Continuing with the theme of color, I thought I would share what inspires me when it comes to color choices. Color manuals and guides are terrific, but as a designer I look for inspiration in the things I see around me. While there are some basic rules one needs to be mindful of, for me, color selection is an instinctual process that is guided by what we see in the world around us.
What inspires me?
Nature… a beautiful sunset, flowers in a garden that seem to burst with life and color, the infinite shades of greens, oranges, purples we see in plants around us, the colors on the wings of a butterfly as it flits from flower to flower or the pattern and colors of a bird’s plumage.
Travel and Culture… strolling through the streets of a quaint village, we may pass upon quaint little houses painted in interesting combinations of color that can inspire an entire design concept. Traditional handicrafts, the bright colors, patterns and textures of textiles, brightly colored silk saris and the way they have been combined with sometimes even brighter choli blouses. The dazzling colors of festivals like Holi, Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan) and Diwali, or the way temples and idols have been embellished with color.
Art… Kandinsky, Matisse and Indian artists like M.F Hussain, F.N Souza - their exuberant sense of color and patterns, as well as their sense of balance and their ability to understand and effortlessly capture light and emotion… traditional art like the Gond paintings of Madhya Pradesh or the Madhubani paintings of Northern India that depict folk stories and legends in vivid color.
Everyday Life… a mundane trip to the vegetable market leads to the discovery of a riot of color with fruits and vegetables piled high. A passing truck decked out in regal splendor and embellished with paintings of Gods and Goddesses, movie stars and traditional motifs. The kaleidoscope of colors we see when light reflects off a pool of water or the still, brooding depths of a lake at sunrise. The colors on a plate of food at a fine dining restaurant or the vivid colors of ice-creams we see at an ice-cream parlor.
Inspiration is everywhere and is infinite in its abundance- whatever we see and experience leaves a lasting impression on us. By using these visual impressions the process of color selection becomes so much more satisfying.
(The images shown in this post have been compiled by me over time from various web searches. I don’t remember all the sources- those that I do, I have credited below.)