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Community Edit: Creating The Mood

We love our community’s constant ability to challenge

our approach to creativity. We’re excited by the prospects of transforming of our otherwise daily routines into new avenues for exploration, and as we continue building our community of interviewees, (who are makers of all kinds), we find ourselves inspired by their unique approach to their work, life, and style. No matter how much differentiation is present in their work, one commonality unifies them all: They are doers. Today we are thrilled to share this piece which explores just exactly how they begin the process of doing what they love.

When meeting our subjects in their workspaces or at home, we’re always overwhelmed at how much their environment mirrors their state of mind. The interiors may cater to our inner-aesthete, but we know for a fact that these spaces and the items in them serve a much greater purpose. While we’ve focused many of our efforts on speaking with fashion designers we’ve also found that other creatives look to visual aids (in this case mood-boards) throughout every stage of their process. For a fresh take on this traditional tool, we spoke with a few TSL veterans who shared their insights on the importance of visual brainstorming, how they get inspired and why it’s important to value the process.

Photos via The Style Line

*THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN August 2015 and reflects updated changes to the introduction and layout

Jewlie Williams, Stylist

“Many bigger eComm companies I’ve worked with, that have their own studios that are being utilized daily, still use physical mood boards to show hair/makeup trends for the season, to give models an idea of what kind of posing they want, and also a few key styling notes. As a stylist, these mood boards can tune me into different ways I might tuck a shirt, whether or not to use a belt, or what style of shoes is appropriate for different pant silhouettes.  However, Pinterest has turned into a great resource for the planning of editorial shoots! It can be easily referenced on a laptop or a phone, which is great for when I’m out and about pulling different pieces from showrooms or stores for a shoot.”

Lily Qian, Fine Artist, and Illustrator

“As an illustrator and designer, I really love making mood-boards both at home and at the studio to stay inspired and as a reminder for what I really like. When working on any creative assignments, the visual aesthetics have to fit the company’s branding and image – often that may not be your own style & taste, and over time it’s easy to forget your point of view. We see so many beautiful inspiring images every day in print and online, it’s overwhelming and hard to absorb and edit so much information. I find it really helps to slow down and study an inspiring artwork for a long time to discover the small details and try to figure out how it was created. I also keep up a personal inspiration Tumblr blog of images that really moves me, to bring my eye’s taste level higher, while my hands are still trying to catch up.”

Meredith Brockington, Photo Art Director

“We do indeed use mood boards at LLB. Here are my thoughts. The use of mood boards plays a critical role in brainstorming for seasonal campaigns and creative concepts. Mood boards are the art director’s “sketchbooks.” While in the concept phase, the board works as a central location to pin up images, phrases, fonts, colors, artwork, etc. Mood boards facilitate a cohesive thematic sensibility, which inspires new ideas for location and studio photo shoots. They’re a great way to collaborate, get quick input, remove items that aren’t working, and eventually develop a strong point of view with visuals to support the vision. All artists have their tools that aid creative development. Mood boards support organization and creative fluidity. I’m a fan of both digital and tactic boards and encourage their use to harbor creative relationships, foster innovative ideas, and organize personal and professional projects.”

Eric Leva, Musician

“In my experience, writing a song or larger project with a strong visual in mind has become another way to delve deeper into the mood of a story or theme. I also think that artists should consider how we are all creating our work in a highly multimedia-centric and a visually stimulating world. At a time where it feels more challenging than ever to define an artistic essence, I think us songwriters and other creatives should try looking to visual inspiration as a way to sharpen our perspectives. I have found this practice to be illuminating in my efforts to identify my own essence and assert uniqueness in my work.
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Courtney Nagy, Graphic Designer

“As a designer, being inspired is a huge part of being able to sustain the motivation to create. Although I do not adhere to the tradition of building ideas using mood boards, I do have my own way of developing and cultivating my inspiration into something unique. In using the web as my primary source for inspiration, I constantly find myself referring to bloggers and designers that I have been following for years. I have grown to count on this group of creative people to keep me constantly inspired. Through fashion, photography, interiors, and more, all of this inspiration is extremely valuable when creating my own ideas. I use a journal every day to sketch and write down what my mind has made of the constant overwhelming day-to-day inspiration. Keeping a journal feels like a huge accomplishment when you fill an entire book with your own ideas!”

Katie Li, Interior Designer

“The preparation, whether it be information or images, give me a direction with my design approach. New inspiration and ideas continuously lead me to different solutions to a design problem. It’s important to be open to every little thing when designing, you never know what will inspire you to think differently.”

Emily Brickel, Illustrator, and Entrepreneur

“The first thing that I do every morning is make breakfast and go on Pinterest. Using the morning as a ritual for future reflection and improvement is the only way to make sure you get that in. If I’m working on designing virtual campaigns, images or the look and feel of a client illustration project, I find bits and pieces of things that I can draw upon to inspire my work.  I also LOVE a good old tear out session with my magazine subscriptions, but that I don’t get to do as often as I would like. I have a cork-board covered in silver foiled paper that sits beside my desk and I use as my vision board. I look at it every day and this is where I keep images that portray my business and life goals, how I want to feel in my business and what I want to manifest to fruition. Getting physical with this unleashes your creative brain which helps turn out even better work. I think all tech entrepreneurs should create a private Pinterest board for personal dreams and visions as well as things that can’t be made public yet.

  • christian siriano the style line

It is easier to update than a physical mood/vision board, although it is really powerful to see your inspiration on a physical board. It’s so important to take time to visualize your next steps and future path because seeing it is how you can create it. A business plan is necessary, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and can connect deeper you to your goals.”

Alisa Richter, Creative Strategist

“As a creative strategist, I’m always looking for new ways to tell a client’s story that goes beyond traditional media. Because so many of the mediums I deal with are inherently visual—Blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter—mood boards are becoming an increasingly important part of my toolkit. They’re also great for organizing ideas. Even after I leave the office, I’m always thinking about my clients and I have a number of private pinboards that I use to organize thoughts or images for each. I’m such a visual person so jotting down ideas on a to-do list app doesn’t do it for me. To some extent, my entire brain lives on Pinterest.”