Design Boards Focus Your Inspirationcomments (3) September 18th, 2008
Last weekend I taught a class called, “Harnessing Your Inspiration,” to the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. It was a great group made up of seasoned sewers and young crafters alike that gathered in a large auditorium to play with ideas and take part in a process of translating those ideas into possible fiber projects -- like garments, quilts, and accessories -- by first creating a design board. This step, beneficial in any design process, really forces you to open your eyes and see the possibilities. Design ideas don’t often come from “out of the blue.” They’re more often the result of paying attention – to nature, art, and other well-designed objects. They can be triggered by poetry, prose, and music as well. The point is not to copy or replicate. Inspiration should nudge, stimulate, excite, and open the door to creativity.
In my class, I use pages torn from magazines and catalogs to act as the inspiration. The lesson is to look at the composition and notice elements like color, texture, shape, line and anything else that could be translated into a garment or other project and to collect fabrics, buttons, beads, threads, and other elements that can help interpret and create the effects inspired by the pictures. It’s a good exercise for developing observation skills and it helps in the planning of a project as well.
Try creating a design board yourself. There are no rules. As Tim Gunn says in Project Runway, "just make it work" for you.