Jo's Web Wizardry

Since my article last summer introducing Pinterest, Angela from the Publicity Committee has been working tirelessly to create a board, representing all the artists taking part in Open Studios this year.

To briefly recap, Pinterest serves as a bookmarking tool, allowing you to share images from across the web to your own personal pinboards.  You can create as many boards as you like on any subject, be it beaches, kitchens, sofas, cats, Berkhamsted or recipies, allowing you to curate your own collection of images from any websites you happen to visit.

Taking a look at the HVA Open Studios board on Pinterest, it serves as a wonderful visual summary of the breadth of artwork taking place in our county, and also serves as a great piece of publicity which can easily be shared or re-pinned.

An emerging trend in the creative community has been for artists to use Pinterest to share and publicise their own work, alongside using the site as a fabulous source of inspiration.

Has your work been pinned already?

Herts Open Studios 2013 on Pinterest

Herts Open Studios 2013 on Pinterest

If you have a website, it is possibleto see whether any of the images on your site have already made it onto Pinterest. Maybe these were potential customers admiring your work, or fellow artists particularly impressed with a colour or style you were using.

To search Pinterest, simply use the following: http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsiteaddress(adding your own web address at the end to find out what’s been pinned.)

This obviously raises questions around ownership of images. If your work is in the public realm, then the truth is that you cannot control everywhere these images appear, but is that necessarily a bad thing? One might suggest that if you do not wish your work to be shared on the internet, then you should not be having a web presence at all.

To work round this, one trend that has emerged is for images to contain an element of text insuring that wherever the image appears, your name or website is forever associated with your work.

It’s worth remembering that the benefits of putting your work online far outweigh the negatives, and the more people who see it, the better.

What are other artists saying?

I thought it would be helpful to share some comments of other artists I’ve come across online, so you can see how they have benefitted from embracing this new social network. One of the best articles I have read is How 5 artists use Pinterest.

In one case study, we hear from James who sees Pinterest as an online printer: ‘Rather than having online file folders of things you see online, printing them out and posting them online, I can take images and organize them virtually online. I can take a picture with my phone and upload it to a board, and then share it with other people’. This would be useful for many of us. 

Beyond the practicalities, Justin, another artist, embraces the aesthetics of Pinterest, which he sees as the home of ‘all the beautiful stuff is on the Internet’. For him, ‘Pinterest is all about the image. On Facebook, there's image supporting - but it's all about the context, the story. On Pinterest, the image is the focal point and the story, so the quality of images on your Pinterest stream is better than anywhere on the Internet.’

These artists are all using Pinterest, whether it be to organise their ideas, share inspiration, or just to make the Internet a more aesthetically pleasing place to be.

We encourage you to follow our HVA boards on Pinterest so we in turn can re-pin your artwork and show the world all the creativity Hertfordshire has to offer!

By JO ATHERTON

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