Stop, think, dream… Top 10 websites for a creative screen break

Charmaine Li 2013-04-30 6

Top 10 Creative Screen Breaks

Instead of intermittently checking Facebook and slowly letting your brain atrophy – how about venturing on a creative screen break that might help you gain a fresh perspective or stimulate your imagination? Here’s our roundup of Top 10 websites to visit to get your creative muscles flexing…

1) It’s Nice That

“Champion creativity across the art and design world”

It's Nice That

If you’re looking to discover (and be inspired by) some new creative ideas – check out It’s Nice That, which publishes an eclectic mix of works from both established names and emerging talents. In addition to cultural musings, the site has an awesome weekly feature called “Bookshelf“, which invites someone from the creative industry to share their five favourite books and why.

2) Times Haiku

“Serendipitous poetry from The New York Times”

Times Haiku

Just in time for National Poetry Month, The New York Times has developed an algorithm that scans newly published articles for potential haikus to post on its new Tumblr blog. An e-dictionary containing syllable counts is used to ensure that poems follow the 5-7-5 rule of the Japanese poetry style and journalists select the “good ones” that come out of the generator.

In case you were wondering about the pattern of coloured lines: They’re computer-generated to match the meter of the poem’s first line.

3) Brainpickings

“Bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are

Brainpickings

Maria Popova, the brain behind Brainpickings, is a firm believer that creativity stems from cross-pollinating and combining ideas from our wealth of knowledge across various disciplines. The website, which has 1.2 million readers per month, covers everything from books, art, science, design, technology, history, politics and philosophy.

And don’t forget to check out Literary Jukebox – Popova’s side project that gives you daily pairing of themed literature and music.

4) Freunde von Freunden

“An international interview magazine that portrays people in their homes and within their daily working environments

Freunde von Freunden

Translated as “Friends of Friends”, Freunde von Freunden provides a glimpse into the everyday life of creatives across diverse cultural backgrounds and industries, including entrepreneurship, architecture, film and advertising. Berlin startup personalities Eric Wahlforss (cofounder of Soundcloud) and Caroline Drucker (Country Manager of Etsy Germany) have been featured on the site.

5) 99U

“Insights on making ideas happen”

99u

Trying to make your dream a reality? Check out 99U – the two-time Webby award-winning site shares actionable insights from leading researchers and industry experts on topics spanning productivity, career development, leadership and creativity.  As inventor Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.”

6) AnOther Mag

“Fashion and culture”

AnOther Mag

From edible modern art to surrealist fashion photographs to Bernardo Bertolluci’s latest film, AnotherMag.com is an interactive platform for highlights in the realm of arts, politics and culture. The engaging website is divided into four key sections: Exclusives – monthly film and fashion features; Current – columns on a art, culture and ideas; Loves – a mosaic of product recommendations; and Reader – an edit of AnOther’s favourite blogs.

7) Longreads

“The best long-form stories on the web”

Longreads

In the Internet Age of 140-word posts and toggling between open tabs, it’s not uncommon for many of us to begin to drift after about the fourth paragraph of an article. If you want to train your goldfish attention span to focus for a longer period of time, try Longreads. The site aggregates long-form writing and short stories, which are typically 1,500 words or more, from a variety of publications, such as The New Yorker, Washington Post and The Atlantic. You can even select articles based on length in minutes – depending on how much time you have.

8) Stadiums and Shrines

“An intersection of sound and vision”

Stadiums and Shrines

Forget Pitchfork – instead, take a peek at Stadiums and Shrines. The ethereal site, which features a changing background colour (that doesn’t make your eyes bleed), has an uncanny way of presenting sound through imagery and language. Dave Sutton, who curates the site, also started an interesting project titled Dreams, which invites artists to create a track to complement a unique handmade collage by designer Nathaniel Whitcomb.

9) OpenCulture

“The best free cultural & educational media on the web”

Open Culture

In need of some enriching audio and video stimuli? Why not listen to a rare clip of Virginia Woolf speaking about the English language? Or watch footage of a Bob Dylan-Johnny Cash recording session? Open Culture, run by the Director & Associate Dean of Standford’s Continuing Studies Program, gives you access to audio books, online language courses, movies, ebooks and more – all for free.

10) PSFK

“Inspiring creative business”

PSFK

PSFK features a collection of emerging ideas and trends from the advertising, design, retail and digital industries worldwide. The site began as a personal project in 2004 by Piers Fawkes and has since grown into a consulting business for big name clients including Apple, BMW, Gap, MTV and Pepsi.

Have we missed any? Please let us know about your most inspirational websites on the comments section below…

Image credits:
Featured image – © peshkova – Fotolia.com
Bill McMullen and Yuki Iwashiro’s apartment via Freunde von Freunden  

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Cut the bullshit – how to write great marketing copy for your startup

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