Sunday, October 6, 2013


I fought it.
Oh yes, I did.

Everyone seemed to be doing it and this idea exhausted me.

Shut up, internet!

So I fought it by starting an account but completely ignoring it, hoping the whole thing would just go away. [O hai, Plurk.]

And then one day I investigated a little more, started a few boards and BLAM! Hooked.

You see, I thought it was mostly bridesmaid dresses and cupcakes and kittens and inspirational quotes. Or cats in dresses eating cupcakes as inspiration. Not that there's anything wrong with that, certainly.

I forget what the turning point was but there was a moment when I realized that I could see works by Arshile Gorky and Egon Schiele's notebook sketches and Franz Kline's liquor store receipt and the Sex Pistols' hand-written, I mean, scrawled lyrics to Pretty Vacant,

How about this: Eero Saarinen's completely charming list of Aline Bernstein's good qualities. And this extraordinary bit of history: Kate Warne. From the page: "Private detective and Master of disguise during the Civil War. She helped save President-Elect Abraham Lincoln by uncovering a plot to assassinate him on the way to Washington D.C. to take office. She disguised herself as a Union soldier, a Southern belle and a harmless grandmother."

When I begin my day in the studio, one of the first things I do is check the Pinterest stream of the boards I follow. [Some of the people I follow are quite astonishing. Victoria | Outerbridge, for example, provides themed pins every day, like a long and mesmerizing visual tone poem.] The amount of unexpected information is astounding. And some of it's quite useful. In fact, it's been a great source for my Mad Art Lab Quickies scavenging. I even started a few boards to save design ideas and color palettes. However, I have to say that I've also fallen for Evernote [finally, as in "the last person on the planet" to have fallen] to the extent that I could justify the premium version. And this replaced the inspo boards. Still, Pinterest- always offering up some fresh ideas.

But here's the thing. No matter how useful and informative a tool Pinterest has been, the main reason I spend time there is a little surprising. I've made it a place of meditative power. I had started a board called beautiful things which is not the kind of collection you'd guess. And the board evolved as I added pins and it kind of became its own thing. As I curated the board, I realized that when I scroll through the page, I feel a balance and calm from this collective beauty. The ugliness that lives in the world, frequently reported by the activist newsletters in my morning email, falls away for a few moments. For the space of a cup of coffee, I am reminded about the higher order of human achievement and thought and creativity. It takes me to a higher place—one where I can look out over my day and resolve to keep calm and carry on.

Quite literally, it has become my morning moment of zen.

Do you have a Pinterest story?
I'd love to hear it.


Featured image is an "I want" list by Louise Bourgeois, originally featured in this post.

And finally, thanks to Kiki Leigh. Our conversation helped me put this into words.

No comments: