Design Links: A Chain of Creative Inspiration, Part 12

Editor’s Note: This is part twelve in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the eleventh part in the series, featuring Hai-Hsin Huang, Andrea D’Aquino, and Rachel Willey.

Rachel Willey is inspired by …

Claire Marie Vogel

She inspires me because not only can she capture very real and tender moments between people, but she can just as easily (and beautifully) create a fantastical, vibrant world from her own mind and experiences. Her films feel very thoughtfully made and her aesthetic is first-rate.

Claire Sea

This video is not only gorgeous, but tonally so perfect for the song (“Sea Calls Me Home,” by Julia Holter). I love that Claire can tell a story with emotion, but isn’t sacrificing any of the artistic vision she has for the video while doing so. None of it feels cliché.

Claire Mikal

I feel like this video just has so much of the filmmaker in it (“Change,” by Mikal Cronin). When I watch it, I’m at this party having a good time. It feels so genuine and warm while also having this surreal element perfectly folded in.

Claire Marie Vogel is inspired by …

Sarah Palmer

She is an incredibly dynamic, multifaceted artist, while always clearly being herself. She’s an awesome photographer and designer; working with interesting brands, shooting huge events, and making very personal work that speaks to a universal audience. Her work is genuinely fun, inspiring, design-savvy, and just plain beautiful to look at.


I love this shot for many reasons. One of which is that it’s totally weird. I also love this image for her motivation behind it. In true Sarah fashion, she turns a day that feels like it’s lacking spark, allows herself to be playful, and out comes this beauty, gently inspiring the rest of us to work through our challenging moments, and perhaps not to overthink creativity.

Palmer Just like that

Sarah got her hands on prisms at some point, and damn did she take some awesome photos. The angles, the colors, the surreal quality of light are all so beautifully captured in this shot. Sarah’s really good at reminding us all to stay playful and of the beauty in simplicity. Both of which are exemplified fantastically in this piece.

Sarah Palmer is inspired by …

Brock Davis

I have been following Brock’s work online since 2009, and he has never stopped inspiring me to think more creatively. He really has a gift for seeing and using objects in ways that somehow seem obvious and genius at the same time. He can take an object that I’ve seen every single day of my life and make me think about it in a completely new light. After looking at his work, I’m always glancing around my home studio considering how the seemingly normal objects I’ve surrounded myself with might be seen and interpreted differently.

Brock Make somethign cool

The Make Something Cool Every Day: 2009 project is what originally drew my attention to Brock’s work. He made a different piece of work every single day for an entire year, which we all know can be extremely difficult (sometimes I have trouble coming up with a new thing to make every week or even every month!). I love this project because not only does it show us how insanely creative he is, but how important it is as an artist to JUST KEEP MAKING STUFF! I highly recommend looking through the entire series on his website. The range of things he made day-by-day is also a nice reminder that to continue making things you don’t have to have a brand new monumental idea. Some things can be very simple… and then sometimes the simplest thoughts evolve into the most brilliant images and ideas.

Brock Apple Cosmos

“Apple Cosmos” is one of my favorites from his series of iPhone/Instagram photos. Another great reminder that there are so many ways to look at the things we see every day. I think this one especially resonated with me because I am personally obsessed with finding space-like imagery in everyday life, yet it had never occurred to me how much an apple could look like a galaxy or black hole. Every single time that I’ve picked up a particularly speckled apple or piece of fruit since seeing this image, I see cosmos. That kind of creativity really makes me smile.

Tune in two weeks to see where the chain goes next!

T8185 (1)Delve into the vibrant history of contemporary illustration with Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts. Whether you want to learn more about the flagrant idealism of the 1960s, the austere realism of the 1970s, the superfluous consumerism of the 1980s, the digital eruption of the 1990s, or the rapid diversification of illustration in the early 2000s, get an in-depth look at the historical contexts pertaining to the important artifacts and artists of the illustration industry in the latter half of the 20th century. Get it here.