We’re a few months into 2017, and the year of the rooster is already shaping up to be one for the books. We mean, you saw Lady Gaga’s halftime show, right? While everyone from celebs to politicians are giving us reason to seek out some type of artistic outlet, you might need a little extra help to kick-start your creativity. Since creative types, from fashion designers to graphic designers, use mood boards to refine their visions and stay inspired, we asked four of our favorite trendsetters to share their advice for making inspiration boards that’ll guide us toward a more colorful, imaginative year.

designer crafting

1. Take it seriously. “I’ve long been a fan of using inspiration boards to save favorite products, and making online room-mockups to visualize my real-life design ideas. My advice is to curate carefully, mix your media, and keep it fresh. Part of the reason an inspiration board works for me is that I actually like how it looks. It’s not a junky bulletin board like I had as a teen; it’s a pretty assortment of visual elements that work together, and it encourages me to edit my ideas.

If something sticks out like a sore thumb, it’s a cue that I might be heading in the wrong direction. I like putting elements of texture, like swatches of fabrics, into the mix. I’ve hung a strand of beads I bought as a prop, a eucalyptus crown that I got from a homeowner on one of my shoots, and a boarding pass from one of my out-of-state shoots. And finally, don’t be afraid to swap things out for pictures, words, or materials that inspire you today.” Donna Garlough, style director, Joss & Main

2.Respect the process. “Don’t be afraid of creating a picture-perfect inspiration board. It’s all about collection first, and then curation. If you see something you like, or something that speaks to you, go ahead and pin it. Take a step back, sleep on it, and go back through with a keen eye. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re able to make a confident style decision!” Emily Arnow, editor at AllModern.com

Pastel moodboard

3.Use the resources at your disposal. “Whether you’re redesigning your living space, creating a registry, or planning a move, saving and sharing lots of curated looks and your favorite products can become unwieldy. Don’t be afraid to make it easy on yourself and use a digital board, like Pinterest. Another fun resource I’ve used in the past is Wayfair’s Idea Boards. They allow you to create wish lists and save and organize your favorite furniture and decor finds in one central location.” — Alex Bowman, lead trend forecaster, Wayfair

4.Keep it simple (and fun!). “I still love spending a Sunday afternoon browsing through magazines and tearing out pages of spaces that I’m drawn to. Sometimes creating collages from cutouts are the best way to keep track of your favorite inspirational pieces and spaces.” Meredith Mahoney, founder and design director, Birch Lane

Tag us in your inspiration boards on Insta @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)