Organize Inspiration with Pinterest

When I was in college taking illustration classes my instructor, John, had us sifting through old magazines looking for examples of illustrations. Once we found those images he would have us tear them out and put them into a three ring binder alphabetically by the subject that the illustration pertained to. At the end of each term he would have us turn in the binder and it was a percentage of our grade for that class. I still have those binders in my closet collecting dust because it was so much work to put them together, hours and hours of time spent. Most of the artists I know have done this same thing in their careers. It could be that you have a drawer in a filing cabinet, a three-ring binder or pile on your desk dedicated to cool magazine clippings, photocopies of an interesting image you saw or some other inspirational materials. Well no more, let the clutter stop.


Well John we have something so much better to organize our inspiration now. Pinterest. In case you don’t know what Pinterest is it is a visual social discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. I’ve read a lot of articles about how to market yourself or sell your artwork on Pinterest. These are all great posts about how to get your work out there, but don’t forget to use Pinterest for what it was made for. If you’re not already using Pinterest, now is a great time to start. If you’re just starting out with Pinterest, and even if you’re not, let me make a suggestion to you right now. Create very specific “boards”. When I first started making “boards” I would just name them any old thing like “character design” and before I knew it I had 200 plus pins in my character design board. Everything from facial expressions to hand gestures were in my character design board. Yes, technically all these things would go into a character design folder, but it made it really hard to find it easily when I needed it. I found this out the hard way a few weeks ago and had to go back and re-organize all my boards so I can find my inspiration easier. Now I have boards dedicated to all types of art related inspiration. I have a board for color theory, backgrounds and settings, tutorials, facial expressions, hand gestures and many more. It’s a fast and easy way for me to get to my reference materials.

Now that you have a nice organized Pinterest account you can go out and find inspiring artwork, follow other artists with the same taste as you, market your illustrations and sell your work on Pinterest, but always remember the power of Pinterest is great and with great power comes greater need for organization.

If you’d like to read other posts about Pinterest that we’ve done on OUaS check out “Can Pinterest Help Your Art Get Better?” and “Sigh, I’m hooked on Pinterest“.

Sigh, I’m hooked on Pinterest

Hello my name is Norman Grock and I have a problem. My problem is my wife showed me Pinterest. In case you haven’t heard Pinterest is kind of a big deal. It’s the first social network that really speaks my language. Pinterest is the first visual social network, where you share in images, and not just news about your dog. You find and image you like on the interent and ‘pin’ it to a board that you can custom categorize. You can also follow other people and see what they are pinning.  I open my Pinterest page and see all kinds of beautiful and inspiring imagery. It all depends on what kind of people’s boards you follow. For me, I follow all kinds of boards from children’s book art, character design, environment design, whatever my heart desires.

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Mobile Apps for Running a Freelance Illustration Business

With September being a huge month for announcements in mobile technology like Amazon releasing the 2nd version of their tablet Kindle fire and all kinds of smart phones being released from Samsung to Motorola. All of that being topped off by Apple releasing their new iPhone 5 on friday (09.21.12). So, all of this got me thinking about my favorite mobile apps for running my freelance business. Here are a few of the apps I couldn’t live without.

Minimal Folio
This app is for creative professionals who want to let their portfolios do the talking. Minimal Folio is the simplest way to present images and video on your iPad or iPhone. The app is unbranded so all your clients see is your work.
Device: iOS
Price: $2.99
Developer: Simon Heys

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