We’ve all been there, staring at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen without a clue of how to tap into your inner creativity. Sure, thinking outside the box seems simple enough, but when the possibilities seem unlimited, it’s hard to know where to begin. When it comes to imaginative projects, inspiration is key. Lucky for you, we’ve got the top 5 hacks to finding the best inspiration that will boost your creativity.
Creativity often comes when you least expect it, and if you’ve got time to kill (i.e your project doesn’t have a fast approaching deadline), this website is the perfect place to start. StumbleUpon works by introducing you to random websites that fit your interest. These sites can feature anything from photography and design to science and math. Once you’ve filtered your search to a specific category, simply press the stumble button, sit back, and enjoy as you browse through a plethora of websites that are suited to inspire and encourage discovery.
Believe it or not Pinterest has a lot more to offer than just wedding mood boards and “mom crafts”. It’s an excellent resource for all things DIY, artistic, and creative. Use key words to search through dozens of articles and tutorials posted by local artists, self-taught crafters and even expertise businesses. Better yet, save your findings in categorized folders for future projects.
There’s no denying that hobbyists and bloggers can teach you a thing or two, but if you want to learn from the best, Behance is the website for you. Behance features the top photographers, artists, and designers who are breaking new ground in their industry. It showcases innovative portfolio pieces from a variety of mediums to inspire experimentation and curate popular creative trends. Behance users can interact on the site by following their favorite artists, liking posts, and even contributing their own work (once the creative block is conquered).
Creative inspiration comes a lot easier once you’ve expanded your skills and hand-on abilities. That’s where the website Instructables comes in. This site boosts creativity through DIY tutorials that show you how to make everything from anything. Whether it’s a glass bottle chandelier, a paper doll house, or homemade biscuits, Instructables has tutorials it all. Search for specific ideas or browse through their endless feed of projects to find inspiration in the most unexpected places.
Like Instagram for all things design, this website is great resource for finding visual inspiration. If your creative block is partnered with a dash of boredom, then Designspiration is a great place to start. The feed features a wide variety of design work all in one feed, so it’s an invaluable resource for finding photographic, illustrative, and stylistic inspiration.
So why are you watching Super Bowl LI? The game? The commercials? Lady Gaga? Just want to fit in? Well you’re in luck. 2017 has already been full of surprises and with Super Bowl LI just around the corner here are some things we can expect. The Super Bowl has evolved from a championship game between the two best teams in the league into one of the world’s largest marketing events. Not only have prices increased exponentially to air advertisement, but the types of ads are also ever evolving. We currently live in a world where if something is not talked about or posted on social media, it might as well have never happened. With a constantly changing world it’s hard to know what to expect, so here is your guide to everything you need to know about Super Bowl LI with the exception of the actual game.
As one would expect, prices have increased from $4.8 million to $5 million for a “30 second ad” from 2016. On top of the initial price companies can plan to pay at least a million or more to market the ad effectively. With “80 national commercial slots” available, we can expect to see a lot of familiar companies as well as some new faces. Companies such as KFC are airing their first ever commercial during the Super Bowl. Other companies such as Doritos, a long time Super Bowl contributor, is not airing an ad for the first time in ten years. We can assume to see many familiar faces such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audi, GoDaddy, Intel, P&G, and others big name companies.
Super Bowl ads are notorious for taking the next step in creativity and thinking outside the box, just think about last years “Puppy Monkey Baby” ad by Mountain Dew. This year Snickers is not only taking their ad to the next level, they are bringing it to you live. Snickers will be airing the “first ever live TV ad” during Super Bowl LI. The ad will be performed and broadcasted during the first commercial in the third quarter. If live ads are not enough, what about virtual reality? Super Bowl organizers have partnered with NASA in creating a VR experience unique to the event. Individuals taking part in the activities surrounding Super Bowl Sunday have the opportunity to “visit Mars via VR“.
Super Bowl LI is already being referred to by some as the “Toilet Bowl“, and no it’s not because the teams are garbage. When thinking about Super Bowl ads most think of cars, beers, food, and more cars. 2017 took a different approach. This year is the first year ever that four household brands will be airing during the Super Bowl, reinforcing how surprising 2017 has already been. A not so surprising fact about Super Bowl LI is the “effect social media will have on the event“. Airing the actual commercial is only part of the marketing. The impressions, posts, conversations via Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Youtube are what marketers are really looking for to create long term connections with the potential customers.
With that being said, we hope you have a splendid Sunday and let us know how you feel about the game in the comments below!
Super Bowl LI Photo via Wikipedia
Puppy Monkey Baby Photo via Ron White Design
Toilet Bowl Photo via The Malcolm Auld Blog
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music nonstop on my morning commute, in the office, and well everywhere in between. One song in particular has struck my fancy; aren’t you curious as to what it is? Alright, no need to whine, Santa is watching after all – It’s Andy William’s “Happy Holiday” of course, an anthem to all things merry! My version differs, for it goes a little something like this:
We have a big, fun FLIRTcasting up on the blog
With lots of activities for you and for me
So leave a comment or like for good ole’ FLIRT
Written on social media
Pretty catchy, right? Keep on reading to see how many winter activities you’ve accomplished this holiday season!
Grab your scarf, mittens, puffer jacket, and hand-warmers for caroling at the Cloud Gate – This Friday (12/16) from 6-7PM! You don’t have to be gracious singer; you just simply have to enjoy spreading some holiday cheer alongside Chicago’s local choral groups. Perhaps even Mr. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance, delighting the inner child in all of us. Afterwards, feel free to take a twirl on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park equipped with frosty views of the bean and Chicago’s staggering 69-foot Norway Spruce Christmas Tree.
Deck the zoo with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights in Brookfield’s 35th annual Holiday Magic. See the enchantment zoo-wide all month long and enjoy multiple activities including a 41-foot talking tree, model train display, Christmas carolers, ice carvers, and photos with Santa and the Mrs. If all of that holiday cheer has yet to woo you, you also get to sing to the reindeer, big cats, and bears, oh my! “See the lights, Feel the Magic, Continue the Tradition” at Brookfield Zoo.
Finish Christmas Shopping
Bake Christmas Cookies
Enjoy Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest!
Add Chicago’s biggest indoor winter playground to your weekend to-do list! Why not bring the whole family and enjoy 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, 15-foot snow tubing hills, and the Chicago Blackhawk’s ice skating rink. It’s a great way to stay warm and toasty hidden away from the Chicago cold; yet, still enjoy Father Winter’s glorious activities!
Let’s be real, who hasn’t had visions of sugar plums dance in their heads? Whether you have or haven’t, go buy your tickets to Joffrey’s new Nutcracker, performing all month long at the Auditorium Theatre. This reimagined ballet with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon celebrates Chicago’s mysterious 1893 World’s Fair through the playful eyes of a child, an electrifying spin on the classic fairy tale about a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets.
Mm…do you smell the inviting aromas of sausages, Strudel, and Glühwein, a traditional German holiday market hot spiced wine? Why, that’s enough to please the pallet and warm the soul, especially in the North Chicago Pole. Check out Chicago’s largest open-air market inspired by a Nuremberg, Germany market that was founded way back in 1545. This special holiday exposition brings cherished German and European traditions whilst welcoming an international flair and new cultures each and every year. After indulging in the large assortment of savory food, drinks, and treats, complete your shopping experience by meeting and greeting the other vendors. Perhaps you might even come home with a few cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and hand-painted ornaments!
New Year’s Eve Festivities
2017 is just two weeks away! With that being said, have you made plans to ring in the New Year? Chi-Town Rising embarks on its second annual celebration along the Chicago Riverfront between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. This year’s party will feature activities on the Chicago Cultural Mile, live entertainment, and of course a dazzling fireworks display alongside the beautiful Chicago River courtesy of Navy Pier! The countdown will commence with the Rising Star ascending 36 stories up above the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s West Tower, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to the party, NBC 5 will be broadcasting the event live.
Why not finish this off with a song and dance? Check back next year for another edition of FLIRTcasting!
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you and luck in Q1 2017!
Millennium Park’s Autumn Blaze Maples and Homestead Elms are beginning to lose their warm green hues. A collection of spectacular-colored crimson, orange, and sunglow yellow paint the sidewalk with expressions of fall. The harvest is upon us, now we can cherish the last leg of produce available at farmer’s markets and of course devour everything artificially pumpkin flavored. Ah, it’s finally Autumn. The weather may be cooling off, but there are still many events and commemorations to enjoy. Without further ado we present, Fall Festivals in Chicago:
On Sunday October 9, 45,000 participants will embark on a 26.2 mile journey across Chicago’s best known neighborhoods. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the race that raises millions for charities like Advocate Health Care, American Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though it is too late to sign up for this wonderful event, you can cheer on racers at Grant Park at 8AM, Sunday morning.
It’s the best time of the year to go to museums! For eleven days this month, Illinois residents can get up to 25% off admissions at Chicago’s best cultural institutions. This year’s museum week runs from October 13 through October 23. Other than the BIG 5 (Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute,) there are many other institutions that provide a spectacular experience for you and your family.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum located just north of Chicago. This Halloween event will showcase 1000 hand-carved pumpkins, some with Chicago icons, classic Halloween characters, garden “monsters,” and artwork representing Día de los Muertos. Check it out, October 20 through 23. (Note: you might also encounter zombies and other dangerous creatures along the pathway)
Join us for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2nd annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 22. Family-friendly festivities begin at 2PM in Millennium Park, Grant Park, and George Solti Garden. Enjoy an afternoon full of mask-making workshops, acrobatic performances, a children’s costume parade, and Chicago’s Longest All Souls Train on the Van Buren Bridge between Michigan Avenue and Columbus. End the celebration with The Halloween Gathering Spectacle from 6–8PM. Be amazed by an electric procession jam-packed with ghosts, ghouls, artists, and 13 new Creative Spirit Fellows. Perhaps you might even encounter a couple of FLIRTies working, and if you do, come say boo!
The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual event organized by Cinema/Chicago. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival will be held at AMC River East 21 from October 13 to October 27. This event showcases films from around the world that were previously unavailable in Chicago. Viewers will also have the chance to meet directors, producers, writers, and cast members.
Monday, October 31 marks the 20th birthday of Boystown’s Halloween Parade. Participation is free, but registration is required to partake in the procession and costume contest. Brace yourself for an extravaganza of weird, wild, and spooky costumes, kids, and pets, oh my! The event begins at 6PM and spans across Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. Remember to get a little creative with your costume because you’ll be competing against the best of the best!
If all else fails, you can always visit a pumpkin patch to find the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (oops, er…we mean loyal readers). Take a day trip outside of the city to Goebbert’s, Sonny Acres, or Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, just to name a few! Who could say no to a day filled with apple cider donuts and hayrides? Certainly not the FLIRTies!