Considerations for Tall Pins and (one) Easy Way to create them

Since folks found the last post about tall pins useful I've added a few more details you may want to be mindful of...

1 - Try to keep the essence of the original illustration/ pattern

This was for the Feast aspect of They Draw and Cook - the normal layout spread....but now rearranged first to this....

...but also this to make best use of viewing in different social media platforms and devices...

2) Create in 'squarish' and 'tallish' formats

3) Make it 'decorative' and appealing

4) Don't forgot your watermark logo

5) Pin all versions for better chance in searches

6) Don't forget to add a brief description to describe your work with key words when you pin

Depending on how I feel about the layout I often place PS artwork into Ai which makes it easier for me to move aspects around....especially when it comes to re-formatting image options for my website and pinning...

....I take a SCREEN SHOT of the group on the left...

....the screen shot comes out at almost 72dpi. You can leave it as it is or reduce the dimensions slightly .....

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....arrange the cupcakes into a tallish format and take a screen shot....

I'm sure there are other ways to set up images for portfolio websites but this method works for me. So I have just uploaded these images onto my website and pinned directly from there onto my Love Food Illustration and Food Pattern boards on Pinterest.

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Useful Pinterest advice for designers and illustrators


A few days ago I made a short video on Periscope about Pinterest, tall pins and foodie illustrations. As these videos are only around for 24 hours I've decided to blog about the main points I mentioned, as many folks found it very useful.

I'd like to point out one important aspect of Pinterest:  approx 80% of pins on Pinterest are repins, so the image has kind of been 'recycled' over and over which is great as that's how your work is spread, and found in searches. So only 20% of pins are 'new' - they have been DIRECTLY uploaded onto Pinterest from a website or blog or shop. I do not have any marketing background -  this blog post is just based from my own experience...and I'm not saying this is the correct way or the only way.

First of all I'd like to point out that 8.5k followers is really not that many, there are other creatives with 50k+ followers. I feel my boards are representative of my major interests as a illustrator, and the sort of work I'm wanting to attract as well. I have my own illustrations on a board first then Love Food Illustrations, Pattern and Print, Creative Cards...etc based on how many pins I have on each board.

This is my Love Food Illustrations board with its 2.2k followers -I really am a small fish. However I believe its one of the larger food illustrations boards on Pinterest.

I've circled this pin as I want to point out the TDAC layout ( and you know I have a loads of recipes on TDAC) is not the most advantageous format for Pinterest. Which leads me onto this other interesting fact. It's thought that 50 - 80% of Pinterest users use their mobile device - so that's why I think its best to maximize your artwork for different devices and social media platforms. I have blogged about 'tall pins' previously and they are still play an important part - they take up far more space on a feed so viewers would most likely linger on it (create at 72dpi approx 500px wide by approx 1500px high)

Another example of an artist reformatting their TDAC piece into a tall pin is Rachael Schafer

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...which ended up on this board...with over 13k followers

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Here we have Harriet Mellor's Infused Waters tall pin (again refomatted from a TDAC recipe layout)....

Clicking on the image will bring up this window that shows its been re-pinned 18 times (from my Love Food board) and gives the option of visiting Harriet's website. Clicking on the '18' will bring up this ....

These are the 18 boards and pinners who have pinned the Infused Waters. Note Sara Piersanti's Drinks Illustration board....it has over 57k followers!!

Moving onto my Pattern and Print board with just 1k followers...and Nic Squirrell's tall pin of watercolour birds...

It was repinned onto this board which has 17k followers...

And as we scroll down my Pattern and Print board more of Harriet's tall pins which are proving popular...

....and scrolling down further is Victoria Johnson's Butterflies tall pin which has been re-pinned 23 times...

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Here are the boards it was repinned onto...one of which has over 14k followers

Now moving onto my Food Kitchen Pattern board which was created as I felt there was too much overlap with the Love Food board and I create many patterns with food myself.

As you can see Tracey English's art is very popular and was repinned onto a board with 5.7k followers

I'm not claiming that creating tall pins and having pins picked up by much bigger pinners is a guarantee of success. However because of the way Pinterest's algorithm is set up, art that has been pinned the most and most recently will come higher up in searches! That's something to bare in mind when seen from the viewpoint of a potential commissioning editor or art director.

A little bit of effort on your part could pay dividends as getting seen by the right people is surely a wonderful thing. Please be assured it does happen. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I am not a big player in the Pinterest stakes BUT as I have a food illustration niche, bigger players follow the Love Food Illustration board in particular. So if you feel inclined to create a tall pin on a foodie or pattern theme please send them my way and I will gladly pin!

 

Instagram for illustrators - 10 basic tips for gaining great followers

There's a theory that goes if you perform a certain task every day for 30 days, new pathways are formed in your brain, so it becomes a habit. This can be applied advantageously to many areas of your life. I also feel this is a great approach for gaining great follows on Instagram. Today I have just over 4,600 follows...granted it's not quite as much as August Wren, but a girl has to start somewhere. I have received many enquiries via IG for commissions, some of which have transpired. There are a surprising number of art directors and editors on Instagram who may not state they are art directors and use personal accounts to follow your work !!

Instagram for illustrators

This is not a definitive guide for gaining follows - it’s based on my own personal experience since I started in September 2014. Please do not be tempted to 'buy' follows or likes - a few clicks in the profile link will reveal if someone has 200 FB follows and 10K on IG...something doesn't add up! Here are 10 quite simple tips...

1) Make art everyday. Start a habit of putting aside 10-30 mins each day to create art & post. Just a doodle, hand lettering, sketch or collage. Set yourself a monthly task perhaps - I started with pen and ink sketches of fruit and veg. I've also done 'dessert a day' for a month. Join in with #artdaily2015 or use #sketchaday#painteveryday. I've been making a quick watercolour sketch (almost) everyday for about 7 months.

2) Aim to post 2-3 times a day roughly 4/5 hours apart so followers see fresh images throughout the day on your feed.

3) Content. Folks who follow artists primarily want to see their art, but you can include things like your work materials or studio space ( as well as shoes or your coffee) Keep your feed well curated & relevant.

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4) Post a mixture of old, new, & work in progress. By 'old' I mean from your website portfolio. Also any features on other blogs can be put on your profile link.

5) Caption your work - tell folks what inspired you or how it was made.

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6) Like & comment other artists work, especially those who may be using the same hashtag eg surfacepattern. A comment really bouys me up even if it’s 3 hearts. Try to thank or reply to all comments.

7) Hashtag your work appropriately - the most popular ones are...#art #artist #painting #illustration #drawing #draw #sketch #sketchbook#artoftheday #instaart #instaartist #wip #artistsoninstagram #sketchbook #watercolours (or whatever medium you've used) #yourname #illustration

8) Uploading your work - send screenshots or jpegs to your phone email or Dropbox for easy uploads. If you take photos of your work use natural light.

9) Watermark your work (install iWatermark app) use the adjust/ vignette/ tilt shift function if you are worried about unscrupulous use of your art.

10) Be professional & use a positive tone. Avoid complaining or bad mouthing anyone.

Do not underestimate the power of Instagram!!  I find it very satisfying following fellow creatives and seeing everyones amazing work, which inspires me even further. Please be mindful that gaining followers takes time, be patient, keep posting good content and support other artists. If this is sustained like a good habit, the momentum will start & it will be most worthwhile.