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Free Portfolio WordPress Theme: Creative by Nature


In this post we are glad to release Creative by Nature, a unique and flexible high-quality portfolio WordPress theme for artists, photographers and designers. The theme was designed by .css{mayo}1 and released especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Creative by Nature2

Download the theme for free! Link

Creative by Nature is a free portfolio theme created by and released especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The designers created a funky theme, particularly useful for artists, photographers and designers who are looking for a flexible portfolio solution. The theme’s .zip-package3 includes all necessary files, server installation guide and a help file which describes how to add entries to your portfolio section. Besides, a PSD source file is available for free download as well.

The theme is released under GPL. You can use it for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. Please link to this post and also to CSSMayo Release Post4 if you want to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish.

Creative by Nature5

Installation guidelines Link

  1. Download the latest version of “Creative by nature” theme either here or here9
  2. Unzip and upload the theme to your “wp-content/themes/” directory
  3. In WordPress, go to “Appearance > Themes” and activate the “Creative by nature” theme
  4. In the theme archive you’ll find file creative_by_nature-export.xml. Import it to your WordPress installation from “Tools > Import > WordPress”
  5. Go to “Settings > Reading” and:
  • Check “A static page (select below)” in “Front page displays” field.
  • Select “Home” in “Front page: ” drop-down menu
  • Select “Blog” in “Posts page: ” drop-down menu

Adding Portfolio Entry Link

Here are instructions for adding portfolio entries:

  1. Go to “Pages > Add new”
  2. Enter Portfolio entry title
  3. Insert your image into the post(preffered image size: 290×230 px), then add “more” tag. Add short description for the entry, then add one more “more” tag. Then enter the remaining text. (Check out test portfolio entries for example)
  4. You may also enter custom fields “url” if you want to add additional information to each portfolio entry.
  5. You’ll need to setup few things in “Attributes” section:
  • Choose “Portfolio” page for page parent
  • In “Template” field select “Portfolio Item”
  • You may also enter position field if you want to specify the order of portfolio entries.

Thank you very much, folks! We appreciate your efforts.

Footnotes Link

  1. 1
  2. 2 /wp-content/uploads/images/creative-by-nature/full_preview.jpg
  3. 3 /wp-content/uploads/images/creative-by-nature/
  4. 4
  5. 5 /wp-content/uploads/images/creative-by-nature/full_preview.jpg
  6. 6
  7. 7 /wp-content/uploads/images/creative-by-nature/full_preview.jpg
  8. 8 /wp-content/uploads/images/creative-by-nature/
  9. 9
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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    Courtny Cotten

    July 30, 2009 12:54 pm


  2. 2


  3. 3

    Nicolas TAFFOREAU

    July 30, 2009 1:04 pm

    Amazing theme, thank you for the share.

  4. 4

    Zoltan Sebestyen

    July 30, 2009 1:05 pm

    Great work. Thanks!

  5. 5

    Wow cool..
    Not pretty sure, but I may use it soon !

  6. 6


  7. 7

    Martin Nissen

    July 30, 2009 1:23 pm

    Very inspiring. Thanks!

  8. 8

    Mehrdad Nassiri

    July 30, 2009 1:35 pm

    Beautiful but client-side files are about 1.2mb !
    It’s too bad for slow-internet users …

  9. 9

    Shibi Kannan

    July 30, 2009 1:53 pm

    Beautiful theme, lost of graphics in the background, the typography needs a little touch up. xml file was something new and wasn’t really sure what that was for. Thank you again Smashing Magazine and CSS Mayo

  10. 10

    Of the creative themes out on the net, this has to be one of the top ones I’ve seen. Well done on a fantastic job.

  11. 11

    That’s really beautiful. Good work, creators.

  12. 12

    really good…so good my website im working on looks similar ..haha.. im patting my own back now.. good job as usual SMASH!

  13. 13

    Patrick Sweeney

    July 30, 2009 5:13 pm

    Never understood the point of someone “creative” using a prefab design. sort of defeats the purpose.

    • 14

      Agreed – I’m a creative industry guy so I would never use it. However I am donating some websites to friends who are entering art school etc. and cannot afford a full blown site, so the easiest & quickest way for me to get them a site is to utilize such templates and give it to them.. they want to show off their photography/artwork in a more personalized setting than, say, Flikr.

      Great point though – no creative professional should be using these for the sake of integrity!

  14. 15

    Please, can anyone explain what that template should say? I have no clue… looks to me like just another grunge style template.
    Even worse the license statement: “The theme is released under GPL. You can use it for all your projects for free and without any restrictions.”
    You really should know it better – don’t release such sentences out to thousands of readers. The GPL never was and will never be a “do what you want” license… and its for sure not a good license for art work like templates.
    @SM: You should really push the featured artists to use a Creative Commons here…

  15. 16

    Never understood the point of someone “creative” using a prefab design. sort of defeats the purpose.

    Ditto. Okay, I get it if you’re an illustrator, or something else non-designy (I am, and our graphic design teacher hammered it into our heads that we’re NOT designers and if we ever actually design anything she’ll kick our asses) but if a webdesigner used a free design for their portfolio… that’s just cheap as hell.

  16. 17

    it doesnt do it for me – i dont like it

  17. 18

    I am new to wordpress and love this theme – at the moment I am using the wordpress hosted version – I asume I can’t use this theme. What do I have to have in terms of wordpress to be able to use these themes. It would be good if wordpress made them available

  18. 19

    Excellent theme, i like it.
    It looks really professional and easy to use

  19. 20

    looks pretty cool. even with that huge amount of pictures =)

  20. 21

    All for Design

    July 30, 2009 11:54 pm

    To my mind this template is quite good even if I’m not kind of the design style…
    I just wanted to give you a feedback about the search result’s page. I don’t know if it’s normal but there is no background so it’s quite difficult to read the text and the title is hidden under the leafs.
    But globally thanks for sharing this template for free, you must have spend a lot of time to create it.
    ps : sorry for my poor english language…

  21. 22

    I don’t like it in general, but I really love how awesome the polaroids look :D

  22. 23

    I don’t like this design. I agree with “All for Design” dificult for reading I prefere clean design

  23. 24

    this has been posted about 4 times now. BORED

  24. 25

    nice !!!!

  25. 26

    Is it Turkish Money? :D

  26. 27

    nice theme
    thanks for share ^^

  27. 28

    Thats Amazing!

  28. 29

    Can the theme be used for a professional project ?
    Thx !

  29. 30

    Patrick beat me to the punch. The irony is delicious :D

  30. 31


  31. 32

    While I always appreciate your site’s hard work and contributions and thank you for giving this away for free… I got to say, not really feeling it. I think a portfolio design should be less words, more pics and more focused on the work. And not so naturish, more clean and less background. Like I said, focused on the work and not distracted by the surroundings.

    But thank you for the theme. I’m sure it will make someone happy.

  32. 33

    What’s the name of the plugin you’re using to share posts on Twitter, … plz ?

  33. 34

    I just got a new wordpress theme on my site. Now I want this one!! These things are like shoes to us, we’ve got to have a lot of them!

  34. 35

    That theme looks fantastic!

  35. 36

    Why are smashing mag themes always over designed? You guys always release themes that do not have “Lasting appeal”, they always looks tacky.

    Look back at this theme in 6 months time and you will see how irrelevant the design style is, no disrespect to the designer, but come on now, another grunge theme?

    I havent yet seen 1 smashing mag theme that has any lasting appeal, you guys are so called experts aswell, surely you can muster up a decent theme for the community.

    This is just my opinion, but honestly, maybe you should release something that you would actually be happy to use yourself.

    Elegant, timeless design is where its at! A good example of a decent theme is the one you use on this site, simple, clean and has lasting appeal. Why not make something like this for us?

  36. 37

    Excelente template, muy bueno, lo voy a usar. Es re moderno y perfecto.

  37. 38

    Turkish Lira (; Fantastic theme!

  38. 39

    While I have to agree with a lot of folks about this being overdesigned, (and a bit ironic), I think the real value of this theme would be to use it as a starting point for creating your own portfolio theme. Swap out the graphics with your own, tweak the typography, etc. It could be a real time saver and isn’t it all about productivity?

    Of course there are those that like it just the way it is and that’s fine too.

  39. 40

    What’s the deal with the Turkish Lira? Yes, I liked it but just wondering where did the idea come from…

  40. 41

    Ok, i will be using this theme as a base but I have to implement custom thumbnails first, and get rid of those small portfolio images, and spice up the blog sections, and of course change the background!


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