My first job out of college (back in 2005) was in the design department of Ralph Lauren. It was definitely a dream for 20-something year old Amie. Each season had a theme and every piece of clothing each department created fit within this theme.
There were loads of fabric swatches, tear outs from worn books from decades ago, delicate vintage pieces and so forth pinned up onto gigantic boards on various walls and mood boards that helped us get an idea of what we were aiming for.
Beyond this, each department created small boards (about the size of a poster) that held each item of clothing we were creating. So, if we were making a button down shirt, the board would have the fabric swatch on it, the wash options we liked, the button options, the thread options, the color pony (if there was one being included) and so forth. My job, as the youngster of the group, was often bringing the boards from place A to place B. I remember looking at the boards thinking, “This is so amazing. I feel like I’m in a wonderland of creativity.” Those good old days (and the incredible people I worked with, many of whom have been following along with my healing journey … hi ladies, I miss you!) made me fall in love with the creative process.
I never forgot about those boards but I do have a few fabric swatches and odds n’ ends I found in the Ralph Lauren trash cans that have made their way onto my version of inspiration boards that sit to the left of me and behind me in the tiny nook of my loft, which is where I create.
When I moved into this home a handful of years ago, I had already been feeling a big expansion taking place in my life. Coming out of illness and so much of the mental anguish that comes along with trauma (and illness) was starting to wash away. I was ready to tap back into my creative roots – something that was left by the wayside for many years while I was healing.
Today, I’m sharing not only what these boards look like in my home but the process of creating them with my incredible uncle, who is the most talented craftsman I’ve ever encountered. Without him, these wouldn’t be possible.
I shared with him what I was envisioning and he recommended buying blue painter’s tape to outline what I wanted these boards to look like on my bare walls when I moved in. Click here to see the behind-the-scenes photos of how I made these boards. You’ll see the move-in day photos by clicking the link above (blank walls with blue tape) and then the process of how we went about creating these boards from the fabrics we used to how we secured everything together.
I browsed various fabric stores, one of my favorite places to be, and purchased a thin brown corduroy fabric as well as a denim fabric that had a metallic-like copper color on the other side. I didn’t know what these would look like but … I fell in love with them as we stretched them over the boards, sealed them up and then drilled ‘em into my walls.
The horizontal board behind my desk is made up of images I’ve collected over the years that really spoke to me. (I have many folders of images, words, editorial, etc. that I’ve been collecting since my 20’s). There are two tiny photos from my childhood up here and two of my parents in the 80’s. A few cards with words that really touched my heart are pinned up here from people I love. A piece of lace from the kids department at RL that one of the designers gave me years ago hangs on the right hand side.
The vertical boards (below) that sit to the left of me host a variety of inspiration, as well.
The board on the left focuses on home design, furniture and travel that has inspired me. I simply started playing with these images and realized there was a theme to what I was pinning. This inspired me to start playing with the board right next to it, which is all about creative expression, style and a handful of creative people I’ve admired over the years (yes, Ralph is up here)!
I’m sure at some point I’ll revamp these boards when the photos fade (they’re quite faded already from the sun’s rays) but right now they continue to inspire me. I’m a visual person, which means everything I create starts with me tinkering before it becomes a living-breathing-thing. Because of this, I’ve learned very quickly that in order to continue shifting forward in my life, I need to be surrounded by the creative energy of what inspires me and where I feel I’m being led.
It stretches me. And I love it.
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