Paula Coop is an accomplished artist who received her MFA from Edinburgh College of Art and has had her work displayed in galleries around the world. She is a visual arts and music teacher by day, film junkie by night, and mother of three boys. Her passion for art and film, as well as her appreciation for compelling visuals, have helped her acquire 4M+ followers on Pinterest.
We recently caught up with Paula to ask her about her current art projects and how Pinterest has played a pivotal role in her creative inspiration.
When did you start using Pinterest and what about it caught your interest?
My friend introduced me to Pinterest about two years ago while I was on maternity leave with my third child. I was desperate to reconnect with my creative side and was having trouble finding a balance with three young kids in the house. Pinterest came along at just the right time and I connected with it instantly. The Pinterest community shares such fantastic visuals that it kept the creative wheels in my head turning in a way that I needed and appreciated.
Were you on any other social media platforms before Pinterest?
I was only on Facebook before, and Pinterest has definitely opened my eyes to a variety of different social sites like Tumblr, which is great because I share a lot of images pinned from Tumblr. I also created a Tumblr page for bearabbit, my current art project, because it’s a nice visual platform as well.
Speaking of bearabbit, could you tell us more about this project that you and your friend are collaborating on? Are you working on any other art projects?
My friend Anne and I have known each other since undergrad, so it’s been almost 13 years now! Both of us traveled abroad after we finished undergrad, and reconnected back here in Toronto. We started having coffee meetings once or twice a week and talked about how we wanted to keep our creative ideas going with my background in printmaking and hers in installation work. It took us two years to get off the ground and bearabbit finally came together back in January.
Bearabbit began as a creative collaboration for us to explore design together. Our focus at the moment is terrariums that combine the lush world of succulents and moss with tiny miniatures that are created in such a way to reveal an intimate moment on a very small scale. We are also currently in the midst of designing our own textiles suitable for young children – focusing particularly on boys.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
Pinterest has played a pivotal role in helping us get bearabbit off the ground in terms of ideas, design possibilities and what’s trending — details that I’ve always been fascinated by. I love being involved with things are evolving in interesting new ways, like The Great Gatsby movie and the resurgence of art deco, which I’ve always adored. As an artist, Pinterest has been a great resource.
When did you notice your following go up and why?
Pinterest is a great way to test what people like. I remember thinking it would be great if I could get up to 1,000 followers to see what people think of the content I was pinning. At a certain point, my following started to grow exponentially. In a week, I noticed my follower count went from 300 to 10,000 followers! I did a lot with food at that point and I was very diligent about being on Pinterest regularly and being interactive with my followers and following them back.
What’s your favorite thing about being a tastemaker?
I really love when people respond to my pins with positive comments. It makes it easy to build a relationship with people you don’t know in person but you share similar tastes with. I like the reciprocal following/follow-back relationship so I can see what they curate on Pinterest too.
Being a tastemaker has also helped me focus more even on my own taste. Looking at my boards every day I can see aesthetically what fits and what doesn’t. I really like that I’m learning about myself in the whole process.
What’s something someone wouldn’t know about you just by looking at your Pinterest boards?
I love to travel and I’ll be traveling to Cozumel, Mexico to dive with whale sharks in June! It has been on my bucket list forever. I will officially be a qualified diver and cannot wait to experience warm water diving!
If you would like to follow Paula and her work, visit her social links below: