I made a short video to show you a little portrait mask I made of a puppy. This happy guy invited himself to my house last weekend. (I saw him later, tied up in front of a house a few blocks away — so I’m happy to say that his owner quickly found him after Animal Control took over).
This is a practice mask. I felt the need to practice because I agreed to offer a pet portrait mask for an upcoming fundraising event for an animal rescue organization. I think the pup came out OK – but as always, I’d be happy to hear your input. I’ll tell you more about the fundraiser in a week or two.
I also want to talk a bit more about Pinterest, down below the video.
You can find my book “How to Make Masks!” here.
Now, my evolving thoughts about Pinterest:
Several weeks ago we had a lively online discussion about Pinterest and the copyright issues that are involved with this and other popular sharing sites. I read everyone’s comments, added many of my own (I do get verbose at times), read a book called Curation Nation, and read many web articles, including this one at theAbundantArtist.com. I also whipped together a “test” website to see if Pinterest really helps new sites get traffic.
After all that, here’s my current thinking about Pinterest:
- My test site does prove that a brand new site with almost no other inbound links can get traffic by uploading images to Pinterest, if you also take the trouble to “follow” other boards that were created by people interested in similar works. I don’t mean you can get floods of traffic – but for a brand new site, 10 to 20 visitors a day is better than no visitors at all. If I worked at a bit harder, maybe there would be more.
- That said, I don’t think any website should rely entirely on Pinterest for traffic. Because of that, I’m also using YouTube, Onlywire, Facebook, and Google Plus to get links to the new site. Those links might eventually help the site get ranked for it’s keywords on Google. Those things take time, though. Pinterest seems to be faster, although I don’t know if I’ve made any sales yet from that traffic.
- I still am not sure that pinning other people’s images is legal. Since it is against the Pinterest terms of service to do that, I have to assume that they aren’t sure either. I’m not sure that anyone is sure – the Internet seems to be moving so fast even the lawyers can’t keep up. So, for the time being and for the foreseeable future, I will only pin my own images, (as the Pinterest member agreement requires). If I see nice artwork on Pinterest that has been uploaded by the artist, I might repin the image. I assume that people agree to that when they pin their own work.
- Getting found on Pinterest seems to involve two things – adding comments that include keywords, and following other people who like the same kinds of things that you do. For instance, if you go to the site and do a search for “paper mache mask” you’ll probably see several of the masks I uploaded, because I was careful to include those words in the comment section.
- “Following” people (and, hopefully, getting your images repinned by the people you follow) seems to be one of the keys to success, but finding artists who pin their own work isn’t easy. Most of the paper mache items I found were posted by people casually surfing the web. So, if you happen to have a Pinterest board that is clearly marked as your work, please put the URL in the comment section below and I’d be happy to follow you. (Speaking of which, you can find my boards, and follow me if you want, at http://pinterest.com/jonnigood/ )
We probably don’t need to go back over any of the copyright issues, since we covered that extensively in the previous post. So – if you would like me and other readers to follow you on Pinterest, and if you have at least one board that clearly includes images of artwork you created, feel free to let us know in the comment section below. Maybe we can all help each other get some traffic. Probably not a whole lot of traffic, but still…
And in a week or so, I’ll tell you about that fundraiser, including info about the other artists who are participating, what the funds will be used for, and how you can participate. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.