One of the things I started doing last year was this moodboard series on coco+kelley where once a month I went through all my sources of design inspiration and start pulling anything that spoke to me, my mood, my aesthetic – you know, usual moodboard stuff – and put it all in one post. I LOVE DOING THIS. It gives me focus, creativity and inspiration for the month. And since I skipped it in December (thank you holidays) my January one is kind of exploding with ideas…
One of the conversations I’ve been having over and over and OVER again lately is how ubiquitous (and therefore boring) sources of ‘inspiration’ can be these days. All these images that we see on a daily basis over and over on pinterest, blogs, tumblr, wherever, have created this kind of unintentional opposite effect of inspiration.
We see the same trends and we subconsciously adopt them. Your style becomes my style. My style becomes someone else’s style. And before we know it – surprise – we’re all loving white rooms, pineapple motifs, and superfood bowls for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So I wanted to push myself with the moodboard this month. And from here on out, really. To throw some things together that maybe don’t totally feel obvious, but still create a cohesive look. And – most importantly – that feel like me. Ie, woo woo crystal energy healing + a blonde Beyonce amongst furs.
Because here’s something else I’ve realized lately – I hate being categorized. People always ask ‘what’s your aesthetic?’ or ‘who’s your favorite designer?’ and these are honestly the hardest questions for me to answer. I bet a lot of you would say I’m glam. Or you see emerald green and think of me. I’m totally cool with that. But I also love me some bohemian vibes (I am a west coast girl after all) and colors other than green (citron! mauve! weird, i know). I’m currently embracing much more of my ‘Northwesty-ness’ (I also like to make up words), but I’m not down with too much wood and industrial stuff (yawn) because I absolutely adore classic, clean design.
I also like really crazy things like swan hats.
The shitty thing is this – if you stray too far from ‘your style’, some people look at you like you’ve lost your mind (or, in the case of a blog, leave snarky random comments). Maybe they think you’re suddenly trying to be something you’re not. That you’ve changed. But if you stay stagnant, trying to please everyone else… you’re also bored. And boring. And I certainly don’t want to be that.
So, here’s a piece of happy new year’s advice, people – LET’S EMBRACE IT ALL. I’m going to. In fact, I’m writing this bit of advice as a reminder to myself.
I say all of this because I’m just as guilty of it. All of it. I’m a total pinterest addict, which sometimes serves me well, and sometimes results in things that are pretty, but not necessarily pushing boundaries. Which, is ok. But not amazing. (Amazing is hard to be all the time, by the way. So don’t think that’s realistic either.)
In my personal life, I also feel like I’ve subconsciously separated myself a bit from people who are single-minded in their aesthetic, when it doesn’t match mine. In same cases, it’s because I just don’t feel stimulated by them. In other cases I’ve felt like they’ve put me in a category wherein I’m not ‘cool enough’ for them. This is ridiculous, because we all have so much to gain by venturing into each other’s worlds – even if it’s not our world.
So, I guess you can consider this part one of my New Year’s resolution – Stop Categorizing. And start listening. Listen to what other people are interested in, even if you don’t know what the hell it is they’re talking about. Even if you disagree. Even if it the nerdiest, most cliche thing you’ve ever heard.
And then? Ask questions. One of my favorite quotes is ‘to be interesting… be interested.’ (Or something like that.) This is a skill. And one I don’t typically possess. And one I really admire in others. So, here’s my reminder to myself… and anyone else who needs it.
Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be boring. Be engaged. And thus, engaging. Shove past the mutual love (or distain) of pineapple motifs and all-white rooms. Find something new buried there that you have in common. Or didn’t even know about. Or that you’re uncomfortable with. There you will find new inspiration, new ideas, new things to motivate you.
Overall, my goals for this year have started to form a theme – a theme of being more intentional and thoughtful in everything I do, and also of collaborating with others. That plays out in many different ways, and in many aspects of life – this being one of them.
So, that’s my New Year’s promise to you, and myself. Now… let’s get crazy.