A Crash Course on Pinterest
For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a form of social bookmarking service (specifically, an image social bookmarking site).
You find an image or video you like on the Internet, and then pin it to your account. So it’s basically an online version of a pin board.
Within your account, you can arrange your pins into separate boards. Your boards are your own categorization scheme for your pins. For example, you can organize your pins into boards like "Photography", "Infographics", "My Wedding Plan", and so on. You aren’t required organize your pins or create boards, but this is a key feature of the site.
People can follow your account or just your boards. You can also follow other Pinterest users and their boards.
With so many other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook demanding your attention, is it really worth it to carve extra time out of your day for Pinterest?
Yes! Here are 10 reasons why.
1. It’s a Great Source of Design Inspiration
When you’re stuck on a design project, you can browse Pinterest and look at what other people are designing and creating. You can just start pinning to generate ideas and concepts as you browse around the site.
For example, let’s say you’re stuck on the typesetting for a project. You can use Pinterest to find out what fonts your favorite designers have discovered recently. For instance, check out this "Free Fonts" board by Vladimir Prochazka.
Here’s an idea: You can use a Pinterest board as mood boards to develop your design ideas and concepts, or even as a presentation tool to show your clients.
2. Organize the Unorganizable
With Pinterest, you can create separate boards for different themes or ideas. Then when you come across something online that strikes your fancy, you can pin it to the appropriate board.
This saves you time later on because instead of having to sort through an entire browser history or bookmark list, you can simply go to the board for that subject and find the thing you need.
For example, you can create a board for Photoshop tutorials that you’ve found helpful, like this one by Julie Bode.
3. It’s a Good Source of Traffic for Your Site
Allowing people to pin your pages, blog posts, photos, etc., will help your design work reach more eyes.
Pinterest is social — people follow each other and are notified when someone they follow pins something. So, when someone pins or repins (the equivalent of retweets) your stuff, the people who follow that person will see it as well.
Let’s take as an example your online portfolio. Adding a Pinterest button for visitors of your portfolio can allow them to pin your design work for their social network to see.
If you’d like to integrate a Pinterest button on your site, they have a nifty widget builder tool for easily doing that.
4. It’s a Good Learning Tool
What do you want to learn about today? Do you remember when you used to be able to go to Yahoo! and simply choose a category of sites to surf through?
Those days are over for that search engine, but they’re alive and well on Pinterest.
Let’s say you’re very proficient in Photoshop but aren’t sure you want to pay the monthly subscription fee for the Creative Cloud subscription, so you decide to learn GIMP.
You can use Pinterest’s search to find the best Gimp tutorials.
5. You Can Promote Your Design Work Through It
In addition to being able to have links to your own sites and projects in your Pinterest account profile, you can set up boards that relate to those sites and projects.
One technique that has become quite popular is to create two specific boards.
One board is for your work that has been commissioned by other people, or things you design that you think your followers will find interesting.
The other board is for pages, posts, photos, etc., that mention or feature you and/or your work.
That way you promote yourself, you promote your clients, and you promote those who promote you!
Here’s an idea: If you don’t have an online portfolio yet, you can consider creating a Pinterest board for pinning your design work on that you can show or link to clients. Though this isn’t what Pinterest is designed for — and there are plenty of free hosted online portfolio services out there that have specialized features for displaying your design work — it’s worth a ponder.
6. There’s a Real Sense of Community
In addition to creating your own boards on which to pin things to, you can also join group boards that allow pinning by multiple Pinterest users.
Group boards help put you in touch with other people who are interested in the same things that you’re interested in.
It’s sort of like networking, but more fun. And with more rabbit holes to fall down into.
7. It’s Low Maintenance
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest has no messaging capability (yet). This means that you don’t have to check or worry about responding to messages from other people. You simply pin and re-pin, and that’s it!
8. You Can Sell Your Designs on Pinterest
According to a 2012 Social Shopping Survey, 59% of Pinterest users have purchased something they saw on the site. When compared to Facebook users, Pinterest users are almost 80% more likely to buy something that’s been pinned. This is particularly good news if you’re trying to sell design work (like posters and printed material) independently!
9. It Isn’t Overrun by Social Media Marketers (Yet)
How often do sponsored posts turn up in your Facebook and Twitter feeds? This hasn’t started happening on Pinterest yet.
While people have started using this social platform to promote their wares, the number of marketers on there is still relatively low.
This means you can feel sure that someone is pinning something because they genuinely like it, not because they want you to buy it from them.
10. Everybody Else is Doing It
Normally this is not a good reason to do something — but when it comes to social media — it’s actually a very good reason.
I’m still figuring out my own Pinterest boards. I went crazy pinning social media badges there a while ago when I wanted to dress up my own blog a little bit.
And, of course, all of my friends talk incessantly about the great recipes they find through the site.
Exploring the system has been really fun and is definitely something you should think of doing as well.
1. Weyland Industries
4. Jack Daniel’s
5. Ascensión Latorre
7. Rune Werner Molnes
9. The NoMad Hotel
11. 76 Synthesizer
12. Diehl Group Architects
13. Julien Renvoye
14. Dark Prayers
17. Legendary Entertainment
18. Ignition Creative
21. RED Interactive
22. TAG Interativa
23. Nelson Cash
24. Jess & Russ
26. Rooftop Cinema
28. Ghost Games
30. Planet Propaganda
More Beautiful Dark Websites for Inspiration
Want to see more dark websites? Check these other showcases out:
If you are new to search engine optimization or just trying to find some more helpful resources, take a look at this list of the 14 tools that every SEO should be familiar with.
Google Analytics is an important tracking program offered for free by Google. It allows you to determine where your visitors came from, how long they stayed on your site, and what they did while they were on your site. You can also track return on investment and conversions so that you can not only increase your presence on the web, but increase the money that you are making too!
Google Webmaster Tools
Like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools has many features and uses. Some of the main features include checking for crawl errors and broken links (keep your fingers crossed that there aren’t any). You can also submit a sitemap which tells search engines how to crawl your site. Another important feature is checking your site for duplicate content, Google hates duplicate content.
Xenu Link Sleuth
Xenu Link Sleuth is another tool which is great for finding the dreaded duplicate content and broken links on your site. Google Webmaster Tools only provides you with the top 1,000 pages of errors, while Xenu can crawl through thousands of pages on your site, and quickly. Unfortunately, Xenu only runs on Window PCs, so if you have a Mac, take a look at Screaming Frog. Where would we be without, Tilman, who made this tool!
A1 Sitemap Generator
You should submit a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools, but before you do so you’ll need to create one. This is where A1 Sitemap Generator comes in handy. With this tool you can scan your website and create a sitemap. The sitemaps can be XML (what Google recommends), RSS, TXT, ASP.net or HTML. Use A1 Sitemap Generator to ensure that all of your pages are crawled and index.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Picking keywords is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Without the correct keywords your optimization efforts may be futile. It doesn’t make sense to optimize a keyword that is extremely competitive if you have a start-up site and it doesn’t make sense to market a keyword that doesn’t have any search volume either. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool will provide you with competition and volume information for a keyword so you can determine what keywords to add to your campaign and it also gives suggestions for keyword ideas.
SEMRush is another tool for keyword research which provides organic keywords for a certain domain and a list of online competitors. This tool will also show some useful stats on each keyword such as volume and competition, just like Google AdWords. After determining some of your competitors, researching what keywords they are ranking for can be very useful. Don’t be afraid of stealing keywords from competitors!
A final keyword research tool that shows trends in both paid and organic search is SpyFu. SpyFu is geared more toward competitor research for paid searches, but also provides some great information on organic keywords and organic competitors. Use SpyFu to create a list of keywords that your competitors are targeting and steal them.
Open Site Explorer
Link building is such an important aspect of SEO these days, so finding the perfect tool to track your links is imperative. Open Site Explorer is the perfect tool to do just that! It will show you a list of inbound links along with the anchor text that is used and allows you to compare the link profiles of your site to 4 other sites at once. You’ll be able to identify what links your competitors have obtained, the anchor text their targeting, and work on getting those same links for your site. Open Site Explorer also displays metrics on page authority, domain authority, linking root domains, total links, Facebook shares, Facebook likes, Tweets, and Google+1s.
Once you have used all of the optimization tools above, you’ll have to make updates to your website. FileZilla allows you to edit files remotely, drag and drop to transfer files, and includes a site manager to store your log-in information. It does all of this with a user-friendly interface which displays both local and remote folders. Remember to make backups!
If using all of these tools separately seems daunting, Raven Tools integrates multiple resources into one easy-to-use interface. Resources that are incorporated in this one powerful tool include SEMRush, SEOmoz, Google AdWords tools, Open Site Explorer, Google Analytics, and more. Raven also encompasses social media tools. It will feel like a breath of fresh air to have many of your tools in one central location.
Fiverr is a handy site where everything costs just $5! Normally, $5 doesn’t get you very far, a coffee at Starbucks maybe. So save your Starbucks money and ramp up your social media marketing using Fiverr. People will list social services such as “I will provide 100 tweets for $5” or “I will provide 50 Google+ votes for a blog post for $5.” With Google putting more emphasis on social signals every day, you will need these tweets and votes to help your site rank. And for only $5, you can’t beat that.
SEOmoz will keep you up to date with the industry because the staff at SEOmoz frequently makes updates to their blog with helpful tips and advice for search engine optimization. SEOmoz also provides many tools to assist with optimization such as keyword analysis, link analysis, on-page analysis, rank tracking, crawl tests, and more! SEOmoz is a popular resource among the internet marketing community. Again, thanks to Rand for always keeping us true to the times!
Digital Point is a forum where you can get help with any internet marketing questions you might have. Just post your question and your internet marketing community will assist you with any issues you might be experiencing.
A second notable forum is the Warrior Forum. Along with getting answers to your marketing questions, you can interact with other members of the internet marketing community and stay involved and up-to-date!
Note: This tutorial features a nude subject, and thus, this tutorial contains nudity for artistic purposes.
Click on the image below to view its full size.
- Woman by mjranum-stock (read personal stock rules)
- Woman1 by mjranum-stock (read personal stock rules)
- Stormy sea by darkrose42-stock (read personal stock rules)
- Clouds by Tash-stock (read personal stock rules)
- Space image by Roh-stock (read personal stock rules)
- Starfield by Matkraken (read personal stock rules)
- Rain Brushes by koolkidd77 (read personal stock rules)
Step 1: Import the composition’s subject
Open model and model1 in Photoshop. Make a new document (Ctrl/Cmd + N) with Width at 3858px, Height at 2398px and 180 dpi.
Paste both images into this new document.
Select the first stock image in the Layers Panel and click on Edit > Transform > Rotate 90o CCW. Resize the image a little with the Free Transform command (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and place it right in the middle of the canvas with the Move Tool (V).
Now select the second image and choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.
Use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase everything roughly with a soft brush tip except the subject’s legs. Resize and place this over the body of the first image.
Take the Eraser Tool again and erase (with a soft brush) the hips of the second image to blend both images together.
The most important thing is that you don’t miss the proportions to make it look realistic.
Next, render out the model with the Lasso Tool (L) or the Pen Tool (P). You don’t need to do this perfectly.
Step 2: Cut out several sections of the subject
Take the Lasso Tool (L), select an area of the model’s head and remove it (hit the Delete key).
Make a new layer behind this image, try to select the same shape with the Lasso Tool, pick a skin color of her face with the Eyedopper Tool (I) and fill the selection with your chosen color using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).
Make a new layer. Apply a clipping mask to this new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + G). Select a soft brush and brush with black on the inside of your shape.
Reduce the Opacity if needed, and if you want to, you can give the layer a Gaussian Blur filter to soften up rough edges.
Do the same thing with her arm, hand, and other body parts. You can use any shape and erase any part you want to. The exception here is that I didn’t erase parts of her hips: instead, I selected the lips with the Lasso Tool (L), right-clicked on the selection in the canvas and then chose Layer via Cut from the contextual menu. I then displaced it a little using the Move Tool (V).
Here’s our subject now.
Step 3: Work on the subject’s background
Open the image of the stormy sea and place it into our canvas behind our subject.
Duplicate the stock image’s layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J) and flip it horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal).
Take the Lasso Tool and select some parts of the sea, copy (Ctrl/Cmd + C) the selected regions, paste (Ctrl/Cmd + V) it, and move it around a bit so it doesn’t look too mirrored anymore.
Take the Eraser Tool with a soft brush and erase the edges of these parts to blend them together.
Step 4: Add clouds to the background
First make a new layer and fill it with black. Set the new layer’s Opacity to 50%.
Next, open the cloud image, duplicate and flip it horizontally just like we did in the previous step. You can copy and paste parts of the clouds here, too. Set the Blend Mode of the cloud layer to Overlay.
Insert the first and second space image and set the layer’s blend modes to Lighten. Erase the bits where the space images are too bright for your tastes.
Step 5: Further adjustments on the body
First duplicate our subject on a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J).
Use the Liquify filter (Filter > Liquify or Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + X) and simply smudge around.
Again, duplicate that layer and give it a Motion Blur filter (Filter > Motion Blur) — set the Angle to about 53o and the Distance to about 500px.
Move that layer upwards in the Layers Panel so that the image with the Motion Blur is only above the body, making it look like our subject is falling into the sea.
Tip: If you want, you can take a soft and small white brush and brush on the edges of parts of the body you edited in Step 2. Set the layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and set the layer Opacity to around 50%. This looks especially better on brighter areas, giving the edges a slight bevel effect.
Step 6: Make it rain
Download and install the rain brushes and brush around the canvas until the whole scene is covered with rain. Reduce the Opacity of the layer if you want the rain to be more subtle — in my case, around 51% does the trick.
Step 7: Color adjustments and sharpening
Create three black and white gradient map adjustment layers by clicking on the Create a new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Leave the first one as it is (default setting), set the second one’s Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 71% and set the third one’s Blend Mode to Luminosity.
Now would be a good time to save your work or create a layer comp. Merge all layers by right-clicking on any layer in the Layers Panel and choosing Flatten Image.
Finally, run the Sharpen filter by clicking on Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen and you are finished with the tutorial!
In this digital art tutorial, you have learned how to create a realistic falling scene by merging images together, adding a motion blur and using rain that flows into the same direction. I hope you found this tutorial useful and look forward to your questions and comments.
Download Tutorial Source Files
- dark_falling_scene (ZIP, 9.27 MB)