There are designers, artists and sites that I visit to elevate the standards of my own work; they inspire, instruct and take me to another level of proficiency.
Here goes my Top 10 Edifiers:
1. Wegraphics.net | Do you want a way to AMP up your designs but don’t have the time to create your own textures and backgrounds from scratch? This website is loaded with textures, buttons, brushes and templates for download and for a small price of $7. For less than what lunch costs, you can get a whole artisanal of design resources. I use this site to build a Design Toolkit which I take from job to job; it helps in banging out cool looking layouts for quick turn-arounds. http://www.wegraphics.net
2. Vector Tuts+ | If you haven’t been this to site yet than you’re probably not googling tutorials for Illustrator. If you don’t have to than you should be writing for them. If you have any room for growth this is a helpful website to learn tips and tricks to expand your knowledge of the program while creating relevant graphics for your portfolio. http://vector.tutsplus.com/
3. Photoshop Essentials | This site is jam packed with Photoshop tutorials for photography, photo effects, retouching and basic tuts. I strongly recommend this site if you are into digital art and photography. www.photoshopessentials.com
The following designers and artists create work that make me want to produce better, artful and energetic design; to create pieces that people notice. I encourage you to browse their sites to get INSPIRED!
4. Emily Lessard | Ms. Lessard is the Design Director for Aperture Magazine and an instructor at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where I took her class, Visual Process. It was basically a class on icons but under Emily’s tutelage I learned so much more: how to pare down icons to their most basic forms and retain your own design style, the history of iconography and pictograms, Illustrator tips, Pantone education and so much more. I recommend following Emily Lessard’s loaded Pinterest here.
5. Riccardo Sabatini | An Italian Graphic Designer with enough energy to light the world. Check out his Resume Project on Behance. You’ll won’t look at your own resume the same again. http://www.behance.net/riccardosabatini
7. Jose Azevedo | There are two kinds of people that I envy. Singers and Illustrators. I don’t know if Mr. Azevedo can sing, but his hand skills are superior. Typography is his speciality. If his work doesn’t push you to be better, hang it up. www.zeazevedo.com
8. Matt W. Moore | Graffiti meets math and has a love affair on European murals. Not to mention prints, logos, typography and clothing. This guy is always working and adding complex beauty to the world. http://mwmgraphics.com
9. Nikki Farquharson | Hands skills and couture come together in bold lines and bursts of color. Ms. Farquharson takes the doodle to an enlightened place – her artwork has been used as fashion shoot backdrops and on fashion itself. http://www.nikkifarquharson.com/
10. Evan Hecox | Graphic Design meets fine art in Mr. Hecox’s beautiful geometric and pictorial works which he does by hand and on vintage newspaper. Visit his site and you can also read his blog which shows you his process. Again – hand skills. http://www.evanhecox.com/