What is inspiration?
Pinterest is a website where you can ‘pin’ images you find on the internet that you love, that inspire you, a place to keep memories, a place to collect ideas for home improvement or styling ideas, a place for research….whatever it is you’re looking for, its an ideal place to store these ideas, rather than print them out onto endless amounts of paper, file them away somewhere and then forget about. When I use Pinterest, I mostly store images there from websites I browse. Sometimes, I will re-pin images someone else has found, however I do find that images can be cyclical…once you re-pin something from someone you’re ‘following’, hundreds of other people will pin it, then two weeks later you will see it on the pinboard of someone else you follow, which is fine, but I like to hunt out original images, things I’ve not been exposed to before, I don’t want to see the same images over and over.
So why do I pin images on Pinterest? Well, sometimes, I don’t know actually. It becomes an obsession…like I’m gaining a major advantage in my life. However when I came to think about it today, its a place where you can re-create visually what is going on inside your head. When I look back over images I’ve pinned, I generally conclude that I love every image I’ve kept and end up cooing over my selection, gaining a whole load of respect for myself thinking ‘Yeah….I like your style’. I think this very quietly of course in case people think I have a big arrogant head.
Images I pin inspire me. There will generally be a theme, and there will generally be one part of an image that I love to make me keep the image on one of my pinboards. If you don’t do anything with the images, then whats the point in pinning them, you might think? Well, I used to think this too but actually, I believe inspiration can be conscious (Ie we know what we’re doing) and sub-conscious (we don’t realise we’ve been influenced by something). For example, you could wake up in the morning and put on a red pair of jeans with a pair of turquoise Converse because you saw something in a magazine you liked but you actually didn’t know you liked it. I know for a fact this happens to me, whether its conscious or subconscious and I love it. But I think to be influenced or inspired by someone or something you have to be open-minded. If not, then you’re not open to new ideas, new influences and you can end up bumbling along in a 1990’s bubble until you’re 90. I never want to be one of those people and if I end up that way, I hereby give you permission to lock me up and throw away the key.
For those of you who I have confused with the Pinterest-talk, then please ignore that. This is my stream of consciousness and Pinterest does have relevance but actually what I’m talking about here is inspiration. In the English dictionary, the definition of inspiration is ‘the process of being mentally stimulated to do something , especially to do something creative’ which, of course, says it all. But I genuinely am curious about why people are inspired. Recently, I’ve received a number of emails from people who say they have been inspired by my blog and how they now think differently about they way they dress, re-using items they had pushed to the back of their wardrobes and how now they shop at Zara again after giving up on it a few years ago. I never would have imagined receiving such positive feedback from people from simply writing about and showing people what I love. As I’ve written before, I need an outlet to express myself either by wearing something differently, writing about something or creating something which is why I started my blog. To think that this outlet can positively affect someone else with the choices they make, even if its just putting on a necklace to make themselves feel good, makes it so much more worthwhile, especially when sometimes its not easy putting yourself out there, making yourself open to criticism and who knows what else. Its worth the risk in this case.
Inspiration for me comes, much of the time, in image format. Magazine advertorials may be aspirational or unaccessible, whatever the case, they still affect me. Vogue magazine inspires me…I know many people who don’t read it because its not realistic, but for me, thats what I love about it. I love that its full of exclusive, beautiful couture clothes. I wouldn’t commission a couture dress, well, not in this life, but its an expression of someone elses talent, who has also been inspired by something around them. Perhaps being a creative-minded person allows you to realise this and appreciate it.
Inspiration is a good thing and should be embraced and we should feel grateful for it. No matter how much we deny it, even the likes of Alexa Chung or Karl Lagerfeld or Nick Knight, who are all greatly admired people are inspired by Victorian school-boys dress code, or dying roses in their garden. It doesn’t have to be an obvious source of influence, its whatever makes you ‘feel’ something. If you open your mind, and let the ideas in, you’d be amazed at what could happen.