Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creative Kickstart: Inspiration Boards

Welcome to the second post in our Creative Kickstart series!  If you haven't yet, be sure to check out last week's post, 5 Ways to Overcome Creativity Block.

One of my favorite ways to boost my creativity is by making an inspiration board/mood board.  If you're not familiar with inspiration boards, they are collages or compositions that help you cultivate and evolve your concepts for design projects.  Inspiration boards can be used for just about anything: a wedding, a new fashion design or collection, a house or room makeover, an art project, etc.  They can be digital or in the form of a cork board display, poster, or even a beautiful piece of art that can be framed or displayed when finished.
Last weekend my fiance and I brainstormed ideas for our upcoming wedding.  I bought a big cork board and some pretty tacks, and devoted one section to items to help me with choosing colors.  By putting together  images that appealed to me from magazines (along with swatches, ribbons, and other random findings), I was able to create a visual display of a variety of color schemes, and in the process make a decision.  (Pssst...  From the three color schemes above, we decided on yellows and grays!).

I also create digital mood boards every season for my sustainable fashion label.  This one (above) is from my Spring/Summer '09 collection.

Style Inspiration Board on Polyvore by Yamine
Even the process of collecting items to use for a mood board can help give you a creative kickstart. Start gathering items that catch your eye and keep them in a drawer or folder, or save links of your favorite online images in a file called "Inspiration Board" on your computer. Even if you're not ready to put them together into a board, the act of saving images or trinkets that visually appeal to you will provide you with a boost of creative inspiration.
German-themed inspiration board on Polyvore by curatingcuteness
For examples of some amazing digital inspiration boards, browse Polyvore.  There's also a Flickr group with photographs of all different kinds of boards, from intricate mood boards to random bits and pieces tacked to studio walls.

If you make inspiration boards, I'd love to see photos or hear how you create yours!


P.S. I leave Monday for a week in Mexico with my fiance's band!  I can't wait to visit the Mayan ruins, have some time off in the sunshine, and come back refreshed and inspired.  I'll be sure to post updates from the beach!


  1. LOVE this post!!! Your wedding colors board is beautiful!! I've never made one but I have a binder with pages from magazines that I think would make a great one with pages talked to a corkboard. Thank you!!!


  2. Definitely a great tip for inspiring creativity. And thanks for sharing these beautiful boards! I have a big inspiration board above my desk where I tape up anything I find that's pretty to me. I even have a soup can label up there!

  3. So pretty. I want to try this.

  4. nice post! I looove mood boards! I like more the process of making mood boards than translating tose boards into designs! Usually I get inspired by songs and try to translate songs into mood boards. You can see some of my mood boards here:

    you might find the second post more interesting as it is about getting inspired :P

  5. wow these are amazing. i love mood boards and your ones are just incredible - so inspiring.
    i love your blog and so happy i stumbled upon it. i am a new follower :) x

  6. Wow, those are wonderful! What a great way to brainstorm; I'll have to give it a try.

    I found you via Fun Follow Friday and I'm your newest follower Rae T. from There's a Contest for That.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. You are so talented! Eep! I've made a couple of inspiration boards but they're not beautiful art like yours ;) I like what you said about how the process of finding and keeping pictures and things is a creative boost in itself. I am for sure going to do that more often. I love your blog!


  8. Thanks everyone - I love reading your comments and seeing examples of other inspiration boards. It's so inspiring to read/see how others find motivation to create!


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