stream from the start and you will be fine.

WARNING! Pinterest can be very addictive. You can wean yourself off of your habit if you try. To be honest, I have not used it recently but I should. I have been taking screenshots and clogging up the memory in my various devices. I should be posting them to Pinterest instead. Good luck!


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