Never be afraid to sit a while and think. — Lorraine Hansberry


Being creative individuals we often look for inspirational sources that will help us find creative solutions. I created this site to help inspire me and I hope will inspire you too.

This is a one person work in progress and content is added when time permits. You can send comments/suggestions to heyyou [at] creativebrainstorm [dot] com. Thank you for visiting.

Apr 28 2009

The Incredible Louise Fili

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One of my favorite designers, Louise Fili, has revised her site and I can report to say that it is absolutely, deliciously beautiful.

If you are not aware of Louise Fili’s work then you are in for a real treat. Louise specializes in logo, package, restaurant, type, book and book jacket design (her three loves are Type, Food, and Italy).

A bit of history
From 1976 to 1978 Louise was senior designer for Herb Lubalin. As Art Director for Pantheon Books (1978 to 1989), she designed over 2000 book jackets. Louise also has won numerous awards and medals and has taught and lectured on graphic design and typography. And as if she that’s not enough she has also co-authored (with Steven Heller, Lise Apatoff) and written several books. Her award winning designs and achievements have gained her an induction into the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

Her inspiration
She’s considered a Design Archaeologist because she searches and hunts down hard to find old typefaces, old books, tins, and other old packaging at flea markets. She’s inspired by 1920s and 1930s design and she masterfully blends these old styles into new simplistic, contemporary designs which have given her a world renowned reputation.

Her office and collections
You can find photos of Louise’s office and collections at Design*Sponge. If you haven’t been to Design*Sponge yet then I suggest calendaring some time for this site because it’s a given that you’re going to spend hours looking at all the cool and helpful stuff.

My own small efforts
Inspired by Louise Fili, I designed a label for a batch of homemade coffee liqueur. These bottled treats were given away as Season’s Greetings gifts.

Coffee Liqueur Label

Filed under : Illustration, Inspiration, Typography |
Apr 20 2009

Oodles of Doodles

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Oodles of Doodles


You know, those little drawings that you do while talking on the phone, sitting on a bus or train or while you’re in a meeting. Sometimes those doodles are just nonsensical scribbles and sometimes they are masterpieces of art.

I recently joined a group of creative individuals who in like-mind wanted to exchange these little works of doodle art. Within weeks doodles were doodled and mailed out by the deadline April 15th.

I have since received many doodles from across the US and from Canada. The thrill of getting small art pieces from people that I’ve never met face-to-face has been a blast and a not to say the least an inspiration and jolt to my own creativity.

For more information about how it all started check out the Doodle Swap Blog. Contact Mary, she’s the head mistress of the Doodle Swap.

Here’s the original thread started at the HOW Magazine Lounge Forum.

You can also see all the cool doodles that we have exchanged with each other at the Doodle Swap Group Flickr account.

Apr 03 2009

Gallery of Artistic Computation

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Artistic Computation Art

I came across Jared Tarbell’s beautiful art by chance and was shockingly surprised that he does it all with code. He uses algorithmic methods and manipulates the code to craft the semantics of each program. The results are remarkable.

He became interested in computers in 1987 and has since grown in direct relation to his interest in computation. He says ” I write computer programs to create graphic images.” I think they are brilliant works of art.

Along with artistic talent Jared seems to have a since of humor too. He says he’s one part Magical Mystery Tour, one part Brandenburg Concerto, and one part Somnium (Robert Rich).

Visit his site to find many more examples. His creativity is truly amazing, beautiful and thought provoking.

Filed under : Abstract, Illustration, Inspiration |
Apr 04 2008

The Museum of Anti-Alcohol Posters

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Museum of Anti-Alcohol PostersA while back I was doing a search for something and as searches go I got side-tracked and ended up here at The Museum of Anti-Alcohol Posters web site. This great collection from the Soviet propaganda era belongs to Yuri Matrosovich of Moscow, Russia.

These wonderful posters use limited color and simple, bold shapes to get their message out. During this era, Constructivism (a geometric abstract art movement in Russia) design was heavily used in commercial art. Constructivism was influenced by Bauhaus in Germany, De Stijl in the Netherlands and Abstraction-Creation in France.

Yuri has kindly accepted my invitation for a interview and below is a bit about him and his collection.

Tell me about yourself. Are you an artist, designer, photographer, etc.?
I am designer and dilettante (as in hobby) photographer.

Museum of Anti-Alcohol PostersWhat inspired you to start collecting these posters?
Actually I just happened to lay a hand on a small propaganda pack of anti-alcohol society. We had one in the Perestroika era. Here’s the badge of this society. Later I started to collect anti-alcohol posters and as soon as I started developing websites I decided to put my small collection online.

Do you have a favorite one?
I can’t pick out just one: I think every third poster in my collection is a treasure (also some of posters unfortunately is slapdash).

Do you have any stories about any of the posters?
No, I don’t think so.

Do you collect anything else?
Nothing really special, just usual stuff: small classic car replicas, interesting coins, etc.

Museum of Anti-Alcohol PostersWhat inspires you? Some people are inspired by music, nature, loved ones, animals, color combinations, etc.
I think traveling and sightseeing inspires me most.

When you are unmotivated what types of things do you do to get yourself motivated?
Nothing, really. If there’s a thing I don’t want to do but I have to, I just do it. And if I don’t want to do something I can avoid, I just don’t do it until I am motivited somehow.

Is there a person who has inspired you at some point in your life (relative, friend, etc.)?
I don’t really know, what it means: everyone is affected by someone every time.

When you were a child, what was your favorite game to play?
I believe it was some kind of Lego.

Thank you Yuri!

Please visit Yuri’s other site. He can be reached on Facebook as well.

Apr 01 2008

Pop-Up Love

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Pop-up books (movable books) had captivated my delight while growing up and my love for them has grown and followed me through adulthood. I’ve admired anyone who can take plain paper and turn it into something beautiful. Here’s a little bit about the history behind pop-ups/movable books and some of my favorite pop-up artists.

Volvelle ImageHistory
Pop-up books were first called Volvelles and predate the print culture. Ramon Llull (c.1235-1316), a Catalan mystic and poet, created interactive mechanisms (Volvelles) to illustrate his complex philosophical search for truth.

Volvelles were used through the eighteenth century for manuscripts and in printed books. They were used for a variety of topics, including natural science, astronomy, mathematics, mysticism, fortune telling, navigation, and medicine.

When Turn-Up or Lift-The-Flap mechanisms were introduced in the early fourteenth century they were extensively used to illustrate anatomy. At that time movable books were specifically designed only for adults. It wasn’t until the early nineteenth century that movable books were available for children.

Pop-up Artists
Robert Sabuda and Matthew ReinhartThe Chronicles of Narnia Pop-Up Book
Robert and Matthew are master paper engineer partners and have published many children’s pop-up books. Their most recent pop-up book The Chronicles of Narnia (published in 2007) is richly detailed and has amazing movable elements. Both Robert and Matthew designed an Encyclopedia Prehistorica series that showcases Mega-Beasts, Sharks and Other Sea Monsters, and Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up. Robert’s visionary adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland leaves you in awe and admiration.

Robert’s favorite pop-ups are those that are created with white paper. He has been fascinated with how shadows play with paper and his America The Beautiful, Winter’s Tale: An Original Pop-up Journey, and Winter in White: A Mini Pop-up Treat are all based on his shadow play.

The Book Of Phobias Pop-Up BookGary Greenberg and Matthew Reinhart
Of all the books that crack me up, The Pop-Up Book of Phobias and The Pop-Up Book of Nightmares are my favorites. Both books poke fun at phobias and nightmares and are enhanced with macabre artwork (illustrator Balvis Rubess) that suits each topic perfectly. Gary is a nationally touring stand-up comedian and writer and Matthew is a paper sculptor and modelmaker who has created three-dimensional work for hit children’s shows and for other published books.

David A. Carter and James Diaz
The Elements of Pop-up: A Pop-Up book for Aspiring Paper Engineers When I first saw the book The Elements of Pop-up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers, I couldn’t get my hands on it quick enough. This book is the definitive book on how to make pop-ups (paper engineering). It covers a wide range of movable elements along with easy, step-by-step instructions and working examples. I love manipulating each example and being in awe at how easy these mechanisms can work such amazing visual magic.

Filed under : Illustration, Inspiration, Reviews |
Mar 28 2008

Jamin’ With Ray

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Do you know Dan Dunn?

Dan has a national award winning background in caricature, painting and illustration. He also is an improvisational artist and does these incredible performances.

When I first saw this show I was amazed at the ending. Wonderful!

Filed under : Color, Inspiration, Music, Painting |
Mar 26 2008

Frozen In Time

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What would you do if people around you suddenly froze on the spot? Well Improv Everywhere wanted to see what kinds of reaction they’d get if they had over 200 Improv Everywhere Agents freeze at the same time at New York’s Grand Central Station Main Concourse. Watch the video to find out for yourself. (Thank you Tamar for sharing this).

For more wacky fun check out Improv Everywhere’s Missions page. They’ve been very busy.

Filed under : Distractions, Inspiration, Mind Games |
Mar 26 2008

What A Beautiful Backbone

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The Opte Project was started by Barrett Lyon, who on a bet, challenged that he could write a program that can map the entire net in a single day. His visual representations of the internet’s backbones are truly amazing. Visit his site to see other examples. (thank you Digi for sharing this).

Filed under : Abstract, Color, Inspiration |
Mar 22 2008

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin

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12 Secrets of Highly Creative WomenA while back I read the book “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women – A portable mentor” by Gail McMeekin. I have since loaned this book to several friends who have enjoyed it very much.

The book in general has a bunch of good advice, experiences, stories, wisdoms and exercises to help you work through different stages and mastering challenges so you can reach your goal of being creative.

For the most part, a lot of it, for me, I already know or as I read had affirmed things that I had wondered about. But for someone who needs encouragement to step out of their comfort zone, to take a leap of faith, to do what they have always dreamed of doing, this book is for you.

The book is sectioned into 3 Gateways. Each Gateway has subsections pertaining to the Gateways theme. The first Gateway is called “Engaging Your Creativity” and is about acknowledging your creative self, honoring your inspirations, following your fascinations and surrendering to creative cycles. Read more »

Filed under : Inspiration, Reviews |
Mar 22 2008

Unleashing Those Juices

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Illustratation FridayReady to get your creative illustrative juices flowing?

Then go check out Illustration Friday (brainchild of illustrator Penelope Dullaghan).

This is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have a week to interpret, illustrate and share.

This site is highly inspiring and filled with a wealth of information including a forum where members can share ideas, ask questions and get feedback.

For more information about how to join in on the fun visit their Participate page to get the details.

Filed under : Illustration, Participation |
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