How to Capture Your True Thoughts and Feelings with Pinterest

by Nate St. Pierre on January 28, 2012

You know how most of us say that motivational posters are lame, but we secretly love ’em? Well okay, we don’t love the lame ones, but we do love the ones that actually speak to us. The reason some of them move us at a core level is because they succeed at capturing our innermost thoughts and feelings. Trouble is, there are precious few of those.

So today I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to harness those feelings and use them to make your own creations – text and images that are meaningful specifically to you. (And if they work for others, they’ll get spread around, right? Win/win.)

Motivational posters are very simple. They have two parts: a quote and an image. The reason they’re so popular is because oftentimes these simple elements combine to provoke a complex feeling within the viewer. Once that feeling has been established, the brain does the rest of the work, and the poster just sits there and looks pretty.

Instead of looking at other people’s work and waiting for something to inspire us, we’re going to go at it from the opposite end – using our own emotions to create something that sings to us, and hopefully to others as well.

Here’s how to make your own in 5 minutes or less:

1) Make a new Pinterest board to house your work. Mine is called Create Your Reality.

2) Think of how you feel right now, in a bigger sense than “I’m hungry.” For instance, perhaps you feel creative today. Good, go with that word, or one similar.

3) Search the web for a quote pertaining to that feeling. In this example, I’d suggest a search string like this: quotes creativity or quotes imagination. Find one that strikes you.

4) If you read that quote and a specific kind of image comes to mind, then search anywhere (Google, Flickr, Pinterest) for that kind of image. Or if nothing comes immediately to mind, do your image search for the original word you used to find the quote.

5) When you have both the appropriate quote and a fitting image, pin the image to your board and use the quote as the description.

And you’re done!

The beauty of this is that it’s perfectly customized to you. If it works for someone else, that’s great, but these are yours. Every single one will speak to you. And they don’t have to be just “motivational,” either. You can use them to represent pain, anger, sadness, joy, confusion, laughter . . . anything you want. They’re your feelings, so use them in your own way. Create your reality.

Here’s the one I just did while writing this article:

I’m doing one of these a day right now. It’s fast, easy, and fun, and when I look back after a month or so I’ll have a visual and written record of how I felt every day, in artistic form. Pretty cool.

I’ve also created a board for some of my writing – take a look!

This is how I’m starting to use Pinterest. How do you use it? Let me know in the comments…

P.S. If you like this idea, give it a Pin:   Pin It

(Image source: shannonkringen)

  • Peliroo Corrice

    Wow. Striking image, Nate.  Made me think of the Green Man, but modern and colorful. Needed a pinterest invite, so it might be a while before I can play with it, but I love the idea. Distill all your emotion for a day into an image and a quote.  I love that.

    • Peliroo Corrice

      Woot!  That was quick. I’m in.

    • What’s the Green Man?

  • Okay, I wrote this post having spent only about an hour on Pinterest, and now I’ve spent three. I like it even more now, and have a few other ideas for it. Yeah!

  • Anonymous

    That is an awesome picture! I use Pinterest for a lot of things. At first it was just me having fun pinning stuff. But my boards have become kind of inspiration for me. Yeah, there are a few where it’s just fun stuff I want to remember or that make me laugh. But a few I’ve noticed that I go back to when I need inspiration or motivation. When I go back to my “People Who Inspire Me” or “Things to Remember” boards I can start brainstorming ideas for a blog post or something I need to do for work, or just for life.  Also – some of the food stuff is ACTUALLY making me think about cooking. Which is odd considering that I’m a terrible cook. Maybe I’ll actually learn and make something edible now? I’d probably save a lot of money by not eating out as often!

    • Yeah, I have an “Inspiration” board too, that I can come back to whenever I’m getting down. It’s funny, pictures of food gross me out. Seriously. Especially close-ups, ack. 

      • Anonymous

        HAHAHAHAHA. That is awesome. Now I know how to gross you out if I never feel the need to do so.

        • Please don’t ever feel the need to do so.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not predicting that I ever will – but you never know if you’ll need a good way to gross out someone at some point in your life.

  • This is a great idea. You combine two of my favorite things: photography and quotes. In 2009, I was posting a quote a day on my Facebook page. After reading this, I might have to find an image for each of them and do something similar on Pinterest.

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