- Create 1-5 mood boards that fit your interests.
- Name each mood board for easy reference.
- Consider how you want to organize your mood boards
art history /Contemporary art sites
historical image archives
- Associated Press, Historical Photography
- Brigham Young University Library
- Calisphere, California Libraries
- Flickr, The Commons
- George Eastman Legacy Collection (Kodak Company)
- Harvard Digital Collections
- Iconic Images
- Library of Congress, Prints & Photos
- Library of Congress, Digital Collections
- National Library of Scotland
- New York Public Library, Digital Collections
- Smithsonian Archives, Photograph & Images
Museum collection sites
- The British Museum, London, United Kingdom
- The Getty, Los Angeles, USA
- Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA
- The Louvre, Paris, France
- Metropolitan Museum, New York City, USA
- MoMA, New York City, USA
- Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston , USA
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
- The Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
- Taiwan National Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
- Tate Modern, London, England
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
- Vatican Museums, Vatican City
- Try to find references from different time periods, all the way back to prehistoric times to today.
- Old photos can be a great resource to dig into. They carry more weight because of your personal connection to them.
- Don’t rely entirely on Instagram to find new artists, check out the museum collections and historical archives we listed above.
- Museum brochures, which are usually free to take on a visit often provide high quality images.
- Don’t limit yourself to photos of people and objects, abstract patterns and textures can provide more range.
go old school
- Cutting up magazines, newspapers, even junk mail can be a great way to collect images.
- A bulletin board can be handy to see many images all at once.
- A sketchbook is a great place to collage images.
- Visual journaling can be an effective format to collect images.
How to Brainstorm with Mood Boards
Creating mood boards is a fun, exciting way to gather visual inspiration for your projects. This video explores Jordan’s mood boards, created for the character designs in the series Shadow Boxers. Jordan explains his process for finding visual inspiration, using Pinterest to organize the images, developing the stories behind the characters, and ultimately to the final character design. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.
Brainstorming for Artists
Get concrete tips on how to get started learning art history in an accessible manner that is fun and easily done at your own pace. With so many centuries of artworks from cultures across the globe, how do you even know where to begin? This video provides strategies for how to tailor your learning experience to your own needs to learn art history. Discussion by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Deepti Menon.