For us creative types, we have our awesome days, and our off days. On the off days when it’s hard to stay creative, sometimes we just need a little inspiration. So, what I’ve done is put together this list of 13 sites that are great sources of creative inspiration of all types.
I really want to thank my circles over on Google+ as a lot of these sites were recommended by them. I’ve combed through them one-by-one to find only the best of the best. I’ve broken them down into four categories: Photography, Artsy/Crafty, Web Design, and Graphic Design.
The first two categories are not my area of strength, but I’m sure some of you out there will love them! The final two categories are pretty much where I spend 80% of my online work/play. Here we go!
I’m not much of a photographer, hence I don’t have too many resources in this area. The two that I have found are pretty great though, and I highly recommend them. If you have any other recommendations you can put them in the comments below!
StuckInCustoms.com is run by Trey Ratcliff. He is a fantastic photographer who not only posts really amazing photos, he’s also got some great tutorials and reviews as well. Like I said, I’m no photographer. But thanks to Trey, I think I’ll be getting better in no time! If you’re a photography buff, his site is definitely worth bookmarking.
Flickr.com has a great little option called “Explore“. You can find some real gems there.
Another area in which I would definitely not call myself an expert, but relevant nonetheless. If you are the artsy type who loves crafts and such, these sites are for you. Again, if you have any other inspiring sites, please place them in the comments below!
Etsy.com is a place where artsy people go to buy and sell artsy stuff. It’s pretty cool (and I’m not afraid to say it)! My wife has been checking it out more and more, and she’s even thinking about selling some of her artsy/crafty stuff!
Pinterest.com is starting to gain quite a following. Basically it is a place where you can curate your favorite things around the web, and see what other people have curated as well. This is another area of my wife’s expertise. It’s not necessarily dedicated to the artsy/crafty sort of things, but as I’ve spent a bit of time exploring, that seems to be a lot of what I’ve found.
Now we’re talking my area of expertise! If there’s one thing that really inspires me, it’s some good web design! With so many poorly built websites out there, and everything else just copying the good stuff, I love finding websites that take their design to the next level. The following sites make it very easy to get inspired by great web design.
TheBestDesigns.com is a fantastic website that finds some of the most creative and innovative sites out there, and puts them in one place. On top of that, their design is pretty awesome.
Awwwards.com is something that I found thanks to my friends over on Google+ (thanks!). You’ll notice it’s spelled with “www” which is quite clever since it’s a site dedicated to, “recognize and promote the best web designers in the world.” I’ve definitely bookmarked it! You should too!
CSS-Tricks.com has helped me on many occasions when I was looking for some inspiration. Not only that, but I’ve learned a ton from reading their tutorials. Even if you don’t know anything about the code side of things, this site is a gold mine of information!
SmashingMagazine.com is the go-to resource for web-designers and graphic designers. They are (in my humble opinion) the greatest place to find out about trends in the industry, and gain valuable insight on how to grow in your craft. Bookmark it now.
I love being a graphic artist, and the following sites make me love it even more!
Kuler.adobe.com is a brilliant concept of a website, where artists can share color pallets with each other! A great way to find quality color schemes to incorporate for your next project.
DesignMoo.com is a community of graphic artists who love to discover and share awesome work! Here you can find tons of free PSDs and AI files from brilliant artists just giving it away! This site has helped me countless times when I was in a pinch for graphical elements that I didn’t have the time to build from scratch. I don’t go more than three days without using it.
Dribbble.com is a lot like DesignMoo, with less emphasis on resource sharing. It is more of a “show and tell” site for artists to show off things that they are working on. There is not really an emphasis on free downloadable content, but a great site nonetheless.
Envato.com is the entity behind a grip of sites that offer all sorts of creative resources. The best way for me to explain what it is exactly, is to just let them speak for themselves:
Our mission is to help people to earn and to learn, online. We operate marketplaces where hundreds of thousands of people buy and sell digital goods every day, and a network of educational blogs where millions learn creative skills.
You’ll notice in my sidebar on this site I always keep a few links to some of their marketplaces. For the professional designer (graphics, 3D, flash, audio, code, video, themes, etc.) this is a site you absolutely need to be a part of.
Abduzeedo.com was introduced to me by my friend Louie (he’s a super cool guy). This site is run by Fabio Sasso, a brilliant graphic designer who started this site back in 2006. Just take a look at this bit from their history:
Founded in December 2006 by Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso, Abduzeedo follows Sasso’s own experimentations and records his abduction by the world of design, which set the theme for the blog.
What began as a means for backup after an ugly robbery, is now one of the design world’s most sought after blog for inspiration and tutorials.
How cool is that?! This site is, by far, my favorite source of inspiration, and I’m sure you’ll understand why, once you visit it.
That’s all I’ve got! There are definitely a lot of sources of inspiration out there, but these are my most highly recommended by far. I hope you found them helpful!
Are there any sites I missed that you’d like to let me know about? You can leave a comment by clicking here.