Patterns & Colors: 4 Tips For Collecting Inspiration
Whenever I sit down to make new things I get out all my supplies, prep my workspace, get some good tunes going...and then sit staring off into space and thinking about what it is I want to create today. While I usually work on a bit of a whim, making whatever comes naturally to me, it helps so much to have a stockpile of inspiration. For me, this means being a bit more present in my everyday life and observing what it is I like about certain shapes and color palettes, snapping photos (too many photos?), and using a few tricks to gather creative inspiration. Here are four of my go-to tips.
One of the tools I love to use is the Pantone Studio app. Studio pulls colors out of a photo and creates a swatch, distilling the color story into digestible bits that I can recreate in my work. And the color swatch image is just so pretty!
Skimming Pinterest can quickly devolve into hours of scrolling. To help focus myself and make sure it's time well spent, I try to head to Pinterest with a mission. I save photos that inspire me with eye-catching patterns and colors to a board called Patterns / Palette Inspo that I regularly go back to when I'm needing a boost of creativity.
Another trick I turn to often is flipping photos upside down. This is helpful especially for images that I love but I just can't put a finger on why. While it seems simple, this change in perspective tricks my brain into viewing the image in a more rudimentary form. Shapes, colors, and lines pop when we aren't automatically able to recognize the contents of an image.
Follow Fellow Creatives
There is no shame in admitting you don't have it all figured out. To the contrary, I don't trust anyone that claims they do. To keep myself thinking in new ways and pushing my boundaries, I follow other creative folks on Instagram, primarily since it's such a visual medium. For color and pattern inspiration, a few of my favorites are @plantsonpink, @moleskine_world, @justinablakeney, @staywildmagazine, and @_jujujust_.
At the end of the day, sometimes it boils down to my current mindset. If I'm feeling inspired and in my flow, things seem to come naturally. If I'm stressed or distracted, it's almost impossible to force good quality work. So my advice if you're just not feeling it is to do something that makes you happy, take a break, and come back to it later feeling refreshed.