Illustration

What Is an Inspiration Board and How to Create One for Your Bullet Journal

Discover this creative technique for organizing your ideas and defining your bullet journaling style

When starting a new bullet journal, it can be difficult to kick your creativity into gear. However, certain techniques can guide you in making creative decisions and help you overcome creative block.

Creating an inspiration board is a great way to organize your ideas and gather your reference images, says journalist, expert in creative journaling, and creator of the stationery brand Little Hannah, Chris Bravo (@littlehannah) from Madrid.

In this post, she shares tips on how to design your own and get the most out of it.

What is an inspiration board?

Inspiration boards are tools that creatives, artists, and communication experts use to start building a visual universe. They will begin by ruling out ideas, proposing new ones, and coming up with criteria that will define the look of a brand or project.

Chris suggests that you make this board on the first page of your journal, using it to explore which combinations of colors, textures, and typographies you want to use throughout the rest of the project.

To work out which combinations you like the most, collect materials and images that channel emotions. The idea is to find visual references that inspire you and help you communicate with others more clearly.

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An inspiration board helps you to organize your ideas.

What is a creative bullet journal?

Bullet journals are analog planning systems designed to improve productivity. They were created by the Austrian creative director Ryder Carroll, who came up with this method involving carefully designed to-do lists.
A bullet journal can be simple, neatly structured, and minimalist or it can be playful and creative. The most important thing is that it’s well organized and you easily understand the purpose of everything inside its pages.

Creative bullet journals, however, tend to be used to group together inspirational images and references rather than focusing on organizing daily tasks. In her course, Creative Bullet Journal: Planning and Creativity, Chris suggests making a journal in which both your daily workload and your imagination come together. Chris will show you how to transform a notebook into an organizational tool that is as practical as it is creative, visual, and inspirational.

What Is an Inspiration Board and How to Create One for Your Bullet Journal 5
A creative bullet journal helps you connect your emotional self to your practical self.

Who might benefit from creating an inspiration board?

Inspiration boards are useful for lots of different types of projects, including personal projects, such as visualizing where you will be in two years from now. They can also be applied to professional projects, such as presenting the different steps you want to take in your career. If you are a retailer or store owner, an inspiration board can help you think about potential add-on sales by combining your products with concepts and ideas.

At a business level, inspiration boards are fundamental tools for analyzing a brand’s personality and how it communicates. Consultancies use boards to project trends.

There is more. Many people who want to remodel their home start by exploring options using a tool like this. If you are an artist, illustrator, designer, blogger, photographer, or even a wedding planner, this tool will no doubt be of great use.

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Gather different materials that inspire you.

What color palette should I use for my board?

Choosing colors for an inspiration board is one of the most difficult and most important tasks. If you don't know where to start, our expert advises you to select a photo that you like and recreate the colors you see in the image.

Color theory can also serve as a guide, helping you understand how each color is created and which combinations complement each other. These rules apply regardless of how your colors are presented. Learn about the color wheel here.

Materials for creating an inspiration panel

To create your inspiration board, our expert suggests using any material that will inspire you. Here are some examples:

- Quotes from books you like.
- Stickers.
- Labels.
- Eye-catching wrapping paper.
- Sticky tape.
- Stamps.
- Tickets.
- Photographs.

It’s best to avoid…

While there are no limits to what materials you use, Chris advises against using:

- High grammage paper: this will make our journal very thick.
- Embossed paper: this is difficult to write on.
- Liquid glues: these can affect the quality of the paper and make it wet.

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Stamps add charm and detail.

4 Tips to Enrich Your Work

Stick to paper

Chris recommends translating anything that inspires you to paper and avoiding using other materials. If you like a piece of fabric, find a way to create prints that evoke what you want to convey. She also recommends trying out techniques, such as watercolor painting, on separate sheets of paper that you can later stick into your journal.

Try superimposing thin layers

You can place tracing paper over photos, which will act as a special filter and add texture.

Add details

Chris’s favorites include sticky tapes with satin or printed effects, vintage labels, and stamps.

Add phrases

Choose phrases that stir up emotion and write them by hand or print them with letters that you like.

Do you learn more about making inspirational boards? Sign up for the course, Creative Bullet Journal: Planning and Creativity, in which Chris Bravo will not only explain how to organize your sources of inspiration but will teach you how to present them and build your own creative bullet journal.

English version by @eloiseedgington.

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- Lettering Tutorial: How to Create an Idea Sketchbook
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