About The Author

Veerle is one of the fascinating minds behind Duoh!, whose love for design in all its various forms shines through. She is a graphic/Web designer hailing from a … More about Veerle

Finding Inspiration In The Little Things Around Us

Quick Summary

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?

Table of Contents

    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?

    Further Reading on SmashingMag:

    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)

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    On days when things don’t seem to go as you’d like them to and inspiration is at its lowest, it’s good to take a short break and go outside to try and empty your mind. That always seems to be the best remedy for me, especially …

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