http://pinterest.com/ Pinterest is my personal favourite visual inspiration network as it's just so simple. It's basically an online pin-board that lets you "pin" anything that interests you to whichever of your boards you choose, you can name them, edit them and sort them yourself and then share them with your followers, or alternatively keep everything all secret and private. Pinterest also has a brand new iPhone application, which works alongside the network and allows you to pin things you've just taken a picture of, as well as browse boards, users and their pins on the move. It's currently an invitation-only network, so you can either register for an invite and receive it within a few days or pester someone you know with an account, as most users have an unlimited amount of invitations.
Gone are the days of cutting inspiring images out of magazines and pritt-sticking them all over a sad looking scrapbook. Now there are a range of different online networks specially designed to help you curate images and photos that interest and inspire you.
It seems like quite a niche little hobby, but it’s amazing just how wide these online communities are and the different ways people use them, from a birthday party inspiration mood board, to a tattoo image collection, to a place to sell your crafts, the list really could go on and on.
However, the important thing to remember is that it DOES NOT all have to be twee and crafty. Sure there are plenty of wedding inspiration boards on Pinterest and photos of make-up on We Heart It, but you can really use these networks however you please and the communities are surprisingly diverse. So whether you’re an artist looking for visual inspiration or you just want a new hairstyle and you’re finding glossy magazines a bit bland, you’ll find images that are useful to you.
There are an increasing number of curation and visual inspiration tools and networks online, but here are our top five of the moment…