As a follow up to last week's post on How to Organize Your Wedding Pinterest Boards, I thought I'd give you a deeper dive look into how I actually use Pinterest in my every day work and life. I still remember eagerly signing up to be on the beta test list for this site called Pinterest YEARS ago when I was still saving .jpegs of all my inspiration files on my computer (anyone else?!). That old hard drive had folders upon folders of jpegs saved with no search features, no visual way to see everything. Just one big digital black hole. It's a mystery how I had enough storage space to even save anything. Pinterest was the digital answer to so many challenges. And with any powerful tool, it's best used with boundaries to be efficient, effective and stay original. Here's how I do it:
I start with inspiration in the outside world.
Yes that real, outside-of-your-living-room, big world out there. It takes a bit of a shift in perspective, but you CAN open yourself up to finding inspiration ALL over the place in your daily life. I notice patterns, colors, textures everywhere. All of which end up in my work.
Make a point to go to inspirational places - Cafes, museums, shops, flea markets, bookstores are all high on my list for inspiration-generating mojo. Get out of your routine and see different things. Walk down a different block, or visit a neighborhood cafe you don’t normally go to. It's both good for your inspiration board and your life.
I read TONS of magazine and books. My magazine pile could crush small toddlers under it’s weight. I know that it’s essentially the same concept as pinterest, but my mind wanders in more creative directions when I hold a real magazine in my hands and flip through the pages. I have started snapping pictures of magazine pages with my phone as a way to catalog the inspiration digitally. I reserve tearing the sheets out for only the most special of inspirational pieces.
Speaking of, I snap pictures of EVERYTHING. Random bits of tile, store displays, trees and skylines that have pretty color combinations. My camera roll is a running dialogue of inspirational tidbits for myself. Here's a look at some of my recent inspirational snaps:
Use Specific Search Terms
Once I have an image in my mind, or even an inkling of an idea of what I’m looking for, THEN I turn to Pinterest. I use Pinterest to organize visually what I imagine, and as a good way to pull together images that represent what I’m thinking about. It also pushes me to expand on my original idea and try to create something that I DON’T see in the feed.
Some Tips for Searching:
I use specific search terms to look for images that reflect the image I’m trying to re-create from my mind. I very rarely scroll the main feed page looking for idea to fit together. Occasionally, I’ll scroll the main feed as a work break or general thinking-break, which usually results in me wanting to bake cookies.
Here's a recent example:
I was recently working on a escort card display that was a large standing piece that incorporated the escort cards and family photos. I knew that I wanted to create a large scale piece because of the size of the room and I also knew that we wanted to incorporate a family photo displays and I thought this might be a logical place to do. Functionally we also need people to be able to find their tables, so my intent was to create a piece that combined all three of these items
Once I had a concept of what I was looking for I went to Pinterest and started searching I used search terms such as “hanging escort cards” "escort card ribbon” and “double panel standing wall”. I scanned the images and look for ones that fit the concept color scheme shape or design of what I see in my mind. I almost never find exactly what I'm looking for to re-create and that's good because that's not the point. I want to be original, and I want my work to stand on its own, but it's a great way to guide me in pulling those ideas out of my head and showing them in ways other vendors and clients can understand.
Pinterest = Your Actual Digital Pin Board
The last way I use Pinterest, is as it was truly and originally created - as a digital representation of the old school pinboard. I use Pinterest to catalog the inspiration I find on the Internet in my daily searches or sources that I want to remember for future use. I often will go back to my own pin boards and reference the sources or online shops I’ve pinned when looking for vendors and other artists.