One important thing to keep in mind is that, if you post your art on Pinterest and make a mistake, you can go to your Pin and edit it. But if someone else has already re-Pinned your Pin then you can't edit that Pin. Your mistake is out there forever! So you really want to try to get it right the first time you Pin something.
If you have your own website (and you should!) the first thing to do is set up your site to make it easy for you and others to share your art images on Pinterest. Add Buttons to your website with their Widget Builder. Or you can go a step further and add buttons for Pinterest as well as other social media like FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, and more. I use the tool from ShareThis.com and this is what it looks like on my website:
The tool just sits there along the side to the left of the menu. It stays in place even if you scroll way down the page so it's always accessible. Both the Widget Builder tool and ShareThis tool are free, and they're easy to set up of you know basic HTML. You just copy and paste their code into your page.
Now that you have tools set up so anyone can share your images it's important to do a few other things to your site to optimize it for Pinterest. You want all that sharing of your images to lead back to you, your website, and your art. One thing you should do is make sure your name is clearly visible within the image itself, not just as text next to the image. You should do this anyway, not just for social medial sharing. Anyone can download your images at any time and you want to be sure no matter what they do with it, such as post it on their, or email it to a friend, it always points back to you. Don't rely on your signature. It may not be legible, especially if the image has been compressed. It's worth taking the time to open each image in Photoshop (or similar program) and add clear text with your name, and even your website, right into the image, like I've done here:
alt="Oil painting of a red fox pup in his den, by wildlife artist Crista Forest, ForestWildlifeArt.com. Fine Art Prints available"
Speaking of URLs, here's another tip about those when posting your artwork. If you have an account with Fine Art America, Etsy, Daily Paintworks, or similar site, don't Pin your art from there. Many of these sites make it easy for users to Pin from them. The problem with this is that when you post from these sites their URL becomes linked with your image, as shown in this Daily Paintworks Pin below.
This would be great if clicking that link right there would take viewers to your Daily Paintworks page, but it doesn't. (This is not the same as the URL people are taken to when they click the actual image, btw) If someone clicks that link what they see is a whole page of images Pinned from Daily Paintworks by anyone and everyone, which may or may not show any of your images. It's better to have your own website URL in there so when people click that link they will see all images posted from your website, not Daily Paintworks. You'd much rather have them discover other images from your art website than other artists from DPW! If you already have some of those Pins on your Boards you don't need to delete them and go re-Pin those images from your own site. You can just Edit the image and replace the DPW (or Etsy or whatever) URL with your own.
Well, that's it for now. I'm fiddling around with Boards and think I have some ideas on how to organize things to make Boards more appealing and more likely to be followed. But that's a whole topic in itself so I'll save that for a future post. In the mean time, come over and follow me on Pinterest!