I don't use Pinterest

...but I really should.


I was recently lamenting over the fact that I'm no interior designer, I know nothing about wall space or decor, and I'm lousy at color complements. These things are all true. Today, at least.

In Austin Kleon's book Steal Like An Artist, he insists that one of the best practices for developing your personal style is to imitate your role models.

Duh, Lucy. Why else would they be called role models.

Let me finish.

It's not just a matter of imitating their output but also imitating how they go about finding their input. In other words, don't just make what they make. Do what they're doing BEFORE they make it. Which is an age-old philosophy of design as well. "You can't copy a design until you know where it came from."

Well, you can't imitate an artist until you know what they do when they're not doing art.

I took an inventory of all my favorite photographers, designers, writers, bloggers. And they all have a similar system for collecting ideas.

Inspiration journals. Morgue files. Idea boards.

Aaaaand pinterest pages. Ahem.

It is so naive to believe that I can rely on my very limited mental capacity as source material for all my projects. And yet I still do it. I still dive into my headspace and shuffle around the dust exclaiming, "Is this all that's left? Seriously??"

Enter self-doubt. Enter discouragement. Enter a crushing lack of self-motivation.

When all it would have taken to avoid this is a few clicks around the interwebs to collect images of what I'm naturally inclined towards.

In a way, it clears out the dust and sets my thoughts nicely on a screen page like it's a shelf. And I'm free to take them down and use them at any time.