I cannot stress enough how important it is to me to constantly keep myself inspired. I make notes and quick sketches in my sketchbook, or screenshot things while browsing on my iPhone. Once I come up with a source of inspiration, I like to focus on taking it a step further and deciding which direction I would like to take it in; I like my creative ideas to have multiple dimensions to keep them original and interesting.
Here are some steps that I take in my creative process:
1. What is it? – What have I seen recently that speaks to me or is especially interesting to me? Or what is something that makes me happy or something that is so beautiful to me? This can be anything. Nature, an old fashion collection from a favorite designer, a person or place, a memory. There is no wrong answer here!
2. Where do I want to take it? – Am I looking to make this thing more beautiful and appreciated, or am I trying to totally flip it upside down and show it in some unconventional way? And how am I going to take this idea to the next level? Do I want to design a fashion line or do I need inspiration for decorating my apartment? Maybe I am looking for a harmonious theme for my best friend’s bridal shower? Take whatever it is that you love and take it some place where you can imagine it belonging perfectly.
3. Anything else? – What other things or ideas can enhance or complement my focus? Can I focus on multiple different ideas to make a perfect whole? Don’t be afraid to have multiple focuses! Just make sure that your overall presentation doesn’t look confused.
To bring sources of inspiration to life, I really love making mood boards to help visualize the ideas I have in my head, and see if they ultimately come together in the way I imagined. My favorite resource to use in making mood boards is Polyvore, a simple collage creator that can also serve as an interactive look book for online shoppers and fashion enthusiasts.
Here is a collage of pictures and ideas that I put together when I was in the beginning stages of designing a bikini. I was drawn to a gorgeous clay-colored stretchy fabric and how it would fit in so well with my earthy/bohemian line, so I ran with it and made a collage on Polyvore. It turns out that the orange clay color dominating my mood board really confirmed how beautiful I thought the color was and how it truly evoked the earthy and bohemian vibe I was anticipating and trying to express.
Personal fashion line:
Here is a mood board that I created for my personal line that is still a work in progress. My inspiration is Ralph Lauren and his fascination with worldliness and foreign cultures, combined with simple and airy silhouettes and colors. I want each of my individual pieces to be beautiful on its own, but still wearable with all other complimentary garments. Also, because of my own minimalistic taste, I kept the styles of my garments simple, with the hope that they would be classic and versatile for a long time.
Here is a simple collage of ideas for my bedroom before I actually began decorating. I strayed away from the ideas in this collage, but it made browsing sites like Target and Anthropologie much easier.
I know that not all of us can envision something and just bring it to life and have it be exactly what we imagined. So for those of us who need the planning and visual reinforcement to help us in our creative process, Polyvore is a fabulous help.