That’s Pinteresting: Making More, Creating Less


I love Pinterest. Anyone who’s ever visited this blog knows this. I’ve gotten some of my favorite crafty recipes and ideas from the site (or used it to store ideas I found elsewhere) and there’s no doubt I wouldn’t have found some of those things — wouldn’t have even known to look for them — without Pinterest.

(No water beads? Colored rice? Busy bags? A boring life indeed.) found it on pinterest

And while I love finding these things and sharing my experiences with you, I wonder if having all those ready-made projects at our fingertips makes us less likely to create things of our own.

I know there have been times I’ve wanted to make a particular thing that I could have figured out how to make myself with a little thought, but I found it on Pinterest instead. So there are certainly times I feel like Pinterest allows us to make more but create less because we’re constantly looking at — and then doing — what other people are doing.

At the same time there’s guilt surrounding all the things you’ve pinned and haven’t made that can add another layer to creative angst: why make something new when there are all these ideas waiting to be explored?

I tend to think that creativity begets creativity. The more you surround yourself with creativity and creative people, it stands to reason, the more creative you will feel and be as well.

But I’m not so sure when it comes to Pinterest. I know the more time I spend on the site the more I want to make, but the fewer creative ideas I have. When I have time to create that’s not going into knitting I tend to choose something from Pinterest rather than making something myself.

Maybe that’s because I want to spend my limited time on something I’m pretty sure will turn out rather than on something I could spend hours on only to have it not work out. It’s much easier to work from other people’s instructions than to go through the trial and error yourself.

Whatever it is, I’m not entirely comfortable with what Pinterest is doing to me, and what I imagine it’s doing to other people as well (please share in the comments how you feel about Pinterest and your creativity!). I know that all these ideas were already out there in the world had I bothered to go look for them, but I wouldn’t have looked for them if I couldn’t easily access them in a place like Pinterest. I’m sure it’s a great thing for crafters to get to share their ideas more widely, I think I may just need a break every now and then to make sure I’m still capable of creative thought.

What about you? How do you feel about Pinterest? Does it make you more or less creative? Ever take a pinning vacation? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing.

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4 Comments

  1. Good point! I think that Pinterest is great for sparking ideas, but I’ve noticed that it and all things computer related seem to sap my time and energy that I would otherwise be using to craft or create things. I’m thinking of stopping all of the social networking things (which is really what Pinterest is in disguise) so I can have my time back. I think boredom is often attacked as a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be. When I get bored, I get busy. Pinterest keeps me from getting bored, but not in a good way. (Wasn’t it Einstein that said something like monotony and solitude is what stimulates the creative mind?)

  2. I avoid Pinterest altogether, actually. I hate the layout! But I don’t really like Facebook either, so maybe I’m just weird. I go through cycles of finding a lot of inspiration in other people’s work, and then just finding it all terribly distracting and spending all my internet time playing video games instead. I do keep a spreadsheet of links for creative dry spells and technique reference, though. I think that part of Pinterest (and Wists before that, remember those?) is a good idea.

  3. I like Pinterest a lot, though I don’t think I spend nearly as much time on it as some of my friends 🙂 I find it pretty inspiring for crafts and it’s nice to look at all the photos, but I don’t really get inspired to copy what I see. Rather, it gives me a creative springboard for branching an idea out.

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