I am a hoarder of images. I love to collect visual inspiration, particularly for sewing ideas. But with the unending supply of beautiful inspiration sources on the web, the amount of input can quickly become overwhelming. I’d like to share some online tools that I’ve used to help manage and collect all of that inspiration.
I’ll start with my favorite. Tumblr is a service that lets you quickly and easily blog individual images. With each image, you can add notes and, best of all, tags. I think tags are the real benefit to using Tumblr over just saving an image to my desktop, because I can tag something “skirt,” “pleats,” and “vintage.” When I want to look for skirt ideas later, I just click the “skirt” tag.
I use Tumblr in combination with a Firefox extension called Tumblr Post. Tumblr Post lets you just drag images from a webpage to an icon, and they will automatically be posted to your Tumblr blog and link back to the original.
Even if you don’t want to have a public blog, you can make your Tumblr blog private and just use it for collecting personal inspiration!
Pinterest is a new site specifically made for cataloging and sharing visual inspiration, and it’s frequented by some people with awfully good taste. I must say that so far, I like it best for looking at other people’s inspiration boards, but haven’t gotten into the swing of using it for my own. Still, it’s a pretty fun option and I’m definitely going to keep using it.
Where would I be without my beloved Flickr? It’s an amazing resource for images, but you can also use it to pull together inspiration. Flickr lets you create small “galleries” of other people’s images, collect favorites, of upload your own into sets and collections, all with tagging capabilities.
Polyvore lets you create fashion collages from images and products all over the web, with an easy drag-and-drop clipping interface. Polyvore is useful for putting together a wardrobe or outfit, so it’s a little different than the straight-up image gathering of the other tools. It’s more of a fun way to process ideas than a way to collect them.
So that’s basically the stuff I use. What about you? How do you keep up with the vast quanitites of sewing and fashion inspiration out there in internet-land?