Pinterest: A Valuable Resource Or Danger For Artists?

Someone who follows my blog regularly notices my passion for social media and new technologies, my last post regarding a site was about google+.
While I´m very fond of the way´s different networks work, I learned to embrace Pinterest as a new place that can top it all, for several reasons:

In my humble opinion it is the ease of use and the simplicity of the design, that makes it so addictive and valuable at the same time.

I´d say it is facebook without all the ugliness, because people always want to share great stuff and surround themselves with beautiful things, it is all natural to display a set of things that we would want, if we either could afford it or recreate ourselves. This is where Pinterest comes into play.

It´s clean, uncluttered and fast.

The service allows you to collect, share and surround yourself with people who are passionate about beautiful stuff. And it is a true labor that pay´s off to re-pin all the hidden gems on the web. The Fancy is another site with the same interest, more targeted at mobile users with a less wide layout. It seems there is a decent demand for this kind of site and I wouldn´t wonder if facebook´s user activity will drop within the next 2 years because of that.

I started to pin some of my favorites from deviantart, until I found it was also useful to share on another board the complete funny and hilarious things that are often meme´s on the web and worth sharing too.
Fantabulous inspiration

In the aspect of re-pinning, it is very similar to the way Tumblr is used, but way easier and you don´t need to worry about the copyright if you are pinning from an original source, because all sources are included in every pin and re-pin.

There is a wide variety of uses for this networking site and it is just in the beginning, or better said in "beta-mode" and invite only. Design-shack has a nice article on "how to use Pinterest for design-inspiration".

One usage that came to my mind was to create an art book wishlist, because no one knows how to find me on Amazon, this is easier to localize, pop´s up on facebook after a pin is added. As a true art-book-addict, very easy to use with the bookmarklet, once I come across a lovely book. Very often I forgot where I have seen this or that book and when I had the time and money to purchase, I simply forgot the name of the bookmark, etc.
Fantasio´s art book wishlist on pinterest
There are also some great uses for marketing, Copyblogger gathered 56 ways to market your business on Pinterest.

While I can agree and encourage to use these tip´s wherever possible on all social networks, Pinterest has a whole lot more to offer; with a public version and the option to have boards hidden or set to private, it would make a great way to collaborate online. A direct use is to gather references, I can imagine setting up a board and pinning every image that can be found on the web regarding a specific project. This can sometimes take a couple of hours - but has to be done either way. Yet it is a difference if an Author or Agency has to download and attach every single picture on a mail or sharing a pin-board that can be extended and updated at every given time.

Embracing new technologies can either result in a waste of time or with a win thereof, it always depends on us how we see things. I made it a daily habit to see only positive things. I don´t say that it is good to close the eyes in front of all the ugliness that is happening in the world, but to be honest, for this - there is still facebook.

And as artist it is absolutely vital to surround us with things that inspire us, instead of things that disturb our moods or goals.

My personal conclusion to the question at the title of this post:
If someone has a strong ability to limit social media and interenet use in general, Pinterest can be a very valuable tool, for everyone else I´d suggest to try it and if it takes up more than 30 minutes of your daily time, consider to stay away.

There is however a concern making the round about copyright issues, it might not be unimportant to add a line of warning to this article, a photographer and lawyer has written an "understandable" article, argumenting about whether to use or not to use here.

Honestly, I don´t think there is anything we can do about that matter, instead of fair-play. My assumption is that once a private-mode will be available, which allows to hide boards from the public, many artists and photographers will be just highlighting their own works and hide the others, to not hurt anyone. And the rest of the world will keep on posting funny stuff from the interweb without even thinking about the original source.

I have to admit that there is a potential danger when using Pinterest, another discussion I followed brought the valid reason that artwork would be devalued if just "consumed" through Pinterest, while this statement holds truth, it always depends on the user: I can also watch a T.V. transmission of a football game or I can buy a ticket and watch them live, it all depends on me.

When I decide to use Pinterest, I decided to make this out of a time-saving intention, not to hurt anyone or infringe copyright. It is for sure still an option to download inspiration and go through them folder by folder, but it is the same thing, just off-line.

My guess is that a "private-mode" is absolutely necessary, for collaboration AND to retain copyright.

Happy pinning!

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


  1. Klingt interessant und sieht tatsächlich sehr gut aus. Hab mich mal auf diese Warteliste setzen lassen.



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