How to use a mood board

5 Ways To Use A Mood Board

Use a mood board. You probably hear that often. There are many ways to use a mood board. Probably, the most common way is to gather images that have some element in common. Doing this is a good way to learn a lot about you and your project. And it is useful in pinpointing subtleties that otherwise would be difficult to articulate. Here are 5 ways to use a mood board. From traditional “artists” to photographers to professionals, mood boards can morph the ethereal into tangible “things”.

To start, here are some online mood boards:

Invision Like many platforms that call themselves mood boards, the emphasis here is on workflows, sharing and collaborating. But of course, it is possible to use this alone.

Google Arts & Culture This site helps organize your creative endeavors by style, texture, historical era and more. Here you can create your own galleries.

Pinterest Everyone knows about Pinterest. What is great about this site is that you do not have to upload your own images if you don’t want to. You can search and pin ideas

Artsy At this site, you can browse and choose artists to follow. The site allows artists to sell works online too. But you can also just tour the site and find inspiration.

Setting Up A Mood Board

Once you have set up a place online or found a mood board app for your phone, you are ready to start making your mood board. If the app or board you are using does not have its own content, then you will have to organize images, fonts and files to your hard drive first, then upload.

You can start by going around the Internet and collecting images you are attracted to. When you have a set of 10 or so, analyze them using these metrics:

1. Use a Mood Board To Find Styles

  • Color Scheme Look for patterns in the colors of the images in your collection. You may want to use a color wheel to help you put words to the kinds of colors that appear often. Ask yourself, are you attracted to light or dark colors? Or are you drawn to certain ways light and dark are combined? Do you prefer one particular color and its tones?
  • Subject What kinds of things do you like to look at? Abstracts? portraits of kids? Landscapes? Street? Grunge? Noting what subjects you prefer does not mean you have to also create the same kind of work, but it will tell you something about where you get inspiration from.
  • Texture How is texture used in the images you collected? Is it the same throughout the image? Is it heavy or light? What mood do the textures you like evoke? Look at the most interesting part of an image and its texture. How did the texture bring out the subject?

2. Use a Mood Board to Define Your Personal Brand

Now you have an idea about what you like in terms of color, subjects and texture. Next, think about how you can use these things to create your own signature style (artist) or for your personal brand (career professional).

  • As an artist, does your work use similar colors and textures? How are they different from your collection? What sets you off from others?
  • As a professional, how can you integrate the elements of your collection into your wardrobe or writing style? How can you apply your color scheme into your work and appearance? What vocabulary words could you start using more often to define yourself in your work life? You can also use these findings to help you with your personal branding photography.

3. Challenge Yourself

Once you have a sense of what you like, make a collection of 10 images you do not care for. Try to understand what you have an aversion towards. Doing this will help define your own style. Knowing what your style is NOT is part of defining what your style is. What deters you from an image more; colors? subject? textures? how they are combined? etc. This way, you can use a mood board to think about what is unattractive to you. These insights will reap benefits as you solidify your own style.

4. Imitate

A guiding principle for setting forth your style is to “imitate before you innovate”. Looking at your collections of images, what can you copy and what can you avoid to help create art or a personal brand? Select your favorite image and imitate it. You can do this via a painting, a photograph, an ad, a room design or an outfit. Compare what you created to the piece you copied. Your efforts will have the start of your own style. No matter how much you try to imitate something, there will always be elements that are your own. These elements are “yours”. Keep track of them and build on them as you continue to apply colors and textures in your branding.

5. Use A Mood Board to Set A Goal

When you look at the images in your collection of favorite images, ask yourself: What do I need to do to create art or a brand that looks like that? Do you need a certain subject? Is a particular emotion important to your style? If your style could be summarized in a sentence, what would it be? What 3 words encapsulate the style or brand you want to be associated with?

Next, think about what you need to do to accomplish this look? Do you need to hone your drawing, composition or communication skills? What can you do about your appearance or your website that will help your brand. Setting a measurable goal, even if you do not meet it, is productive.

Those are 5 ways to use a mood board that can help you refine your artistic and/or professional style.

%d bloggers like this: