Where does inspiration come from?
Okay, so this is sort of a rhetorical question because 99% of the time if you ask this question, the response you'll get is "Inspiration comes from anywhere and everything!" Well, this is probably true, but that doesn't really make things easier when it comes to actually being inspired. In fact, sometimes having too much inspiration can be so overwhelming you're left feeling less inspired than when you even started. (Pinterest overdose, anyone?)
If you're like me and have a hard time honing in on one inspiring idea (hence referring to my hod-podge home aesthetic as "eclectic chic") then hopefully these tips can help you focus your inspiration in a specific direction and, ultimately, let you develop a more well-rounded idea of what you want to create.
In addition to these tips, I'll also be sharing a little inspiration board of my own which I used to help me pick out our first #SpringhasSprung RePurpose project (coming soon!!!).
1. Immerse yourself.
Okay, so I know I just said overwhelming yourself may not be the best idea, but it is a great place to start. When I'm looking for inspiration I usually start on Pinterest, looking at anything and everything. Make an "Inspiration Board" and start pinning every single thing that catches your eye. Don't just focus on finished projects, look at color palettes, photography, textures, patterns, vintage, futuristic, everything.
For my spring inspiration, I spent several days pinning dozens and dozens of things that caught my eye. After pinning something, I'd scroll down to see similar pins, and before you know it, I was caught up in this vortex of color and patterns.
2. Find common themes.
After spending some time pinning, go back through all your pins and see if you notice any patterns in the things you pinned. Perhaps your inspiration board is full of warm hues, or maybe lots of geometric shapes. Whatever pattern you notice, try to really consider why you subconsciously picked this common theme. (It's also a good idea not to look back at the board once you start the immersion process that way you don't start pinning things simply because they follow a specific pattern.) You'll learn a lot about your personal aesthetic through this process because it's entirely contingent on your emotional responses to what you see. (Hint: Inspiration is an emotional experience!)
Now, I sort of cheated on this step because once I found something I really liked, I kind of stuck with it. (Which is also totally okay if you have a vision!) I found that through all the things I pinned, one item I kept coming back to was (are you ready for this?) Victorian flower seed packets and catalogs. Crazy right? I'm a lover of all things antique but I'll be honest when I say I kind of surprised myself with this one since I'm usually a mid-century kind of gal.
Either way, I was seriously inspired by these beautiful little works of art. The intricacy of the hand-lettering, the soft color palettes, pretty much everything screamed "SPRING HAS SPRUNG!!"
See for yourself...
3. Seek out your theme.
Even though Pinterest is an amazing way to concentrate your thoughts and ideas, once you have your inspiration, try to seek it out in the world around you. This could be anything from items you already have around your house, stopping into the local antique dealer down the street (if you see something that totally fits your theme, buy it and add it to the next step!), going for a walk in the park, again, anything. It's nice to do this once you have a theme because the majority of the time, the things that inspire you are actually all around you, you just don't realize you draw creative energy from it.
Since finding these inspiring little beauties, I've begun vehemently watching my flowers start to bloom outside. Not that I didn't care about them before, but I guess I never really realized how reinvigorating it is to watch nature awake from its wintry slumber. Additionally, I've been so anxious for warm weather that I've already started building my summer wardrobe... no surprise that 95% of my purchases all contain nice mustard-y yellows and soft, peachy pinks.
4. Conceptualize and Create
This is a loaded step, it kind of combines all of the previous steps but can be a nice way to really centralize your ideas. I like to create little mood boards in InDesign, but I'm also a huge fan of the old fashioned "cut and paste" from magazines. Just put all of your inspiration in one place, and add words, ideas, anything you want to bring your vision to life. Use this mood board to help make final decisions about the project at hand whether that be regarding color, style, texture, etc.
My mood board for this project is really simple, but it can be as complex (and honestly, cluttered) as you want. I chose my favorite colors from the seed packets and even did a little of my own hand-lettering so I could really get into the spirit!