How 5 Famous Creatives Start Projects

Creative blocks are no joke, whether you’re a writer, designer, artist, photographer—whatever. Faced with a blank page or fresh project, it’s easy to get stuck. But take heart, even the most successful creatives struggle to start at times. How do they overcome? Where do they find inspiration? Here are reflections from 5 famous creatives on the creative process.

Watch: How the 5 Major Religions Spread Across the World

The 5 largest religions today are Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam–but it wasn’t always that way. In this video, Alex Kuzoian at Business Insider walks us through 5000 years of history, showing how the world’s religions initially took root in small geographic areas in southern Asia and the Middle East. They didn’t remain localized for long.

Our Most Interesting Charts of the Week

It’s been a big week. From Pluto photos to the Suicide Squad trailer, there was a lot to be excited about. And, naturally, we came across a few data sets that we thought were particularly interesting. In this QuickViz roundup, we share our favorite data sets, visualized just for you. It’s a little news and a little fun in a few charts. Enjoy. 

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.

10 Words We Invented That Should Be in the Dictionary

Modern life moves fast, and the dictionary can’t always keep up (although twerk, crowdfund, and hot mess have made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary). Still, we often find ourselves reaching for the perfect word to describe the people and things we encounter day to day. To help ourselves, we’ve invented 10 new words. They’re a little punny, a little portmanteau, but they are in regular rotation at Visual News. Feel free to try them out yourself. 

Learn the Neuroscience Behind Native Ads

As publishing evolves and audiences interact with online content in different ways, advertisers are trying to figure out how to best reach them. There are plenty of options—banner, display, native ads—but what works best? Neuroscientists are delving into the debate, looking at research into how our brains process visuals and drive actions.

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.

Your Summer in 5 Charts

Summer is here. But it’s a little different when you’re an adult. You’re making travel plans, organizing your schedule, tackling major projects, and trying to find time to relax somewhere in between. Still, we all try to make the most of the good weather and relaxed vibe—even when things go awry. To sum it up, here are 5 charts that we think encapsulate the summer experience as an adult.

This Chicago Cannabis Advocacy Website Lets Visualizations Do the Talking

Despite Chicago decriminalizing marijuana possession in 2012, the state of Illinois has earned a reputation as the least friendly state in the nation for marijuana users. What does that look like? Rather than citing citizens as they are allowed, Chicago PD is arresting people for small amounts of marijuana at alarming rates. Arrest Chicago, a cannabis advocacy site, lets the numbers do the talking.