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June 2016

There’s no doubt that simple design is hard, since it requires much more thought and inspiration. It’s about understanding exactly what your users need. Colors play a major role, and today I’d like to show you a couple of illustrations that may motivate you to try out some new color combinations and techniques. Take a look at the following photographs, posters and book covers that have been created with some really inspiring shades and color palettes, and some even show how to cleverly use negative space. From 3D illustrations to artwork created with ink and watercolors, I’m sure there’s something that’ll spark your inspiration. Be warned though, some of them may even give you wanderlust from just looking at them. A Writer, A Hero Link Clever executed light & shadows. The typewriter and the gun are super cool. Just enough details to be convincing. Santa Monica Illustration based on water fountains in Santa Monica. It’s the illustrative interpretation of Jeremy Booth. The shadows & light are like his trademark to recognize the work is his. Refreshing style especially if you know it isn’t created on a computer. Bodil Jane is an illustrator from the Netherlands who creates almost all of her illustrations with ink and watercolors....

Are you passionate about something? Do you have a secret project? Not something that will change the world (though who knows?), but will definitely change you? Do you have a friend who complements your skills? Has anyone recently asked you for help with their project? Do you just have a digital dream, or is there also a plan to make it come true? If you are in a rut you can hopefully see where you need to head. But when you look back after years of being busy, I can almost guarantee you won’t remember all your projects. If you were asked which projects you could recall imemdiately, you would probably think of: a) the biggest client; b) the most enjoyable project; c) the oddest project. That’s how memory works. We remember the extraordinary things: the best, the worst, the weirdest. You may be proud of what you’ve done so far, but if you take a closer look you will understand you have more potential. To unleash your creativity, consider making some room in your schedule for a pet project. If you don’t think you have enough skills to cover everything, fear not – many of us are wearing these same shoes. Let me show you what works for me.   Why Working On Side Projects Is Not Enough Link Your side projects, although personal and exciting, are still the same type of work you do at your day job. Yes, you can filter projects you would like to work on, but as long as the project comes from outside, you are bound to the owner’s opinion: you have to satisfy both the owner and their customers. So you’re looking at limited freedom here. And if we dive deeper, your clients hire you based on your current skills, so you lose the freedom to explore areas outside of your skill set. It’s very rare for a client to be keen to let you explore the wilds of technology you’ve never been to before. With a pet project everything is different. It is something you own. You define how it looks, what problems it will solve, and how it will evolve over time. Your pet project doesn’t necessarily have to be based on a huge world-changing idea, but on something you are passionate about. Because passion drives motivation. When you truly believe in what you are creating, it will look and feel sincere. And it will be a meaningful product, a product which makes life easier for (at the very least) one user. With a pet project everything is different. So you’re looking at limited freedom here. And if we dive deeper, your clients hire you based on your current skills, so you lose the freedom to explore areas outside of your skill set. Why Working On Side Projects Is Not Enough Link your side projects personal and exciting satisfy both very rare With a pet project everything is different. It is something you own. You define how it looks, what problems it will solve, and how it will evolve over time. Your pet project doesn’t necessarily have to be based on a huge world-changing idea, but on something you are passionate about. Because passion drives motivation. When you truly believe in what you are creating, it will look and feel sincere. And it will be a meaningful product, a product which makes life easier for (at the very least) one user....