Moodboards: Why They Should Always be a Priority and How I Create Mine


How I create moodboards for new projects | A Fabulous Fete

 

I never think too much about it... but maybe that's why they always worked out so well for me. I'm talking about creating moodboards. I mean, scrapbooking was my thang in elementary school, so for me, this is just a grown up version with a little more purpose. However, every time I share a peek at the boards I am creating I get quite a few questions on how and why I make them. So I sat down and really broke down what goes through my head when I'm on the hunt for pieces to complete them, and most importantly share what purpose they serve in my business.

 

What I use to create my moodboards | A Fabulous Fete

 

It's probably best to start with why there is a need for these, so WHY I create them in the first place.

You've probably seen my evolving wall of inspiration. This is, and always will be, a wall of cool shit I like at the moment. When I see an image that makes me happy, it goes up. It doesn't matter what color it is or what the subject is. And if you truly have a style that you stick to, going about it this way will always result in something semi-cohesive. If you feel like you haven't found YOU yet, I would recommend trying out this method. Pull images and then go through them, keeping the ones that make you feel excited about something. If they don't, toss them.

But, when it comes to making them for actual clients, I'm a little more picky. I have found that when I send over a moodboard to a client, whether it be for some styling work all the way to wedding stationery, it helps them to feel just as excited about the project as I am. So basically, it's a way of helping them feel some sort of emotion. This can be so important when someone is hiring you blindly for a custom project (and by blindly I mean, you are creating something out of thin air for them... they've obviously seen your work). To do this, it's important to pull images from everywhere, not just your industry. I will typically only include one to two images of lettering styles for example, if I am presenting to a client for a custom wedding suite. I don't want them to get stuck on that image, rather I want to share color palettes, potential details, materials and the mood a suite would make the recipients feel.

 

Why I think creating moodboards for projects is so important | A Fabulous Fete
Where I find images for moodboards | A Fabulous Fete

 

So, where do I start?

For client projects, I usually have a general idea of where the project is going, for example, a brand has asked that I style a fall tabletop. From there, I know I should be looking for materials and textures for the tabletop, setting inspiration, florals, colors, outfits guests might wear, cool shot ideas, etc. 

I usually don't have a color palette nailed down at first, I let it happen naturally as I see images that make me feel like I am there at the table having cocktails (or whatever it is you are working on). Typically I'll print or pull around 30 images, lay them out and see a pattern forming, then weed out anything that isn't flowing.

One of the questions that someone asked was how do I keep them focused, especially because I am so relaxed when it comes to picking actual images. I think that the mood/tone of the images plus your color palette keeps things cohesive. you don't necessarily have to have images of all of the same thing to keep your board focused, especially if you are just trying to create a mood and communicate it to someone else.

 

How to create a moodboard to brainstorm for new projects | A Fabulous Fete
Where I source supplies to create inspiration boards | A Fabulous Fete

 

Last, and maybe most important... HOW are they made?

I'm so glad that it looks like these boards have a lot of effort put into them and that they are printed on some fancy printer and paper. But they are NOT! All you need are elmers foam boards (available at any craft store), any printer although I use an HP laser printer, and then just basic printer paper. We literally buy the cheapest paper we can over here. It's nothing special. I usually copy 2 images from their source and paste into a document in photoshop. I increase the size, then print and trim each one. I don't worry much about the quality (which is reduced when you increase the size) since it is just for my personal use. And finally, I love these brass tacks. These small boards are great because you can carry them around with you... while your styling/shooting, lettering or whatever your project might be.

When I am intentionally looking for inspiration, I can never find it. So my best advice for pulling inspiration is to do it everyday, without a goal in mind. My 3 main ways to pull images are pinterest, instagram and magazines. When I hop onto pinterest, I scroll through all of my pins for weeks, months, years... in search of images that inspire me for a specific project. I know that everything there is something I've already fallen in love with, so I don't need to scroll through all the crap around it. But, if this lack of organization scares you, start now by building boards for more broad subjects like "color" or "texture". Then you can go into each when the time comes and pull what you need. On instagram, I usually scroll through my "liked" pictures. Again, same concept as pinterest... I know that I have already shown interest in these images, I liked them for a reason. You can also start now by using the collection function and saving images that inspire you in those broad categories. And last, pulling from magazines is a little more time consuming but can bring in a whole different side of inspiration. I love looking for new ways to lay things out in catalogs, location ideas and styling inspiration. I usually pull these and save them in a file until I need them. I also think something that is very important in this step too, is looking outside of your bubble. Look at fashion blogs, interior mags or follow a food stylist. Your work runs the risk of looking just like everyone else's if you don't open your eyes to other forms of content in different industries.

 

Why pulling inspiration for new projects is always my first step | A Fabulous Fete

 

One of the last questions I had was what happens to these when I am done, and when do I build new ones, so we'll end with that.

When I have larger projects that require me to communicate something through images, this is the first route I will go. I'll make digital versions for clients via email and a real life version for myself. I like being able to see it up close and bring it around with me when I'm working on the project. I usually keep them for a while and display them where there is room. I think if it's still inspiring, why not keep it? When you feel like it's getting stale, remove the pics and start over!

So I guess there are a million ways you could create your own, and another million reasons why. But I hope these tips help you get started and help you stop worrying that you are doing it right... because there isn't one right way to find and present your inspo!

 

Lavender Lemon Rosé Cocktail


Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-9.jpg

Summer might be over but that doesn’t mean you have to store your rosé. This cocktail would make good use of those bottles though if you’re trying to get rid of them before temps start to cool. The key is getting the syrup right… I loved the hint of lavender in the mixture below, but you can always add more or less to taste! 

One of my favorite ways to make an impact at a party is coming up with a simple champagne cocktail, and having this one on deck with get you ready for all of the reasons to entertain that are coming up! Make the syrup ahead of time so you don’t have to put too much effort into your bar setup the day of.

Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-1.jpg
Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-2.jpg
Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-3.jpg
Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-4.jpg

Ingredients:

  • Sparkling Brut Rosé
  • Lemons
  • Dried Lavender
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Lavender for garnish

Lemon + Lavender Syrup:

  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Add all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, let cook for 5 minutes
  • Strain syrup and cool (refrigerate any leftover or for up to one week)

Instructions for one cocktail:

  • Mix juice from half a lemon with 2 oz of the cold syrup in a shaker
  • Add ice, shake and strain into a champagne coupe
  • Top with 6-8 oz. of sparkling rosé
  • Garnish with fresh lavender stem
Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-5.jpg
Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-7.jpg
Lavender-Lemon-Rose-Cocktail-8.jpg

This cocktail is cool, refreshing and super interesting with touch of lavender. I can’t wait to mix up a batch for our next girls night… but my favorite part? Getting to serve it in a coupe (I love these glasses so much) and being able to add some fun garnish. I think next time I’ll plan ahead and order a few edible flowers to top them, in addition to the lavender. What do you guys think of this lemon + lav combo?

Here are some great coupes you can get the look with!

My Hand Lettering Guide: A Peek Inside


Post in partnership with Blurb Books

Brush Calligraphy Guide | A Fabulous Fete

Since I’ve stopped teaching lettering classes in person, I’ve felt that a part of me that loved to share with people and teach people was lost… for obvious reasons. While I can still share here on the blog and over on Instagram, there are so many of you out there at different levels, it would be impossible to teach and share something that everyone could benefit from. So, when Blurb Books wanted to see what I could create with their self-publishing capabilities, I knew that I wanted to take my biggest audience’s needs and turn them into something.

There are so many of you trying to get started in hand lettering. Whether it be for a personal project, or the start of a new business, and sometimes knowing where to begin is the hardest. Once you have a feel for WHAT to do and HOW you should be doing it, it’s like any art form that you can run with creatively. 

So I’m excited to finally share that I put all of my thoughts into a short guide for those of you out there looking to get started in the world of brush lettering! I thought back to what my struggles where when I started, simple guides I wish I had, and tips that would’ve been great not to have to work through on my own. I hope that it can help lots of you out there express yourself in a new way and create your very own personal hand lettering style.

A Fabulous Fete Hand Lettering Guide
Blurb-AFF-HandLettering-Guide-7.jpg

The guide is just over 34 pages. My goal is to give general direction and ways to fix common problems encountered when starting. With that, it’s much easier for anyone to develop their own style. I’ve included a set of letters and a directional guide to show how you will form each individual lettering. You can trace them, letter straight in the book, or skip onto the practice sheets included inside. Initially it’s all about creating muscle memory around each letter by writing it over and over.

There is a list of recommended tools and materials I use now. I have tested a ton and found what works for me currently, but the fun part is trying new tools and techniques… never stop learning. So this is only meant to guide you in the right direction to start, and move on from there to find your own favorites.

And lastly, I included lots of inspiration. I’ve mentioned several times that the most effective way to define your style, is to just write and let it come out naturally. This is exactly what I did in the beginning as well. So the inspiration is to serve as a way to get you motivated to do the same. You can trace letters of your favorite artists and develop a style similar to their’s… but what is the fun in that? How much more interesting would it be if you found a style that no one else has ever seen?

While I included everything to get you started, I’m sure my thoughts and style will be evolving, which I will want to share with you. The great thing about publishing with Blurb is that they print and ship on demand. So you don’t have to invest anything to sell, and in my case, I can update the guide if I need to without dating old inventory. So tweaking the book as the lettering world changes is so simple! I hope to have a few more listed in the future that touch on everything you guys want to learn!

I found the whole process of putting everything together with Blurb pretty seamless. From the different tools and templates they offer for bookmaking to the high-quality papers for things like photobooks (or lettering guides!), they really make it easy to create your own professional book, no matter what your subject.

Blurb-AFF-HandLettering-Guide-2.jpg
Blurb-AFF-HandLettering-Guide-5.jpg
Blurb-AFF-HandLettering-Guide-6.jpg

Now you might be thinking, is this guide for me? If you are a creative (or looking to expand your creativity) and have ever thought about hand lettering but didn’t know where to start, THIS GUIDE IS FOR YOU! Even if you have been lettering for a while, maybe you want to expand your style and see how other artists create… this is the perfect way to do just that. But more importantly, having a guide to use on your own time means that you can fit this into any schedule. Use it to learn with your friends for a girls night in, or practice on the weekend in your own living room. You can really use it anywhere.

Blurb-AFF-HandLettering-Guide-10.jpg

I’m pretty thankful for this opportunity (and kick in the butt) to partner with Blurb because this has LONG been on my to-do list. If you guys are interested in checking it out, click on the button below. It’s for sale directly through Blurb and ships quickly!

Post in partnership with Blurb Books