Art Inspiration For The Weekend

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In a creative field like design, we face an undeniable truth: our wells of inspiration are bound to run dry from time to time. In those periods of imaginative downtime, we seek out sources that can help us return the creative flow to our working process, and get us “back in the game.” But when we need a quick recharge, where do we turn? Many of us have our favorite “go-to” places when we are victim to creative drought, though perhaps with a little help, our routinely chosen paths could change.

Although they are so different in their purpose, art and design have such a close relationship; extensive discussions, over the years, have tried to figure out what separates these two imaginative fields. Today we set that discussion aside and focus on the creative outcomes that have dazzled and inspired, by leading you toward some spectacular sources to get your dose (or two) of inspiration. Hopefully we can point you in the direction of some of inspiring artwork sure to produce enough spark to light anyone’s creative fire. Sit back, and let us act as your tour guide through this artistic recharge.

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Individual Artist Portfolios

A great tactic on the quest for art-based inspiration is to directly tap into the source. Individual artist portfolios seldom cease to amaze, and plunge you into a flood of new impressions if you’re willing to invest a little time. By observing artworks of individual artists, you can learn new techniques, compare their work to your work and improve your designing skills.

Thomas Schostok5

Thomas Schostok is an artist whose body of grungy, collage-style work has been an inspiration to many. His book, Mr. Trash, is a collection featuring his no-holds barred approach to artistic expression that captures his style wonderfully. He is definitely worth looking into, to get your creative flow in motion once again.

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Françoise Nielly9

Françoise Nielly’s work is soulful. Her paintings reflect some of the other media that have helped shape her creative voice, and that have led her artistic work to the inspirational heights it has scaled. The vivid use of colors, contrasts and shape make faces look broken, yet perfectly put together, like a mosaic. The emotion carried and transferred by each piece is powerful, and easily conveyed to the viewer.

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Øivind Hovland13

Øivind Hovland’s works of art have been published in renowned magazines and in a broad range of other media. His work concentrates on up-to-date topics, as he also illustrates for newspaper articles. If you allow his ironic designs to “get to you,” you just might find the inspiration you were looking for. Øivind’s style is very original: the artists avoid rectangual shapes, traditional shapes and common contrasts. A nice example of how breaking the rules can help artworks stand out.

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Lixiviandro Indra Harinanda17

This young Indonesian artist caught our attention with his complex, abstract compositions. Differing styles, and the varying, vibrant use of colors, make his artwork a refreshing stroll through inspiration. And it is proof, once again, that art does not always have to be viewed in 3D.

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Natalie Shau21

Natalie Shau’s style is whimsically dark as she digitally takes her imagination and pulls many exciting pieces from it, transforming her vision into an eerie reality. Her work at times can leave you feeling a little uncomfortable, but you are almost guaranteed to develop a sense for her art.

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Evgeny Kiselev24

Evgeny Kislelev dazzles with his collection of digital art and design. The depth and intricate, abstract nature of the work in his portfolio leaves a lasting impressions, with layer upon layer of colorful, boundless artistic expression partially reminiscent of Southeast Asian batik design, others wholly composed of symmetrical perfection.

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Caroline Morin28

Caroline Morin is an illustrator with a knack for capturing the personality of her subjects. Not to mention the seeming ease with which she conveys this instilled quality, to the viewer. Her work is subtle, and the illustrator uses just a couple of colors, yet her portraits nicely depict human soul and mood.

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Nata Metlukh32

Nata Metlukh’s work spans genres and formats, pulling together some inspiring pieces of art that can offer the fans of dark, vibrant art among us, a healthy dose of inspirational refueling. Her work dances between the dark and the playful sides of the spectrum, and uses various media combined in quite unusual and vivid artworks.

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Robert Carter36

Robert Carter’s life-like renderings truly capture the attitude and emotion of the subject. The satirical connotations of his artwork strongly influence the subjective perception of each piece.

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Liza Corbett40

Liza Corbett’s sketchy, imaginative works evoke a child-like sense of innocence while carrying somewhat darker connotations for some, which makes for an immensely powerful body of work. Liza’s art is often abstract and not easy to undestand, and the strong contrast between the theme of her artworks and their “light” drawing nature is remarkable.

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Sara Holbert44

Sara Holbert is an artist whose whimsical work embodies a sense of innocence in nature, that pervades so many of our memories from childhood. The artworks are a bit dreamy, a bit cartoonish, and sometimes a bit realistic.

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Alex Andreyev48

Alex Andreyev’s portfolio weighs heavily on the darker side; his artworks are surreal, concise and thought-provoking. The artists reveals that “by using limited toolset, [he is] able to achieve stylistic consistensy throughout my artwork.” In fact, most artworks focus only on few central elements, leaving the rest in the calm and subtle background tones.

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Online Artist Communities

Places definitely worth sourcing for art inspiration are online artist communities. They brim with the artists and with the type of work you can lose yourself in, to refill your inspirational mojo. These community websites are wonderful resource pools that provide you with a slice of the art world, showcasing so many different styles that it is often easy to rekindle your own creative fire.

WetCanvas52
A large, forum-based community for both traditional and digital artists alike, sharing some truly inspiring work. Browse their link collection for further ideas, or register to fish for fresh input on the theme forum.

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FFFFOUND!54
FFFFOUND! requires an invitation, but that does not mean you cannot browse this inspiration-filled cyber location. Once a member, FFFFOUND! adapts to your needs and taste, proposing styles and art that meet your requirements. Minute-by-minute updates by users around the globe guarantee a never-ending flow of stimuli.

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ARTmeo56
An open art community for artists, still in its early stages, but with potential. Currently, only images can be shared here but an additional section for sound and video art is soon to come.

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deviantART58
A lot of people scoff at deviantART, seeing it as the “Myspace” of the art community as it has attracted over 13 million registered users since 2000. But stick to the right categories, keep an eye on some selected artists, and you’re bound to be amazed.

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Galleries Online60
This site is on an artistic mission to develop a free online artist community, and to help foster relationships among those working in the arts. Browse the galleries categorized by subject, or by medium.

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Artgonia62
A great resource for artists looking to get their work out to the public, and for members of the public looking to get inspired and to discover new artists.

Behance Network63
One of the largest and most used design communities on the Web. Always a wonderful place to go to get a little inspirational refill.

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Artobolus65
A growing international online artist community. Everyone can share, and search, the extensive art catalog.

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ARTST Guild & Gallery67
Here artists can meet, share work and collaborate. The gallery has over 26,000 artworks, all sorted in various categories and organized alphabetically and by rating.

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Art Magazines

Often it’s also useful to take the inspirational art search into the physical world by venturing towards some good art magazines and art-oriented publications. Check them out if you are looking to uncover some truly inspiring artwork; this more traditional presentation is preferred by those who still like to hold magazines in their hands.

Juxtapoz Magazine69
This is one of the most popular monthly art magazines today. Filled with awesome artwork and insightful articles, it is an inspirational powerhouse.

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8faces71
The magazine has one core question at its heart — if you could only use eight typefaces for the rest of your life, which would you choose? — and poses this (and many others) to eight leading designers from the fields of web design, print design, illustration, and of course type design itself. A nice project by Elliot Jay Stocks. Issue 2 is currently available.

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Art Nouveau Magazine73
A quarterly art and culture print publication. Focusing heavily on art and design, avant-garde fashion and an eclectic mix of music, this inspirational magazine offers a little something for everyone.

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S.L.A.M. Magazine75
A relatively new publication focusing on the local art communities that allow so many artists to grow and to nurture their abilities. With only six issues to date, the archives are small but the inspiration is not.

Bomb Magazine76
A quarterly art publication that has been around since the ’80s, evolving artists’ dialog and overall sense of community through in-depth discussions with artists about their work and processes.

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Hi-Fructose Magazine78
Another quarterly art magazine, around since 2005. Founded by artists, this inspiring publication focuses on works that break out of their genre boundaries and reach beyond the trends.

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FOUND Magazine80
An annual publication that takes, and collects, found images and items throughout the year, then puts together each collaborative “artistic slice of life” for the world to see.

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Art+Auction82
One of a family of arts and culture publications on ARTINFO that has been around for a bit, and that has built a dedicated following within the artistic community.

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Artworks Magazine84
A quarterly art magazine that has been enlightening and inspiring the community since 2004, focused on giving artists a platform to share their work with the world.

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Communication Arts86
A popular arts and culture publication that has been inspiring the masses to swim through their creative pools, and colorful pages, for over 50 years.

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Gutter Magazine88
From the proverbial arts underground, comes this exciting and inspiring magazine full of intriguing and creative works.

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Robert Bowen is an emerging author, celebrated podcaster and poet, and most recently the co-founder and imaginative co-contributor of the creative design and blogging duo at the Arbenting Freebies Blog and Dead Wings Designs.

  1. 1

    Well, all is nice. This is new stuffs. Will Smashing Mag create posts like this on every weekend? If so, I’m happy :)

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  2. 2

    Always good to see other artists works! – Not everything here is to my personal taste, but I can appreciate the time and effort that has gone into these pieces! – There are some very talented artists in the world…and posts such as this are a great way to raise awareness!

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  3. 3

    You gotta love all the creativity there is in the world. Such sharp and unique differences. Variety really is the spice of life. Much appreciation to everyone out there who works to make the world a more beautiful place.

    On an unrelated note, how does one register as a user on Smashing? To the point we can give ourselves an avatar, etc?

    1
  4. 6

    Interesting as always… good post.

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  5. 7

    exactly what i needed. the perfect complement to a quiet morning, a cup of coffee, and a light workload.

    i agree with edy; if smashing published “inspiration” articles like this every weekend i’d be happy. i’m absolutely stunned by the amount of creative talent on the web, and surprisingly, packing several artists into one article isn’t overwhelming, but comforting in a way. almost like i’m watching the bird footage at the end of cbs’s sunday morning.

    thanks smashing, for a morning of calming, art-inspired introspection.

    1
  6. 8

    Great post, particularly the work of Lixiviandro Indra Harinanda.

    Loving Smashin Mag, find myself coming here more and more often.

    1
  7. 9

    Great inspiration, thanks. Especially love the Artist Communities roundup.

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  8. 10

    Great post!

    SoCurio is a new online art community – definitely worth checking out: http://www.socurio.com/

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  9. 11

    I was especially curious of Liza Corbett’s work.

    After taking a thorough look through her gallery, I realized that she takes many elements from the latin surrealists such as Carrington, Kahlo, and Remedios Varo, Varo being one of my personal favorites. I’m glad that she incorporates her own illustrative style though. It’s not refreshing, but it is exciting.

    -1
  10. 12

    I’m a big fan of deviantART and been a member there for nearly 6 years. There are a lot of professional and amateur artists a like on there. We all have to start somewhere and the community is a nurturing ground for new artists which is great!

    Great article :)

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  11. 13

    Yay!! Awesome article!! I’m glad you included Natalie Shau; she’s one of my favorite inspirations. And the artist community/mag posts are invaluable.

    For months now I’ve been finding Smashing a little tiring and had even toyed with the idea of deleting the RSS feed. Thanks for giving me a good reason to keep it around! :D

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  12. 14

    really a source of inspiration…my creativity already got boosted up

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  13. 15

    nice… expecting more posts like this…

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  14. 16

    I would also like to remind the author that ,in the imaginative field, when looking for inspiration and ideas, you shouldn’t seek them in the visual form but in the idea of the other artist itselft. That way you’ll learn what the other artist was really trying to tell instead of becoming a mindless copycat zobie.

    That’s why I usually turn to conseptual art, when looking for inspiration. Gets you wondering.

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  15. 17

    this is a great concept for posts! i loved the links to online art galleries. on the other hand, many of the art works you posted look like something I already saw (not because i actualy did but because they are not very original).
    also I personally would love to see artwork that’s not dark & tormented. not that i don’t like watching it sometimes… but i believe it’s a nice chalange to find good art that’s not tormented (:

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  16. 18

    Though I received it at monday which is quite not the weekend, I’ll have a truly inspired working week! Thanks for sharing such a great sum-up of the most important art-related websites.

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  17. 19

    leon Nikoosimaitak

    November 29, 2010 2:07 am

    This is a great, very inspirational.

    Just put up my new website with my artwork, check it out if anyone is interested!

    cloudsabove.co.uk

    1
  18. 20

    thanks for that post… just at the right time with an artist site to do

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  19. 21

    Thanks, great post!

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  20. 22

    I haven’t really kept up with the world of new artists, this post was really helpful for me. I think it’s great to look at art to get inspiration for design.

    1
  21. 23

    I love seeing this kind of art, really gets me inspired. Coincidentally I was just reading this story which featured some incredible banksy style artwork/murals at airports. A must see: http://bit.ly/enmcXH

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  22. 24

    yeah, it did inspired me!

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  23. 25

    On a side note, gotta say that I love posts like these. You guys have a great team of people who scour the net in order to bring us a nice collective article showcasing their works. At times it can be overwhelming, but it’s always inspirational.

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  24. 26

    great stuff of a Friday….

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  25. 27

    Fantastic list! I particularly love the work of Françoise Nielly. Love the colors. Breath taking.

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  26. 28

    Thank you smashing magazine…! All of the artists featured are lovely, I’m truly honored to be featured. you definitely caught me off guard, especially featuring these particular illustrations! They were actually started last year for an assignment and transformed into a personal storybook I’m illustrating and writing, if anyone was curious! It’s an honor, and I’m surprised you picked these images from my work. ~.~

    Gosh, thank you again.
    -Sara
    saraholbert.com

    3
  27. 29

    If I see such like this, i am going to dream. Great collection, thanks!

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  28. 30

    Great article… thanks :)

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  29. 31

    Great article! I would really enjoy reading more articles like this one. I am always looking for more inspiration.

    An artist driven site that I always enjoy checking out daily is We Love Creativity – they continuously profile amazing artists.

    Thanks smashing mag!

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  30. 32

    Great stuff!

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  31. 33

    Amazing collection of designs ever i haven’t seen before, which are really awesome & eyecatching. Actually i’m a fan of art designs, so i enjoyed your blog post very much. Keep up doing this great job. Waiting to see more designs from you like this

    Thank you for make me happy by sharing this beautiful post which is used to boost up our creativity also. Congrats.

    1
  32. 34

    Evgeny Kiselev’s work is really nice, although I believe the first two are just renderings off that Endless Mural HTML5 experiment site by Joshua Davis (not that it’s NOT art, it’s just sort of a quick “anyone can do” form of it).

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  33. 35

    Feeling inspired, will spend the rest of my week designing!

    -Jessica Boblooch

    1
  34. 36

    Great post!!!

    What do you think of this up and coming Artist?
    artquid.com/lysson.antoine

    Feel free to view the ArtQuid Catalog to discover emerging Artists.

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  35. 37

    Really a visual treat for those who are the fan of artworks like me. I really enjoyed this blog which highlights the inspiring artworks & the online artist community sites. I never seen a blog with such wonderful listing ever before.

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  36. 38

    Great resources! May I suggest http://shadowness.com for Online art communities. :)

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  37. 39

    Landscapes aren’t in fashion now?..Only strange objects and creatures? It seems they predominate.

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