The first step in the process of fashion design is drawing inspiration from life. What “drawing inspiration” means is to use things in your surroundings to give you ideas of how to create a design. Whatever you see or do may trigger an idea, so paying more attention to what is around you is always beneficial. When you find the right inspiration, it gives you an amazing feeling of accomplishment. This is the most crucial part of creating the right design, so it should never be taken lightly. Take as much time as you need and take it all in. The best advice I can give when looking for inspiration is: Always carry a camera with you. I keep a small digital camera in my purse at all times. It’s kind of attached to my wallet—a must have at all times.
To find the right inspiration:
*I often look through many fashion magazines (Vogue, Elle, W, etc.). I am usually looking for season trends, taking a special eye to colors and shapes. Rip out those pages in the magazines, circle the look or inspirational part on the page, and don’t lose those pages!
*I travel whenever I can, taking a close look at culture, fashion, nature, and art. Take pictures of anything that you find interesting. With digital cameras, you don’t need to be selective, take pictures of everything. And, keep a journal. Write about your adventures, write about the behaviors of people, animals, plants, everything.
*I pay attention to interior design. I am always paying close attention to colors, furniture, design lines, art, structure, etc. I look through home magazines and rip out pages, I take mental notes of anything I see on TV that I like, I verbally discuss something I see in someone’s home or office, and I always take pictures when I have my camera.
*I try to always be aware of my surroundings. Everything from the monotony of everyday living, to trying something new….there is always an idea waiting to be discovered. Like I mentioned before, I always have a camera and am taking pictures of anything that looks interesting or appealing.
What if you can’t find the right inspiration?
On the flip side of finding the right inspiration, sometimes you try so hard to find that perfect idea, you become overwhelmed and discouraged. You hit a road block. This is a very normal process for artists of all kinds. Everyone has their own way of getting out of it. For me, I sometimes need to take the day off from designing and use my energy for something else completely different. Some times I even need to take multiple days off. I’ve learned the hard way that if I push myself to “just do something”, even if I don’t like the idea, I will have wasted a whole day trying too hard to design something I am not passionate about and it comes out looking like absolute crap. Allowing yourself to get to this point can create even more discouragement and leave you feeling like a loser, as it does for me. If there is any advice I could give when you hit a road block, it would be this: Give yourself the time you need. Don’t feel rushed. Transition your energy towards something that makes you feel good, and come back to design when you are ready and excited about it.
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