Inspiration boards — you know, those collections of photographs from magazines and websites that help spark creativity from wedding planners, budding interior designers, bloggers and the like — are taking over the world. In fact, we’re beginning to wonder if the sudden surge in popularity of these glorified versions of the Madonna collages I used to make in junior high are symptomatic of a culture dying to reignite their creative campfires… or if online inspiration boards are just another trending social media craze.
Any way you slice it, inspiration boards themselves aren’t a bad thing. Sure, Hummel figurines and pictures of floral wallpaper may not personally inspire you. But if somebody out in cyberland gets his or her creative juices flowing this way, then by all means, feel free. And that’s where Pinterest comes in handy.
Pinterest is a sassy startup with an exploding membership that allows users to “pin” their favorite photos and images from around the web on themed inspiration boards. Users are responding big time to Pinterest’s social aspect, which allows you to follow folks whose boards excite you and repost the photos that you love. Brides and folks giving their bedrooms a makeover are clearly Pinterest’s biggest audience — but the site also appeals to moms, photographers, artists and creative professionals. Other sites like Ashton Kutcher’s discount design site fab.com have started using product-filled inspiration boards to hopefully inspire customers to buy more. Online versions of fashion and beauty magazines have also started posting inspiration boards on their sites in hopes of joining the party.
Yet there’s a larger movement at work here. Inspiration boards are a part of the ever-growing world of creativity-based social media. Sites like Pinterest, ArtWeen and Tumblr are giving birth to a whole new market of social media users interested in talking about creativity either through images or online conversations. Social media marketing and blog creation for clients in this shiny new creative world have now been given the go ahead to be as artistic, beautiful and provocative as humanly possible.
We don’t need a board to tell us that this new trend is downright inspiring.