finding inspiration

Creative ruts happen. They’re annoying and they need to be banished. We all know that to find inspiration the best thing to do is to get out of your office and off of Pinterest, go outside and do something.

The first unit of WEI’s Wedding Planning, Styling, and Design course that I’m taking has a chapter on this very topic with some pretty great tips. Some of their recommendations are to brainstorm with peers, visit local trade shows and costume shops, and go out to collect color swatches and fabric samples to add to your collection.

But when getting out just can’t happen and you need a creative jump-start right away there are a couple of things you can do, and a couple of things you should have on hand to help out.

When creative blocks occur the first place I turn to are my bookshelves. My office is surrounded with them and among the bent spines you’ll find:

Finding Inspiration & Battling Creative Blocks

1. Pantone’s postcards are great because they are tangible and not completely overwhelming. There are over 3,000 Pantone colors but this neat pack contains 100 of the essentials. Take them out, sort through them, push one color up next to another and see what happens.

2. The Art Museum is a fantastic book, on the pricey side, yes, but well worth the investment. This 18 pound beast contains a photographic overview of the entire history of art. Just open to any page and creative inspiration is sure to follow.

3. Fashion books are always great to have around, especially ones that cover iconic periods of fashion history like this one.

4. Take a break from the frills and flowers and look through magazines that are not wedding related. Examine the lines in architecture magazines or the mood evoked from a shoot in Vogue.

5. Have an atlas on hand that you can daydream with. Look around at countries you haven’t been to yet and imagine what it’s like there – what colors come to mind when you think of that country? What style? What smells?  Sounds? What do you think the people who live there are doing right now? What would their wedding look like?

6. Having photography books around are fantastic for obvious reasons. This is one of my favorites because I love the bohemian lifestyle it shows and it takes you on a stylish, photographic tour of gypset hotspots around the globe.

Another chapter of WEI’s first unit talks about color inspiration. I already mentioned the pantone postcards that I use on a regular basis, but another thing I do (and this is going to sound silly, but stick with me), is keep a crayon box in my desk drawer. Not the little eight pack kind, but the jumbo sized box with all of the colors.

Having something tangible in your hands, something that you can actually touch, feel, and work with is a great way to spark creativity. Crayons come in 120 colors – just enough to keep things interesting. Their fun names alone are enough to spark some creative thinking. If you’re really stuck, take them out of the box and shade colors next to each other – see how they actually look together!

Finding Inspiration : Crayon Box Colors

When seeking inspiration and creative energy the most important thing to remember is to just pause and look around you; stop and smell the roses. There are so many things in our day-to-day lives that go unnoted because they are ever-present. Examine them more closely and you never know what brilliant spark of creativity might occur!

What are your secret sources for inspiration?


About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.


  1. This is fantastic S!! Thank you for sharing your secrets! Your site is stunning, and you always have such incredibly beautiful boards!!!


  2. I love these ideas for sparking creativity! I’ve actually used crayons and crayon names as inspiration for my mood boards. Bittersweet is on my list, but Inch Worm is now calling to me.

    • LOL inch worm… love it. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen an inch worm in real life. I have an inspiration board for tomorrow that I thought up while looking at the Outer Space crayon and wondering why it didn’t come with silver glitter in it (for the stars!).

  3. I always wonder how you keep on coming up with new boards/inspirations!

  4. What a great resource for those who feel “color challenged!” A box of crayons is such a simple, yet, effective way to try out colors!

  5. This is fast becoming my go-to blog for inspiration Sara! I agree about looking ‘outside the wedding box’ for that spark of inspiration.. sometimes it can get a little stuffy in the box, but only because I’m in there all day! I look through art websites a lot and try to get outside to clear the cobwebs. I agree though- sometimes you can’t beat a book (or crayons!) that you can hold and from which the colors jump right out at you.

  6. Love your posts Sara! And those crayon names are friggin awesome! XxX

  7. When I’m stuck for color ideas (or rather have too many ideas), I love to go to Design Seeds (

  8. Oh where were you when I was planning my wedding. I hit a point where I was changing my mind once a minute. I was totally unfocused and overwhelmed and totally freaking out my wedding party who didn’t know what color or style dress they were supposed to be in 🙂

    What a great resource for modern brides dealing with a similar situation!

  9. Great post! I love the way you write, nice flow and motivate me to pick up my crayons start paint and actually call them by their name! Yes!