RIGHT before I went to New York I was advised by a mentor to “look at everything–suspend judgement and just look”. In New York City there was a lot of art to look at. It was wise advice and allowed me to synthesize a wide variety of styles and influences while avoiding a parochial view that might have limited my career.
A few days ago I mentioned to a friend and fellow painter that I was on Pinterest. He groaned and shook his head at the impossibility of adding one more social media time-waster to his already busy schedule. I sympathized with him but made the case that Pinterest was different.
I now only use one social medium, Instagram, simultaneously posting to Twitter and Facebook. This allows me to funnel my feeds into Twitter and Facebook and focus on the much more manageable and visually intriguing Instagram. It also allows for easy, and brief, social networking.
So why use Pinterest? I use it as an idea aggregator and reference file. I do virtually no social networking via Pinterest. Along with Instagram it is the most useful of the social media–by far. Hovering over the woodcut of the arch above allows visitors to pin the image into one of their pre-selected categories. Or visitors can pin the entire page to their feed–two very intriguing options (learn how here).
I still think it is important to look at everything and Pinterest allows me to to view, collect, and organize a wide variety of art I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. As busy artists the point is to use social media–don’t let it use you. Try it and see if it doesn’t improve your productivity.
Your comments on how you use Pinterest, and other social media, are welcome.
Brad Teare –March 2016
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Updated: 20th September 2020