How Pinterest Kills Creativity

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Like a lot of creative people, I enjoy Pinterest, but it’s a double edged sword.  Those beautiful and compelling pictures of gorgeous playrooms, detailed party favors, and adorable cupcakes can quickly send me into the zone of “why bother?- mine will never look that good!”  I even sometimes become resentful of people who have the time and resources to make the things I see on Pinterest.


I also hear folks use the phrase “Pinterest-worthy”.  To me, it means that something that you created has to be “good enough”  in order to be popular on Pinterest.  It’s a screen or an evaluation.  Because of the high standards associated with being followed or liked, I think Pinterest sometimes kills creativity in the same way Martha Stewart did.


When I was growing up, my crafty Mom and her friends would read Martha Stewart’s magazines and books, but never really try to copy what she did.  You really couldn’t unless you had quite a lot of time, staff, and money.  It was just kind of interesting to see what Martha did and imagine what it was like to live in her world.  Crafting wasn’t as popular then, we were just coming out of the back-to-nature 70s and crafts were seen as tacky or second best.  Unless you could make something that was refined enough to sell, you were wasting your time.


Now, thanks to a resurgence in crafting and creating partly just for the joy of it, there are lot of craft stores and kits, meetup groups, adult coloring books, etc.  


My goal for my clients is to really help all of them see that they can be creative.  It’s not just for a certain type of person or a certain demographic.  It’s something you’re born with.  In kindergarten, they don’t separate out the “creative” kids from the “non creative” ones.  They all get in there with the finger paint and have a blast!  It’s very much encouraged when you’re little.  Parents love it when their kids make drawings or come up with creative projects.  All throughout elementary school, at least in the U.S, kids have art.  Suddenly, around 7th grade, kids are given the message that art isn’t important anymore, and should only be pursued by the “real artist” types.  Even those kids are frequently discouraged from being creative or artistic since it’s unlikely to lead to a career.  

To really enjoy being creative for creativity’s sake, you really have to separate yourself from what you see on Pinterest.  Pinterest has an endless supply of beautiful images to look at, but that’s all it is- potential inspiration.  It doesn’t have to be a benchmark for your own efforts or a stamp of approval if you post on there.  Creativity isn’t graded, nor is it a popularity contest, so if you find yourself clicking away more on Pinterest than actually working on your own stuff, please step away (or if you can’t, just post your own work!)