Mood Boards are a fantastic way to help inspire and bring together an idea. Similar to gathering references before you start writing a paper, it’s a way to help bring all the pieces of a project together to make sure it blends well before you really dive into the task. Here are some reasons I’ve found to create a mood board:
- Planning an event (i.e. a wedding, prom night, art booth, etc.)
- Designing a room.
- Planning a website and/or business.
- Creating a new art/craft project and want to bring all my inspiration together.
- Inspiration for my dream wardrobe.
- To redesign/plan my home decor. Or a garden.
- Creating a book.
- Ideas to work on self-improvement.
Honestly, the list can go on and on. Pretty much whenever you want to work on something that’s visual, this is a brilliant way to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together so you, the creator, can finish it.
There are many ways to create a mood board nowadays. You could gather pictures that help visualize your project by creating a collage by hand with glue, scissors, and paper. Or you could use an art program like Canva or Photoshop to digitally do the same thing. Or, another option that’s available and is my personal favorite, is Pinterest. It’s one of the best sites to find inspiration and save links to your favorite places on the internet. And though I’ve still not fully got the hang of using Pinterest for business. (Like how do you use Pinterest to “Brand” yourself?) I do know how to use it to create mood boards for my personal projects.
So today I wanted to share a couple of the steps I go through to create a mood board on Pinterest.
Pick Your Topic
That’s probably the easiest part of this. Think of a title that helps remind you what you’re specifically looking for. For example, I will be using a board I’m creating to help me be able to focus on what colors I want to use on future illustrations. This board would be created to help me learn what colors I lean towards, so I’ll call it “A World of Color.”
Search The Internet (Or Pinterest)
More than likely, you are not the only person who needs help with whatever your project is. Start looking with keywords in Pinterest’s search bar, or just your favorite search engine, to see if anyone has made a similar thing to what you need. You might even get lucky and find the project to be on a how-to site, or maybe a DIY blogger created a similar project. Save the website’s address with a picture of what inspires you from there on your Pinterest board. Maybe you’ll find tips on how to create it that you find helpful. Add that to your board as well.
For my example board, I’m looking for color palettes and pictures that the coloring calls out to me. These will be color combinations that make me smile, or feel good as soon as I see them. As soon as I see one that fits those requirements, I’ll pin it to this board.
Now that you found everything you can that helps you get a better idea on what you want your project to look like, start organizing your board. As far as I know you can’t move the pins around, but you can decide if a pin will actually help you, or make you lose focus. Clean up your board till you can see what you’re wanting to work on.
The board I created that’s being used for this example is one to help me better understand what color palettes I lean towards, and which ones I would like to focus on as I develop into a freelance illustrator. I plan to use this board to help me pick colors for my personal projects and portfolio pieces. So after pinning all of my favorites, I went through and took away any that were really repetitive.
(Optional) Create a “Legit” Mood Board
Okay, so you can bring all the images and thoughts that can help make your project work together on Pinterest. But if you’re wanting one collage with all your ideas together, you’ll need access to either a.) a printer, or b.) photo editing software. Pinterest is great, but if you have to present a Mood Board to your boss, or client, you’ll need to make something a little more minimal.
Lauren Schroer has made a nice collection of templates for bona-fide mood boards if you want to do this step and need ideas of how to set one up.
A plus side to using Pinterest is that if this is a project you’re working with multiple people, you can share the board with them. That way you can see what each other is leaning towards, and have an easier time working together.
Also, you can have the board be a secret, so only you and people you invite will see it. So it’s a little easier to plan surprise parties and such.
Below is an example of a few of my winter designs inspired by my color palette mood board.