First and foremost, congratulations on landing a degree course in fashion. A fresh and young mind like yours must be thrilled and overflowing with inspiration and ideas waiting to sprout. But many might have already uncovered how intense a fashion program can be; what with the work load bearing an abnormal growth rate and the industry transforming relentlessly. In the midst of such pressure, how does one keep up with deadlines while also keeping themselves inspired? How can one not run out of ideas?
Here are five ways you can keep all that energy alive:
History of Fashion
Have you ever tried analysing past fashion trends? Oh no, we are not suggesting copying. A lot of the contemporary trends are essentially an improvised comeback of old styles. Going back into history does not merely invoke nostalgia; it teaches us a lot from the decisions made in the past. Why did a certain style work and why did it suddenly stop working? How did a concept or design make it on the trending list? What did it do better than the one before it? Investigating the history of design and working around it is how the industry of art and fashion progresses.
Anmol Gupta, student at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) says, “Pick up a designer who you think would have done a great job in that particular design challenge. Go through their work.. read, read and read! And suddenly, you will realise that you have got a direction and a different perspective.”
Stop grinding yourself to create something out of nothing. There is a lot to go forth with, a lot to build and design over. Don’t be focused on changing the industry just yet, focus on learning. The past has a lot to inspire you.
Let’s face it, this course is stressful and sometimes, even if you do have some spark of inspiration, your tangled self finds it difficult to turn into a fire. This is where all those meditative remedies come in. Though sitting down cross-legged, being silent and closing eyes does help, it is not what is suggested here.
Sitting in silence is probably not for all, hence, think of trying some other meditative exercise that complements your artistic mind, like adult colouring books. Marygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist in an interview with CNN, “Colouring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.”
What was once a fun hobby as kids has now turned into our go-to relaxation resort. Colouring is just one of the many methods to unwind your brain, ready to be jogged again.
Take a Step Out
Inspiration is a funny thing; you never know where you would find it. Some find it in the middle of a shower musical and some just before they go to sleep. Though all these indoor remedies do work, they aren’t entirely applicable to a fashion student.
Suhani Bhati, student at NIFT says, “Most of the times I am inspired by the surroundings. Sometimes I just sit by the road and observe everything; the people, the roads, the traffic.”
Your design must connect to the people of today; the ones who aren’t fiction. In order to do, so you must step out and actually interact with some real life humans. This may be as simple as grabbing a coffee with a friend or going out shopping or something much more focused like visiting fabric markets, galleries or art museums.
Learn to take reference from conversations, art work and body language; all these factors that you observe will spark something that would be unique to you.
Take a Break
Many a times, it is said that when you stop looking, is when you find it. If none of the above worked for you then there is a news flash awaiting you, your brain is truly exhausted. It is time to give you over run creative mind a pit stop. Many a times it as at these stops that your inspiration lies wait.
Urvi Vira, a Fashion Stylist says, “Many a times, being connected to social media or technologies, disconnects us from the creativity as it blocks it in a box.”
Taking a break and distracting yourself from the subject is quite necessary sometimes. Distract yourself with a movie or a dance or a singing break-out; a long sleep can also do the trick at times. Once your brain is relaxed, you will soon regain the energy to get back to work with all that magic you began with.
Some of the above mentioned methods may help you and some may not. It may so be that all may prove helpful to you or none at all. But you shall only find out once you try. Carry out all the steps you need to take to get your creative juices pumping.
Don’t fret, learn to shine amid the chaos, as being in the fashion industry is going to be all that (and much more).
Photograph credit: Cynthia del Río