50 Fabulous Blogs for Green Fashionistas

“Going green” can mean far more than just recycling and paying attention to the use of resources. Fashionistas with a concern for the environment need not worry about whether or not all their favorite finds come saddled with practices unfriendly to both the environment and manufacturers at the bottom of the entrepreneurial hierarchy. Ethical, sustainable design comes in a plethora of shapes and sizes – as varied as the eco-conscious themselves – suitable for every taste and budget. The following bloggers cover everything from the pinnacle of eco-friendly haute couture affordable only by celebrities who exploit the green movement to draw more attention to themselves all the way down to the needs of earnest college students who have to count every penny.

1. ecofashionworld : Both a blog and a website, ecofashionworld concerns itself with discussing the latest trends in ethical and green fashion alike.

2. Commerce with a Conscience : Learn how to look sharp without compromising either a commitment to eco-friendly, ethical fashion or keeping within a budget.

3. Ethical Style : Upcycled, socially-conscious and green fashion stand in the spotlight at the utterly fabulous Ethical Style.

4. The Discerning Brute : Gentlemen concerned with establishing a classy, ethical and – of course – eco-friendly existence would do well to check out this excellent lifestyle blog. It frequently features postings on smashing togs for the socially and environmentally-conscious male.

5. Ethical Fashion Forum : This nonprofit wants to promote an awareness of green initiatives and social responsibility in the interest of consumers, manufacturers and merchants alike.

6. Fashion + Beauty at Treehugger : Treehugger, one of the leading green lifestyle blogs on the internet today, keeps a special section devoted to beauty and fashion tips and trends for green adherents.

7. ecco*eco : Read ecco*eco for all the latest green news and trends straight from the runways and boutiques of top designers.

8. Ecotextile News : Designers and DIY types concerned with whipping up environmentally-friendly fashions will enjoy following the newest developments in creating sustainable materials.

9. Fade to Green :: by Titania Inglis : Peer into the creative process of one fashion designer, whose goals revolve around whipping up gorgeous garments that have little to no negative impact on the environment.

10. ecouterre : Targeting both men and women alike, ecouterre serves up luscious green fashion and DIY articles alongside some general lifestyle tips and tricks.

11. Eco-Chick : This women’s lifestyle blog provides articles on staying fabulous within green philosophies, with excellent, eclectic fashion and beauty postings.

12. Seed & Sew : Seed & Sew focuses on writing about adorable clothing and accessories fashioned from organic and sustainable cloth.

13. The EcoDiva : Ethical, sustainable and DIY fashion and beauty advice abounds on this incredible online resource for the green glitterati.

14. Ecofabulous : The undeniably amazing Ecofabulous discusses green fashion for both the body and the home, peppered with great tips on environmentally-friendly parenting and lifestyle as well.

15. Green Grechen : Stop by Green Gretchen for amazing advice on looking lovely without negatively impacting the environment.

16. Green by Design : Environmentalism enthusiasts hoping to learn about adhering to a green lifestyle will definitely appreciate the discussions of clothing, accessories and other products that fall within their preferences.

17. Ecorazzi : Green Fashionistas in search of advice with a healthy dosage of celebrity gossip have plenty to browse at the Ecorazzi blog.

18. Fashion at EcoSalon : EcoSalon covers a broad spectrum of people and products attractive to the green movement, and their Fashion blog carries over the same sustainable sensibilities as the others.

19. Fashion Loves People : Although Janette Crawford mainly focuses on socially ethical fashion, she does frequently showcase environmentally-friendly clothing and accessories as well.

20. Fashion at The Alternative Consumer : Every day, The Alternative Consumer posts up the best deals going on trendy, environmentally-conscious fashions – among other products as well!

21. Haute Verte Couture : High fashion and sustainability converge in this well-written fashion blog, which tends to veer more towards focusing on celebrities instead of real people.

22. Magnifeco : Updated every day, Magnifeco stands on the precipice of sustainable fashion trends, tips and designers.

23. N.E.E.T. Magazine : N.E.E.T. Magazine showcases independent, sustainable fashions and home décor for the discerning environmentalist.

24. remade in melbourne : Hayley Lau expounds upon ethical, sustainable, upcycled crafts – an oft-overlooked component of green fashion – in addition to relevant articles and discussions of trends and products.

25. Feelgood Style : Feelgood Style provides visitors with an informative resource on how to dress well without having to hurt the planet or exploit laborers along the way.

26. Fashion at Haute Nature : Discover the latest and greatest green clothing and accessory trends on Haute Nature’s dedicated fashion blog.

27. Sustainable Style Foundation : SSF runs an impressively comprehensive blog that shines a spotlight on the designers and boutiques who seek to make their mark on the environmentally-conscious fashion scene.

28. DC Goodwill Fashionista : Buying secondhand clothes is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to look good on a budget without worrying about harming the planet. There are plenty of treasures to be found on the shelves of Goodwill!

29. Nitty Gritty : Equita presents a great guide to sustainable, ethical clothing and accessories for those hoping to look good and stay kind to the planet and laborers alike.

30. Eco Friendly Fashion : In addition to the blog, be sure to browse the Eco Fashion Directory for tips on what labels are currently working within green guidelines.

31. ThreadBanger : Beyond the ThreadBanger blog lay a thriving community devoted to DIY, upcycled fashions that certainly appeal to ardent environmentalists.

32. The Cleanest Line : The eco-friendly fashionista who enjoys a rollicking stint in the outdoors will love learning about the goings-on of the sustainable, organic clothing company Patagonia.

33. Centre for Sustainable Fashion : London College of Fashion’s Center for Sustainable Fashion keeps its readers on the cutting edge of green, ethical clothing, accessories and lifestyle trends.

34. Zuburbia : Buying vintage clothing ensures the consumption of fewer resources, less garbage and does not support the exploitation of workers. It is one of the simplest, most stylish ways to go green.

35. Fashion at Gorgeously Green : The Fashion blog at Gorgeously Green may not update as frequently as the others on this list, but the entire site warrants consideration by the environmentally-conscious.

36.Organic Beauty View : Read up on the latest organic beauty products, with a few articles sprinkled in regarding sustainable clothing and accessories as well.

37. Rain’s DIY Fashion Blog : About.com host Lorain Blanken blogs about some great DIY projects for creative consumers hoping to stay green within a tight budget.

38.Posh Swaps Blog : Organizing or participating in a clothing swap makes for yet another way that the fashion-conscious can keep within both budgets and green initiatives.

39. Ecofashion at elephant journal : Read the latest news and views on the sustainable fashion scene at elephant journal, which also features great blogs and articles on other facets of the environmental movement.

40. Kaight NYC : This blog and accompanying boutique (don’t worry – they have an online shop as well!) highlights up-and-coming fashion designers and trends who heavily emphasize sustainability and environmental friendliness.

41. My Beauty Bunny : Fashion aficionados looking for a few good beauty products to complement their green togs would do well to read these reviews of organic, cruelty-free, sustainable and occasionally vegan wares.

42. Refashionoso : Not all of the DIY tips on Refashionoso involve creating clothing, accessories and home décor items, but every posting is definitely worth reading.

43. Fashion and Beauty at Sustain Lane : This blog – part of a larger conglomerate of green resources – may not update as frequently as others listed here, but the eclectic contributors still provide some interesting perspectives on eco-friendly fashion all the same.

44. The Green Beauty Guide : Stay up-to-date with the newest products and strategies for ethical, environmentally-friendly cosmetics and skin care.

45. Jute and Jackfruit : Follow along with the latest news, events and trends within the ecofashion community – and be sure to check out special deals offered through the Juke and Jackfruit store, which features some excellent organic cotton goods!

46. Glamology : Natural beauty expert Charmaine Leah weighs in on how to stay lovely and healthy inside and out without compromising green principles.

47. Fig + Sage : Learn how to stay both fabulous and eco-friendly with Fig + Sage’s discussions of the newest fashions for home and body alike.

48. DIY Style : Pick up some excellent DIY tips, tricks and patterns at this comprehensive website, which sports a blog, vodcast, community and more! They unfortunately do not update the blog very much, but the rest of the site deserves a visit.

49. Recycled Fashion : This amazing blog celebrates the hidden treasures to be discovered at secondhand shops – and all with the intention of promoting green, ethical fashion choices!

50. The Etsy Trashion Street Team : Some Etsy merchants gather together to share their favorite finds on the site, all of them fashion accessories for body and home alike that have been fashioned from recycled or upcycled materials.

Anyone can participate in ecofashion, no matter their budget. With the knowledge gleaned from these bloggers, ardent fashionistas can don their cute new outfits with the secure knowledge that their doing so has no negative impact on Planet Earth or its inhabitants.

10 Disney Characters Who Stirred Up Controversy

Media juggernaut Disney always seems to dredge up a wake of controversy whenever it releases one of their world-renowned animated films. Few will slam their merit from an artistic perspective, but for many people their characterization and storytelling leave plenty to be desired. Blinded by the lens of nostalgia, scads of fans fail to realize that many beloved Disney movies actually entail some pretty blatant racist and sexist overtones. Such lazy adherence to stereotypes, however, does not go entirely unnoticed by the communities they insult. As a result, waves of criticism roll up with the introduction of any new animated film – almost always backed by reasonable evidence, too. Sometimes Disney and media experts counter with interesting perspectives of their own, sometimes not. Far more than 10 examples of controversial characters and characterization devices have cropped up since the studio’s creation in 1939, but the following provides a summary of a few of their more visible offenses.

1. Sunflower from Fantasia (1940)

In a move that would make even Al Jolson blush, Disney’s 1940 animated ode to Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6” – titled The Pastoral Symphony – originally included a horrifyingly offensive African-American “pickaninny” caricature by the name of Sunflower. Subsequent releases rightfully edited out the big-lipped, half-donkey centaur handmaid capitulating to the aesthetic whims of her hedonistic Caucasoid brethren, but Disney faces quite a bit of criticism for the decision. Many find Sunflower’s later exclusions from the film offensive for a number of different reasons, chief among them the fact that for years the studio refused to acknowledge that the character ever even traipsed across the big screen in the first place. Such a denial reeks of an inability to admit mistakes and make earnest efforts to move forward when it comes to racial sensitivity in the media. Others believe that Disney should include Sunflower in any future theatrical or home releases of Fantasia as a means of illustrating the bleak history of racism. After all, if people do not learn from the problematic perspectives of the past, they face the risk of repeating them in the future. Just about the only thing most people can agree upon when it comes to the little centaur is that her depiction stands as a deplorably reductionist portrayal of African-American culture and behavior – unfortunately, one that also reflected common attitudes of the time period. Whether or not she should continue to exist only in the hidden corners of Disney history remains an extremely controversial debate that raises a number of interesting philosophical and ethical questions with solutions in varying shades of grey.

2. The Crows from Dumbo (1941)

One of Disney’s most beloved films, Dumbo’s cast sports a murder of crows mostly voiced by African-American actors – and their leader (the only one voiced by a white man) is saddled with the extremely unfortunate moniker of “Jim.” Reactions to the birds come extremely mixed. On one hand, they are lazy, poor, uneducated, cigar-chomping, jive-talkers with a love of jazz music. The crows voiced by African-American actors submit to the leadership of Jim, whose words and singing come courtesy of the only Caucasian in the bunch. On the other, however, they are also some of the only characters in the entire movie to ever offer the eponymous elephant any ounce of compassion or understanding. They accept him for him and ask for no compromises. In spite of their hierarchy, they never once capitulate towards the will of anyone else – they collectively sport much freer spirits than the subservient Sunflower. In reality, the crows’ actions support both positive and negative interpretations, and scans all over the internet reveal that writers of all races are equally capable of taking both stances. However, the film’s “Song of the Roustabouts” leaves far, far less room for open debate than the behavior of the crows. Sung by literally faceless African-American laborers, the lyrics praise the virtues of painstaking work with little to no reward. It doesn’t take a sociologist to figure out the extremely unfortunate overarching message.

3. Uncle Remus from Song of the South (1946)

Like Sunflower, the portrayal of African-American literary figure Uncle Remus in Disney’s hybrid of live action and animation, Song of the South, offers up plenty of fodder for debate over censorship and stereotypes. James Baskett (the first live actor ever hired by Disney) played the controversial role in 1946, and even at the time the studio wrung its hands over any potential offenses. Fearing further accusations of racial insensitivity, they have yet to release it for home viewing even to this day. But unlike Sunflower, the ire directed at the movie had less to do about Uncle Remus himself – the hero of the story – and more with his surrounding situation. The NAACP actually recognized the artistry of the film while simultaneously finding its sanitization, perhaps glorification, of slave life on a plantation abhorrent. Though Uncle Remus stands as a thoroughly pleasant and moral man devoid of the physically degrading traits present in the animated Sunflower, he and the other African-American character Toby still happily submit to the will of whites. People of all racial backgrounds remain divided over whether or not Disney should leave Song of the South in its vaults forever or finally release it for home viewing. As with the Fantasia example above, no one definitive solution emerges – the issue swirls with so many different and equally weighted arguments that none of them stand out as the absolute right thing to do.

4.  The Native Americans from Peter Pan (1953)

Tiger_Lily_savedAbsolutely no alternate, potentially viable interpretations for the appalling depiction of Native Americans in Peter Pan exists to explain or otherwise temper the blatant racism. Lifting the portrayal almost directly from J.M. Barrie’s children’s books, almost any stereotype of the cultures (save for alcoholism and gambling) imaginable pops up in the movie. The sequence for the song “What Makes the Red Man Red?” alone involves a peace pipe, use of the words “paleface,” “Injun,” “squaw,” and “how,” stereotypic accents, clapping of hands to mouths, the reduction of a female value to appearances and servitude, glorification of an underage Native American woman as sexy and exotic, and what sounds like almost an apology for having nonwhite skin. Their characterization pulls entirely from popular perspectives with the reality of the cultures wholly sacrificed in favor of a reductionist song-and-dance of primitivism that perpetuates misconception. Both Native American and white men objectify Princess Tigerlily, who decides to put on a little show of her own in order to arouse her masculine audience – adding an extra, extremely uncomfortable dimension of misogyny into the mix. Note that the older, “ugly,” or white females never partake of the festivities, implying that only a young, conventionally attractive ethnic woman can satiate man’s lust.

5. Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Two of Lady and the Tramp’s most destructive villains, the twin Siamese cats oh-so-cleverly dubbed “Si” and “Am,” never prompted Disney to exercise any level of censorship; their embarrassing throwback to the racist concept of “yellow peril” can still be visually ingested by kids even today. Introduced in a sequence where the pair gleefully inflicts grievous property damage, they slink about the house with exaggerated, slanted eyes, gnarly buck teeth, and sporting a ghastly shade of pale. Si and Am’s very first song only solidifies their status as highly offensive Asian caricatures as they spit and slur through poor grammar and frequent switching of the “R” and “L” sounds. At no point does the film imbue them with any sort of redeeming qualities – until the end, the felines remain entirely remorseless, depraved, and manipulative. Most disconcertingly, Disney actually markets products featuring their likenesses, never making any sort of effort to downplay the obviously racist overtones. Young audiences unfamiliar with American history’s attitude towards Asians may perceive Si and Aim’s domestic terrorism and exaggerated physical attributes as simply the popular perception of cats as decidedly odd and cheeky. But older crowds with even a passing knowledge of World War II propaganda will squirm upon viewing the obvious implications.

6. The Apes from The Jungle Book (1967)

Though he was no stranger to racial insensitivity and cultural relativism himself, Rudyard Kipling’s original novel The Jungle Book made no explicit parallels between African-Americans and apes; the character of King Louie didn’t even exist in print, instead tossed into the movie as a purely Disney creation. He scats and talks jive with a rather obvious cadence, singing about he wants to be more like the human (and generically American-accented in spite of his Indian heritage) Mowgli. On the surface, this characterization certainly carries the racist overtones of the era that the studio often reflected with insensitivity. Beneath that, however, their intentions for what social beliefs the movie did and did not intend to draw from occupy begin to occupy rather nebulous territory. Many assume that King Louie’s mannerisms drew their inspiration from Louis Armstrong, but the animators actually took cues from the man who lent his speaking and singing voice to the chubby orangutan – Louis Prima, a very white jazz musician and band leader from New Orleans. He did not record his lines or songs mimicking African-American speech patterns of the time; the voice used was actually how the man spoke. As with the crows from Dumbo, compelling evidence both for and against the apes’ intended status as negative African-American caricatures exists. “A little from column A, a little from column B” situation seems to be the most likely case, as the juxtaposition of jazz music and singularly simian behavior during the last heated years of the Civil Rights Movement strikes an exceedingly discordant note that seriously could not have gone unnoticed.

7.  The Minister from The Little Mermaid (1989)

mermaid3Jokes about the unnamed minister from The Little Mermaid abound, with many people believing he sports a rather generous erection during the wedding scene between Prince Eric and the enchanted, disguised antagonist Ursula. Unlike the accusations of racism and misogyny backed by extremely reasonable and well-founded evidence, the diminutive officiate who stirred so much controversy that a lawsuit actually cropped up honestly didn’t enjoy the proceedings as much as people believe. In this case, a design flaw is the real culprit. Drawn with skinny, knobby knees that stick out, the little man’s robes bob up and down with his natural movements and blow about in the wind. Occasionally, his clothing obscures his bare legs and certainly gives the appearance of an erection. Whether or not this visual trick exists as an intentional bit of visual trickery on the part of the animators remains completely up for debate, of course, but no solid evidence exists either way. It is hard to believe that the famously thorough Disney animators would completely miss such a glaringly obvious visual, though. At least this incident does no damage to perceptions of race and gender, though, and the possibility elicits far more laughs than rages. Some Christian groups lashed out, but no religious officials appear to have taken any outspoken offense to the situation.

Oh, and that lawsuit? Eventually dropped.

8. The Merchant from Aladdin (1992)

There is obviously something wrong when portrayal by Robin Williams is actually the least offensive aspect of a character. Disney angered Arab-American groups when his introductory song to Aladdin spouted off the lyrics, “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face./It’s barbaric, but hey./It’s home.” in reference to Middle Eastern culture. People of all political affiliations know that human rights atrocities occur in that corner of the globe – as they do EVERYWHERE. But to include them in a song as one of the defining characteristics of the cultures in the region understandably provokes ire, especially when one considers the history-altering contributions that Arabs have made to mathematics and surgical procedures in the past! Home video releases wisely replaced the offending lyrics with a benign discussion of geography and lamentation of the heat instead. Even beyond the merchant who sets up the story, Aladdin’s cast garners a hefty amount of controversy for portraying the features and accents of the protagonists as heavily Americanized, leaving the villains to lean more on exaggerated racial characteristics and Arab accents. Regardless of the one little change Disney made to the original film, it still continues to sport some extremely disconcerting depictions of race and gender that even the infamously politically correct 1990s could not squelch.

9. Pocahontas from Pocahontas (1995)

More than 40 years after chipping away at Native American cultural identity with the cringe-worthy scenes from Peter Pan, Disney caused more than a little outrage by taking considerable liberties with the true story of an adolescent – if not preadolescent – Powhatan girl by the name of Matoaka (Pocahontas was actually her nickname). “Considerable,” of course, meaning that almost no bit of historical veracity remained, save for names and locations. Though touted as a princess, Matoaka’s status as the daughter of a chief did not equate to such a title, nor did it mean she earned any sort of favoritism. However, increasing her age from 10-13 from the historical tale to around 18 and romantically pairing her off with John Smith when no such relationship actually occurred provoked the most controversy. Once again, Disney ignored the cultural reality in favor of lazily falling back on racial stereotypes and female exploitation to tell a story. Although they thankfully dismissed the earlier images of red-faced “savages,” the comparatively more contemporary stereotype of the Magical Native American communing intimately with nature flooded the film. The titular character may have palled around with animals in the same manner of other Disney princesses, but unlike her Caucasian counterparts she also talked and sang to the trees, rocks, and wind. Many take this depiction of Native Americans as more positive and acceptable. While a step in the right direction, adhering to such stereotypes still stands as reductionist and displays an unwillingness to actually put forth any research to whip up an accurate portrayal of the societies represented.

But this story unsurprisingly has 2 sides, and Native American political leader Russell Means – who actually lent his voice to Chief Powhatan – praised the film for its positive spin on the cultural heritage. He supported Disney’s decision to show how Europeans wrongly accused the tribe of savagery, glad to see that some veracity in the attitudes of the time did not receive the expected glossing over. Shockingly enough, a couple of white Americans actually got offended for reasons other than the questionable portrayal of Native Americans. Rather, they considered the studio a bit TOO sensitive and felt that it should have been more negative!

10. All the Disney Princesses

Because the tales of the various (and very, very lucrative) Disney Princesses drew their inspiration from (in the loosest sense of the phrase) various ancient folk stories from a broad variety of cultures, it probably comes as little surprise that the underlying misogynistic elements remained intact. Ardent feminists from every decade and every medium have relentlessly lambasted the studio for their insulting portrayal of women, whose characters almost always seem more defined by how they relate to the masculine heroes of the story rather than their own inherent virtues and vices. Even so-called “action girls” such as Princess Jasmine, in the end, find themselves judged more on their level of attractiveness and must be rescued by their respective princes in some fashion or another. As the infographic accurately outlines, satisfying singlehood is never an option for any lead female in a Disney movie – she always has to rely on her beauty to snag her man. Particularly egregious examples from the past 2½ decades (eras ostensibly more “progressive” and “enlightened” when it comes to woman’s role in society) include Belle’s submission to an abusive relationship with the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and the fact that her pretty face and undying love saved the day far more than her brains ever could. The Little Mermaid’s Ariel completely alters her appearance and gives up her voice, family, friends, and home for the sake of a man she loves only because of his looks – and he has to fall in “love” with her for no reason other than what he sees. To add insult to injury, the story PRAISES their submission and acquiescence to the concept of women as decorations. Never does the possibility of equality in a relationship crop up as a possibility. All of their respective romances default to the dominant male/submissive female dynamic, sadly influencing their target audience of young women to accept that as normal and idyllic.

Even when accusations of racism and sexism become clouded by the inclusion of more positive character traits, it is hard to deny that to some extent Disney relies quite heavily on ethnic and sexual stereotypes to tell a story rather than putting forth the effort to create depth and dimension. Some parents and teachers may want to use these offensive, controversial decisions as valuable educational tools to teach children about respecting other cultures and genders.

50 Inspiring Pottery Blogs

One of the world’s oldest forms of art, pottery has been around since the days of the cave man. Used for eating, serving, or just admiring, pottery has loads of purposes. However, with the Wal-Mart age, so many of us just go to the store to get our pots and clay. But for those who can’t live on pre-manufactured clay alone, that isn’t enough.

What are you to do if you have a load of clay and no ideas? Much like a painter with a blank canvas, you need some help. To do just that, we have gathered 50 inspiring pottery blogs. With experts at every corner of the globe, and even those just doing it as a hobby, they have loads to share including works, tips, and even daily life.

Inspiring Pottery Blogs by a Professional

These professionals make pottery for a living and share in their blogs.

    jenBW1. Jen Mecca’s Pottery Blog : Along with Joey Lawler, Jen creates inspirational works of pottery. She shares both her art and daily life through her blog. Follow her on Facebook or get updates on her upcoming shows.

    2. Josie Goes to Pot : Josie is a studio potter in Berkeley, California. She recently had an event with the rest of “The Bay Area Pottery Posse.” Inspirational works are also shared through images.

    3. Tracey Broome : She opens with a quote from Erich Fromm and believes that “conditions for creativity are to be puzzled, to concentrate, to accept conflict and tension; to be born every day, to feel a sense of self.” She also shares her work from Pittsboro, North Carolina.

    4. Around and About with Bulldog Pottery : Stop here for the pottery blog from Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke. Also coming from North Carolina, Bulldog Pottery is the name of their store. See what’s new and where they will be next here.

    5. Brian Fields Pottery : Visit here for the blog of a man who never learned to stay out of the mud and quit playing in the fire. Brian is from parts unknown where he is a potter, artist, and seeker of knowledge. He recently began putting lids on his pots and blogs all about it.

    6. Mountain House Studios : Judy Shreve is from Johns Creek, Georgia. She is a studio potter who is currently working in earthenware. Her blog is about pottery, testing new forms, and life.

    7. Joy Tanner Pottery : Get journeys in and around the studio with this pottery blog. She currently lives and works in the mountains of North Carolina. One of her latest entries was on firing pottery.

    8. Dan Finnegan : His first pots were made in college in 1973. Dan then trained at the Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire, England and turned full time potter in 1980. His specialty is wood-fired and salt glazed stoneware.

    9. Ron Phil Beck Pottery : Ron began his pottery journey in 1992 after running to his hometown of Shelby, North Carolina. Then in 2008, he switched from salt glazed stoneware to earthenware for a variety of reasons. See why, what, and more by visiting.

    10. Support Your Local Potter : If you live in Abilene, Texas you can do just that. If not, you can get loads of inspiration from Brandon, who shares pottery and more. He is also part of The Phillips Pottery.

Inspiring Pottery Blogs by an Individual

Share your love of pottery with these bloggers.

    11. Jeff Campana : This individual potter actually is a lecturer at the University of Louisville. He discusses his style in detail, which focuses on lines. You can also view his photo archive and get information on upcoming events.

    12. Sister Creek Pottery : An introductory ceramics class in 2003 changed Gay’s life. What began as a retirement pass time has become a process. Both pottery and personal life are featured.

    13. Hatchville Pottery : Hollis was a former journalist, photographer, and editor. However, he has worked in pottery for a long time also and is taking a crack at it. His specialty is in pots for eating, drinking, and displaying flowers.

    14. Melt My Heart : This blog is authored by a dish maker, bicycle rider, and much more. From Philadelphia, Naomi keeps a full plate. You can also see literal plates on her blog.

    15. Sawdust & Dirt : Michael Kline doesn’t share much of who he is but there is loads of pottery. Posts are often completed works with the occasional commentary.

Inspiring International Pottery Blogs

Go overseas in these pottery blogs.

    16. Euan the Potter : This blogger was “born in Australia and made in Japan.” He gained a BA in Ceramics Design from Latrobe University and now lives north of Tokyo. Posts are both in English and Japanese.

    17. A Devonshire Pottery : Doug Fitch comes to us from Devon in the United Kingdom. He shares the tales of the goings on at Hollyford Pottery, which is near the village of Stockleigh. Pictures of his work, along with items that interest him, are shared.

    18. Bibbi Forsman : She is a ceramic artist who works in a studio at Konstepidemin in Sweden. She also spends her time promoting the arts and teaching. Posts focus on all things artistic, not just pottery.

    19. Brampton Pottery: This blog is written by Margaret Brampton, who is from Merstham, Surrey, United Kingdom. One of the latest entries was on unpacking the kiln and the wonders within.

    20. Paul the Potter : Click here for the trials and tribulations of Paul Jessop. He lives in the lovely Somerset village of Barrington and is trying to become a full time Potter. At the age of 46, he is trying to recapture his glory days through pottery.

    21. Hannah McAndrew : She won the Silver award for ceramics and blogs to let you know what else is happening. From Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom, she is a slipware potter. Learn more about her specialty in the blog.

    22. Future Primitive : Tiggy Fiander is inspired by the English countryside. Blogging from Eversham, she is a soap maker and her husband is the potter. Learn about both arts by visiting.

    23. That’s Arte : Click here for a pottery blog straight from Italy. Inspiration comes in the form of their passion for Italian pottery with news, exhibition and event reviews, articles on the history of Italian ceramics, and how to’s. They also have a collection of resources for those who want more.

    24. PotsILike : Russel comes to you from Brussels, Belgium. He is a potter who likes to look at pots a in the ‘flesh’, in books, and on the internet. He has also been a potter 28 years.

    25. Pinch Pots : Priscilla Mouritzen is a South African-born ceramist who has resided in Denmark since 1979. Her pottery specialty is wood fire. The blog focuses on working with clay and selling pots.

    26. Dragonfly Clay : Cheryl Kinzel writes to us from British Columbia. She is a ceramic artist who makes as much art as she can and smashes the rest. See what passes the test with a visit.

Inspirational Pottery Blogs by a Group

These group blogs have more inspiration for pottery.

    27. Ceramic Arts Daily : Information and inspiration come direct from the artist’s studio here. Sherman, Jennifer, and Bill are your hosts and give daily features. There are also helpful videos and even a glossary.

    28. Studio Pottery : This studio promotes ceramic works worldwide from the United Kingdom. Categories include for sale, galleries, and more to get you inspired.

    29. Art Pottery Blog : This is the blog for American Art Pottery. They are a store that sells pottery over the web. Check out the blog for new arrivals, events, and more.

    30. Clay Club : This blog aims to connect potters and ceramic artists of our community. They exchange ideas, share information, and help form friendships. Wanted items along with those for sale are often featured.

    31. Creative Studio : The Red Hot Pottery studio is located in Arizona. Christina is your blogger, host, potter, and even jeweler. See how she does it with a read.

    32. Windy Ridge Pottery : This gallery is located in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Joe and Christy not only create pottery but also hold classes there.

    33. Slipcast : Visit here for a blog dedicated to all things ceramic, art, pottery, science, and more. Matt and Dave are your hosts. Art and things that interest them are included.

    34. Craft Research : Louis Valentine and six other bloggers take on crafts, pottery, and more. She is a professor at the University of Dundee in Scotland. The future and present of art is also discussed.

Inspirational Pottery Sites

Visit these sites to get the basics, advanced methods, and everything in between that are inspirational for your pottery.

    35. Pottery : About.com is a first stop for anyone looking for inspiration on just about anything. Beth Peterson is your pottery guide to supplies, techniques, understandings, and much more. She also has a pottery blog with lots of help.

    36. Introduction to Pottery : Vincent Sansone is Director of the Ceramics department at Crealde School of Art in Winter Park, Florida. Any potter at any level should be super excited and inspired by the 20 free and instructional videos he has posted on eHow. They range on everything from centering the clay to finding a good school.

    37. Studio Pottery : In addition to the blog, there is also a main site with loads more. Visitors can learn about courses, galleries, museums, and more. There is also a directory with British and international potters.

    38. Pottery Studio : The Pottery Studio is a knowledge base for collectors, students, and lovers of all kinds of pottery. The gigantic site contains over 7,300 pages, so be sure to make time for it. Choose from different sorts of potters, potteries, and more.

    39. Etsy : Need more inspiration? Then stop here to view the works on sale from other potters. They include everything from bowls to vases. You can even set up your own account.

    40. Pine Root Pottery : Located in Bakersville, North Carolina, this site has loads of pottery inspiration. Choose from the gallery, events, teaching, and more. Be sure not to miss the videos with more.

    41. How to Make Pottery : Beginners who need inspiration should stop here. Techniques such as centering, opening, trimming, packing, and more are all discussed. They also have loads of videos for the viewing to help.

    42. The Clay Teacher : Cindy Clarke is your pottery teacher from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She has over 35 years of experience teaching at all levels. Click on Projects to get inspiration and guides to making your own works.

    43. Pottery : If Vincent’s introduction wasn’t enough for you, click here. Many other potters come here to share articles, how to’s, and videos. You can even submit your own pottery tips.

    44. American Pottery Association : If you have talent as a potter, stop here to see what membership can do for you. Non-members can still get information on events, classifieds, and more. Check out their journal if you would like to learn more.

Inspiring Pottery Blogs by a Publication

These newspapers, magazines, and more have inspirational items on pottery.

    45. Ceramics and Pottery : Get the latest news in the professional world of pottery from “The New York Times.” It includes commentary and even archival items. There are also slideshows and other art features.

    46. Interpreting Ceramics : This publication is available both online and in print. From the United Kingdom, click on Articles & Reviews to get just that. You can also send in your own articles for publication.

    47. Clay Times : This magazine is published once every three months. However, you can stop by the site to read a feature and tip. They also have a classified section and more tools.

    48. A & C Black : In publication since 1807, this is worth a look. They offer many books for the art-minded and more. Check out the Book of the Month or watch the latest video.

    49. Ceramics Monthly : This publication brings relevant contemporary pottery issues to you as a maker, educator, student, collector, or enthusiast of ceramic art. In addition to learning more about the magazine, you can check out their class, submit an entry, or check out their calendar of events.

    50. The Studio Potter : This non-profit organization has served the international ceramic community since 1972. Best of all, you can click on Articles to view many for free. They also have an email newsletter with more.

Whether you have decades of pottery experience, are digging into your first pile of clay, or are preparing for an exhibit, the above 50 inspiring pottery blogs can help you. Visit to get tips, make a sale, purchase, or even make a friend. Like all art, potters can only get better with practice, so visit often for tips to get better even faster.

10 Most Eccentric Artists Ever to Live

Artists, musicians, and other highly creative or innovative types must face the stereotype of the ranting, raving, erratic, and eccentric behavior. While not entirely true across the board, as is true for preconceived notions, there are a few celebrated artists out there who truly pushed the boundaries of what the communities around them considered the status quo. Eccentric, of course, is not used here as a term of derision, as a euphemism for “strange” or “odd” or “weird.” It very much ought to be considered a celebratory – though obviously subjective – word, admiring of the good and the bad that these artists did in their lives. No matter their triumphs or their mistakes, all of their actions had their basis in them wanting to be as they were (or, in one case, are) and not how mainstream society told them they needed to behave.

1. Michelangelo

Celebrated Renaissance sculptor and painter Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarotti Simoni remains an icon of the art world almost 500 years after his death. Enjoying considerable recognition in his own time – a rarity for many brilliant and talented creators – the legendary polymath also sported a rather disagreeable, frequently frustrated personality that manifested itself in a number of quirks and tics. Notoriously foul-tempered, many a story abounds of his screaming at statues and slamming at their appendages in agony and ecstasy as if hoping for a response. He also lived like a pauper in spite of his generous personal and financial successes – admirable in its humility, of course, but many of his apprentices and assistants claim that he took this lifestyle a bit too far. For example, Michelangelo allegedly lived in squalor and rarely kept up his clothes – going so far as to sleep with his shoes on and not change terribly often. He only ate when it was absolutely necessary to do so, considering food and drink as necessities rather than one of the many simple pleasures in life. Such a lifestyle afforded him almost as much unpopularity as his achingly beautiful works did renown. It is easy to see how these eccentricities came into being, however. As incredibly brilliant as he was, it is not outside the realm of probability that he felt something of a disconnection with mainstream society. This social exile likely led to what many psychologists believe to be a recurring theme of major depression in his work, as would his possibly homosexuality in a time when acts of sodomy were given the death penalty.

2. Leonardo

Michelangelo’s contemporary and frequent rival Leonardo da Vinci remains just as popular and iconic today – and just as elusive from a personal perspective as well. While Leonardo’s work does not carry the same undertones of passionate melancholy as his peer’s, brilliance oftentimes coincides with what the mainstream deems unusual behavior. In his case, the famously left-handed genius wrote most of his notes backwards. Many believe that he intended to obscure their meaning, but others think that it simply made the most sense to him given his circumstances. He kept his personal life extremely shrouded in spite of his popularity, possibly due to extremely serious accusations of sodomy. Throughout his life, Leonardo also maintained intimately close relationships with two youths who served as his models and assistants, though whether or not they became sexual makes for rather furious debate. Homosexuality, of course, is not in and of itself an eccentricity or a problem in contemporary times (and though it still is in some areas, ought not be). But during the Renaissance it was unfortunately looked upon as deviant behavior and a sign of poor moral character. Others argue that Leonardo remained entirely chaste following the accusations of sodomy out of trauma from the incident and a desire to cloak his true mores for fear of being discovered. All of this remains speculation, obviously, and it may be that historians never uncover any documents that lead to the reality. However, Leonardo also displayed other, more overt tics and quirks that had no ties with his sexuality. His manner of dress, for example, involved bright colors, short tunics, and hose considered more appropriate for younger men. He also sported long, flowing hair and beard at a time when closely cropped, cleaner looks were more in fashion for both. Even today mainstream society considers those who dress in a manner not found in fashion magazines a bit on the wacky or eccentric side for some reason.

3. Vincent van Gogh

Poor, grossly misunderstood Vincent van Gogh oftentimes stands as the veritable poster child for the stereotypic erratic artist. While he certainly suffered from some sort of mental illness – believed by many psychologists to be severe depression and alcoholism brought on by bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other similar condition – these caused him to exhibit behavior that many could consider eccentric as well. At an early age he struggled to fit into a job that required him to falsely think of art as nothing more than an object, displaying an irritable attitude that put off multitude of customers. After dismissal from that position, he floundered in and out of missionary work, but eventually quit that when the others involved with his work complained of his extremely fetid living conditions and frequent late-night crying spells. Van Gogh at one point even stuck his hand in a flaming lamp when hoping with painful earnestness to see a woman he loved who had rejected his proposal of marriage. However, his most iconic act of unusual and disconcerting behavior came following an argument with his friend and fellow painter Paul Gaugin. The myth dictates that he sliced off his entire ear and sent it to a love interest who had jilted him. In reality, he took a razor blade to the lower left-hand lobe and handed the bit of flesh to a prostitute. After the incident, van Gogh ended up hospitalized again, complaining of hallucinations. While certainly eccentric on the outside, the internal torment of mental illness that led to these activities still remains a crushingly serious and frequently misconstrued issue for many people today.

4. Frida Kahlo

Feminist icon Frida Kahlo, as powerful, creative, passionate, and intelligent as she was during her lifetime, nevertheless displayed some quirky, unusual behaviors. Due to massive physical traumas, her paintings – and life – took on an obsession and preoccupation with pain and how it comes to physically and emotionally shape those who suffer. Many would consider such a mindset that picks at every minute detail of the anguish that results from a lifetime of mental and physical woe something of an eccentricity, though it does make perfect sense considering how painting acted as a sort of therapy for her to get past the miscarriages and accidents. The openly bisexual Kahlo – an orientation which is not inherently symbolic of oddity – carried on a number of affairs with men and women (including the seductive beauty Josephine Baker) in response to husband Diego Rivera’s womanizing. However, she absolutely detested the man’s philandering in spite of her own, making for something of a quirky irony in their relationship. The two would come to frequent, impassioned arguments over the other’s affairs without ever applying their intelligence to figuring out that both parties stood guilty to some extent. These all too common lapses of logic, where one partner admonishes the other for actions that they themselves commit, do serve as a conduit for eccentricity and tics to emerge.

5. Henry Darger

Henry Darger led a curious life, marked by repetition and isolation. A menial worker at a Catholic hospital by profession – a position he kept until his retirement in 1963. Preferring to keep to his routine of comfortable isolation, he befriended very few people and stuck to a schedule with little to no variants. Working, attending Catholic mass (sometimes up to 5 times a day), and collecting bits of trash that he found of particular interest marked the vast majority of his life. None of his peers even knew about his artistry until after his death in 1973 when landlords Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner discovered a stunning cache of comprehensive literature and artwork. Today, Darger is considered the quintessential example of an outsider artist, and his vast array of watercolors, sketches, and illustrations of innocent children and their adventures have had a profound influence on the art scene even today. The 15,145-page The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion came accompanied by three volumes with hundreds of intricate depictions of the book’s events. While many watched the frail, shabby old man pick about the litter he found in the gutter, this seemingly eccentric behavior actually served a greater purpose. Darger used many of the newspaper clippings he found as references for his drawings since he had never formally studied art or anatomy.

6. Andy Warhol

The glorious Andy Warhol, pillar of the pop art movement, was no stranger to unusual and unorthodox behavior that stemmed directly from his involvement in conceptual paintings, illustrations, happenings, and films at The Factory. A major part of his public persona, in fact, revolved around challenging and deconstructed preconceived social norms. So while his works seemed eccentric and strange from the outside, they served a much higher purpose than their mere externals implied. Much of his well-documented acts of what is occasionally considered bizarre or indecent even to this day, including art films of frank sexuality, people sleeping, eating, and other seemingly mundane activities. Yes, they were a bit odd upon first viewing, and Warhol would have likely been the first to admit this. But that was their entire point. They questioned what people considered art in a manner similar to that of the Dadaists, but foregoing allegory and metaphor for literal interpretations of subject matter. In many ways, they also found the aesthetics present in the everyday as well – the simple act of eating a mushroom, for example, involves a complex series of bodily motions and functions that in and of themselves contain a profound amount of beauty. And the films concerned with intersections between sex and art addressed many of society’s wrongful cloaking of the human body as a shameful organic machine. They celebrated sexuality and the people involved as something that did not need hiding or a cloud of guilt and anger surrounding them.

7. Salvador Dalí

Along with Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí is another one of the personalities people think of when the subject of eccentric artists crops up. This flamboyant Spanish surrealist lived life on his own terms, unencumbered by preconceived notions of what constitutes polite society. He very much loved the finer things in life and indulged in multiple whimsical, frightfully endearing displays. The silly but iconic moustache lurked only on the surface of a dramatic and hilariously over-the-top personality that kept a luscious, exotic ocelot as a beloved pet, favored boastful capes and walking sticks as everyday attire, and confused and delighted those around them who could never figure out where the performance ended and the man began. In many ways, his life came to reflect the same whirling, dreamlike themes found in his engrossing paintings, photographs, jewelry, furniture, and sculptures. He would frequently refer to himself in the third person during interviews and even kept the pens of anyone who asked for an autograph. At one point he overtly praised genocidal Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, sending telegrams to compliment his death warrants and even painting a portrait of his granddaughter – however, nobody to this day knows if his intentions were earnest or entirely satirical as a means of sending an ironic statement.

8. Daniel Johnston

Like Vincent van Gogh, Daniel Johnston’s quirks stem from suffering from a highly misunderstood mental illness – in this case bipolar disorder, possibly brought on by a traumatic LSD trip. This much-beloved outsider artist is also a celebrated musician who has performed in a wide variety of festivals and art shows – including the prestigious Whitney Biennial. He attracted a number of ardent fans by handing out cassette tapes to anyone and everyone he came across, and his watercolors and sketches blur the lines of copyright by incorporating popular characters such as Captain America and Casper the Friendly Ghost into the illustrations. They reflect many of his almost childlike perspectives on the world around them, containing frequent messages life-affirming positivity such as the iconic “Hi, How Are You?” mural in Austin, TX that introduced the world to his lovable frog character Jeremiah the Innocent. As the only artist on this list still living, Johnston’s popularity has only swelled with the expansion of the internet. Interested parties can purchase prints and originals of his work through his official website, maintained by his family. The 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston chronicled how his bipolar disorder came to impact his creativity and motivate both the music and the art. Unfortunately, his mental state also deteriorated at this time as well, and he was forced to spend a bit of time in a psychiatric hospital.

9. Paul Gaugin

Vincent Van Gogh’s friend and contemporary Paul Gauguin forged his connection with the troubled impressionist over their shared experiences with suicidal, self-destructive, alcoholic thoughts and actions. These distresses would lead him to act in a rather erratic, eccentric manner, though some manifestations – such as an obsession with cultures beyond his own – remained entirely harmless, even positive. He fervently hoarded art and crafts from as far away as Japan, Tahiti, Martinique, Panama, Polynesia, and others as a means of inspiring what would later become highly influential work. However, this hobby eventually turned into a frequently volatile relationship with European culture and religion, specifically the Catholic Church, that would have landed him in prison for 3 months had he not died of syphilis before serving the sentence. Much of Gauguin’s bitterness towards France (and the entire European continent as a whole) stemmed from his feeling underappreciated by both the art scene and mainstream society. It is easy to see why he found life on tropical islands far more agreeable than his own home.

10. Pablo Picasso

Brilliant and undeniable eccentric, Pablo Picasso carved notches in his bedpost with the same fervency as his contemporary Ernest Hemingway. Marrying or declaring his undying devotion to countless women in his lifetime, Picasso collected affairs and lovers the way some people collect stamps. He enjoyed a hearty amount of fame and recognition as the father of the Cubist movement and spent his money on lavish houses and parties and prostitutes like the classic wealthy, sophisticated eccentric archetype. In addition, his pacifistic ideology and outspoken protests against the multitude of wars and armed conflicts that arose during his life – unpopular opinions that garnered a fair amount of criticism and ill regard from those who supported or fought in both World Wars and the Korean War, among others. In spite of his philandering and rejection of violence as a viable solution to conflict, however, art historians consider Picasso the most recognizable, iconic creative figure of the 20th Century and he remains the highest ranked artist in terms of finances and the amount of money his work pulls in at auctions.

These artists, no matter their circumstances or motivations, challenge the assumptions of what constitutes “normal” behavior as dictated by mainstream society. While some of them needed serious psychological help and others could have done with a little bit of relationship counseling, they all remain admirable to some degree for electing to live their lives as they saw fit. They bear the label of “eccentric” not as an epithet, but rather as a source of pride for not giving in to external social pressures.

100 Awe-Inspiring Artists You Should Follow On Twitter

Everyone knows the works of Picasso, Van Gogh, and others, but who has the time or money to travel the world viewing works of new artists? And if you are one, or just enjoy it as a hobby, you know that inspiration is key in creating works of your own. Now you don’t have to set a foot outside your door or spend a dollar to get creative.

Those of you who have a Twitter account are in for some good news. We have found 100 awe-inspiring artists you should follow on Twitter listed mostly by number of current followers. A micro-blogging service, they offer free accounts to all, bringing you news, links, and more via tweets. Sign up or log in to begin checking out all the inspiration that awaits you.

Awe-Inspiring Art News You Should Follow on Twitter

Stop here first to get headlines on the latest trends and findings in art.

    freelancefoldercom1. NY Times Arts : Get just the art related news from leading newspaper “The New York Times.” Headlines come regularly and you can sort by theater, books, arts, and more.

    2. Top Art News : Don’t leave your Twitter account and instead get the latest news delivered right to you. This user is looking for the next great artist while giving up to the minute news.

    3. American Artist Magazine : The online product developer at this publication maintains this Twitter feed. Get answers and links to art headlines here.

    4. Artist A Day : Stop here to learn about the featured artist of the day, every day. They also link back to their work with even more inspiration.

    5. Blick Art : Get fresh tweets for anyone with a taste for art served up from Sierra in Illinois. Opinion, headlines, and more are given.

    6. Arts News : Both news and trends are featured here. Tweets are sparse but also link to useful articles.

    7. Art Log : This is an interactive art and cultural directory. Get news on events and artists in New York.

    8. Art Calendar : Visual artists can get news and updates here. Tips include everything from inspiring your art to doing your taxes.

Awe-Inspiring Artists of all Trades You Should Follow on Twitter

These artists have two or more areas of specialty.

    jungleboffincom9. Gemstars : She is an artist, weaver of ideas, and more from Canada. Random thoughts and links are featured on the Twitter feed.

    10. Dianne Hendrix : This artist and photographer is based in Alaska. Lists include art, writing, travel, and more.

    11. Douglas Decker : Doug is both a visual and taste artist, also known as a chef. Politics are mostly featured.

    12. Lissa Rankin : This artist is an OBGYN who has written about “encaustic art and coochies.” Find out what both of these are by following tweets.

    13. Art Wiz : One of the few curators on Twitter, you can find information and inspiration on tons of art. Tweets are also on random things.

    14. Tenacious Artist : Cathy F. is from Texas and runs Deutsch Friesenhahn Fin Art. Over 20,000 followers check in to hear her inspiring words on life, art, and more.

    15. Rob Sheridan : He is an artist, designer, and photographer from Los Angeles. He is also the Creative Director for alternative band Nine Inch Nails.

Awe-Inspiring Paint Artists You Should Follow on Twitter

These artists use brushes, easels, and more to create stunning visual masterpieces.

    1xcom16. Colorado Artist : This anonymous artist doesn’t share much about them, but is still a favorite among Twitter users. Tweets are often links to art, sushi, and more.

    17. Labedzki Art : This Canadian artist focuses on the abstract. Get links to work, auctions, and more.

    18. Apombalivre : Maria is a Portuguese painter who also is an illustrator and author of poems and short stories. Must speak the language.

    19. Boyd Greene : He finds inspiration in the Appalachian Foothills for his nature-based paintings. You can view his works, or get a response via Twitter.

    20. Quinn Michaels : This painter also dabbles in cold fusion development. He often engages followers with his tweets.

    21. Natasha : She is a painter of whimsical landscapes from Los Angeles. Responses and tips are found on this Twitter stream.

    22. Matthew Tubbesing : Get an artist who also enjoys jazz here. Everything from abstract to the Blues are discussed.

    23. Adelaide Damoah : From the U.K., she is an oil painter and a self-described “hermit and social butterfly.” See what she is up to from her tweets.

    24. Dan Byl : This painter actually uses eBay to sell his art. Latest works are often featured.

Awe-Inspiring Modern Artists You Should Follow on Twitter

Many different media are used to produce and inspire this sort of art.

    25. Museum of Modern Art : Located in New York, MOMA is a must follow for all modern artists. Tweets are most updates on goings-on at the museum.

    26. Arthur Rau : From Dublin, Ohio, he tweets on modern and contemporary art, theory, design, and more. Tweets are usually on random items.

    27. Donna Bernstein : This artist enjoys using horses as her subjects. She also works in paintings, sculptures, and more.

    28. BJ Katz : This artist has a wide variety of interests including healthcare, hospitality, spirit, and others. It’s been a while since the last tweet.

    29. Byer Studio : If you love art but can’t afford it, click here. Although there hasn’t been a new tweet in a while, the main site has more.

    30. SVFA : Steven Vail is an artist from Des Moines, Iowa. Follow him to get unprotected tweets.

    31. Robin Smink : Modern art is featured as street urban photography here. She tweets works, useful tips, and more.

    32. Swarez Art : This contemporary artist paints abstract and modern works of art. Tweets are often on random thoughts.

    33. Mauger Modern Art : This Twitter user focuses on this aspect of art. Get links, thoughts, and more.

    34. Plane Pieces : Get modern aviation art from this Twitter user. Sculptures, tables, lamps, and others are featured.

Awe-Inspiring Sculpture Artists You Should Follow on Twitter

These three dimensional works of art contain loads of inspiration.

    35. Pete Anton : His popsicle sculpture is featured on his profile pic. Updates on his work and responses fill most of the tweets.

    36. Kathy’s Art : This sculptor also does painting, poetry, politics, and more. Tweets are often on random topics.

    37. Budweiser Bob : He carved a guitar out of a tree and shows you in his profile pic. Tweets are often words of inspiration.

    38. Pereira da Silva : From Portugal, he is a sculptor that has been featured in the public and corporate world. He often links to new blog entries.

    39. Brisbane Artist : This Twitter user explores healing and spirituality through sculpture. Tweets often are on the same topic.

    40. Dances Sculpture: David is from Seattle where he is passionate about sculpture, family, basset hounds, and marketing. Get inspired for all of the above by following his tweets.

    41. Liz A. Myers : From “The Republic of Vermont,” she both sculpts and paints. Tweets are usually on daily life.

    42. Farrell Hamman : His art has been featured in The White House. In addition to sculpting, he also does paintings and mosaics.

    43. A Ball Studio : Andrew is a project manager by day and sculptor by night. Get tweets on both.

    44. AGP Art Studio : Learn more about sculptures in paint, pottery, and ceramics here. Politics make up the content of most of the tweets.

Awe-Inspiring Artists Who Love Art You Should Follow on Twitter

These Twitter users have a special love of art and share here.

    45. Estria : He strives to have graffiti recognized as a legitimate art form. See his work, along with the works of others by following.

    46. Mark E. Wade : He is a creative thinker form Connecticut. Get inspired by random thought and musings through tweets.

    47. Discover Artists : The site is an exclusive online gallery that promotes all sorts of artists. See who and what is currently being promoted.

    48. iTweetArt: The Law of Attraction and Gratitude are used when discussing art. A good choice for those who love art as much as this user.

    49. Adrianasimo : This Twitter user’s son has autism and doesn’t let it stop him from creating art. See what they are both up to by following tweets.

    50. Annie Strack : In addition to being a writer for “Art Calendar Magazine,” she is also a professional maritime artist. Tweets are often on daily life.

    51. Art Impress : Based in Russia, this is an association of artists, projects, and classics. Tweets in English are usually links to art related items.

    52. Art Upstart : An anonymous artist chronicles the art world from the outside in. Tweets are often random and insightful thoughts.

    53. Galerie Art Dumay : This art gallery specializes in all sorts of art as well as the frames that go with them. You don’t have to speak German to appreciate the links to impressive pictures.

    54. Dr. Paula Hudson : Are you an artist who wants to get in touch with the art loving community? Then follow Paula who specifically began the Twitter account to meet artists.

    55. Jaime Lyerly : An emerging artist herself, Jamie enjoys sculpture, studying, reading, and being a mother. Tweets are often art focused.

Awe-Inspiring Photography Artists You Should Follow on Twitter

See how these artists make impressive pictures with just a camera and lights.

    56. LIFE : Well known for its photography, this magazine is famous for its covers, Year in Pictures, and more. Tweets link to iconic photographs with loads of inspiration.

    57. The Big Klosowski : Andrew Klosowski is a professional photographer based in Denver. He often responds to the tweets of others.

    58. Gary Arndt : Based in Singapore, Gary is a travel blogger and photographer. Lists include hostels, parks and museums, photography, and gear.

    59. Heilan Yvette Grimes : This photographer also dabbles in writing, designing, and art. Tweets are random, but you can view works at Artist Rising.

    60. Jonathan Nafarrete : This photographer enjoys social media, drives a Ford Fiesta, and is proud of it. He often responds to tweets.

    61. Scott Bourne : He is the host of the Photofocus Podcast and president of Bourne Media Group. Tweets are often on photography and technology.

    62. Gerold Warnken : This photographer is from Germany. Must speak it or have a good translator to follow.

    63. Light Stalking : This Twitter feed is all about photography and getting the most out of it. Photo of the Day and much more are featured for inspiration.

    64. Peta Pixel : Get photography for the 2.0 generation in this Twitter feed. Tons of useful links are featured.

Awe-Inspiring Craft Artists You Should Follow on Twitter

These artists work with their hands to come up with all sorts of artistic pieces.

    65. Utrecht Art : An art supply store, they tweet on all sorts of art related topics. They often link to news stories on art.

    66. Katherine Friesen : She loves both woodworking and gardening. Tweets contain both tips and inspiration.

    67. Craft Magazine : Three artists tweet on crafts here. The how-to tweets are of particular interest.

    68. Café Handmade VCS : This virtual craft show features artist interviews, giveaways, and more. Check out the newest episode or completed works via tweets.

    69. KnotBy9 : This married woman still likes to play with dolls. Of particular note are the tweets linking to free crafts.

    70. Handmade Crafts : This online craft show features loads of handmade crafts and artists. Get links to all sorts of works by following.

    71. She’s Batty Design : This artist posts crafts on Etsy and Artfire. You can also see what she is up to via Twitter.

    72. Paige Lenox George : This knitter is a supporter of the handmade movement. See what it is and how you can take part by following tweets.

    73. Stampington : This company specializes in providing art supplies to women who want to craft. New items and deals are featured regularly.

Awe-Inspiring Writers You Should Follow on Twitter

Get inspired for art in print with the help of these writers on Twitter.

    74. Neil Gaiman : Get inspired by the writer of works such as “Coraline” and “Stardust.” Neil also writes comics, a blog, and keeps a regular Twitter feed.

    75. Warren Ellis : The writer of several comic books, Warren’s ability to connect with his fans has won him many followers. Depraved and insightful tweets are sure to inspire.

    76. Diablo Cody : She won an Oscar for the movie “Juno.” Quirky and thoughtful tweets are sure to inspire.

    77. Paul Coelho : From Brazil, he is both a lyricist and a novelist. Tweets are in English and Portuguese.

    78. Eleesha : Author of “The Soul Whisperer,” she shares her personal story and inspirational words. Tweets are often responses to followers.

    79. Lisa Collier Cool : A freelance writer, her books are on a variety of professional subjects. She often links to items of interest.

    80. Dillon Burroughs : He is a best-selling author of over 20 books. Dillon works with the less fortunate and tweets all about it.

    81. Blank Must Die : The writer of this graphic novel focuses on iconography, ghost, murder, and more. Tweets often link or respond to questions.

    82. Danny Wallace : In addition to writing “Yes Man” and “Join Me,” Danny has also been a comedian and presenter. Expect answers to questions and links.

Awe-Inspiring Actors You Should Follow on Twitter

Making art with their bodies, check out these actors.

    83. Rainn Wilson : Best known for his role in “The Office,” Rainn is also co-creator of Soul Pancake. Tweets are random and hilarious.

    84. Felicia Day : If you’ve never heard of her, Google “The Guild.” She broke ground with this amazing web series and “keeps her tweets real.”

    85. LeVar Burton : Whether for his role in “Star Trek” or “Roots,” LeVar is definitely an inspiration to everyone, including artists. Tweets are on what he is up to, along with links.

    86. Peter Facinelli : This young actor has starred in “Twilight” and “Nurse Jackie.” Tweets are often on items that interest him.

    87. Stephen Fry : This British actor has become a sensation on Twitter. Follow amusing, inspiring, and thoughtful tweets to see why.

    88.  Rob Corddry : This self-proclaimed gentleman has had a number of roles but is probably most remembered for “The Daily Show.” Tweets keep up in that comedic formula.

    89. Steve Agee : This comedian can currently be seen on “The Sarah Silverman Program.” He often answers the tweets of others.

    90. Christina Applegate : We loved her for her role in “Married With Children” and were inspired by her battle with cancer. Her tagline alone makes her worth a follow.

    91. Eliza Dushku : Eliza is best known for her roles in “Buffy” and “Dollhouse.” She often engages her followers in discussions.

Awe-Inspiring Music Artists You Should Follow on Twitter

Because music is art with sounds, check out these top Twitter users. We know everyone has different taste, but at least one is worth a follow.

    92. Britney Spears : The number two most followed person on Twitter has over 4 million people read her tweets. See what she is up to and get music related links.

    93. John Mayer : Known for his love life as well as his music, John fashions himself both a recording and sandwich artist. Tweets are usually what he is up to.

    94. Ashley Tisdale : A Disney star, she now records solo albums. See what she is up to by following her tweets.

    95. Coldplay : Their eclectic rock music is said to be inspiring to artists. Tweets are on daily life and links.

    96. I am Diddy : Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, and Sean Combs, can all be found here. He often links to things that interest him.

    97. Mariah Carey : She has been at the top of the charts for about 20 years. Check out her newest music and more on her tweets.

    98. 50 Cent : One of the most well-known protégés ever, 50 made the scene with his hit “In the Club.” Tweets are sparse but usually have links.

    99. Ashlee Simpson Wentz: With a famous sister and husband, Ashlee is now a mother. Tweets usually involve random thoughts.

    100. Pitchfork Media : If you still haven’t found a musician you would like to follow, click here. This Twitter user gives an essential guide to independent music to help you broaden your horizons.

Whether looking to be inspired through picture, drawings, words, or screen, the above 100 awe-inspiring artist you should follow on Twitter can have the creative juices flowing in no time. If you are an artist who would like to use Twitter to promote your work, check out this useful article by social media giant Mashable.

Top 100 Interior Design Blogs

Like any other form of art and self-expression, interior decorating requires an intimate knowledge of color, line, shape, texture, perspective, and the other elements of design. Amateurs and professionals alike familiar with what constitutes a working, aesthetic room within certain budget, space, and stylistic guidelines have thousands – if not millions – of options open to them when it comes to finding something unique and personal. But creativity does not exist in a vacuum, and those in need of advice and ideas can simply head to the internet to discover exactly what they want. The following blogs offer up plenty for those who feel as if they hit a roadblock in their decorating, need some ideas to get started, or simply want a bit of a push when it comes to finding a product. Far more interior design blogs exist beyond this, of course, with each one offering something different to its reader base. Please use these listed here as excellent resources, but understand that the value of the unlisted others as well.

interiordesign11. Apartment Therapy : One of the most popular interior design websites on the internet, Apartment Therapy showcases innovative works from 6 different American cities.

2. Ikea Hacker : Popular among the budgeted, postmodernist, and DIY sets, IKEA furniture has much more to offer than sitting there and looking very, very European.

3. COCOCOZY : This eclectic blog by a Los Angeles-based interior design hobbyists covers a nice variety of different styles.

4. PadStyle : Fans of unusual and innovative design will appreciate everything that PadStyle discusses, which tends towards postmodern and contemporary furniture and accessories.

5. Breathe Modern : LateMag showcases the latest trends and ideas that come to shape modern design as it exists today and as it will appear in the future.

6. Material Girls : Interior designers from 5 different American cities discuss the latest decorating trends and events in their respective areas.

7. Design*Sponge : No matter what readers are looking for in regards to interior decorating, Design*Sponge has plenty of advice for a wide range of styles, budgets, and spaces.

interiordesign28. Tiny-Ass Apartment : Apartment and loft dwellers seem tragically underrepresented when it comes to interior design blogs, but this one offers up quite a bit of advice to suit their restrictions.

9. Patricia Gray Interior Design : Stay updated on all the latest decorating trends and tips from an award-winning interior designer from Vancouver.

10. MoCo Loco : Although the blog features a non-traditional layout that some may find difficult to peruse, MoCo Loco is a must-see for anyone who enjoys modern and contemporary pieces.

11. Carolina Eclectic : The Carolina Eclectic blog loves featuring a broad variety of stylistic preferences appropriate for residential areas.

12. decor8 : No matter the taste or the space, decor8 has something to offer anyone in need of a little design inspiration.

13. Hatch : Quirky, funky, and extremely creative designs and designers alike comprise the majority of the content featured at Design Public’s official blog.

14. The City Sage : Fashion and interior design merge together to provide an interesting, informative resource for anyone hoping for a little decorating inspiration.

15. Inhabitat : House or apartment dwellers concerned about living within environmentally-friendly standards ought to check out the latest developments from the highly respected Inhabitat.

16. decorology : Classic and modern sensibilities converge to offer up inspiration suitable for a wide variety of personal aesthetics.

17. Yanko Design : Yanko caters to readers with a fondness for minimalistic, industrial design work, though every once in a while something that is not attempting to linger on the cutting edge will crop up.

interiordesign318. Velvet & Linen : Brooke Giannetti enjoys more rustic, classic designs, and her blog serves as a great starting point for anyone needing a bit of inspiration.

19. avant-garde : Anyone hoping for a few ideas in the vein of edgy, postmodern interior design and fashion will find quite a bit to enjoy on this blog.

20. Dezeen : Look over all the latest trends in architecture, interior design, and fashion with this stylish, cutting-edge blog.

21. beachbungalow8 : Though a somewhat general lifestyle blog, the vast majority of entries on beachbungalow8 pertain to interior decorating with a rather casual style.

22. belle maison : belle maison features beautiful home décor items and some striking pieces of furniture to inspire its readers.

23. Decorator On Demand : Interior designer Marie Cole weighs in on almost every element of her art to provide ideas for her readers.

24. CoolBoom : Read about the latest cutting-edge trends in not only interior design, but architecture and fashion as well.

25. Beautiful Bones Design : Browse this excellent blog for information on some intriguing new products and movements within the interior decorating industry.

interiordesign426. DesignBoston : Though emphasizing design as it relates to Boston, anyone, anywhere can still appreciate and find interest in all the postings.

27. Good Bones Great Pieces : A highly respected mother-daughter team of interior designers offer up their insights and experiences to help readers find looks that work well for them.

28. Daily Icon : Browse through stunning photos depicting amazing architecture and interiors for ideas and inspiration on designing personal spaces.

29. The Decorating Diva : The Decorating Diva is one of the most comprehensive interior design blogs available, with a wealth of information for every room, budget, space, and style.

30. Poised to Move : Updated monthly, Poised to Move serves as a sort of blog-newsletter hybrid that summarizes the latest news and developments in easily digestible chunks.

31. HAUTE*NATURE : Taking inspiration from green initiatives, HAUTE*NATURE proves that style and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.

32. Simplified Bee : Frazzled mothers needing durable designs that withstand contact with often clumsy small children love the tips and tricks offered by Simplified Bee.

33. Apartment 123 : In spite of operating a general lifestyle blog, Apartment 123 writer Christina Ramirez provides quite a bit of advice on stylish interior design along with her recipes and fashion tips.

34. Addicted 2 Decorating : Aspiring interior decorators with a love of DIY projects and stories of trends and news within the community ought to drop by and see what Addicted 2 Decorating has to offer.

35. Home Design Find : No matter one’s personal style, Home Design Find has something new and exciting that may pique their interest.

36. Decoist : Decoist features some of the latest trends and innovations in contemporary, postmodern design and architecture.

interiordesign537. coochicoos : Everything on coochicoos revolves around babies – not only the interior design for their nurseries, but their clothes and accessories as well.

38. High Fashion Home : Anyone looking to decorate their homes or offices with trendy designer pieces will greatly enjoy browsing High Fashion Home’s extensive archive of photos and advice.

39. the interior motive : Jazz Waheed discusses renovations, trends, and news from within the interior decorating community.

40. Modern Design Blog : Discussions on issues relating to contemporary interior design, fashion, architecture, and home décor and goods comprise the bulk of this blog’s content.

41. The Love List : Fans of Southern style and sensibilities will enjoy seeing how Jessica Nell Graves infuses a sense of edge into old traditional standbys.

42. Chair Blog : Like a good rug, a chair can really tie a room together. Stay updated on innovative, creative, and traditional chair designs to learn how to pick the very best for a room.

43. Green Your Décor : Learn how to decorate a home using products made using sustainable practices and materials in order to reduce negative environmental impact.

44. 2Modern Design Talk : Beyond interior decorating, 2Modern also looks at art, architecture, books, food, and many, many, other elements of design

interiordesign645. A Schematic Life : Michelle Moreland shares sketches and photos of her myriad interior design projects as well as others she finds valuable to anyone hoping to decorate their home.

46. Simple Solutions : Interior design does not have to be a headache for those involved. Simple Solutions offers exactly what the title implies.

47. Designspotter.com : Home décor is one of the many amazing things featured on this fantastic resource for all things contemporary and modern.

48. Home-Designing : Home-Designing covers almost every facet of interior decorating, making sure to cover an extensive variety of items suitable for most tastes.

49. The Adventures of Tartanscot : Interior designer Scot Meacham Wood shows off the pictures and trends that inspire his own work with the hopes that others may find them useful as well.

50. Diana Paparo Studio, Ltd. : Keep track of the projects Diana Paparo Studio deals with on a regular basis, usually with an eye towards luxury.

51. ::Surroundings:: : New England Home Magazine’s official blog travels through that particular region of the United States to bring readers the most dramatic and aesthetic examples of interior design.

52. The Design File : The Design File purposely seeks out some of the most fun, quirky, and interesting pieces of furniture and home décor it can find to share with its viewers.

53. GrassrootsModern : All of the design work featured at GrassrootsModern is picked specifically for its affordability and fashionable, appealing style.

54. Brilliante Home Décor & Staging : Fans of Italian (specifically Milanese) design will adore this sophisticated blog that updates with news and trends from one of the leading fashionable nations.

interiordesign755. Yossawat : Browse a stunning showcase of ornate and simplistic interiors for inspiration and ideas for the home or office.

56. Molly Frey Design : Experienced interior decorator Molly Frey enjoys creating spaces that look clean and laid-back, and her blog reflects these sensibilities.

57. qerat : Amman-based furniture designer qerat creates and shows off some absolutely beautiful modernist, postmodernist, and contemporary pieces for the discerning interior designer.

58. desire to inspire : Find inspiration with the myriad photos, news, trends, tips, and tricks offered up by a bevy of respected, experienced interior designers.

59. Pure Style Home : Read through Pure Style home for a few DIY projects and ideas for simple, stylish home décor.

60. STYLEBEAT : Marisa Marcantonio served as the style editor for both House Beautiful and O at Home, and here she shares her thoughts on new trends and innovations within her field.

61. Contemporist : Peruse the extensive and impressive archives of Contemporist for ideas and inspiration about, of course, modern and contemporary design.

62. Meade Design Group : This impressive “Renaissance-studio” works in both interior and graphic design, blogging about both as well as their interactions with one another.

63. Dale’s HD Inspiration : Although Dale’s HD Inspiration focuses on trends in hotel and hospitality design, house and apartment dwellers will still find something of interest when it comes to furnishing limited spaces.

interiordesign864. escapade : Declaring itself “in search of a life more fabulous,” escapade explores trends and ideas in regards to home and apparel style.

65. DesignTies : Bloggers and interior designers Kelly James and Victoria Lambert show off their projects with the hope of inspiring others to find styles and sensibilities that suit them.

66. sub-studio design blog : Alongside home décor, the sub-studio design blog also discusses trends and fashions in clothing and accessories as well.

67. Remodelista : Anyone hoping to remodel or renovate a home ought to seriously consider some of the techniques discussed in this amazing resource.

68. The Style Files : Stop by The Style Files for more than just inspiration for home décor – fashion and design trends get covered here as well.

69. zaINTERIORA.net : Anyone seeking edgy new design work absolutely must stop by this incredible blog that provides information and ideas for a funky new look.

70. CribFashion.com : Fans of quirky, creative, and eclectic designs will love the photos and advice found through CribFashion.com.

71. Trendir : Interior designers and homeowners with generous budgets and refined, modernist tastes should use Trendir as one valuable resource.

72. Concept Interior : An interior decorating firm in Bath that shares many of its inspirations – not only limited to home accessories, either!

73. Trendoffice : As the name implies, Trendoffice focuses almost exclusively on new movements, motions, and ideas that crop up in the interior design industry.

74. On the Move Interiors Interior Design Blog : Though emphasizing multiple facets of interior design, On the Move Interiors also frequently discusses architecture as well.

interiordesign975. Lushpad Blog : For fans of the modern, postmodern, contemporary, creative, and eclectic, Lushpad Blog provides some excellent pieces of eye candy for inspiration.

76. freshome : With an eye for the contemporary and cutting edge, freshome caters to interior designers both amateur and professional who enjoy staying a fashionable step ahead of the crowd.

77. HomePortfolio : No matter what room needs furnishings or renovations, the fantastic HomePortfolio has suggestions and advice to suit almost any need.

78. Dorset Custom Furniture : Regardless of one’s tastes, it certainly behooves DIY or professional interior decorators to know exactly how quality custom furniture goes from creative idea to finished product.

79. Casa Diseno LLC : The innovative, intelligent, and creative Casa Diseno takes artistic concepts and finds ways to incorporate them into unique rooms.

80. phorm-design-life : Steven Stewart and Ian Wrightston show off the styles that inspire their eclectic projects and discuss some of their favorite interior decorating trends.

81. the lacquered peacock : Readers who enjoy gazing at pictures of and reading about the latest in home fashions will love many of the products and ideas featured on the lacquered peacock.

82. Interior Arcade : No matter the style, Interior Arcade will likely have many blog posts to browse for ideas on products and concepts.

83. Oliveaux : This blog by a Brisbane-based interior decorator acts as a virtual “design board” to share her favorite pieces, tips, and tricks from around the community.

84. DesignShell.Com : Anyone who delights in unusual, visually catching décor will enjoy many of the conversations pieces featured at DesignShell.Com.

85. The Designer Insider : With a concern for the consumer, this blog showcases a number of different pieces of furniture and home décor only available through the ones who designed them so nobody has to miss out on a product they want or need.

86. Twenty Twenty-One : This intelligent blog focuses on mid-century and modernist designs, including not only home décor, but the closely related fields of art and architecture as well.

interiordesign1087. Mid Century Modern : Retro-futurism, modernism, and mid-century design form the core of this fun blog that can find the beauty in the kitschy.

88. Dwell : Dwell magazine’s online presence covers the same trends, news, and product reviews regarding architecture and interior design as the print edition.

89. Design Milk : Keep up with all the latest news, trends, and developments in the design world with one of the most popular, relevant sites on the web.

90. shelteriffic : This eclectic lifestyle blog posts about the fun and creative new furniture and home décor products available today.

91. CasaSugar : CasaSugar predominantly features eclectic, feminine, and trendy home design tips, tricks, and products.

92. ShelterPop : DIY projects join up with the usual photos for inspiration and information, with a number of different styles and sensibilities represented.

93. Retro Renovation : Interior decorators amateur and professional alike hoping to channel their inner Betty Draper will absolutely adore the ideas and styles presented here.

94. Oh Joy! : Anyone who enjoys fun design work that brings a spark of happiness and light to a day ought to see the myriad home décor products featured at the Oh Joy! blog.

95. Blue Ant Studio : Study the interplay between architecture and interior design with Blue Ant Studio’s stunning photography of some very, very cool places and things.

96. Interior Warrior : In spite of being a relatively new blog, Interior Warrior posts up some excellent articles on the latest news from around the design world.

97. Living With White : Living With White boasts one of the most unique interior decoration blog concepts, focusing on design elements using a very popular neutral.

98. Re:fresh Design Studio : Katie Raadt has a lot to say about interior decorating, sharing the latest developments at her studio and showcasing many of the people, places, and things that inspire her.

99. Splendid Willow : Traditional standbys receive a distinctly postmodern, Swedish twist to create unique, aesthetic pieces for the home.

100. The Mid-Century Modernist : Another great blog catering to the aesthetic sensibilities of those who enjoy mid-century modern and retro-futurist designs.

Whether looking for a couple of accessories or wanting to re-do an entire room from the ground up, there is no reason to entirely rely on oneself for inspiration and handy tips. Feed off the ideas and input of others in order to create a unique and accurate portrait of the self in the surrounding environment. It is surprising how much one can learn when opening up to new venues of creativity.

100 Incredible Web Tools to Indulge Your Creativity

Graphic designers, web designers, painters, animators, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, and other artists do not create and design in a vacuum. They need inspiration and outlets for their fervent desires to find the best possible channels for self-expression. Even the internet, which does not necessarily always conjure up thoughts of cutting-edge art and artistic tools, actually provides a vast number of excellent tools and resources for creative types to discover new and exciting ways to assert themselves – in some cases even receive helpful advice to help them grow and learn how to best harness their energy and explore their potential.

1. Color Palette Generator : Upload an interesting image and receive in return a comprehensive inventory of all the colors involved.

2. Picasa : Google provides free image editing software for anyone hoping to clean up and edit their digital photos.

3. Flickr : Flickr not only offers up generous storage space for pictures and video, but a few different ways to edit them as well.

4. Pixton : Create a number of cool comic strips with this interesting website that helps users create characters and scenes.

5. Aviary Suite : 7 different amazing tools comprise the Aviary Suite, most of which involve some degree of specialized image manipulation – though one focuses on audio and video.

6. deviantART : Upload, sell, make prints, and receive (hopefully) valuable advice from one of the internet’s largest artist communities.

7. Flash PAINT : This full painting application allows participants to create and save their own drawings and sketches – even share them with other users!

8. artPad : Another fun online drawing and painting program, artPad even provides a number of frames for users to showcase their work in their online gallery.

9. Digital Painter : Aspiring or DIY interior designers – or anyone who simply enjoys decorating a room – will have a nice time looking through color and pattern schemes for the home.

10. Splash Paint : Unfortunately, anyone hoping to preserve their Splash Paint creations will have to screenshot them due to the tool’s lack of a save function. However, it still makes for a fun way to nurture creativity and an eye for color.

11.Design a Room : For those inclined towards interior decorating, Armstrong’s Design a Room tool provides a wide variety of elements for users to create their dream spaces.

12. 2Simple Suite : 2Simple hosts a number of creative tools aimed mostly towards kids, involving painting, publishing, animation, and more.

13. FineArtStudioOnline : Artists hoping to build up their web presence receive a 30 day free trial of FineArtStudioOnline’s personalized marketing services.

14. Proportional Scale Calculator : Proportion is one of the main elements of design that artists need to keep in mind, and this valuable tool helps them figure out how objects relate to one another.

15. Creative Commons License Generator : Any creative types hoping to place their work under the creative commons license can work out the wording that expresses their wishes for the piece or pieces in question.

16. Fretboardprinter : Guitarists and bassists wanting to keep track of chords and scales will have plenty to appreciate about this valuable tool aimed at both teachers and students.

17. Sweater Pattern Generator : Knitters looking to whip up a quick sweater can fill out their sizes and preferences and receive a free custom pattern with a quick click of the mouse.

18. QueekyPaint : Create animated drawings and share them for critique and entertainment in the Queeky community.

19. Sloper Design Form : Use the Sloper Design Form as a means of creating 3D images suitable for knitting, sewing, and crochet patterns.

20. Big Ears : This nifty Java applet is considered “the world’s first ear training software” and helps any interested parties learn how to recognize all the elements of music.

21. HTML Characters Codes : Web designers will appreciate this reference, which lists name and number codes for special characters.

22. Dabbleboard : Perfect for businesses, this online whiteboard offers a collaborative method of making sketches for work and play alike

23. AllMyMagic : Create a number of different artistic projects with this neat tool, which allows users to write up their own cards and MySpace layouts.

24. Explore Scales : eMusicTheory.com boasts some excellent, valuable resources for musicians, and this tool helps them memorize and learn one of the fundamentals of creating beautiful sound.

25. Scriblink : Another excellent whiteboard tool, this one also allows for graph paper and mathematical functions as well.

26. Pixenate : Edit favorite photos or pieces of digital art for use on a shirt, tote bag, mug, or mouse pad.

27. Gizmoz : Make unique avatars and pictures from digital or scanned photographs for use on social media sites and smart phones.

28. Elizabethan Smock Pattern Generator : Period costume fanatics or anyone needing to stage a play on a budget may want to check out this generator, which fires off a custom smock in the Elizabethan style.

29. BRUSHster : The National Gallery of Art presents a neat drawing and painting tool aimed mostly at kids, but fun for anyone.

30. open-eye Banner Generator : Web developers and graphic designers can whip up quick banners in minutes for ads and other projects.

31. Tile Machine : Make fitting tiles for wallpapers and backgrounds with this simple, 16-color pixel tool.

32. SceneCaster : Future filmmakers or those wanting to get a vague idea of scene layouts for comics, animation, and statecraft will have a blast with SceneCaster’s animation tools.

33. Essential Music Notation : Musicians and music theorists alike have a quick, simple resource to look at for creating and understanding notation – there is even a fun little quiz at the end.

34. iSketch : Play an online game similar to Pictionary with people from all over the world, though there is a way to create without having to interact with strangers.

35. ColorPicker : Anyone needing to create a working, harmonious color scheme can fire up the code quickly with this useful tool.

36. 3DMLW : Web designers and animators may want to check out 3DMLW, which figures out ways to display 2D and 3D graphics in most browser windows.

37. Explore Chords : One of eMusicTheory.com’s numerous musical tools, this one offers up a thorough education on the fundamental chords.

38. Snipshot : Edit RAW picture files with special effects and face detection tools before saving them as a number of other types for a $5 two-week pass.

39. Blender : A free piece of open source 3D and traditional animation software, Blender is absolutely perfect for anyone hoping to create compelling, fun, and engaging videos.

40. GIMP : GIMP edits pictures for GNU and boasts an almost fully customizable interface and a number of excellent features to bring out the best in a work of art.

41. Mitten and Glove Generators : Those handy with needles and yarn and hoping to find a way to warm their loved ones in chilly months have a great tool to create customizable gloves and mittens with a better chance of fitting.

42. Anfy (Java) : Anfy’s Java suite contains a total of 52 applets for users to customize and personalize based on their needs.

43. 3d package : Packaging designers can render their wares in three dimensions before applying them to actual bags, cardboard, and other forms.

44. pixlr : This incredible online tool acts as a means of creating amazing drawing, painting, and photo manipulation all in one package.

45. ecoder : Coders have an easy, color-coded interface to work with alongside the ability to open multiple documents at once.

46. Plan-a-Garden : Landscapers, gardeners, and homeowners alike can design and plan their ideal natural space full of vegetables, flowers, trees, or shrubs.

47. Explore Intervals : Explore how notes on a scale interact with one another to form melodies with another one of eMusicTheory.com’s valuable tools for musicians.

48. Favicon : Draw and generate icons for use as avatars, on desktops, in web design, and much more.

49. Crayola Digi-Color : The Crayola Digi-Color tool is great not only for kids, but anyone who wants to paint and draw online with simulations of a number of different brushes, crayons, and markers.

50. colr.org : Color is an essential component of any type of art, and this great website helps visitors pick out schemes based on images and preferred shades.

51. Knitter’s Graph Paper Generator : Knitters desiring to make up their own patterns – especially involving the intarsia or Fair Isle methods – have access to free, customizable graph paper to help them with their design work.

52. gifninja.com : Piece together pre-existing images to form fun and/or functional animated .gifs for websites, avatars, and other projects.

53. LiteBrite : Play the classic children’s game Lite Brite online using traditional designs or creating entirely new ones.

54. WebSketch : WebSketch works similar to Microsoft Paint, but with a couple of different options.

55. Block Posters : This free source allows users to create custom posters of any size from any picture they want.

56. Origami Diagrams : Pop open a pack of colorful folding paper and follow along with these neat origami patterns for animals, plants, games, and other delights.

57. TXT2PIC : Upload any image and add quick text to it using a number of different styles – perfect for ad and billboard parodies.

58. Hat Pattern Generators : Anyone wanting to knit a hat for a loved one can customize a pattern that fits the recipient’s size and aesthetics.

59. Ear Trainer : Another ear-training site, this one even includes ways for users to learn how to recognize and create jazz chords.

60. Absolute Background Textures Archive : Download the best of the 5,740 textures for use as backgrounds or in digital graphic or animation projects.

61. Faces and Places : Learn about the American naïve painting movement with this enlightening game that lets users create their own landscapes or portraits in the style.

62. Mai’Nada : Using this free service, aspiring comic book writers and artists can show off their talents and watch their work as it comes to life.

63. Animation Station : Create detailed or simple animations with this easy-to-use tool aimed towards kids interested in moving art.

64. The Artist’s Toolkit : Explore everything an artist will ever need to know about creating compelling works and even piece together a personal toolkit with favorite elements of design.

65. Collage Machine : Another offering by the National Gallery of Art – which actually features a number of great activities for kids and adults alike – this one teaches the principles of collage work by letting them create their own. There is also a Collage Machine II as well.

66. ajaxSketch : This web-based drawing tool allows users to edit graphics and draw up their own quick, professional charts and graphs.

67. Slipper and Sock Generators : Input all the information needed to fire a pair of customized socks right off the knitting needles and onto the feet of an appreciative recipient.

68. Get-Tuned.com : Tune a number of different stringed instruments using these online tools and learn about interesting ways to incorporate unorthodox methods into a song.

69. EasyRGB : Acting as a sort of search engine for colors, EasyRGB offers up one of the most comprehensive resources for anyone wanting to find their perfect complements.

70. Purse Pattern Generators : Knit up some great, unique, and personalized purses for home use or as excellent handmade gifts.

71. Picnik : This fun, creative image editing software takes all the tedium out of manipulating photos and offers up a great selection of fonts and special effects.

72. BeFunky.com : Transform digital photos into stunning works of art using BeFunky’s series of artistic filters and applications.

73. Photo Op : Explore all the elements of photography – including composition, speed, aperture, and focus – with this neat little game.

74. The Rasterbator : Rasterize favorite images for use as posters and other decorations – the tool will also specify how much paper will be needed as well.

75. Hohli : Holhi allows users to create fast, creative, and eye-catching charts and graphs for use in presentations and assignments and on websites.

76. Regular Polyhedrons : Regular Polyhedrons is an incredibly simplistic tool, but provides animators and others who work in 3D with a quick visual on how basic forms look and move through space.

77. Design Your Dorm ; In spite of the title, anyone can use Design Your Dorm to get ideas and inspiration for appealing interior design with serious space constraints.

78. Splashup : Manipulate images at the pixel level with this incredibly detailed, layered creation tool.

79. Gliffy : Anyone needing to fire off charts and graphs for a rushed project can look towards Gliffy for guidance and inspiration.

80. Headband Pattern Generator : Headbands make for great, personalized starter projects for the novice knitter as well as handy, homemade gifts.

81. Photoshop.com : Adobe offers up an almost full version of its iconic image editing software for free online, provided it is not used for commercial purposes.

82. Your Fonts : Your Fonts allows users to create their own free font straight from their handwriting, though others do require payment.

83.Anfy Flash : This tool creates working Flash applets without ever asking participants to know anything about Macromedia.

84. ColorBlender.com : Discover all the ways that colors operate and interact with one another by creating compelling schemes for projects.

85. Sumo Paint : Considered one of the best painting programs online, Sumo Paint also offers up a community to help artists inspire and critique one another.

86. Intarsia Chart Design : Intarsia can be a real pain for those new to working with it or designing their own patterns, but this chart helps knitters keep track of where to bring in what color and for how many stitches.

87. Vector Magic : Graphic designers and other creative types will have a great time converting bitmaps and other images into editable pieces of crisp vector art.

88. Customize.org : Download skins and themes to add some artistic, personalized, and creative flair to a desktop – or contribute new ones!

89. Fresh Badge Generator : Create and edit customizable badges for use on websites and other online presences as buttons or indicators.

90. Drawspace : Anyone hoping to learn how to draw absolutely must peruse Drawspace’s generous collection of tutorials, tips, and tricks.

91. I am uniQue : Upload portraits and browse every element of them to add something new or interesting – it is even possible to edit those of friends and family as well.

92. Phixr : Phixr is another online image editing tool with a number of interesting toolboxes and themes to choose from.

93. imageeditor.net : imageditor.net not only lets users play around with their own photos and pictures, but they are able to edit those that come from Flash as well.

94. Poncho and Capelet Pattern Generators : Learn how to whip up a multitude of interesting capelets and ponchos suitable for a number of different styles and sizes with this custom pattern generator.

95. Tone Settings : Browse a long list of different amp settings to find new musical inspiration and techniques to experiment with.

96.Arrange-a-Room : Flex the interior design portion of the brain with the Arrange-a-Room tool, which provides a space for users to decorate as they desire.

97. Draw Anywhere : Mark up creative, professional diagrams and charts anywhere and everywhere with access to the internet.

98. SketchUp : One of Google’s neatest programs, SketchUp incorporates their map function as well and lets users design cool buildings and structures for placement in real locations around the world.

99. Guitar Codex : Write music online with this helpful, useful application that provides a comprehensive codex of guitar tuning and fingering.

100. Imagination Cubed : GE breaks into the online drawing scene with this extremely interesting website, which helps users create works of art either alone or with a partner.

No matter if an individual’s chosen creative input is visual or musical in nature, there is a resource or tool available online to help him or her learn how to grow and exercise the technical and emotional skills necessary for success. Experiment with what is available with an open mind in order to gain new perspectives and ideas on art and music’s limitless potential.

Top 10 Art Heists of All Time

According to the FBI art and cultural property crime, including theft, fraud, looting, and trafficking, is a looming criminal enterprise with estimated losses running as high as $6 billion annually. And this is nothing new. With spectacular art heists dating back for nearly a hundred years, they have only gotten more brazen.

So how do you make the top ten art heists of all time? By stealing something historic, doing it in a never before seen manner, or even by sheer stupidity. We have gathered them all, from the well known to those only spoken of in artistic circles, read about them all below.

    guradiancouk1. The Mona Lisa : One of the world’s most famous paintings is of a woman with a sly smile as painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century. On August 21, 1911, almost one hundred years ago, a museum worker at the Louvre, which held the painting, walked out with it under his smock. Believing it should be held at an Italian museum, Vincenzo Perugia hid out in a room after hours and was able to walk off with it. The authorities then conducted a two year search to find the culprit to no avail until they received a letter from an art buyer claiming that someone was trying to sell him the Mona Lisa. After agreeing to a meeting to verify the authenticity of the painting, the thief was apprehended and the painting returned. For stealing such a noted work of art and having it in his possession for two years, this is the most amazing art heist of all time.

    2. The Scream : Edward Munch painted four versions of the small man screaming in expressionist form from 1893 to 1910. One is displayed in the National Gallery of Norway and another is owned privately. However, two were held by the Munch Museum where one was stolen, along with another of Munch’s works in 2004. A shocking art heist, two armed men actually ripped the paintings off the walls as visitors looked on horrified. The estimated value of the paintings was $19 million. Although no one was hurt in the art heist, the crime was suspected to be a detraction for other serious crimes. Eventually, both of the paintings were recovered but they had both been damaged. After undergoing extensive restoration, they were both redisplayed in 2008.

    guardian.couk3. Gardner Museum Heist : Although the paintings stolen are lesser known, the collective estimated value of $300 million makes this one of the top art heists of all time. Boston heiress Isabella Gardner had traveled the world to acquire amazing artistic works to display in the museum. It ended up catching the attention of two thieves in 1990. The two entered the museum dressed as police officers and took a whole collection of paintings including three works by Manet, one by Vermeer, five sketches by Degas, and three Rembrandts. Even though the statute of limitations has expired and the district attorney has promised not to prosecute, the paintings’ whereabouts are still a mystery 20 years later. Even a five million dollar reward has turned up no paintings.

    4. Sunflowers : Vincent Van Gogh’s life and art are known throughout the world. In 1917, he painted his most noted work: Sunflowers. Seventy-four years later two thieves would break into the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and steal it, along with a whopping 20 other paintings. Another amazing art heist, all the paintings were recovered only a few hours later completely intact in the getaway car. After another art heist, the criminals known as The Monkey and accomplice would be caught after stealing two other priceless paintings. The thieves were convicted and sentenced but the two paintings were never found.

    staticguiclouk5. Madonna of the Yarwinder : First created in 1501, this is one of the many masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci. In 2003, this painting was held at the private residence of the Duke of Buccleuch in Scotland where it was stolen by two men posing as tourists. Valued at a whopping $65 million, the police scrambled to find and arrest the culprits. Since then, the painting has been returned and six men have been arrested.

    6. Portrait of the Duke of Wellington : In 1812, Francisco de Goya painted a portrait of the Duke of Wellington and it was later hung in the National Gallery in London. One of the strangest art heists of all time, it was allegedly stolen by a bus driver in 1961. The story went that Kempton Bunton climbed through a toilet window to steal it after hearing it was to be sold for nearly $400,000. He then demanded a ransom for the same amount. However, Bunton voluntarily returned the painting three years later and received only three months jail time after his legal team successfully argued that he only wanted the frame. To add an extra bizarre twist, the painting was featured in the James Bond movie “Dr. No” as they believed at the time that a mastermind had stolen it.

    7. Conversation With A Gardener : Painted in 1875, this work of art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is currently displayed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. However, in 2000 it was a key attraction in the Swedish National Museum before it was stolen in an elaborate art heist. Robbers set car bombs to detonate across the city, successfully distracting police long enough for three of them to enter the museum with machine guns, stealing this work and others by Renoir and Rembrandt, valued at $30 million. Eight men were arrested and convicted of the crime, and the three paintings would eventually be returned to the public years later.

    8. Various Paintings : The works of Coubert, Tintoretto, and Piot may not be well known outside of the art world, but they were part of one of the most outrageous art heists in history. In 2002 when thieves heard of an extravagant art showing in Paraguay, they began to plan months in advance. They actually rented a nearby building and began digging a tunnel into the museum. Eighty feet long, when it was completed, the thieves simply strolled into the museum and helped themselves. The thieves were later arrested and the paintings returned.

    9. Poverty : The painting may not be famous, but the artist Pablo Picasso is. Created during his blue period, this work was made in 1903. It again made headlines exactly 100 years later in 2003 when it was part of the Manchester art heist. During a stay at the Whitworth Gallery it became the target of thieves, along with pieces by Gauguin and Van Gogh. Using unbelievable stealth, thieves managed to take the paintings, valued at 1.5 million dollars, without setting off any alarms or being caught on camera. However, the next day the paintings were recovered in a public toilet near the museum on an anonymous tip. After undergoing restoration, they were all returned.

    10. Iraqi National Museum : The U.S./Iraqi conflict has led to many tragedies, including the art heist of 2003 in which an estimated 15,000 artifacts were stolen from it. Among the missing are the diorite statue of Entemena and almost 5,000 cylinder seals. However, the museum did reopen in 2009, and many of the artifacts have been returned.

We watch movies about art and other heists, but the real ones are far more interesting. With so many art thieves successfully making off with paintings, but view actually selling them, art heists are one of the strangest crimes known to the modern world, making the top ten art heists of all time both fascinating and confusing reading.

30 Things You Should Know About the Psychology of Color

Ever heard of chromotherapy? Neither have most people. It is the idea that colors from black to white can be used for a variety of therapeutic, psychological, and mental health purposes.

Dating back to the first millennium, this sort of light therapy has been used for all sorts of problems from mood to the more serious. Check out the 30 things you should know about the psychology of color by having a look below.

Ayurvedic Things You Should Know About Color

A kind of yoga, there are seven chakras in the human body believed to exist. See how the psychology of each of the seven colors effects each.

    hongkiatcom1. Purple : This chakra is used to treat problems involving the top of the head. It promotes enlightenment, revelation, and spiritual awakening. Physical attributes include soothing the organs and relaxing both muscles and nervous system.

    2. Indigo : A shade between blue and purple, its chakra is located around the eyes. Another calming color, it is said to help intuition. A healer may use indigo to control both bleeding and abscesses.

    3. Blue : If the color of the sky is your favorite, then use it to soothe both illness and pain. With the chakra located in the throat, blue also helps communication. Liver disorders such as jaundice are also treated with this color.

    4. Green : Not just the color of money, green is also used for balance. Although we typically think of red as the color of love, green is associated with the chakra in the heart. If you have ulcers or an infection, this might be your color.

    5. Yellow : Another entry previously suited for red, yellow is associated with blood health. Its chakra is located in the veins and can help both the digestive and lymphatic system. It is also associated with wisdom.

    6. Orange : Having sexual problems? Maybe a little orange pill could help more. Located in the pelvic area, this chakra can help with problems of a sexual nature. It also doubles as a helper in the digestive area.

    7. Red : Get more energy, power, and stimulation with this color. Its chakra is located at the base of the spine and can help heal the back and related issues. Ironically, enough it is also said to help in red blood cell production.

Colorpuncture Things You Should Know About Color

Similar to acupuncture, Colorpuncture is the use of light frequencies on the chakras to promote the body‘s own healing process. See the top uses for it below.

    8. Meditation : An age old practice, meditation is used to calm the mind and relax the body. For color meditation, the subject can use only colors he or she finds stimulating. Another form of color meditation is to proceed through them all one by one to achieve results.

    9. Breathing : This is another form of color meditation. However, the subject actually visualizes colors depending on the results they seek.

    10. Aura Readings : A trained healer is involved in this practice. He or she will use an electromagnetic field to surround the body and produce specific colors. These colors, or auras, are used to diagnose and treat the patient.

    11. Kirlian Photography : This involves using a high frequency apparatus to photograph energy coming from someone’s body. It was developed in 1972 and took 15 years to perfect. Photos are taken before and after treatment to determine success.

    12. Puncture : The most invasive procedure, this is used in combination with more traditional acupuncture. A specific light color is focused on a puncture to activate energy. It can also be done without needles.

    13. Trauma Somatic Experience : Developed by The Vogel Group in Houston, it is a short term naturalistic approach to negotiate the patient through both shock and trauma. It is a talk therapy that focuses on biology rather than biography. Conditions treated with it include anxiety, addiction, self-sabotage, and stress.

Psychological Things You Should Know About Color

Check out the healing psychological properties of these common colors.

    14. Black : This root color is used in grounding, focus, and survival. If you have restlessness, addiction, or other similar problem, black may be the color for you. Wearing black jewelry can also realign your metabolism.

    15. White : The color of virginity and all things new, it is also associated with truth and peace. White can help with insomnia and menstrual cycles. However, too much white can be a bad thing.

    16.Burgundy : Not just the color of your favorite drink, this color is for those who need release. If you’re having negative thoughts, use the psychology of burgundy or magenta to release it.

    17. Red : A man who wishes to be in charge should wear a red tie. Also, those who want to show vitality or strength can follow suit. And if you are obsessed with something, such as color psychology, try red to help it.

    18. Orange : Are your creative juices not flowing? Then try changing your office space or studio to an orange theme. It also boots happiness and energy.

    19. Yellow : If you are a struggling student, yellow could be the color for you. It helps with intellectual energy and can replace caffeine as a stimulant. Yellow can also help if you are feeling indecisive.

    20. Green : Global warming advocates had something in mind when they choose green as their color. It is a joiner of mind, body, and spirit. Green is also the color of harmony, healing, and the Earth.

    21. Turquoise : This blue green color takes properties from both. Associated with water, it provides a cool, refreshing sensation. An excellent choice if too fussy or egocentric.

    22. Blue : De-stress and relax with the help of this color. Blue can also treat learning, lying, and fear. Too much of it creates negative and self centered energy.

    23. Indigo : Associated with light, it helps with knowledge and dignity. Indigo is also a good color to meditate to. Gemstones of this color aid in personal knowledge and seeing things from a different perspective.

    24. Violet : If you need insight or inspiration, look at something purple. It can also help if you’re lacking dignity. Violet also has spiritual properties.

Things You Should Know About the Psychology of Your Favorite Color

Everyone has a favorite, but what does your favorite color say about you? See below to find out.

    25. Red : People who like red tend to be outgoing, impulsive, or even aggressive. Lovers of red can also be ambitious, yet quick to judge. A strong sense of right and wrong are also characteristics.

    26. Pink: You don’t have to be female to enjoy this softer color. Those who prefer pink tend to be more loving and affectionate. Also indecisive, pink people desire security and protection.

    27. Green : If you enjoy harmony and balance, green is the color for you. It also has various earth and nature loving qualities. Preferring peace at any price, lovers of green are also civilized and trust worthy.

    28. Blue : A caring individual may prefer the color blue. It symbolizes compassion and duty. They can also rely too much on the opinion of others yet keep a steadiness of their own.

    29. Purple : If you march to the beat of your own drummer, this may be the color for you. With a desire to be different, lovers of purple also possess a wit of their own. Not liking to be questioned, they are passionate in their beliefs.

    30. Black : Not just for Goths, people who enjoy black also enjoy mystery. They are also adept at hiding both their misgivings and imperfections.

If you have any health concerns read in the above 30 things you should know about the psychology of color, please see a licensed and accredited physician. Although these treatments can be effective, they are no substitute for adequate medical care.

70 Awesome Open Source Tools for Graphic Designers

No longer limited to freehand logos, graphic design is a booming field. From website design, to publications, presentations, and much more, graphic designers are in demand in just about every field imaginable.

With so much demand, graphic designers can get caught up on the supply end. Don’t lose out on an opportunity or job because you aren’t equipped to handle it Use the below 70 awesome open source tools for graphic designers to get a leg up, expand your resume, and much more. Best of all, the price to put all of them to use is completely free.

Awesome Open Source Tools for Graphic Designers

Check out these sites, downloads, and more for the best in free tools for graphic designers.

    1. Flockdraw : Get one of the most seamless real time drawing collaborative tools ever by clicking here. Visit the site, grab a tool, pick a color, draw, and share with one site. Enter a nickname to begin, or sign in with your Twitter account.

    2. Paint.net : This is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plug-ins.

    3.  Blender : Use this open source graphic design tool to create impressive 3D works. It can model, shade, animate, render, and more. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

    4. Screen Toaster : Have a trip through the internet that needs to be recorded? Then use this open source tool to capture screencasts to share or stream with a snap. Simply sign up to begin.

    5. ComparePSD : Have a Photoshop project that needs fixing but it has too many layers to imagine? Then get this open source tool to make sense of it all. Compare two projects side by side and get highlights of the difference.

    6. Myna : If your graphic design work includes audio, this is a must have open source tool. It can remix music tracks and audio clips. You can even apply sound effects and record your own voice or instruments.

    7. Boxee : Watch all of your graphic design media from one place with the help of this open source tool. It can manage videos, music, and even clips. There is also a sharing feature with more.

    8. ImgBurn : Once you have that project completed, use this tool to burn it into a CD, DVD, or even HD/DVD. It has several modes including read, write, build, and more. An excellent choice for graphic designers who don’t want to waste money on expensive software.

Awesome Image Open Source Tools for Graphic Designers

Because images are an essential part of graphic design, take a look at the below graphic design tools.

    9. Phoenix : From basic image retouching to complex effects, Phoenix delivers the key features of a desktop image editor with the simplicity and accessibility of a web-based application. With over 70 tutorials, you are sure to have your graphic design issue answered. Aviary also has many other free design tools.

    10. BeFunky : Go beyond the usual photo editing tools to get an amazing image with this graphic design site. It contains over 140 unbelievable effects to make your images unforgettable. Popular ones include impressionist, motion, oil painting, old photo, pop art, cartoon, and many more.

    11. Picnik : A popular choice, this open source tool makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools. Tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames. Another highlight is that there is nothing to download, nor anything to sign up for.

    12. Shape Collage : Make picture collages in less than a minute with a few clicks of your mouse and this open source tool. Get the download or try the online version. There are also screenshots and more help to inspire your graphics.

    13. Splashup : Love Photoshop but hate the price? Then stop here for a free photo editing tool for graphic designers that looks very similar. Many tools are included, along with the most popular ones. You can also use with Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa. There is also a light version if you need something less complex.

    14. Pixenate : If you need a simple graphic design in a hurry, this is your site. Free tools include many of the usuals such as crop, resize, smooth, and more. You can also instantly upload to Flickr.

    15. Pixlr : This graphic design tool is similar to the above. However, a standout feature of this open source is the ability to edit an image as a url.

Awesome PDF Open Source Tools for Graphic Designers

The PDF is a common file type for just about any professional, including graphic designers. Use these open source tools to help you work with, convert, and more with PDFs.

    16. PDF Xchange : Ditch that boring PDF software that came with your computer for this one. The free version comes with many tools including text insert, custom stamps, and much more. They also have impressive PDF tools to add for only a little bit more..

    17. Foxit Reader : If you need a simple PDF reader with no fussing, this is it. It is small enough to fit onto a mobile device or run cleanly with any PC. There are also paid versions with more.

    18. Sumatra : Similar to the above, this is another lightweight reader. In addition, there are many keyboard shortcuts for those who really value their time.

    19. PDFmyURL : This free, open source graphic tool does exactly what the title promises. Simply paste in the url you would like as a PDF to . Simply paste in your address to get a download of a PDF.

    20. FreeMyPDF : Another open source tool that does what it says, this site will unlock your PDF for the editing. Although it doesn’t work if the file has third party plug-ins, it is still an unbelievable asset for any graphic designer.

    21. Google Docs Viewer : Find a PDF online that you want to view without opening a separate application? Then paste the url here to view it on Google. Also for use with PowerPoint presentations and TIFF files.

    22. Primo PDF : This freeware from CNET converts just about any file type to a PDF, using the print command from the source program the file was created in. It is a popular and highly rated choice.

    23. Preview : Mac users in graphic design will enjoy this PDF reader just for them. Highlights include the ability to work with images and PDF in addition to other editing tools.

    24. Adobe Reader : If familiarity breeds love, get the original PDF reader. Already installed on many computers, you can get version 9 for free. However, with the Pro version weighing in at $299, graphic designers who like open source tools should have another look at the above.

Awesome Website Tools for Graphic Designers

Before you buy another book or piece of software, visit the below for your graphic design needs at a price anyone could love.

    25. Open It Online : This open source tool is an extension for Firefox, Flock, and Internet Explorer that allows graphic designers to open and edit documents from everywhere. Supported files include documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and images.< li>

    26. Google Translator : Is your translation open source tool a cut and paste nightmare? Then Google Translator is the answer. Enter an entire url to translate into dozens of languages. It also features an upload feature and the usual copy and paste option.

    27. Comet Docs : Don’t upload a thing with the help of this one stop open source website. It will let you convert to and from many different types of documents without changing the original. There is even help for those who don’t know what type of document they have.

    28. ZinePal : If your graphic design expertise is in making PDFs or eBooks, stop here for an amazing open source tool. Simply type in your url, select content, and go. Especially useful if printing a blog.

    29. Impress!ve : Because a graphic designer needs more than PowerPoint, check out this open source tool. It creates custom slideshows with features that make it stand out from the rest.

    30. Flowchart : Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a charting software when this one is free. It works instantly with many popular browsers and offers the ability to have several graphic designers work on one project. There is also a blog with many useful tips.

    31. PDF to Word : Have you scanned a file that doesn’t recognize text? No need to slam your forehead into the keyboard before typing the thing over by hand. Use this open source tool to recognize text and save loads of time.

    32. Prezi : Similar to Impress!ve, this open source tool allows you to create presentations. The free version allows you to create, show, and share presentations both on and offline. Be sure and watch the one minute video with much more.

    33. Lovely Charts : Simply sign in to this website to begin using their charting tool. However, it only allows you to send one chart at a time, but you can save and open as many as you like.

    34. Instapaper : Got a graphic design website, blog, or article you’d like to read or save? Then use this open source tool to do just that. Compatible with computer, iPhone, and Kindle.

Awesome Organizational Open Source Tools for Graphic Designers

Organize your graphic design work and more with the help of these free tools.

    35. Picasa : There are loads of open source organizers, so why is this one different? The face recognition comes to mind. If that isn’t enough, Picasa also has loads of free editing tools included.

    36. Reader Library Software : You don’t need a fancy Kindle or expensive software to manage all of your eBooks. Sony provides this freeware that can do it all including read, organize, and shop. For use with the latest versions of OS for both Windows and Mac.

    37. Google Book Downloader : Is there a graphic design book on Google Books that you’re dying to read but can’t right now? Then stop here to download it as a PDF entirely for free.

    38. Mendeley : Are you a graphic designer that needs to cite your work and are looking for an open source tool? Then stop here to get a freeware that academics and researchers use to organize, share, and discover papers.

    39. DivShare : Never fear a computer crash again with this open source tool. It allows you to backup all of your files with online storage. Best of all, it allows you to store an impressive 10GB completely for free.

    40. Dropbox : Similar to the above, this free tool allows you to sync and share your files online. If 2GB is all you need, then this site is for you.

    41. Auto Key : If your love of graphic design is matched by your love of keyboard shortcuts, get this open source tool immediately. It can automate almost anything for both keyboard and mouse. You can even program it to type out abbreviations, exe files, and much more.

    42. Executor : Anyone, including graphic designers, has been lost in the run feature of Windows. With this free tool, you can manage and access many common tasks without having to Google a thing.

    43. Mighty Meeting : Need to organize a presentation with a fellow graphic designer, boss, or client? Then try this open source tool that allows you to manage a library of PowerPoint presentations directly from your smart phone. You can share them via email, blog, Twitter, or Facebook.

    44. Evernote : Trade that mess of sticky notes for a virtual one with this open source tool. It allows you to save a variety of notes, both written and seen on the internet. In addition, you can also access them from any computer or device you use.

Awesome Open Source Downloads for Graphic Designers

Whether software or program, these free downloads can provide all sorts of tools for graphic designers.

    45. GIMP : This open source graphic manipulation package is a must have for designers. It allows you to perform tasks such as interface, photo enhancement, retouching, and more. There are also tutorials to help you out.

    46. Quick Media Converter : Because graphic designers work with and between all sorts of media, an open source tool like this is a must. It can convert tons of media files to and from many popular types such as AVI, FLV, DivX, and even HD. It also works with popular sites such as YouTube, Daily Motion, and more.

    47.Vixy.net : Another popular conversion tool, it works exclusively with the FLV files found on YouTube and similar sites. Try for free online or download the full version. Windows users are recommended to download DivX.

    48. Google Sketchup : Use this open source graphic design tool from Google to create amazing 3D images on your Windows and Mac computer. There are dozens of videos and tutorials to help you get started and a community with more help and sharing. There is also a pro version with much more.

    49. YouTube Downloader : Similar to the above, this open source tool works with the popular site YouTube. Download for free to get starter viewing videos offline. Also useful for converting many popular files from one to the other.

    50. 7-Zip : If you are a graphic designer who works with multiple zip files, this open source tool is for you. It can manage multiple files, works with several file types, and works with Windows.

    51. OpenOffice.org : This is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages.

    52. Notepad++ : Replace your old Windows Notepad for this better version. It includes many features that the old one doesn’t including syntax highlighting, multi-document, and many more.

    53. Sweet Home 3D : Similar to Google Sketchup, this is a free modeling software. It is especially useful for graphic designers who want to draw the indoors.

    54. Bryce : However, if you want to work in the outdoors, try this open source tool. It can help you create landscapes and animations in 3D.

    55. Paint Ribbon : If you have Windows 7 and hate the Paint feature, upgrade to this one. It offers basic drawing capabilities including line, circle, shapes, a variety of fill and stroke color options, and the ability to move drawn shapes.

    56. Desktop T Shirt Creator : Add t-shirts to your graphic design repertoire with this free software. It also lets you print and email your creations.

Awesome Open Source Add-ons for Graphic Designers

Lovers of Firefox and other web browsers can use these tools for graphic design, productivity, and more.

    57. Palette Grabber : Use this open source tool to grab a color from the internet with a simple click. For Firefox, it can be used with Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, Flash, Fireworks, Paint.NET, or OS X.

    58. Read It Later : Use this free plug in to save pages to read on or offline. Works with IE, Firefox, and many others. Also for use with many smart phones.

    59. Xmarks : Keep graphic design bookmarks, and others, organized like never before with this open source tool. Another highlight is its ability to work with passwords. Compatible with Firefox, IE, Safari, and more.

    60. Shareaholic : Share images, graphic designs, and more with the help of this open source tool. Works with many popular sites such as Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Ideal for passing along projects without leaving your browser.

    61. Stylish : Redesign the web itself with this free tool. It lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, and many, many other sites. You can even customize Firefox and other programs themselves.

    62. Web Developer : If web development is part of your graphic design work, get this free add-on for Firefox. It adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.

    63. Autocopy : Don’t bother with the pesky paste and save options. This add-on lets you select the text of your choice and save it to a clipboard.

    64. JobsInsider : If you have a LinkedIn account to help with your graphic design work, get this add-on. With it, you can see connections at hiring companies, request introductions, and can let you open job postings at many popular sites. Use with IE or Firefox.

Awesome Professional Open Source Tools for Graphic Designers

Anyone in addition to graphic designers can use these tools to land that important job or client.

    65. CeeVee : Use this open source tool to create and share a professional looking resume. Options include drop down menus and personalized themes. You can also make the resume public, private, or save as a PDF. Graphic designers can also post to Facebook or Twitter.

    66. Business Card Star : If you are a graphic designer and have no or poorly designed business cards, you are doing more harm than good. But don’t reach into your pocket for a fancy design tool. Instead stop here to get over 100 layouts, tons of colors, and loads more options. Best of all, you can save and send the cards to your printer for free.

    67. Worldlabel.com : Sending out mailers can be a true pain. Make it more inventive and dynamic using your graphic design knowledge and this open source tool. It gives you free, fill-able PDF label templates for U.S. letter size label sheets. Add your own custom image, use TO and FROM, and fill labels in seconds.

    68. TurboNote : Need to make a quick change to your resume, labels, or graphic design project? Then use this open source tool to find and replace text. HTML, XML, and other files are supported.

    69. Job Finder : Use this open source tool to personalize your Google homepage with graphic design gadgets. Categories include freelance, web design, and more.

    70. I Will Teach You To Be Rich : What graphic designer doesn’t want to be rich? Read the first chapter of this best-selling book absolutely free. It is dedicated to optimizing your credit cards.

Whether still in school or have decades of graphic design experience, you can find tons of help on the above 70 awesome open source tools for graphic designers. Be sure to check back to the sites often as updates and improvements are inevitable.