Finding Inspiration In The Little Things Around Us – Smashing Magazine

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Can you believe it is May already? Time flies! Here in Belgium, spring has arrived and has brought along its bright colors, the delicate odours of blooming flowers, as well as the cheerful chirping of birds. I try to soak it all in as this is my favorite time of the year.

On a related note, if we only looked closer, we would find gems of inspiration in the things around us. For me, nature is my personal and biggest gem. What’s yours?

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Sky Dining Link

Great color palette and love all the gradient mesh work in this illustration.

Image credit: Jack Hughes6 (Large preview7)

Spark Of Science Link

Still shot of short film. Beautiful perspective.

Image credit: Colin Hesterly9 (Large preview10)

Perfect Morning — Dark Hedges Link

Perfect morning light at the Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland.

Image credit: John12 (Large preview13)

Facebook Events Link

One part of a series of illustrations for the inaugural set of artwork launched for Facebook Event themes. Special color combination.

Image credit: Eight Hour Day15 (Large preview16)

Canlis Matchbooks Link

Beautiful colours that are being used here. The eyes draw you in.

Image credit: Invisible Creature18 (Large preview19)

San Antonio Magazine Link

Lovely combination of type and illustrations. Beautiful extrude 3D effect too. It adds this perfect contrast.

Image credit: Alex Perez21 (Large preview22)

Anciados Link

Adoring the simplicity of all this. Just the basics so that your mind fills in the rest.

Image credit: Victoria Fernandez24 (Large preview25)

Summer Is Crazy Link

The special style of Sami Viljanto is an eye-catcher.

Image credit: Sami Viljanto27 (Large preview28)

Packing For Mexico Link

Such a great vibe due to the way the fills are done with this particular pencil stroke effect.

Image credit: Alexandra Bowman30 (Large preview31)

Neutron Camper Link

Magnificent reproduction of the 1940s advertisement vibe. The entire piece was handpainted using digital paint brushes on a Cintiq tablet, and then a texture was applied created by an old, scratched up sheet of metal and a grain filter.

Image credit: Brave the Woods33 (Large preview34)

Smashmallow Link

Packaging illustration for 7 flavour designs for Smashmallow, all natural, organic sugar, gluten-free marshmallow snacks. The others are lovely too. Make sure to heck them out!

Image credit: Owen Davey36 (Large preview37)

Can’t Hide, Kampina Link

Very nice capture! A scenery that I always hope to encounter too when I’m out on the bicycle.

Image credit: Robert Paul Jansen39 (Large preview40)

The Night Ocean Link

What a great book cover! Brilliant usage of lines that translate the title so well.

Image credit: Publishers Weekly42 (Large preview43)

Ebola Crisis Link

A warm atmosphere in this illustration. Great patterns on the dresses and brilliant colors that suit the mood. The threat is hidden in the shape of the shadow. Very clever.

Image credit: Owen Davey45 (Large preview46)

Hearts In Atlantis Link

Inspired by the film of Stephen King’s best seller with the same name. Nice detail that the hat is found on the heart. Such perfect soft blue tones to create the shapes of the ice.

Image credit: YEL.LOW / VADYM SOLOVYOV48 (Large preview49)

Horse Vespa Link

Love this subtly absurd and boldly colored illustration.

Image credit: John51 (Large preview52)

I See You Link

The little details that make this shine are the eyes that you see in the binoculars.

Image credit: Matt Blease54 (Large preview55)

Stanford Medical Wellness Link

Beautiful Pallet! Great textures too.

Image credit: Chris Silas Neal57 (Large preview58)

Playa Game Link

All the plants are so nicely executed. Also loving the female running and how the waves are drawn.

Image credit: xoana herrera60 (Large preview61)

Banking Poster Link

So much greatness in this.

Image credit: Jones & Co63 (Large preview64)

Testing Crew Link

Nice editorial image. The line drawings in the back are clever. Love this combo of styles.

Image credit: Jones & Co66 (Large preview67)

Summer Night Link

Great job on the light effect by using (I assume?) the moon as the light source and the use of white and black for the shadows. This high contrast effect is just perfect.

Image credit: Nutsa Avaliani69 (Large preview70)

Cats Love Tables Link

Maria’s intricately patterned illustrations made with a blend of colour pencils, markers, acrylic and watercolour on paper is what made me pick this one. The remarkable part is that she goes straight to paper without sketches. “I usually draw pretty quickly, I never prepare sketches, I go straight to the paper. I like it to be intuitive, to feel that the hand is almost possessed and drawing by itself, not letting the head think about every movement.”

Image credit: Maria Luque72 (Large preview73)

Taco Friday! Link

Great for studying the texture and patterns usage. Beautiful retro style too!

Image credit: Scotty Reifsnyder75 (Large preview76)

Jennifer Loiselle Link

Great idea to fill the figure with a square grid. Fits perfectly with all the other ‘sharp’ elements.

Image credit: Leslie Barnes78 (Large preview79)

Logan Link

So much energy in this illustration. Great colors as well.

Image credit: The Fox and King81 (Large preview82)

Cycling Pinball Link

Wouldn’t mind having a go at this pinball machine created by Ellen Schofield. Such beautiful details!

Image credit: Ellen Schofield84 (Large preview85)

Tycho-Terje Link

Another lovely poster from Scott Hansen. Many would proudly hang this one on their wall I think.

Image credit: Tycho87 (Large preview88)

Panda Express Link

One morning you wake up and think, what if I draw a chubby panda bear riding a bike. I’m sure it would look funny. It does 🙂 This is so well executed.

Image credit: Ross Zietz90 (Large preview91)

Byron Bay Link

Amazing sunset at Byron Bay. Such rich colors!

Image credit: Paddy Donnelly93 (Large preview94)

Early Morning Ride Link

Away from all traffic congestion, just focusing on that magical moment when the sun comes up. Great times, especially with friends!

Image credit: Mark Frudd96 (Large preview97)

The Trouble With TOO Much Tech Link

Illustration for the Wallstreet Journal in a piece about the trouble with too much tech. Great use of mid-century era’s furniture to create a wonderful composition.

Image credit: Laszlito Kovacs99 (Large preview100)

Coffeehood Brand Assets Link

Nice colors and great font pairings. Beautiful inspiring stuff!

Image credit: Salih Küçükağa102 (Large preview103)

Earth Day 22 April Link

Nice set of colors to celebrate our beautiful planet.

Image credit: Anna Hurley105 (Large preview106)

United Stripes Of America Link

Great looking characters.

Image credit: Giulia di Filippo108 (Large preview109)

Love Songs (Weekend Magazine) Link

Love the clean lines, forms and the smooth perspective.

Image credit: Geraldine Sy111 (Large preview112)

Are Your Friends Making You Fat? Link

Inspiring usage of vivid colors without being too overwhelming.

Image credit: Geraldine Sy114 (Large preview115)

Firenze Link

Very abstract and modern. Love the subtle gradients that create this subtle depth effect.

Image credit: Ray Oranges117
(Large preview118)

Sydney Word By Word Link

The colorful style of the Australian agency WBYK. Very eye-catching!

Image credit: WBYK120 (Large preview121)

Northwest Airlines Fleet Link

I’ve always admired those vintage illustrated ads. This is one is from 1957 for the Northwest Airlines Fleet.

Image credit: Roger Wilkerson123 (Large preview124)

164 WEST 136TH ST. Link

It has been a while since I last visited ‘The Windows of New York’. Here’s the one from 164 WEST 136TH ST. Harlem.

Image credit: Jose Guizar126 (Large preview127)

Derwentwater Link

A dramatic sky over Derwentwater in the Lake District National Park in north west England. Thankfully Chris Upton was on hand with his camera.

Image credit: Chris Upton129 (Large preview130)

Type Man Link

Lovely combination of 2D and 3D. Beautiful composition.

Image credit: Neil Stevens132 (Large preview133)

Melt Link

Love the merge/melt effect.

Image credit: Timo Kuilder135 (Large preview136)

Phantom Manor Link

This photo of Phantom Manor, taken in Disneyland Paris, could be directly used for a horror movie poster.

Image credit: Tim Van Damme138 (Large preview139)

It’s Like A Jungle Sometimes Link

Wonderful set of colors being used in this one. Bonus points for those that think “hmmm, this title rings a bell”.

Image credit: Loulou and Tummie141 (Large preview142)

Self-Employment Link

Editorial illustrations about self-employment. Two characters from white and blue collar jobs look at each other within a mirror. I can keep looking at this one for a while. Love all those little details, objects etc.

Image credit: Neil Stevens144 (Large preview145)

Pelican Link

The colours and details are spectacular!

Image credit: Alan Emery147 (Large preview148)

Apatosaurus At Night Link

Illustration made just to practice working with a restricted color palette. Nicely done I would say.

Image credit: Diana Stoyanova150 (Large preview151)

Greetings From Austin, Texas Link

Remember that I showed a sneak peek from this? Well here’s the finished version which is great as usual. Look at those details and how the (few) colors are applied. Just perfect!

Image credit: DKNG153 (Large preview154)
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