As designers, sometimes we need to take a creative break. Not necessarily a physical one, but instead, something that gets us out of our own heads and lets us come back to our work refreshed. Or maybe just something to do at lunch while you sit at your desk because it’s too damn cold outside. Take a five minute break from the logo concept ideas and presentation deck deadlines and check out these six awesome creative sites. The six sites I’ve found that let you do take a creative mental break are: WebGL Fluid Simulation, Sandspiel, Bouncy Balls, Snowflake, and Best Circle. Here’s a little bit about each awesome site.
I love this website for no reason other than it’s really, really fun. It’s a simple colorful fluid simulator that lets you create beautiful, magical visuals. You can play with the modifiers to change various things like the diffusion, pressure, radius, and more. I like to play with the pause button to capture something really cool. Just pause the simulation, then draw, then un-pause and see what happens. I’ve taken a few screenshots that are just gorgeous. Check it out for yourself.
This one is more of a ‘how much chaos can I create’ simulator using pixelated elements and effects. It works best on a mobile device, but it’s is still pretty fun on a desktop computer. You can throw down some plants, then seeds, even a bit of water for a lovely little peaceful setting. Then slowly, add a bit of oil and gas. Then add a bunch of lava and watch the madness. Or, put down a thick layer of sand, stone, and ice, and watch as acid cuts through it like butter. Super fun. So go make some chaos here.
You can probably figure out what this one does from the title. It’s a bouncy ball simulator. It’s funner than it sounds. It’s a physics based simulator for moving/bouncing around assorted colourful balls, emojis, bubbles, or eyeballs. Eyeballs are still balls, so it counts. You can create chaos either by bumping your cursor into the balls or picking up a ball and smashing it into its peers. There’s not much more to it than that, although there are a few modifiers on the right hand side of the screen. Overall, it’s fun, and that’s what matters. Check it out.
This is actually just a basic illustration site, but it’s using kaleidoscope-esque symmetry to repeat whatever you draw in twelve different areas. Basically, whatever you draw is going to look great and it’s super easy to draw a pretty great snowflake. To get the effect for the image above, make sure the ruler tool is selected. This will give you those straight lines you need to make super awesome snowflake angles. Make a snowflake here.
Okay designers, how good of a freehand circle can you draw? This website will test exactly that and give you a percentage of how accurate you are. I was pretty happy with the 98% I got, but I can’t seem to do better than that. You have a go. Then share it at the office and see if anyone can get 100%. Check it out here.
The original Best Circle site has been taken down since this post, but I’ve linked a different site that does the same thing. It’s at Vole.wtf
This site is fun but it’s hard to describe exactly what it does. Basically, you draw stuff… and more stuff happens. Let me try again. You create an illustration where, as you draw, what you draw duplicates itself within itself. If that sounds insanely confusing just check it out and see if you can describe it any better. If you like that, there’s another site, called Recursify, that builds upon the same idea, but let’s you make trees from what you draw. Then those trees float majestically across your screen.
A Creative Break – In Conclusion
I hope at least one of these sites lets you get out of your head for a bit and try something that’s both fun and visually stimulating. Maybe one of them will even serve as creative inspiration for your next project. Enjoy!
What are your favorite sites to visit for a creative break? What other activities do you enjoy doing for a creative break? Let me know in the comments below!
If you need a creative break with a book, check out the Graphic Design Play Book. It’s packed with fun design activities that might help spark some inspiration or just help you de-stress.
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