References Images/MindMap/Moodboard Feature Request

I’m a game designer and tech artist and I often work with a large number of images when I am gathering references for art.

I’m currently building my own reference/knowledge management system within Obsidian, for all kinds of information - video, music, books, movies, etc. While the current system of having a note for each item I want to record works great, I found it difficult to use it for image references.

What I am looking for is something like the images I have posted. That is my photoshopped strokes on a moodboard from one of my projects. The software I used for simply gathering the images is pur.ref - where it organizes the images into a grid/gallery format.

I would love for a way to have image references within an obsidian vault, so that I can use the same backlinks to refer different pieces of media, art, articles, literature, etc. For example, a particular link [[surreal]] currently has links to books, music videos, movies, etc. I would also love to be able to simply “tag” an image, and add it to my vault. Then when I search by “surreal”, I get all the references to it.

I realize one way to do something similar to this system is to have a separate vault, and input each image into it’s own note, tag it, and then use the graph view. The downside of this is that I can’t see the image that I have tagged with the tag, just the circle/node.

An ideal workflow would be

  1. Get image.
  2. Uplaod/paste/input image into vault - either each image into it’s own note, or multiple images into one note, tagging each image with tags such as [[surreal]], or [[dark]].
  3. Moodboard - Similar to the search feature, search for tags such as “surreal” and have all the images tagged surreal come up and be visible with links.
  4. Tag the tags - Like in the second image, be able to have a larger project name, and have them be linked so that I can search - project name → foliage and have the specific images tagged foliage come up within the project that I have made the system in.

I searched the forum and the internet for this or anything similar to this but have been unable to find anything. If there is a workaround, or if I should post this in the plugins section, please let me know and I would be happy to do so.

Thank you.


This idea sounds like exactly what I wanted for Obsidian to have, but couldn’t think of a way for it to work. As a story writer, a feature like this would be very useful for me as well!


I agree and am trying to build a similar system myself for the same type of work.

I get the idea of some of your specific description of what you are looking for, but wasn’t able to discern whether you were aware that by clicking a tag, say ProjectName, in the tag pane then ctrl clicking another tag, say ElementName, the results will be all notes that have both tags.

This search query can be embedded into a note as well. Nested tags may be something helpful although currently I haven’t been able to find a way to make my life too much easier with them. Many people use them to have a tidier tag pane.

But, despite all of that, which you probably already knew, I definitely support your request. I am also very interested in other people’s workflow in this area, for sure.


Hello. I asked people on the discord and this was the solution a member (Emile) on the discord had for this. GitHub - HEmile/obsidian-neo4j-graph-view: Neo4j Graph View is a more functional graph view to Obsidian. It connects to a Neo4j database, allowing useful querying and visualization options.

I’d draw your attention to the Announcement update, where they mention that they’re re-writing this plugin, which will not require Neo4j or Python, and would have more features. They did say it will be a while before it releases.

However, if you want to have your database ready, an intermedia solution is to have just one image in a note, with whatever backlinks or tags you want associated with it. The new plugin will pick up those backlinks and show the image in the graph view, as with he example in the Neo4j Graph View.

That’s what I am doing at the moment, slowly migrating my reference library into Obsidian with tags and backlinks.

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Hello. Yes, I’m aware of nested tags. What I was looking for was specifically the images showing up in graph view. I’ve posted a reply below with the workflow that I’ve settled on, and a plugin that is in works by a member on the Discord server. Current plugin that does something similar (by the same member) can be found here: GitHub - HEmile/obsidian-neo4j-graph-view: Neo4j Graph View is a more functional graph view to Obsidian. It connects to a Neo4j database, allowing useful querying and visualization options.


I would love to see a feature like this in Obsidian. For visual creative work, having mind maps and images natively showing inside the app would be so helpful.

Thank you for posting your temporary solution, @roahithraj . Are you still using it?

I believe there is no need to redesign the wheel here: using Obsidian’s graph by adding a toggle to display thumnails of files instead of colored circles would do the job with the right query. +1 for this.

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