My creative process always begins with a massive search for reference material. A few years ago this process began in a public library where I would pile up books, locate inspirational photos and drawing, photocopy them and return to the studio with a thick fold of ideas. I’ve also amasses a few hundred books of my own for the same purpose.
Of course this all changed with high speed Internet.
Until a few days ago, I searched he web and downloaded photos to my computer (now an iPad) and referred to them as air designed and drew. Mather problem was that these image had no order–no rhyme or reason. I could have organized them into neat folders and labeled sources, but the truth was that I didn’t. I wanted to get to the drawing, design and carving. I ended up with thousands of images and no idea where they came from.
A few weeks ago I began to explore Pinterest, in earnest, and discovered that it is the neat, simple solution to the artist amassing collections of images.
Now I browse the web through Pinterest. When I find a reference photo that speaks to me I “pin” it to a virtual bulletin board. I can visit it later and I will be able to follow it back to it’s source.
The benefits are amazing:
– The image is stored somewhere else. I’m not dedicating my memory to store it. It won’t be lost when I have computer failure at my end.
– The images are linked back to their source. For my work that is often a museum or auction house with important and reliable documentation.
– The boards are really, really simple to name, re-name, organize and re-organize.
-The photos go with me and my iPad. I want to sketch at work, before a show, on the road? No problem.
– The very best is that my ideas and resources are available to collectors, clients and other artists as I post them. You want to know what I’m interested in making today? Follow me on Pinterest. It gives you an opportunity to visit my creative process from before the beginning. It gives me an opportunity, too, to gauge the interest of other collectors and artists.
I was always told (I knew THEY were wrong) that Pinterest is only for women looking for recipes and cut and paste “craft” (I am on the verge of writing a nasty essay about the mis-use of that word!), but it is so much more. It is what you make it. Give it a try!
Visit 50 Little Birds at Pinterest here and explore and follow.