When I started down my path of fashion design in college I had to discover a new way of learning and a new way of thinking. I was no longer completing my coursework through worksheets, quizzes and exams, I was completing projects; projects that included sketches, mood boards and original sewn garments. The most difficult part for me though was not learning how to sew or pattern my creations, it was finding the inspiration for those designs.
When I started my design work, the hardest part was to let my mind wander and to not overthink things. I felt as though my ideas were always safe and predictable. It took me a long time to realize that some of the best ideas come from some of the most unexpected places.
A lot of creative people suggested visiting art museums or looking at architecture or nature for inspiration. Well, living in Ames, Iowa made finding inspiration like that pretty difficult. I had to learn to look at the small things in life a little differently. What I learned is that you can find beauty and inspiration in some of the most mundane and random things around you. For example, my latest collection is inspired entirely off of office supply items, that’s right, items like pencils and rubber bands. The key is to take in the small moments of each day and pay attention to what you are doing and what is going on in every situation. Think about it; everything you interact with each day has some type of texture, color, shape, purpose and story.
Talk to people around you, read books on history or art, visit museums (big or small) and take in everything when you venture outside. Let your mind wander and explore the ideas that seem the most ‘out there’ or impossible. Those crazy ideas are the creations that will set you apart.
Andy Warhol’s work has recently become my greatest inspiration. He was always able to find beauty in the most unexpected places. If he can make a Campbell’s soup can a work of art, anything is fair game.