Pretty pictures make me happy.
That about sums it up.
We visually oriented folks do love our eye-candy. Inspiration. Stimulation. Comfort.
The other day, I finally gave in and joined several friends who all claim to be dangerously addicted to Pinterest. That in itself frightened me, the fear of addiction. But it looked so fun. Aren't those always the last words before plunging into the abyss?
I realized, not very far into the process of pinning and organizing, that it all felt very familiar - and I suppose this may be the case, although maybe not to the extent it is for me, with many other creative friends.
I have always collected pretty pictures. Books, magazines, catalogs. From the latter two, I've cut out things I found useful, inspirational, or just pretty enough to want to look at another day. Recipes. Decorating ideas. Garden tips and inspiration. Things I might want to remember how to draw someday.
Before Google Image Search, there was the free magazine exchange in the lobby of my local public library branch. Every subject matter I could ever possibly need to know how to draw was covered in my neighbors' wildly varying collections of donated periodicals. I would entertain myself in the evenings happily cutting out and filing reference pictures and weird goodies.
These images fill the oversized file-drawer in my big, old oak desk. There was a time, long ago and far away, when I intended for each and every clipped item to someday go into a beautifully organized scrapbook or cookbook, but there's also something satisfying about the hunt when flipping through a folder. I know, I'm weird that way.
Some might see this as an unnecessary conglomeration of paper clutter taking up space. Especially now that with Pinterest, I can do same thing, only better - because each picture links back to its original source, opening up worlds of information and the possibility of finding more of the same.
I am trying to be more efficient and resource-thrifty in this digital age, and am already dealing with the emotional and practical push-and-tug surrounding the slow-but-sure transition from my Big Black Book (really, the thing that has kept me upright and able to function for decades now) to the many amazing scheduling and organizing apps integrating my iPad, iPhone, and real world.
I'm sure I will not stop finding snip-worthy pictures and goodies in paper form, and I'm not about to send my file collection to the recycling bin. But I can't help being a little bit excited about finally discovering this time-sucking plaything I mean valuable resource for visual inspiration and networking.
Join me, will you?