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Illustration of a Japanese woman by Calvin Sprague.

Illustration of a Japanese woman by Calvin Sprague.

Illustration by Calvin Sprague on Behance

Most designers tend to underestimate the importance of their sources of inspiration. For some, it might be a snug café in Brooklyn or Paris. For others, it could be their favorite couch with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

If you’re dealing with creative block, try going back to a state of mind that allowed you to let your imaginations run wild. Go back to the place which created that comfortable atmosphere to let you successfully solve problems.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite artists and illustrate why I am obsessed with their work. My hope with this article is to incentivize designers to break out of their day-to-day workflow by providing additional sources of motivation.

These are creators who have encouraged me throughout my design journey. Their work will unquestionably get your creative juices flowing and provide you with your daily dose of inspiration.

Ready for the ride?

Calvin is a master with colors. His unique approach to color transitions and his dynamic execution of vector compositions is what makes him such an exceptional artist.

An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

Source: Make It Happen Mural on Behance
An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

Source: Make It Happen Mural on Behance
An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

Source: Make It Happen Mural on Behance
An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

An interactive mural for the city of Rotterdam and Mothership’s campaign. Inspired by the Netherlands’ popular bike culture.

Source: Make It Happen Mural on Behance

Calvin’s designs immediately strike out as simple yet chic. His interactive mural immediately conveys its intended meaning by avoiding constricted composition, monotony, and unnecessary details.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Source: Personal illustration archive 2017–2019 on Behance
Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Source: Personal illustration archive 2017–2019 on Behance
Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Source: Personal illustration archive 2017–2019 on Behance

It was Calvin who initially made me realize the importance of colors in a design. His work typically avoids the failings of modern flat illustration with the use of such a personalized color palette.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Source: Personal illustration archive 2017–2019 on Behance
Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Source: Personal illustration archive 2017–2019 on Behance
Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Calvin’s personal illustration archive. The archive consists of abstract shapes having rich color combinations.

Source: Personal illustration archive 2017–2019 on Behance

Designers know they’ve achieved perfection when there’s nothing you can eliminate from their work, and Calvin’s work has, without a doubt, reached that stage.

Mike, the legend, needs no introduction. For those of you who’ve been missing out, however, Mike’s a creative geek from Prague.

Landing page for a IOCO, a biocomputer company.

Landing page for a IOCO, a biocomputer company.

Source: IOCO / Biocomputer on Dribbble
Landing page for a GRAND, a graphic design company.

Landing page for a GRAND, a graphic design company.

Source: GRAND / Graphic Design on Dribbble

Mike always adds a very personalized touch to his designs, so much that I can recognize his designs from miles away.

Landing page for a A•LAB, a website design studio.

Landing page for a A•LAB, a website design studio.

Source: A•LAB Design studio website on Dribbble
Landing page for digital designer, Nick Naron’s personal website.

Landing page for digital designer, Nick Naron’s personal website.

Source: Nick Naron / Digital Designer on Dribbble

The way Mike makes use of textures along with bright and expressive visualization of contrasting materials is what designers should aim for in their 3D design.

Website design for Ginseo, a blockchain development and tech consulting firm.

Website design for Ginseo, a blockchain development and tech consulting firm.

Source: Ginseo / Blockchain Development on Dribbble
Website design for Bogo Apps, a mobile app development company for children.

Website design for Bogo Apps, a mobile app development company for children.

Source: Bogo Apps / Web site design on Dribbble
Website design for Arca Bureau, an architecture firm.

Website design for Arca Bureau, an architecture firm.

Source: Arca Bureau / Web site design on Dribbble
Website design for Scrovex, a cloud security company.

Website design for Scrovex, a cloud security company.

Source: Scrovex / Cloud Security on Dribbble

As you might have noticed, Mike leverages a combination of typography, 3D illustrations, lighting, shadows, and textures to create eye candy solutions for web and mobile apps.

His portfolio exemplifies how consistency not only improves one’s work but also emphasizes one’s individuality. Be sure to check out his older work to see the progression of his design journey.

I simply cannot get enough of his work!

Works of art for the 2017 Sant Jordi campaign carried out for the Barcelona City Council.

Works of art for the 2017 Sant Jordi campaign carried out for the Barcelona City Council.

Source: Sant Jordi Barcelona on Behance

Andrés Requena’s work is so vivid that it clearly reflects the sheer amount of effort that went into creating these works of art.


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