Learn From What You See: It All Starts With Inspiration

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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Every designer develops their unique style and workflow, and studying their artwork can all inspire us to look beyond our own horizon and try something new. Always remember to take a closer look at things around you; you’ll be sure to find inspiration in the little things. It really doesn’t take much to let your mind wander. Today, Vitaly Friedman brings you another collection of brilliant illustrations and photographs.

The world around us is full of little things and experiences that shape us, our way of thinking, but also how we tackle our work. Influenced by these encounters, every designer develops their unique style and workflow, and studying their artwork — the compositions, geometry of lines and shapes, light and shadows, the colors and patterns — can all inspire us to look beyond our own horizon and try something new. It really doesn’t take much to let your mind wander. Always remember to take a closer look at things around you; you’ll be sure to find inspiration in the little things. But for now, let’s dig into another collection of brilliant illustrations and photographs.

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Get Ready: It’s Friday

What a great friendly vintage atmosphere! Well done.

Image credit: Paul Thurlby

O r i g i n s

Latest project from Maria Svarbova. Again, cleverly playing with symmetry and color.

Image credit: Maria Svarbova

Inventing The Future Of Space

Diging the retro-futuristic-exciting style in this one.

Image credit: Léonard Dupond

Cafe Racer

Perfect lines and shapes, but also such great use of color.

Image credit: Alexey Kuvaldin

Cycling Plus Magazine

Loving the special color choices in this illustration, and all of the movement that’s been going on.

Image credit: Steve Scott

Stop! Tomato Time.

You should always stop to taste a delicious tomato. I like the atmosphere created in this one.

Image credit: The Fox And King


Clever concept and execution mixed with subtle use of color and texture.

Image credit: Karolis Strautniekas

Food & Nutrition Magazine

Great black silhouette to use as a centerpiece in this illustration so that everything else can be in color.

Image credit: Mark Allen Miller

Time Travel

A brilliant choice of style and textures in this one!

Image credit: Muti


Wow. Now these are some exceptional colors. Loving the vibrant contrast!

Image credit: Nick Slater


This one has quite a special style and excellent usage of textures.

Image credit: Vera Voishvilo

Radiohead Berkeley

DKNG got to create a poster for their favorite band Radiohead playing at the iconic Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA. Beautiful geometrical design with superb dark shadows and light effects.

Image credit: DKNG

REI 4th Of July

It’s a wonderful thing to get to see the imagination of an illustrator who thinks “imagining what it would be like to paddle a kayak on those serene sunset waters”… The colors and gradients used here to reflect the sunset are just so well done.

Image credit: Brian Miller

Mountain Barn

Just look at that view!

Image credit: Ales Krivec

Google People

Nicely designed character poses. I love the subtle background elements and overall cute style.

Image credit: Markus Magnusson

The Golden Cage

Gorgeous style by Carll Cneut from Belgium.

Image credit: Pixturebook Makers

Heavy Eyes

All those lovely eyes!

Image credit: Pavlov Visuals

Moraine Lake, Banff

I love these reflections and the beautifully soft light. Such an incredible and tranquil image.

Image credit: Earth

Men’s Health - Realty Check

On point! Part of the head makes me think about Magnum P.I. played by Tom Selleck.

Image credit: Marco Goran Romano

Comfortable Giant

Nice work, especially the color choices and the toned down background scene.

Image credit: Pavlov Visuals

Siesta Beach

Pretty spectacular sunset at Siesta Key Beach.

Image credit: Cameron Moll


Great illustration by Sébastien Plassard. The beard and the hair are simply beautiful.

Image credit: The New Yorker

Oklahoma Storm

Incredible shot captured in Keyes, Oklahoma by storm chaser Vanessa Neufeld.

Image credit: National Geographic

Guardian - What I’ll Be Reading

Really nice illustration and some inspiring color choices.

Image credit: Owen Gatley

The Hound And The Hare

The patterns throughout this piece are mesmerizing. Loving that gold accent color as well.

Image credit: Muti

Johns Hopkins Magazine

Loving those candy colors. Also look at that skateboard! I love this ‘gummy’ bendable look.

Image credit: Burnt Toast Creative


Such beautiful contrasts! The subtle textures like on the lobster gives this one an edge.

Image credit: Owen Gatley

Curious Case Society Inductee Manual V.7

That eagle and those hand combos combined with the typography are making this a great shot.

Image credit: Daniel Haire

Le Tour de France

The yearly circus every July.

Image credit: Spencer Wilson

Esquire’s Big Black Book

Nice example of using just two colors.

Image credit: Janne Iivonen

Wired World 2017

Great composition of a scene in which shapes are being used as either desks or surfaces to stand on.

Image credit: Janne Iivonen

Insects And Other Arthropods

Wonderful school posters!

Image credit: Loulou and Tummie


Super dope! I love the pattern on the sweater. The faces and different beard styles are also ace.

Image credit: Nick Slater

Les Echos

Great diverse bunch of characters.

Image credit: Tommy Parker

Greetings From San Francisco

Very nice to see all hallmark sights nicely integrated into the letters.

Image credit: DKNG

Tour de France Impressions

Enjoying the style, especially the lines that just guide you to see the rest.

Image credit: justyna stasik

A Different View

The iron work on the fences and patterns on the tiles in this Morrocan riad is so beautiful. The colors are also perfect.

Image credit: Muti

TRUE Webhosting

A beautiful style with some isometric influences.

Image credit: Patswerk

Picture Me Rollin’

Interesting approach to the tire shapes. Those are some lovely soft tones as well.

Image credit: Scott Tusk


Beautiful! Love the movement.

Image credit: Meg Robichaud


Great graphical elements on the fish.

Image credit: Kemal Sanli

Open The Door…

Classic and elegant. Love the metaphor to open the door for better weather or a new season.

Image credit: Steve Scott


Illustrations that explore imagination are always among my favorites. Thumbs up for the muted color palette as well.

Image credit: Wenyi Geng

Horse House

It’s great to see how all those ‘etch’ lines are capable of accentuating the details in this illustration.

Image credit: Dima Kalmykov

Stairhaus Inc.

Colors and composition are on point.

Image credit: Doublenaut

Field Trip 2017

Wonderful badge art for Field Trip Music Festival’s 2017 branding.

Image credit: Doublenaut

Cyrus Shey

Not an ordinary everyday color palette. Love the sense of speed in it.

Image credit: Mads Berg

Tropical Galaxy

Top notch work as always with an inspiring color selection.

Image credit: DKNG

Fleet Foxes

The right mix of floral elements to achieve a perfect balance.

Image credit: Bailey Sullivan

Kirkjufell, Iceland

Those soft subdued tones and light really compliment the wild and remote feeling of this scene. Composed perfectly as well with just one inclusion of the person.

Image credit: Earth

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (mrn)