pinterest_logoWhen I received an invite to Pinterest last week, I was a bit reluctant about joining. How could I possibly manage another social media site? Was this attractive network going to be a time-suck? But, within five minutes of joining I was already hooked, or should I say – pinned!

In case you do not know, Pinterest is the two-year old social bookmarking site that allows you to collect, upload and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. These collections are neatly and cleverly stored in virtual pinboards.  People use pinboards to plan  weddings, gain artistic inspiration, collect quotes and decorating ideas, or their favorite recipes. Pinterest also lets you to browse pinboards created by other talented people.

Getting started on Pinterest is quick and easy. Once you’ve set up your account, it is simple to drive traffic back to your product. I am just a newbie at pinning, but I already see the huge marketing and branding possibilities for Pinterest users.

I asked my artist friend and avid Pinterest user, Cheryl Greenfield to share her thoughts about Pinterest.

“Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration and sources, a place to interact with friends and associates, a place to research trends, and a place to market. It’s a place to get yourself ‘out there’ in order to promote your brand as a writer, artist, photographer, designer, architect, sculptor, musician, or any other arena.” ~Cheryl Greenfield, Chez Blanche Designs

Here’s 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest:

 1. Pinterest is growing at a phenomenal rate. According to CNET News, in the week that ended December 17, the site received nearly 11 million visits – almost 40 times the number of visits it received during a single week six months earlier, according to Experian Hitwise, which measures and analyzes consumer behavior on the Web. According to ‘the big hitter on Twitter’, @askaaronlee  says, “Pinterest is one of the top 10 most visited social networking sites. It has more traffic compared to tumblr and Google+.”

  2. Pinterest is a visual feast for the eyes! Pinterest is filled with beautiful imagery and inspiration. Be warned, it is a great escape and you can easily get lost in its alluring pages. Set an egg timer to snap you out of your pinning stupor!

Here are a few of my pinboards…

  I'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love PinterestI'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest

 3. No more scrap-filing. Most all artists and creative people that I know have file cabinets and folders that are filled to the brim with magazine clippings, photocopies, images, color chips and other inspirational scrap material for future projects. With Pinterest, you can say bye-bye this labor intensive work. Now you can easily pin your ideas into virtual pinboards. Stop wasting ink and paper – you might even save a tree!

 4Share your art. Pinterest is a great way to share your online portfolio. Get your art in front of a targeted audience of designers, fellow artists, galleries and prospective customers. You can upload images directly, or you can pin your portfolio directly from your blog. This way the images will link back to their original source. However be tasteful about it, “Avoid Self Promotion Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

I'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest

 5. Share and link to your website or blog. When uploading your art portfolio from your computer, and not an online site, be sure to add your blog URL in the description for another branding opportunity. Not only can you upload images from your blog, but also blog posts and Youtube videos. Consider holding or a contest or giveaway.
I'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest
 6. Bookmark favorite websites. While surfing the web, now you can easily bookmark your favorite blogs or blog posts onto a pinboard for easy reference.
7. Sell your art or product. Do you have an Etsy store you would like to promote, or do you want to sell your art products from your blog? Pinterest allows you to add a price to a pin, type the $ or £ symbol followed by the number amount in the description. When you are finished, click Pin It.
Below is an example of how #PowerArtistRobin Pedrero lists her fine art prints.
 8. Cross pollinate your pinboards. Share your pinboards across your social networks with Pinterest. Tweet, Like, embed and email your pins to find new friends and followers!
 9. Social media etiquette still applies.  Pinterest is designed to curate and share the things you love, and encourages you to repin your friends’ and credit your sources. Like with Twitter, avoid using Pinterest purely as a self-promotional tool.
10. Invite your friends. Once a member, you can build your community by inviting your friends to join you on Pinterest. If you would like an invitation to Pinterest, please leave a comment below, and I will send you one!
***Please read the helpful post that discusses Pinterest and the copyright infringement debate. How to Use Pinterest and Still Respect Copyrights 
Looking for some interesting people on Pinterest to follow? Check out Mashable’s great list of 21 Must-Follow Pinterest Users
I hope to meet you on Pinterest!  ~Lori 
*PS. Let’s also connect on  TwitterFacebook and now on Google Plus
How do you use Pinterest? I’d love to hear your ideas…

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Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Artist Ambassador to Arches/Canson/Royal Talens. As the owner of, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses. Lori is also a member of the CBS Entertainment Tonight & The Insider Tweet Team.

138 thoughts on “I’m Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest

  1. Kelley says:

    Love Pinterest! I just started following all your boards. And I saw one there with a painting by Marcia Myers. My husband built her stretcher frames for years. Love her work. We miss her.

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hi Kelley, I just followed you back! Thanks for taking time to comment and to share your interesting story about Marcia. I am so sad she is gone, she was so young and talented. I have been lucky enough to live in a town with on of her best galleries – Gail Severn Gallery. I wish I would have bought one years ago…many of my friends own her amazing works. Your husband built amazing stretcher frames, I have always admired that along with the actual paintings!


  2. Tony Hastings says:

    Hi Lori, I have been in Pinterest for quite a while but not really been using it at all. It seems to be gaining more traction in the social media whirl now and I do feel that I should get more involved so your excellent article is very timely for me.

    look forward to seeing you there 🙂

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hi Tony, I think you will really find it useful once your dig in and get started. It is a great place to save inspiration, blogs you like, etc.

      Thanks for the feedback,
      Lori 🙂

  3. Edna Gee says:

    For me Pinterest is a great tool to use to research projects, as an artists and curatorial student it helps to organise themes that interest me without taking space on my hard drive. It is also easier for me to keep these organised then my original folder system. View my pinterest here:

  4. Wrenaissance Art says:

    Hi Lori,
    Would you please add me to the list of folks who would like to receive an invite to Pinterest from you?
    I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while, and just added you to my Twitter follow list (I’m @wrenaissanceart, btw).

  5. dandellion Kimban says:

    Glad to see you there as well. 🙂

    I joined a week or so ago, and no other social network made me love it so fast. Not only that it’s so easy to use and visually appealing, more I use it more it become really useful. I used to do my scrapping on Tumblr, as many of us do. But with different boards Pinterest simply beats it to the ground. Not to mention adding a price to the product and search option for products.

    I’m at if anybody’s interested 😉

  6. Judy Fischer Walton says:

    Lori, I follow you and thank you for all your interesting and informative articles. I really don’t need another reason for staying on the computer but…..I might be missing something! Please send me an invitation to Pinterest. Thanks

  7. Lesley Riley says:

    Wonderful report on Pinterest. I am a huge fan and participant. I do want to point out though that Pinterest discourages overt self promotion:

    “Avoid Self Promotion
    Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

    I think that is the allure and beauty of Pinterest, that it’s not noisy with Etsy/Buy/See MY art clatter. If it does get like that, boards and pages full of obvious attempt to sel your art, then it will loose it’s charm. I would hate for that to happen, so I just wanted to add my 2 cents and caution to your reason #7. Like any social situation, don’t be the obnoxious participant.

    • Lori McNee says:

      Thanks for the added information Lesley. I mentioned avoiding self-promotion in #9, but I reiterated it again just in case I didn’t make myself clear. Yes, I agree with you about the beauty of Pinterest.

      Thanks again-

  8. kathryn says:

    I got addicted to Pinterest too! My only issue with it was how do you know who’s photo, artwork or craft it was…seems like the creator isn’t given any credit! But you solved that with your suggestion…thanks!!

  9. Tim Martin says:

    Hi Lori,
    I would also appreciate an invite. Saw your post on FB and followed the link. This is new to me.
    Thanks so much.

  10. Janice Tanton says:

    I love Pinterest and I’m so glad you’re there too! I use it to pin some of my works from the galleries that represent me. Works great! I love gathering reference materials for things that inspire me, and after reading…it’s really nice just to gaze at the images that everyone posts. I feel drool coming out of my mouth….:)

  11. AnnTran_ says:

    I’m hooked too and felt the same thing about managing another site. It’s fast, it’s easy and fun if you apply some “time” discipline. ツ

    Even this Pinterest post is beautiful to read!

    Pin with you later Lori!

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hi Ann,

      I knew you would love Pinterest! It is such a beautiful site to escape into. It is easy for minutes to turn into hours there! But, the site is turning out to be a great filing cabinet for my many inspirations.

      Thanks for the nice comment,
      Lori 🙂

  12. Marjory says:

    I recently discovered Pinterest and fell in love with it once I started playing, now I have a list of boards in the making.. and I can’t stop pinning! It is such a joy. it is a true heaven for an artist. Look forward to connecting. Thanks for this great post/resource.

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  14. Andrea says:

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks for a really informative post! Saw Allyson Stanfield’s tweet with a link to you and followed it here. I’ve been hearing things about Pinterest and now would love to give it a try if you don’t mind shooting an invite my way.


  15. Connie Mettler says:

    Okay — I just don’t get it. Why do I need to do this? and even more why do I want to wander around looking at what other people think is cool. Don’t I really have enough things to do online already. Please sell me on this. In the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy a little of my life offline.

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hi Connie, thanks for the opposing comment! First of all, you don’t ‘need’ to do anything that doesn’t feel right to you. For me, Pinterest has replaced my messy bookmarking system. I now keep all my inspirations in one place – my virtual pinboard. I repin photos that strike a chord with me, art, craft ideas and even recipes to try. It gets my creative juices flowing and I have so many fresh ideas to try…I just need a few extra hours in the day!
      My own resolution for this year is to make more time offline, like you! Pinterest can be very addicting, but if used wisely it is a helpful tool.
      I hope this helps…
      Lori 🙂

  16. Sandra V. says:

    Confused a bit…and not a Pinterest user…so that could be my confusion.
    How exactly does Pinterest help sell an artist’s art? If one can’t/shouldn’t promote one’s art then what is the marketing/selling benefit?
    I visited a couple of the Pinterest links and, to be honest, while it may be fun to do it sure would use up lots of time. And if one uses it to promote other artists…well, good for them, but it does not sell any art for the posting artist.
    And…I noticed a lot of the same old “Twitter” phenonmena on Pinterest: Artists following artists. The “competition” following the “competition”.

    • Lori McNee says:

      Well, I guess your best option would be to give Pinterest a try and see what you think! Like with the other social sites, Pinterest is an awesome free ‘branding’ opportunity. You will spread your name/art across the web and gain traffic back to your personal sites – your blog or storefront where you have the opportunity to sell your art.
      Yes, artists follow artists…for inspiration which is half the fun of Pinterest anyway. But, remember artists DO buy art! I know I do…
      Let me know what you think!

  17. Anne says:

    Lori, I’ve been on Pinterest for a while now (personally), but noticed that businesses have created their accounts as a business (i.e. I tried to invite myself since the email address and logon, etc. would be completely different, so that I could do the same as hipcycle has done with their Pinterest account. I can’t seem to get an invite so that I can do this. Are you aware that a business can have a Pinterest account separate from their own personal Pinterest account? Would love to know how to do this. I, like Hipcycle, specialize in upcycling and want to properly promote through Pinterest boards that I create for my followers there. My lines of jewelry and accessories are not so clear cut when you visit my Etsy shop or my website, so with Pinterest, I could essentially make boards to categorize further my lines of jewelry or lump a certain refound object to its own board and then the pins within would illustrate the many ways I utilize that refound object in many styles of jewelry and accessories. Does all this make sense? Would love any help! Thanks and great post. Yes, Pinterest is addicting. Put it on your iPhone like I did and you can hide under the covers at 3 am and pin away without waking anyone! lol

    • Lori McNee says:

      Haha Ann, that’s why I haven’t added Pinterest to my phone – yet! As I said in my post, I am pretty new at this too…I will do some investigating about ‘business’ pinning and get back to you. Pinterest It sounds like a biz account would be a good option for you.
      Thanks for the comment and visit. I’ll be in touch when I have a better answer…

      Lori 🙂

  18. Marie says:

    Really enjoyed reading your information on Pinterest. Sounds like lots of fun, could you please send an invite my way? I’d love to join in.
    Cheers, Marie

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  20. john o'grady says:

    Hi lori thanks for the interesting post. I would love an invite if one is still available. Thanks in advance.

    Kind regards


  21. Carole Pivarnik says:

    Thanks for the informative article. As an artist, I can definitely see the potential uses. But like everything else, the trick is to figure out how to use it with purpose (unless the desire is just to play, of course!). May I have an invite, please?

        • Lori McNee says:

          You are so welcome Robin….I have to mention a little bit of synchronicity that just happened a bit ago regarding you…
          I was on Pinterest, pinning neat photographs when I saw the beautiful photo of your seagull with the palm trees, Reg Sadler pinned it and mentioned that it was one of the top G+ photos, so I repinned it…right then I noticed your comment in my inbox! Too weird…
          Anyway, I will find you on Pinterest and look forward to sharing your beautiful works. I also followed you on G+, so look for me there too 🙂
          You are very talented!

    • Lori McNee says:

      Great Zack! I enjoyed looking at your boards and repinned one of yours today. I obviously am loving the inspiration there too. Thank you for taking time to comment.

      Happy photographing and pinning-

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  23. Candi says:

    Love Pinterest. I have a question about it from an artist standpoint. If you see your work pinned and the link doesn’t link back to the you should you comment with the correct link? I have seen my work pinned and it leads back to tumblr instead of Etsy where it should.

    • Lori McNee says:

      This is the problem that artists and photographers are complaining about. Yes, comment and in fact you can ask the original ‘pinner’ to take down your pin and repin it properly! Also, you might want to consider watermarking your art to help protect yourself from that happening in the future. I have not been a fan of watermarks until this all began to happen…
      I hope this helps you Candi.


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  26. Barbara says:

    Your paintings are lovely Lori. I just discovered them in PleineAir Magazine. I would like to join Pininterest too I think.
    Would you send me an invite?
    Thank you, Barbara (in France)

  27. Dorothy says:

    Hi Lori,
    I read and respect your blog info so I have to ask – are you not concerned about copy right issues if you pin art other then your own and then it gets used somehow wihtiut the original artist’s permission? I had a board to pin art that inspires me (with attribution and links to the source) but took it down after hearing I could be liable as the “pinned”even if I did not mis-use the art?
    Do you know if this is a true concern? I’m flattered if others re-pin my art but maybe other artists are more “protective”?
    Thanks for any light you can shed!

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hello Dorothy,

      When I joined Pinterest, I have to admit that I wasn’t fully aware of all copyright concerns. Now obviously, I am more informed. I am an artist and not a lawyer. Please read the most recent post and the comments that are shared about Pinterest and copyright law…


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  29. Dana Chandler Smith says:

    Hi Lori,
    After reading your enthusiastic endorsement of pinterest; I’m in! Please invite me to join you-my niece has been nattering about her involvement; but, like you, I expected social media fatigue would result from one more inclusion… now I’m pining to be on pinterest.
    Thanks for your generous offer, and cogent comments!

  30. Kimber Scott says:

    I’m hooked on Pinterest, too. It’s so inspirational and relaxing. You just find things you like and collect them. You never have to dust them and they’re always there when you want them. Of course, if you want the real thing, you can always click through on a pin and, if it’s something for sale, and doesn’t cost 5 billion dollars, you can buy it. I pin art. Mostly other’s work and a little bit of my own. I also pin art related subjects – like this blog post. I’d encourage you, Lori, to revisit this post and include an interesting picture with the title of the post for easier pinning. I had to finagle one out of the Sketchbook and Journaling picture you posted, by putting the title of the blog post in the description. It’ll do, but it could be better. Thanks for the post. See you on Pinterest!

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hi Kimber! Fun to see you here. Thanks for letting me know about adding a photo to pin from this post. I have not visited this old post in a while, so I didn’t notice that! I love Pinterest for the same reasons as you. I refer back to my boards for inspiration. Thanks for adding this post to your board!

      Happy pinning,
      Lori 🙂

  31. Stuart Wright says:

    i`m an artist and i sell on etsy most weeks,but i`m not sure if pinterest will actually help me , i have over 4000 followers on there now, even with people repinning daily I only get 1 or 2 people visiting my etsy page(ok maybe every 2 weeks i get 6,7 views on 1 day).i think pinterest is overhyped despite the figures,unles when i get to 20,000 followers i get many more sales i doubt it `ll help me much……

    • Lori A McNee says:

      Hi Stuart, that sounds pretty good to me! Social media isn’t a one-size fits all. Through trial and error we decided what platform works best. I primarily use social media to drive traffic back to my sites where I can make sales, etc…

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