Exercise: Making a Moodboard


I got stumped trying to start this exercise (Ho, ho, ho… no surprise there then, just like every other exercise on the course. Change the record!). In this case I saw a paradox… how do I collect materials together before I know what materials I am going to need… as this is a visual exploration rather than a planned collage. I became unstuck eventually by just starting (well that’s obvious) – I picked up a magazine and started looking through it for anything that I could cut out that would contribute to my ‘Travel’ Moodboard.

I had a realisation… just as with a spider diagram I am ‘looking through my thoughts’ and making a note of anything relevant… with a moodboard I am ‘looking through my environment’ and taking images from it when I see anything that is relevant. I had made the mistake of thinking that I needed to locate the images purposefully when what I actually need to do is rummage in and plunder the visual world.

This seems obvious now (and I’ve only collected 4 images so far) but I didn’t get the right sense of it from reading and re-reading information about moodboards. There are plenty of descriptions on the internet about what they are for once they’re done but I hadn’t found a real step-by-step guide in terms of what to be thinking at the creation stage. So here it is…

Creating a Moodboard

Step 1: Empty your mind of ideas. Look around and find something that has imagery… perhaps a magazine or leaflet.

Step 2: Look through said magazine with your Moodboard subject or theme in mind and let your Right Brain draw your attention to anything that connects. (by right brain I mean don’t analyse the content… look at imagery and follow your gut)

Step 3: Clip out anything that connects (get permission from the owner of the magazine first and ask an adult to help with the sharp scissors or knife) – clipping it out doesn’t mean you have to put it on your moodboard… it just becomes the raw material.

Step 4: [I haven’t got to Step 4 but I think it’s going to be ‘Review what you have and repeat Steps 1 to 3 as much as necessary

So this is a classic example of an iterative process: the more result you have the more you are able to find more results (using the ones that you have as a basis for further searching).

I’ve just found myself looking through a Viking catalogue and thinking ‘This stuff is very untravelly’. Then I realise that it was all ‘Stationary’… so obviously!

Round 1

I’ve spent a while now clipping out images that have a connection to Travel.

Some classifications are emerging:

  • Modes of travel: Run, walk, bike, jump, swim, motorcade, rocket, train, barge, bus, surf board
  • Maps
  • Activities: photography/sightseeing
  • ??? – Gate, Bridge (not sure what to call this… the images suggest walking for pleasure and my gut feels there’s a category here that I can’t name yet
  • ??? – building the Burmah railway – a photo from the war showing POWs and Japanese soldiers toiling
  • Accessories for travel: mobile phones/devices, tax disc from my car
  • ??? – A telescope (this made me think about travel in the mind – taking you to a location through the telescope without moving)

So far I have little in the way of specific Colour or Texture – it’s mostly more concrete objects. There are some interesting links to other things… like the telescope and the Burmah railway.

People feature universally: people are either travelling or at the destinations. This comes back to my previous drawings around travel and the idea that it broadens the mind – it is the minds of people that are connecting with other locations: experiencing them and taking them in.

The tax disc represents a ‘Permit’, like a passport. Travel documents are very important. They have a texture of their own – a ‘manilla and print’ feel; security printing; punched holes; stamps.

Many of the imagery is of sport – this is perhaps another concept altogether as ‘travel’ in sport is not considered the point. Also the colours and textures in sporting imagery is of a ‘commercial’ nature: advertising and branding dominates, strong colours and patterns too.

Thinking Time

You know when you’re trawling through a pile of magazine and other printed matter, clipping out relevant imagery, and you have too much time to think about what you’re doing an whether you’re doing it right? I just did that.

I’ve lost my way a bit… am I making a mood board by collecting together travel-related imagery (‘Travel’ is the topic) to find out what it looks like or am I using my other notes to curate a collection of imagery that demonstrates a preconceived look?

I’m going to post that on a forum and see what people say.

Travel Moodboard

4452  Mansion 20160413

In my feedback my tutor mentioned that I should post my moodboard so we could see it… embarassing really because I just forgot to upload it, and tutors are paid for better things than to remind me to administrate my blog!

Anyway – here is an in-real-life paper stuck-on-card moodboard for travel.

I found this to be an exhausting process. ticking it all on was fun but searching for imagery is not. Neither is it very rewarding. I think it’s difficult for me personally because I’m not already knee deep in disposable reading material. I have a few New Scientists and the locl free newspaper comes through the door once a week but it’s not a diverse set of magazines and reading materials.

These clippings I think I got almost exclusively from other people’s discarded magazines and it took a while to collect them. Even then there wasn’t enough to fill the page and I find myself thinking of kinds of pictures that I don’t have.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s