I’ve been digging the idea of inspiration boards lately. Small reminders clipped to bulletin boards, hung on the refrigerator, adorning the desktop of my computer. These inspiration boards remind me of projects I plan to complete, creative endeavors I’d like to try, photography styles that call to me. They bring me inspiration on days I’m feeling “bleh.” They remind of what’s calling me, of the whispers speaking to my heart.
This particular inspiration board (below) lives on my computer desktop. It’s a collection of photos that spoke to me at the time I created it (they still do). It doesn’t have one particular theme like many of my other inspiration boards. Rather, it’s a collection of photos that speak to me in a I wish I had created these sort of way. But not in a jealous way. Not in a way that makes me feel less than or not as good as. Somehow this collection simply reminds me of techniques I’d like to try, portraits I’d like to take, food styling I’d like to create. It reminds me to play with light. Capture it. Chase the sun. (You can find the source of theses photos on this Pinterest board.)
Looking at these photos does exactly what was intended. Looking at these photos inspires my creativity.
I have currently have two new inspiration boards in the works — one that focuses on capturing stunning, creative landscapes and adventure photos — and one that focuses on creating vibrant works of acrylic art. I can’t wait to share those with you!
Each time I’m working on a big project or hoping for some inspiration to start/brainstorm a new project, I create an inspiration board (sometimes called a mood board).
I seek out the work of some of my favorite, most inspiring artists, I stroll through Pinterest, I allow myself a bit of time to bounce around online and on Instagram. I create a Pinterest board for that particular project and collect images until I feel satiated, until I feel full with inspiration and ideas. And then I use PicMonkey to create a collage of the images I choose. Sure, you could make your collage in Lightroom or Photoshop, but I find PicMonkey is simple and easy and does just what I need with no added thought required (I’m not trying to give myself homework here; I’m trying to do something fun).
Sometimes my inspiration board focuses on a certain subject, like food photography. Sometimes the focus is a theme color, like blues and grays. Sometimes it’s even a texture (I’ve been known to seek out photos that remind me of words like “soft” or “cozy”).
Once I have the board together, I decide on where and how I want to see it. I have a huge bulletin board hanging above the desk in my art room that I love hanging inspiration boards on. It’s the perfect spot — I see it every day. If I choose to hang the board somewhere, I send it to the local Office Max to be printed in color on thick, high quality paper. Other times I prefer to keep the board digital. In which case, I might save it as my desktop wallpaper or save a copy of it to the “photos” folder on my phone. It all depends where I think I’ll see it most and where I think it’ll be most effective.
One other idea is to create an inspiration board of favorite photos you took yourself. On days when I need reminding of what I’m capable of creating, I look at this board. It reminds me that I have, in fact, developed a signature style. It reminds me that I am creative. That I am capable. That I do great work.
So. I share all this in case you’re in need of some daily inspiration. Perhaps an inspiration board, printed and placed in the perfect space in your home or office, is just what you need! If so, I highly encourage taking the time to put one together! It might provide just the daily inspiration you’re seeking.