Looking through some old sketchbooks recently I stumbled upon the one I worked diligently on throughout my Fibers class, during my junior year. As we all know, Fibers was my favorite studio art class at Marywood, and remains to this day. Thinking back on it now I still feel so inspired by the things that I learned and the work I produced. Anyway…back to the sketchbook. It is filled with so things that mean so much to me as an artist. It shows my process of working through certain ideas, some stamps that I carved myself from those very sketches, artist research and incredible works, and also my moodboards. “What’s a moodboard?,” you ask. Well this post is about to tell you all about them.
Entering this class, my teacher, Valerie Kiser, introduced us to the concept of moodboards. It is pretty much like a collage of your ideas, an attempt to tame the colors and patterns flying around in your brain. We were about to get started on one of our first projects which included researching artists, gathering inspiration, then eventually creating stamps to print onto paper. I had a hard time understanding how I was going to research the work of other artists and then magically have a bucket of stamps ready to go. But right in the midst of my frustration we started talking about our moodboards. We were to collect anything we wanted that reminded us, or connected us in some way, to a specific artist. I flipped through magazines and newspapers, then eventually moved on to things like colored tape and buttons. I glued like I have never glued before! It was so much fun.
Some people would think that this idea of gluing magazine pictures into a book is on the border of being childish; I’ve heard it said. However, this, to me, is the purest form of expression and gathering creative ideas. Yes, kindergarten kids love to get their hands on anything sticky and set their sights on the nearest surface that isn’t glue friendly; though stressful to deal with, these kids know exactly what they are doing and why. They are drawn to the idea of putting things together, not questioning any moves they make. Art should be open and expressive. You should feel like a 5 year old ready to deface your parents wall when you are cooking up an exciting idea. Some of my best work from that class came from going back and referencing my moodboards, or finding things and collecting them because they could be part of a new project. It is an exceptionally fun way to put together your jumbled mess of a creative mind and organize it in a way that is so beneficial to your future work. Even if you aren’t an artist, make a collage! Put together things that make you happy, find exciting colors and patterns, and always allow your inner child to make an appearance in everything that you do. Don’t overthink.
Here are a few examples of my mood boards. They still make me so happy to look at and I am just ready to get my hands on some glue and go nuts!