Why I’m (Sniff!) Deleting My Pinterest Inspiration Boards

Well, that didn’t last long.

Yesterday I gleefully announced that I was jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon and had begun pinning all kinds of amazing artwork onto my shiny new inspiration boards. I was also making a few connections with other pinners and enjoying the giddy goodness of seeing so much amazing artwork being shared.

Then I read this blog post by Kristen Kowalski: “Why I Tearfully Deleted My Pinterest Inspiration Boards”.

Kowalski is both a professional photographer and a practicing lawyer (I’m guessing there aren’t too many people out there who can put that on their resume), so it seems she would be doubly-qualified to write about issues related to copyright and the sharing of another artist’s work. I don’t have the time to get into it here (you’ll have to read the article yourself) but after hearing her out I had to grudgingly agree that Kowalski raises some very valid concerns. I hate to admit it but she’s right, on several counts. And frankly as an experienced illustrator I should have known better.

So I’ve made the gut-wrenching decision of (*deep sigh*) deleting all the inspiration boards I had so much fun building and sharing.

I’ll still keep my Pinterest page open, though how much I’ll actually use it remains to be seen. As a commercial illustrator I’m in a bit of a pickle. On the one hand, Pinterest’s rules state I shouldn’t really pin anything unless I made the image myself. On the other hand, their rules also discourage using a Pinterest page for marketing or self-promotion purposes. So that really limits its usefulness for me. (EDIT: I’ve decided to pin a few personal projects on a board called “Sketchbook”, which seems like a good compromise.)

By the way, I have no problem with you pinning and re-pinning my artwork from my website, as long as it’s not one of the few images on my site to which a client owns the copyright (which should be clearly marked). Soon I hope to have a “Pin This” type of button next to my blog posts to help make that easier.

In the mean time, if anyone ever finds an easy way to share other people’s artwork while still respecting their copyright please let me know.