Finding Inspiration In The Little Things Around Us

About The Author

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. When he is not writing, he’s most probably running front-end & UX … More about Vitaly ↬

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If we only looked closer, we would find gems of inspiration in the things around us. For Vitaly Friedman, nature is his personal and biggest gem. May is already here and spring has arrived in Belgium, bringing along its bright colors, the delicate odours of blooming flowers, as well as the cheerful chirping of birds.

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?

Sky Dining

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

Image credit: Jack Hughes (Large preview)

Spark Of Science

Still shot of short film. Beautiful perspective.

Image credit: Colin Hesterly (Large preview)

Perfect Morning — Dark Hedges

Perfect morning light at the Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland.

Image credit: John (Large preview)

Facebook Events

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 Day (Large preview)

Canlis Matchbooks

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

Image credit: Invisible Creature (Large preview)

San Antonio Magazine

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

Image credit: Alex Perez (Large preview)


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

Image credit: Victoria Fernandez (Large preview)

Summer Is Crazy

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

Image credit: Sami Viljanto (Large preview)

Packing For Mexico

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

Image credit: Alexandra Bowman (Large preview)

Neutron Camper

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 Woods (Large preview)


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

Image credit: Owen Davey (Large preview)

Can’t Hide, Kampina

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

Image credit: Robert Paul Jansen (Large preview)

The Night Ocean

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

Image credit: Publishers Weekly (Large preview)

Ebola Crisis

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 Davey (Large preview)

Hearts In Atlantis

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 SOLOVYOV (Large preview)

Horse Vespa

Love this subtly absurd and boldly colored illustration.

Image credit: John (Large preview)

I See You

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

Image credit: Matt Blease (Large preview)

Stanford Medical Wellness

Beautiful Pallet! Great textures too.

Image credit: Chris Silas Neal (Large preview)

Playa Game

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

Image credit: xoana herrera (Large preview)

Banking Poster

So much greatness in this.

Image credit: Jones & Co (Large preview)

Testing Crew

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

Image credit: Jones & Co (Large preview)

Summer Night

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 Avaliani (Large preview)

Cats Love Tables

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 Luque (Large preview)

Taco Friday!

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

Image credit: Scotty Reifsnyder (Large preview)

Jennifer Loiselle

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

Image credit: Leslie Barnes (Large preview)


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

Image credit: The Fox and King (Large preview)

Cycling Pinball

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

Image credit: Ellen Schofield (Large preview)


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

Image credit: Tycho (Large preview)

Panda Express

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 Zietz (Large preview)

Byron Bay

Amazing sunset at Byron Bay. Such rich colors!

Image credit: Paddy Donnelly (Large preview)

Early Morning Ride

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

Image credit: Mark Frudd (Large preview)

The Trouble With TOO Much Tech

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 Kovacs (Large preview)

Coffeehood Brand Assets

Nice colors and great font pairings. Beautiful inspiring stuff!

Image credit: Salih Küçükağa (Large preview)

Earth Day 22 April

Nice set of colors to celebrate our beautiful planet.

Image credit: Anna Hurley (Large preview)

United Stripes Of America

Great looking characters.

Image credit: Giulia di Filippo (Large preview)

Love Songs (Weekend Magazine)

Love the clean lines, forms and the smooth perspective.

Image credit: Geraldine Sy (Large preview)

Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

Inspiring usage of vivid colors without being too overwhelming.

Image credit: Geraldine Sy (Large preview)


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

Image credit: Ray Oranges (Large preview)

Sydney Word By Word

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

Image credit: WBYK (Large preview)

Northwest Airlines Fleet

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

Image credit: Roger Wilkerson (Large preview)

164 WEST 136TH ST.

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 Guizar (Large preview)


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 Upton (Large preview)

Type Man

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

Image credit: Neil Stevens (Large preview)


Love the merge/melt effect.

Image credit: Timo Kuilder (Large preview)

Phantom Manor

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

Image credit: Tim Van Damme (Large preview)

It’s Like A Jungle Sometimes

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 Tummie (Large preview)


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 Stevens (Large preview)


The colours and details are spectacular!

Image credit: Alan Emery (Large preview)

Apatosaurus At Night

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

Image credit: Diana Stoyanova (Large preview)

Greetings From Austin, Texas

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: DKNG (Large preview)

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (mrn)