Whether you’re a photographer, a graphic designer or an architect, it’s impossible for you to start working on a new project without planning it. Even if a little. If you’re about to start designing a website, you need to know about the primary fonts and the color scheme. When it comes to a photoshoot, you need to decide on the place and the time of the day. When sketching a logotype, you have to think about the elements you want to put in. No matter the job, you can’t start from scratch and hope for the best. First and foremost you need to get yourself organized and inspired.
When it comes to blogging, I also like to think building a mood board is essential. Today I’m giving you my best tips. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional who needs it for work or just a massive fan of Pinterest doing it for fun.
1. inspiration is essential
No matter how good you are at what you’re doing and no matter how many ideas you get, you aren’t all-knowing (sorry dude). We all start on a new work/blog post having a rough idea of what we want to create but it’s thanks to inspiration we truly develop the project and go deep. It can be shades of blue, different textures or some geometric lines. Those small things the brain will tend to appreciate, will eventually bring out interesting combinations all along the process. You might develop a particular interest into something you never looked in before, simply because after seeing many visuals using it, you’re sure you could make some good use of it in an upcoming project. The mood board will help you gather those important details.
2. you need to clear your mind
When thinking about your article or work project, hundreds of ideas and small bits and pieces of information are coming right at you. With a mood board, you’ll be able to select photographs, illustrations, posters and fonts you love, and put them together. The sole purpose of this new best friend will be to help you put into images the mess your mind is struggling with.
3. it provides an overview
If you’re familiar with Pinterest, you know how great these boards are for your organization. You can easily find a pin according to its topic, whether it’s that nice home decor you saw on a blog, the Greek salad you want to try or those yoga pants you should purchase. When designing, it’s the exact same thing. You need to organize your thoughts. With a mood board, all your dearest inspiration will be at the same place. You want to have a look at all those visuals you saved for weeks? You want to put yourself in the mood right before beginning to work? You have all you need right in front of your eyes.
4. use it as a landmark
This tip applies to designers more than bloggers but it can also inspire you.
During your process, you’ll have important landmarks to respect: the sketching, the creation, the conversation with the client, etc. For every step, a look at your mood board might be great to see if you’re sticking to it. If you chose some visuals beforehand, fonts or textures as inspiration, it’s because you want your project to have some of those elements. Looking at your on-going work and your mood board simultaneously will immediately tell if both are on the same wavelength.
5. say no to writer’s block
Not knowing where you’re going or what to do next happens to the best of us. There will be some days where your mind won’t follow and it’s okay. Some days will be longer than the others and more difficult. The creativity won’t be there, no matter what you’re trying to do to bring it back. Sometimes, a look at your inspiration might help. It will remind you where you’re started, why the layout you’ve designed so far looks that way and maybe the day won’t be a bright one but it won’t be a complete waste. By looking at your mood board again, something you may have missed can become clearer: a color you never used might pop out or some lighting will get you inspired for another series of pictures.
Sometimes, even if you try to follow a certain path, you’ll get lost. With several ideas in mind, it’s easy to find yourself all over the place and your artboard can quickly become a bit of a mess. You have twenty sketches of logotypes whereas you were supposed to review only three and none of them are in fact good (you’re about this close to pull your hair out). You were thinking about writing a post on Spring Fashion Trends and you’re now creating a mess of flower patterned skirts. Get back to your main inspiration, take an hour or two to think about it and take a deep breath. You’ll make it!
7. never forget it’s only just inspiration
I think it’s important to remind this as a last tip. Your mood board is your inspiration, its main goal is to help you before, during and after your process, like a good companion. In no case however, you have to copy what you see. You have your own ideas, your own style, use it and be proud of it. Own it! Do not follow a trend, do not take other artists’ works for something you’re free to reproduce.