Finding Your Core Inspiration

My design that qualified my as a finalist in the Cotton Inc competition.
My design that qualified my as a finalist in the Cotton Inc competition.

What does it mean for something to be inspiring to you? To me when I’m inspired it is that moment of adrenaline where an idea comes right away or it is like love that needs to flourish over time. You feel a connection to it and it speaks to you. Once you are inspired by something the universe starts speaking to you and you see it around every corner. Even if it was there along it is like seeing it for the first time. People can identify this with their style. It is in their core. The trends that come and go don’t entice them as their core identity and direction does. Your identity can change over time as well and grow with you.

The finished garment that was judged for the competition.
The finished garment that was judged for the competition.

Do not be fooled though, when you see something on trend that starts coming up all the time, that is the universe telling you everyone already has it. This is not necessarily inspiration. What I’m talking about here is what you are naturally gravitated to and stimulates your senses. For instance, I have learned about myself that I love water. When I spend time at the beach or near water I feel energized. I am drawn to the colour blue and aqua marines. I have auburn hair with red (orange) highlights and blues are great colours for me. I love the summer and being near the water whenever I can. I love the crispness of blues and whites and am drawn to cottage and beach style decorations that are calming, natural, bright and airy. In my home I choose a lot of these elements and when someone asks me about my style I know I want to describe to them what a warm summer breeze feels like. The theme of water comes up in my designs. When I was in design school I was shortlisted in a Cotton Incorporated scholarship competition to make and design something using cotton. I was playing with the idea of repetition and movement of waves. I applied fabric along the neck and hem of the dress that when she moved fluttered.

A close up of the neckline. Wave inspired fabric manipulation.
A close up of the neckline. Wave inspired fabric manipulation.

Inspiration is different for everyone. I believe for someone to be truly innovate they have to have genuine inspiration that speaks to the core of who they are. A great way to see what truly inspires you is to make a vision board on pinterest or sketch book where you compile images that you love and can usually start seeing themes and recurring ideas and images that you can pull off of when starting a new project.

When going to design school I always felt like I needed to pull from an endless well of inspiration. Like any project once you get into the bulk of the work the glamour you once felt seems to diminish. You need to learn how to work through and revive the glamour that you initially saw. Have an idea and follow it through. Everything seems less fun once you start executing it and problems come up that you don’t want to deal with or things go awry and you need to bring it back to the original point of view. You also need to know when an idea is good enough to go after or if you should put it back on the shelf until you fall more in love with and will see the project through till the end. Once you make a decision though changing your mind mid work will often leave the end project looking off…

When you look at something and you love it… look a bit closer to see what aspects you love of it. Pull out these aspects and incorporate it with your idea to make something magical! What inspires you? How do you use your inspiration? Let me know where you find inspiration and how you get over the hump when it becomes not so exciting. Or if you need some inspiration to finish a project let me know and I will try to re-inspire you!

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