Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The inspiration board of life.

        Designer Isaac Mizrahi, in his book "How To Have Style", suggests you start by buying a large corkboard and some pushpins.

        Not to wear, but to put on the wall and start your own inspiration board, with visual images of things you love. They could include clothes or shoes or flowers, photos from magazines and trips, scenes from your childhood. Mr. Mizrahi explains that your inspiration board will become a canvas of your changing moods and contexts.

        Next he suggests you fill out his questionnaire. It's in the book, and includes sections on describing your style. His questions are fun. Here are a few:

         "When you were little, what did you dream of looking like?"

         "What's the first thing you think of in the morning?"

         "What's the one thing you'd like to tell the world?"

        According to Mizrahi, "Confidence and knowing what's right for you is 95% of style". Confidence and knowing what's right for you are also two important pieces of advice in your choice of career.

        In college, I was a journalism major. For two reasons. One, I liked writing, and wanted to learn more about it. Second, the catalog said there was very little homework; everything was done in class. Which gave me a lot of time to explore other subjects as well as all the coffee houses in town. But as graduation approached, a wee small voice told me journalism wasn't for me. It seemed pretty lonely, especially since the only available jobs were courthouse reporting from cold cities.

        That's when, with all the confidence of a 20-year-old with a girlfriend, I decided on advertising. And never looked back. Interesting people, intriguing problems, and solutions that seemed to come readily to me. My journalism training helped me focus on what's important and how to explain complicated issues simply. I've used it for what was right for me.

         Now would be a good time for you to start Mr. Mizrahi's inspiration board. What do you think of first thing in the morning? I bet it's not about being the court reporter for the Iron City Times.

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