‘Fill my little world right up’[1]

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I’ve spoken to quite a few people who have extolled the virtues of ‘Pinterest’ as a way to pool visual ideas and inspiration for crafts and making projects. This platform appeals to me for a couple of reasons; firstly because of its visual appeal and secondly because of the way in which it enables you to create an instant visual map of other sources, particularly where you might have seen something on a web site or other platform somewhere, which you are mentally storing for a future project. Pinterest enables you to assemble all of these on virtual pinboard so that you can create your own inspiration board.

In terms of my research, Pinterest is also appealing to me because I am interested in using visual methods in qualitative social research, and I’m also interested in the socio-cultural foundations of craft and creative practice, which ostensibly means that I’m looking at how individuals thought processes and craft practices are influences and informed by a broader cultural ‘force-field’ of practices and ideas.

I think the difficulty in getting started though is in having too much or too little to put on your Pinterest, and settling on the right amount of sites to make it interesting without being overwhelming.

You can start, for example, by browsing ‘DIY and craft’ and you are faced with a myriad of different options and it’s difficult to know where to start.  And it forces you to make decisions and choices about what you really do or don’t want to look at.

You can also create multiple boards for different topic areas, so you can create a board for crafts or for other areas that interest you such as film, music and books or food and drink – whatever takes your fancy.  It’s almost like a lifestyle organisation platform which could be almost as much about cataloguing and archiving all of these different sources as a means to express your own individuality.  I think it would even be possible to create a Pinterest board for a research project, particularly if you are using multiple internet sources as part of the material for your analysis.

Pinterest allows you to create a ‘visual identity’ which might only reflect a part of who you are or what you do.  So in the brief description (where you’re only afforded 200 characters to describe yourself, so for example I’ve not been able to make any reference to my day job despite the fact that it’s the thing that takes up most of my time.  Yet Pinterest allows you to do create this world – almost like a shop-front for your life and how you would like to project yourself.

As a starting point, I’ve delved into my Facebook ‘likes’ and have pinned these to various boards which I’ve just created as a foundation which I can come back to and develop later. The end result for me is a pleasing mix of exciting and stimulating visual imagery which are also comforting in terms of their familiarity.  It’s a little world that I’m quite happy to lose myself in from time to time.


[1] The Feeling – from Twelve Stops and Home, Island Records, 2006 

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