How To Use Pinterest To Find Creative Inspiration [Step-By-Step Tutorial]

Overcoming a creative block can be a challenge, but whether you’re stuck in a creative rut or not, you can always use Pinterest to find creative inspiration and explore a world of ideas, imagination and possibilities. It is a great tool for artists, designers, writers, content marketers and more!

It’s easy to get inspired on Pinterest as it’s absolutely full to the brim with great examples of art, design, wall art, interior design, photography, drawings, paintings and ideas as well as diy tutorials and helpful step-by-step guides.

Pinterest actually sells itself on inspiration and it certainly lives up to that reputation as a ‘visual discovery engine for finding ideas’.

Speaking of inspiration, this article is part of a series of articles being written in advance of an upcoming ebook exploring the world of ideas and finding creative inspiration and the many places and ways in which to do so.

What we’re going to look at in this guide:

  • What is Pinterest exactly?
  • How to create a Pinterest board and find inspiration
  • A cure for creative block
  • Other creative uses for Pinterest

What is Pinterest exactly?

Can you remember those beautiful cork boards from the good old days that you could pin scraps of information and media to, memory notes and inspiring printouts?

Pinterest is that, but digital, online, and almost limitless.

In short, it’s a visually orientated social network for people to search, find, and share inspiration and ideas, with each idea being represented by a pin.

How to create a Pinterest board and find inspiration

You’ll want a theme in mind in order to create the right board for your needs and thanks to Pinterest being such a connective experience overall, this can be either as narrow or as broad a topic as you like. Sometimes, if you’re stuck in a creative rut, thinking of a theme can be a big part of the challenge, let alone getting inspired, but fear not, Pinterest is at hand!

You could simply pick a colour, a food, a random word or just about anything and follow the pins to your hearts content, inspiration will strike, you will definitely see something that hits a home run. Or you could decide not to search for any particular word and just explore the daily pins, or the offerings from the home page.

Anyway, let’s get into the tutorial –

Step 1. Head to your profile and hit the plus sign

Hopefully you already have a Pinterest account, and now all you have to do is head to your profile page, the space where all of your boards will be saved to and hit the plus sign in order to create either a pin, or a board.

JGlover Pinterest profile fantasy art illustration geisha lord of the rings old masters

Step 2. Choose to create a new board

For this guide you’ll want to create a new board however, you can always return to this step and choose to create a pin of your own and offer some inspiration to someone else, maybe even use this function to promote your own work.

pinterest screenshot create new board

Step 3. Give your board a title and choose the visibility

Here’s where your theme comes in handy. If you chose to take the loose topic route then not to worry, simply name it something like ‘Inspiration’.

The next decision to make the board’s visibility, do you want to keep it a secret and chip away at your creative block in the darkness alone, or do you want it to be public, and your pins findable and pinnable by other members of Pinterest?

pinterest screenshot board creation visibility button create board

Step 4. Save some pins to your board

As soon as you create a board, you’ll get some recommended pins appear related to the title you’ve given it. This is a strong way to start, pin everything that appeals to you by hitting the plus signs.

pinterest geisha pins for your board

Step 5. Look at your board so far, then see some more ideas

Hit your profile view again (step 1) and you can see what you have collected so far. Hit the ‘More Ideas’ button to be whisked away on another pinning adventure.

geisha reference and more ideas portraits and figures photography

Step 6. Pin everything that you like to your board

This one tends to be meatier, if you already pinned some interesting stuff then Pinterest now has a better idea of what to offer you, so pin away and fill your board and your inspiration bank some more.

pin everything that you like geisha reference pinterest

Step 7. An example of an inspiration board

Here’s a glance at an inspiration board based on the ‘Geisha’ theme, not that whilst predominantly Geishas featured in this board that is not all there is, there’s a nice Leonardo da Vinci drawing smuggled in there for idea development, perhaps the artist is intending to draw a Geisha in that style…

example of a pinterest board full of geisha reference and inspiration

Step 8. A pin will capture interest and spark inspiration

You could be seconds in, or hours into the process and it will happen. A pin will jump from the board and kick you into a whirlpool of ideas and possibilities. This particular pin has resonated and that painterly style really is gorgeous.

geisha painting inspiration fine art pinterest board wangjie li

Step 9. See more like this

When you are looking at an individual pin, you can scroll down slightly to see ‘More Like This’ and see a plethora of similar pins, this process of finding one and searching more like it is a never-ending rabbit hole of no return, but it’s worth it. This alone is a great way of using Pinterest to generate ideas.

pinterest how to see more like this reference screenshot geisha

Step 10. Use the search function to find specific themed pins

You may have become a lot clearer now in exactly what you want to find, in this case, hit the magnifying glass and head over to search and type in your query.

pinterest screenshot how to use the search function

Step 11. Specific search results

Here’s an example of some specific search results, you can hit one of these, pin it, see more like it, pin them, see more like them and so on and so forth… It’s almost limitless.

pinterest how to see search results screenshot

Step 12. Search for accounts or search for boards

You can also use the search function to find accounts that cater pins that interest you, or boards, where someone else has already done the work for you!

pinterest how to search for accounts screenshot

Step 13. Find accounts to follow

You can find accounts to follow in order connect with others of like mind, and share ideas and pins, after all, Pinterest is social networking.

pinterest how to find and follow accounts screenshot

Step 14. Check out the home page for recommended inspiration

Another healthy little hack of sorts is that once you’ve spent a bit of time on Pinterest and you’ve pinned a few things, the home page will be full of offerings for you that should align nicely with your interests. Also you can choose to view daily pins by hitting ‘Today’ and checking out some more randomised content.

pinterest how to view home page screenshot

A cure for creative block

As demonstrated above, Pinterest can be a great tool for overcoming creative block and getting inspired again. The rabbit holes that it leads you down in themselves are a helpful creative workflow that can offer an abundance of possibilities and this guide has only covered some of it, that’s without diving into the pins themselves and following the source links.

It’s also incredibly easy to use in terms of getting set up and diving straight into it. It doesn’t require a great deal of effort or motivation to get on there and use it.

As a content creator of any category, you can’t produce content without first consuming content, and of all the social media options and each having their strengths in terms of inspiring the user, Pinterest truly delivers in full for beating that accursed creative block.

Other creative uses for Pinterest

The example above show the process for creating a board, how you choose to use that board or the intentions behind the board are limited only by your imagination. Pinterest is the ultimate tool for those that love organising things and putting everything in its place.

  • Reference boards
  • Mood boards
  • Colour palettes
  • Idea development
  • Self-promotion

You can also create your own pins using almost any image you find anywhere on the internet, just head back to step 1 & 2 and choose to create a pin instead of a board and follow the steps it gives you. This is especially helpful for the self-promotion side of things.

Where to find more creative inspiration

This article is a part of a series of articles in the works under the umbrella topic of ‘How To Find Creative Inspiration’ which will soon be put together and published as a free ebook for everyone that has signed up for the mailing list.

Don’t miss out, subscribe via email to the JGlover Art studio in order to receive inspiration into your inbox monthly, a new article to read, some artwork to inspire you as well as exclusive discounts, prize draws and more!

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