Creativity Inspiration

Find Your Creative Process

Find Your Creative Process

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Artistic Vision Lookbooks with Sandra Duran Wilson

Everyone has creativity inside them but they may not recognize it. When someone admonishes their own creative abilities with, “I can’t draw a straight line.” My response is, “Neither can I. That’s why I have a straightedge.”

In my book, Awakening Your Creative Soul, I explore jump-starting your own creative powerhouse with 52 art, writing, and meditation projects. One project I love sharing is around the power of idea notebooks, sketchbooks or lookbooks.

A Lookbook for Your Creative Process

Lookbooks come out of the fashion industry and now they are finding their way into many other creative industries. I am going to give you a peek inside my visual lookbooks along with tips for creating your own.

Starting a sketchbook may be an intimidating idea for someone who says they can’t draw, but with a visual idea book, you don’t have to draw anything if you don’t want to. Become a visual and creative hunter-gatherer. You place images in your book, add thoughts, words or ideas, establish color and pattern preferences to jump-start your projects.

Later, you may return and find yourself motivated to add more ideas and associations. Here are images from my lookbooks that I have been creating for years. Utilizing these techniques will help you develop your own personal style, color preferences and visual vocabulary–all of which will yield insight into what your own creative process is all about.

Lookbook Art Supplies

You will need:

Blank journal or sketchbook


Glue stick or tape



Intention from the First Page

Here is the first page from one of my lookbooks. I love to set the intention with a cover page.

Inspiration Gathering, Cutting and Collaging

1. Creating your own personalized visual notebook, or lookbook, will provide you with inspiration and help you understand your personal preferences and creative process. Grab some magazines, yes, the paper kind. You can get older copies for free at the brick and mortar building called a library. It really makes a difference to use printed images.

2. Start by cutting or tearing out pages with images that call to you. This is a relaxing exercise. Grab a cup of tea and kick back on the sofa. Flip through the magazines, tear pages out almost without thinking and put them into a pile.

Don’t cut out any specific images yet, simply rip. Ads are great because they are big and sometimes colorful. Later you will see how you can compile them into collages.

3. Trust your intuition in the selection process. Don’t overthink it or deliberate to much.

The Power of the Written Word

4. Look for stories, words, quotes or poems that inspire you. You can look online for sources. Tear or print out the lyrics or lines and continue to add to your stack of images. You may do this exercise over a few weeks or even months. I like to go through a year’s worth of design magazines when the new ones start arriving.

5. You may even want to use other people’s artwork for inspiration. I like to tear up the images so I am not being overly influenced or unconsciously copying something.

Snip Start

6. Once you have all your pages, get a big blank notebook or sketchbook and scissors.

7. Go through your pages and cut out the image or section on the page that appeals to you. Put these in a stack and recycle the rest of the pages.

8. Next, get your tape or glue stick and begin affixing the images onto the pages of your blank journal.

9. Put images together that inspire a color palette you want to try.

10. Cut up images and collage them together into a possible design arrangement.

You can also cut out imagery with strong patterning options for design backgrounds.

11. Put pieces together to explore compositions, whether based on color, the natural world or just what you piece together as you play with pushing the collage images around.

12. Try adding a story or image from an article that is inspiring. I love this diagram from a Greek inscription. The composition is the foundation for a painting.

13. Here is an example of assorted images that inspired me as a jumping off point for another painting.

Then I liked this concept too. I might add these shapes into my piece.

14. Here are the sketches I made from the images. Sketch what comes to mind without judgment like I did. Sometimes, you can even close your eyes when you put pencil to paper and draw without judgment and no skill necessary.

15. This is one of the paintings I created based on this process.

With Guidelines, Now Go

Now you have the guidelines. Go out and begin your own “creative vision” book. Follow the guidelines or create your own ritual for an inspirational lookbook to spur your creativity.

This inspirational method is different than making a scrapbook that becomes the art itself. The lookbook is meant to be raw, the process intuitive and the result provides a jumping off point. From here you can work with and interpret ideas from your lookbook in so many ways, and continue to grow the confidence you have in your own creative process on every page.

For more creative process and inspiration projects, explore my book, Awakening Your Creative Soul, and continue on your own creative journey at your own pace and with your own unique intentions. Also join us on the Awakening Your Creative Soul Facebook Page and find out more on my book website.

Watch the video: The surprising habits of original thinkers. Adam Grant (August 2022).