Creative Tip: 3 Tools For Generating Ideas When You’re Seriously Stuck

It’s 4 hours until the deadline, you haven’t started, and you’re fresh out of ideas. We’ve all experienced times when creativity seems far out of reach, but how do we break free from the creative quagmire and quickly generate ideas that will work? The answer is often easier than we think–it’s just a matter of having the right tool at the right time.

In this week’s Creative Tip we’ve outlined 3 highly useful brainstorming techniques to help you get the ideas flowing when your mind feels like mud.

Think Sharks are Scary? They Should Feel The Same Way About Us.

In honor of Shark Awareness Day we bring you this graphic, presented in a simple way, but with a very powerful point.

Have a little scroll

Make a Map Poster of Anywhere with Mapiful

Maps are one of our addictions here at VN, so when we found Mapiful we were completely floored. This company helps you print minimalist black and white street map posters using any location in the world. That’s great news for those of us who live outside major cities like London or San Francisco, who tend to miss most of the love from poster designers.

A Growing Collection of Director Wes Anderson’s Bold Color Palettes

When it comes to making films, there are few who include more design elements than Wes Anderson. One of the most striking tools he uses is color. His craftily arranged scenes (which are mostly symmetrical) are infused with imaginative palettes we don’t see in most of today’s films. Like the Beyoncé palette inspiration we covered not long ago, this is a fantastic source of inspiration for any project.

Workers Find School Chalkboard Drawings, Hidden for 100 Years

When contractors removed old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City earlier this week, they had a surprise waiting for them: behind those chalkboards was another set which hadn’t been touched since 1917.

Like a time-capsule, the old boards reveal a slice of history from nearly 100 years ago, including artwork for Thanksgiving and history on the Pilgrims, an unusual circular multiplication table, a calendar, and a list titled “My Rules to Keep Clean”. The reason we share this story here: just look at that handwriting.

If Famous Directors Designed Houses, Would They Look Like This?

Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina has an obsession with imagining new buildings designed around unusual constraints. He’s dreamed up houses based on artists, movie sets, and the names of architects. Now he’s turned his design skills to dreaming up buildings as if they were designed by famous directors. His series, “Archidirector” features 27 directors – famous and obscure – each with a unique structure modeled after their signature aesthetic and personality.

Watch Babies’ Poo Face in Slow Motion. Well Done Pampers.

When your main business is selling diapers, eventually you just have to accept what people are doing with your product. That’s why we love this new ad from Pampers. They know babies make crazy faces when they poop, so their latest ad captures a few doing their business in glorious slow motion. Juxtaposed against Strauss’ epic composition “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” this piece had us laughing hysterically. I guess we like potty humor.

Movie Déjà Vu: 3 Film Characters We’ve Seen Since the Beginning of Cinema

When I recently caught Jurassic World at the theater, there was something that really impressed me – and it happened before the main feature even rolled. Watching the trailers for upcoming films it was obvious: every single one was for a remake of a previously existing film, or a sequel to a another. Heck, even the movie I was seeing was a sequel (I guess I asked for it). What is going on in movies these days? Nothing new… but that’s not new either.

What Would Apple Look Like in 1997? They Predicted It (Awkwardly) in This 1987 Video

Predictions of the future are pretty hard to get right, but Apple sure tried hard in this awkwardly hilarious video from 1987. Here the company predicted what the futuristic world of 1997 would look like, getting a number of things like world-wide Internet correct, and predicting a few devices that would take a bit longer (like a wearable computer similar to Google Glass).

GeaCron: An Explorable Atlas of the World’s Past (Starting in 3000BC)

With the centennial of World War 1 upon us, it’s fascinating to look back at how different Europe was just 100 years ago. Then again, it was a lot different just 30 years ago too. GeoCron’s World History Atlas is an fascinating tool for peering back into the past and getting perspective on how different the world has been, even if the year you’re curious about is 2950BC. Although quite dated, the site makes it easy to travel anywhere from 3000BC up to the present day, watching the changes in civilizations as they rise and fall.