Freehand Life

Freehand Life

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From Fashion to Self-Actualization: Viva Mood Boards!

July 6, 2012 ,

“What the heck is a mood board?” I wondered.  I had never heard of such a thing since working as a long time business charlatan.  “Why would anyone need to put together this jumbled collection and then have it sit around?”

We were studying at the Parsons New School of Design for the summer when my fashion program roommate brought back a bushel of assorted fabric swatches, pictures, and seemingly random feathers, leather, and metal.  She proceeded to explain how she was supposed to magically illustrate 25 different designs overnight based on the colors, textures, and “look” evoked from this mood board thingee.

“Your fashion line is inspired by New York City’s fire escapes?” I questioned.

Actually, yes.

I went on to learn that mood boards are widely used across industries such as interior design, product design, architecture, web design; to parties and cooking.  These inspiration boards are an effective medium to convey and focus a concept to teams and clients.

It’s like a springboard from ideation to design.

Why aren’t we taught to use mood boards in grade school or high school?  A mood board can be a terrific tool to gather, arrange, and express projects in addition to the analytical researching and reporting.

Innovation often arises from applying ideas from one industry to another field like cross-pollination.  Where else could mood boards create immediate impact?

Personal development!

How to Assemble Your Mood Board:

1. Decide on your  project goal (s).
2. Gather curated items, which associate, lead, and illustrate the goal’s manifestation.
3. Review for inspiration.  Refine over time.

What’s your most important goal in the next 3, 12, or 24 months?

Don’t know how to get started on that goal? Take baby steps and consider creating a mood board for fun. Sure, some people prefer taping several motivation notes around their house and car… each to their own.  Why not organize and display everything onto one nice display?

  • Get a board. Card board, cork, or fabric; it doesn’t matter.
  • Gather existing objects. Create original items.
  • Cut. Glue. Pin.
  • Repeat your mantra.
  • Envision the goal.
  • Take the next step.

Pictured is my humble inspirational board with its third mood update.  I found that the physical process of putting together and updating the board further enforces the discipline of goal attainment.  Plus, it’s fun.

Mood boards don’t require a lot of time or money because they could/should change often.

The point is to “warm up the car” of creativity.

You can also create a digital mood board on Wookmark or Pinterest.  Share your board with key people to further fuel the journey.

The more you think, create, articulate and work towards that goal, the closer you can be to self-actualization.  Neat.

What do you think?

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very helpful, thank you 🙂

julia christine stephen

July 6, 2012

I’m glad this resonated with you. Thanks for commenting!


July 6, 2012

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