Sunday, May 8, 2011
People might describe me as somewhat eccentric. I talk too much, laugh too loud and tend to get fixated on things. I have two speeds. On. And off. When I'm excited about something, it's in a slightly crazy, kind of obsessive way. I lose sleep and spend hours and days and weeks lost in a new project. And, I can't imagine why the whole world is not as thrilled about this cool new thing as I am. Which means that it's almost impossible to shut me up.
My last obsession was Send Out Cards - design and send printed greeting cards online to anywhere in the world. While I still love SOC and use it regularly, I'm not hyper-ventilating over it like I was last summer. I've settled into a normal interest that doesn't cause my friends to roll their eyes when they see me coming.
My Latest discovery is Polyvore (PV) an online fashion site with another purpose. Users create design collages online, using images they either find on PV or on any shopping site in the world. It's fun and creative, with hundreds of thousands of monthly users creating over 30K "sets" a day. It's free. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not "into" fashion. I wear a uniform: Jeans, some kind of top, usually a scarf, and cowboy boots. Like, every day. When I go out at night, I put on lipstick.
While PV may have been conceived as a fashion site, it has evolved to become much more. Fashion, interior design, wedding planning, art expression, literature, political commentary, exploration of depression/suicide - if we care about it, someone is designing something around it. I've found a huge community of artists, some well known to me, creating stunning art collages. I'm talking about people with real talent creating gorgeous, colorful, inspired art sets.
In my world, I'm one of only a few designers I know. Few people, even those close to me, really know what I do. It doesn't look like much: A middle aged woman, hunched over a computer wearing a scarf, her too-tight jeans unzipped. In my PV world, I'm immersed in a sea of designers. And they're from all over the world - Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Germany, Russian Federation, Italy, Spain. And they speak English. Most of them, really well. And they're talented. Instead of designing in a void, I'm doing it in an international community of like minded people. I admire their work. They admire mine. We like each other, send messages to one another and even exchange gift sets. Through PV, I've befriended a delightful gal from the Netherlands. Wise, witty and articulate, her regular emails are are an insightful and entertaining addition to my morning coffee.
So, even if you don't get sucked in to every fun thing that crosses your path, you'll find Polyvore a fun, free way to express yourself creatively, promote your business, or even start one. Even after several months, I still find my self drawn to PV and its community several times a day. An unlimited opportunity to use the work of some of the world's most talented artists & designers to create your own? And you can use these awesome collages on your site or blog? Well that is just the coolest thing in my world.