Meet the artist drawing millions of YouTube views

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Ross Tran steps out of his Californian apartment. The sun shines in the sky above and a car idles on the road below. Holding a couple of large canvases, he climbs over a balcony, shimmies down a tree and speaks to camera: “Welcome to another episode of Ross Draws. It’s my graduation episode!”

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He runs to the waiting car. Animated sparks fly. He throws his artwork through the open window, jumps into the driver’s seat and speeds away. The hand-written personalised number plate taped to the back of his Chevy reads: COLOR DODGE.

In just 20 seconds, we see why the 23-year-old artist’s videos have earned nearly two million views on his YouTube channel: the quick cuts, the playful tone, the breathless, almost hyperactive presenting style; whistle-stop tours of his art school, apartment and various locations around California; interviews with the smiley, unbelievably healthy-looking friends and teachers who populate those places…

 And, of course, the thing that underpins the channel’s success, Tran's art – bright, stylised, painterly, with tutorials explaining how to paint his work. What you’d never know by watching these videos is that the channel “came from a dark place.”

“A piece from my Astro Series. It’s a collection of portraits involving some kind of white garment and shapes as the influence.”
Personality is key

Tran is a recent graduate of Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design. He won his first concept artist job at the nearby West Studio when he was just 17. A couple of years later, he worked as lead character designer on his first feature film – creating Echo for the 2014 animated movie Earth to Echo. He now counts among his clients Disney, Samsung and Microsoft, and has since worked on the upcoming Halo Franchise and several more films.

How did he win so many big jobs at such a young age? “You have to personalise your portfolio so it represents what you really want to do,” he says. “For instance, if you love character design and want to get hired for it, make your portfolio and online presence character-based. I’ve seen a lot of people put too many types of work in their portfolio. It makes them look disposable. The last thing you want to be is a robot. Show the world who you are and what you want to do.”

“This was one of the few pieces I did in my year off art to pursue acting. I just loved to paint and felt the need to express myself artistically.”

He says some people may be familiar with his earlier work, but most of this success has come through Ross Draws, the YouTube channel that he started at the end of 2011.

“I actually grew up really shy,” he says, an image very different from the boisterous character he presents in his videos. “I had a lot of insecurities growing up. I think Ross Draws represents a side of myself that depicts transformation and self-growth. I consider myself an introvert, but one who’s learning extroverted skills.”

“This was from the third episode on my YouTube channel, drawing Nidalee from League. She’s one of my favourite characters and I had to draw her!”

Even after earning a place at the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design, Tran says he felt something was missing in his life. He was passionate about art, but also loved making people laugh. So he took a year off and pursued an acting career.

Tran juggled art school and auditions. He took extra classes in improv and scene study. The nearest he got to a big break was an audition for a pilot on the Fox network.

“My work has recently taken a more stylised, graphic approach, while still pertaining to my painterly roots.”

The small part called for a designer who freaks out a lot. “My perfect role!” Tran says. The producers of hit shows Psych and Scrubs were in the audition room and he made them laugh. They gave the part – which the script labelled “Asian Best Friend” – to a white person.

“I’m not sure the pilot even got picked up,” he says. “But it was a great experience. I also auditioned for a lot of commercials.”

“I always got tons of requests to draw my dog and found a perfect opportunity – to celebrate one year on YouTube.”
How to draw and paint – 95 pro tips and tutorials
Branching out on YouTube

“I grew up watching The PowerPuff Girls and wanted to do my take on it. I was bringing my love of graphics in the piece.”

A friend suggested he start a YouTube channel combining the two things: art and making people laugh. “I hesitated, thinking it wasn’t really my thing. Prior to the channel, I felt like I had no purpose. I was waking up and feeling really unmotivated to do anything. Uninspired, unwilling, defeated.

“Acting helped me to commit. Because, in acting, you have to commit 110 per cent or else no one will believe you, not even you. You can’t be in your head. Going on those auditions and to classes helped me to commit to the moment and just do it, no thinking. It’s a practice I’ve also taken into my art. If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to voice it.”

“This piece is quite special to me. People often mention that this was one of the first episodes/pieces they saw when they discovered me.”

When Tran reinvented himself as Ross Draws, it shook up his personal life and kickstarted his career. But the success of the YouTube channel brought new problems. “My schedule is different every week, every day,” he says. “Sometimes I feel I overload myself. I’m definitely what they call a night owl. I go to sleep anywhere from 2 to 5am. As my channel grows, so do my opportunities – conventions, signings, gigs – and it’s been harder to have a set schedule. It’s still currently a learning curve. But most of my week consists of editing my videos and painting.”

Growing up, Tran was into TV shows like Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Power Rangers – you can see those influences in his art and on his channel. He has a few key rules when making videos. Our attention span is getting shorter and shorter, he says, so he keeps footage under the six-minute mark. It’s also important to be yourself, connect with your audience and collaborate with other people. He’s made videos with artists he looks up to, like Dan LuVisi and Anthony Jones, but also collaborations with non-artists, such as Jimmy Wong and Yoshi Sudarso, who plays the Blue Ranger on the new Power Rangers show.

“This was another one that sat in my folder for about two years. I never knew how to finish it, but one day I opened it up and let the story breathe.”

The YouTube channel brought Tran new confidence, which was mirrored in his art. When he started at ArtCenter College of Design, he knew he was a capable painter but felt his work was too heavily influenced by his favourite artists. Then he painted a piece called Journey – a landmark in which he found his own voice and techniques.

Tran works with Premiere and After Effects for his videos, Photoshop and Lightroom for painting. Using all Adobe software helps him easily switch between apps. One website recently labelled him the “Master of Color Dodge.” The blend mode creates extra depth and makes colours really pop off the screen, an almost glowing effect that’s present in much of Tran's work.

“This has been sitting in my WIP folder for about three years. A lot of my pieces sit there until I can see the piece turn into something unique to me.”
It's not cheating

Tran hadn’t always used such techniques. “At a young age, I thought that using certain methods as cheating, only to realise now that it doesn’t matter. You can learn from anything, any method, anywhere. Have an open mind and you can absorb information easier and faster.”

After graduating college, Tran left the apartment that features in many of his YouTube videos. He now rents a house with friends, a place just outside Los Angeles. “We call it The Grind House,” he says. The Grind House? “It’s where we’re going to grind on our stuff for a year and decide what to do from there. There’s not much of an art scene in my area, but I love the motivational energy that the house has.”

“This piece was commissioned for the deviantART+Blizzard Campaign ‘21 Days of Overwatch’. It’s probably my best seller at my first convention, Anime Expo.”

“Motivational energy” is a perfect term. It’s in everything Tran says and does. You can still see his influences in his work. There’s a bit of Jaime Jones in there, some Craig Mullins and Claire Wending. But despite his youth, he has found a style, voice and motivational energy of his own – and, perhaps most importantly, a platform on which to share it. That’s the one piece of advice he’s keen to get across: do it your own way, on your own terms.

“My videos are funded by my amazing supporters on Patreon. I’m blessed to have fans who love what I do and who want the exclusive content that comes with each episode. Patreon is definitely a career option for artists.” Tran's endorsement of Patreon comes with a caveat, however: only launch when you’re ready. “I held off on making my page until I knew I had quality content for the people who supported me.

“There’s always a whimsical element to my work, either in the colours or the composition.”

“If you do what you love, numbers and finance shouldn’t matter,” Tran adds. “I have friends who absolutely love their studio jobs and want to be surrounded by people. I also had friends who quit those jobs, made a Patreon and earned less, but loved what they do.

“I think it’s about finding your own instrument and how to operate at your fullest potential. In today’s industry – and society – we too often compare ourselves to others, which fuels our inner self-critic. We’re all on our own journey at our own pace. We all have different inspirations, a different drive that propels us forward.”

This article was originally published in ImagineFX magazine issue 140.

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Pay What You Want: Microsoft Office Productivity Bundle

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Microsoft Office is a set of desktop applications that provide simple and efficient ways to present, manage, and organize information. Employees in most companies are expected to know how to write a report in Microsoft Word, create a presentation in Powerpoint, and analyze data in Excel. Although these are the most widely used programs of […]

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Movavi Screen Capture Studio Review: Recording Online Videos is a Breeze

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Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

You wake up for work. The first item on your to-do list is to open up that social media webinar you’ve been looking forward to.

You’re fifteen minutes early and ready to learn about how you can turn your small business into a presence on Facebook. But then, the phone rings. Your kid got sick at school and now you need to come and pick him up. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a quick way to record that webinar for future viewing?

Quite a few versions of screen capture software exist. Some cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Others come as browser extensions or default software installed into your operating system. These tend to work for limited use, but you often run into problems like the amount of time you can capture, resolution difficulties and watered-down features in general.

The main disadvantage to not having a fully-functional screen capture tool is that you often would like to save these full videos for later, without the regular limitations.

For instance, a college professor or business professional might want to show off some relevant YouTube videos but they don’t get internet access in the classroom or at a conference. A company might want to share training courses online, but they’d rather have local files to give to new employees in one batch.

In addition, every single one of these people may want to take a video, grab a screen capture of it, then cut it down to a certain size. This helps with placing a quick video in a presentation, where the actual video online is far too long.

In fact, many university students are known for inserting shortened YouTube videos in their PowerPoint presentations.

In order to take advantage of this functionality, you need a tool like Movavi Screen Capture Studio. It offers a compact program with Windows and Mac versions. You can record online videos and save them to your computer after making edits.

Furthermore, the Movavi Screen Capture Studio doesn’t limit the type of video you record. It seems to open up possibilities for capturing and saving everything from Conan O’Brien clips to videos on the ESPN website.

Seeing as how quite a few people would find this tool helpful, I wanted to give it a spin to see how it performed.

What Can You Record with the Help of Movavi Screen Capture Studio?

TV Programs.
Live Streams.
Videos from YouTube.
Online video courses.
Video marketing materials.
Videos on social media.

Really, screen capture is entirely up to your imagination. Taking a video of a Netflix video is entirely possible for the entertainment junkies out there. There’s also no reason you can’t use Movavi for more professional videos. And, the most obvious use of a screen capture software is to develop your own videos for things like YouTube videos, courses and webinars.

But enough of that. Let’s take a look at my own experience.

Recording With Movavi – Ease of Use

The Movavi Screen Capture Studio downloads directly to your PC or Mac from the Movavi website. There’s no personal information you have to type in. It’s also not a demo version, so the basic functionality of Movavi Screen Capture Studio is there for you to enjoy.

Upon installing an opening Movavi Screen Capture, you see a box with options. It asks whether you’d like to do one of the following:

Record screen.
Take a screenshot.
Repeat last recording.
Look at the quick capture shortcuts.
Edit your captured files.

You can also find a compact mode for keeping the clutter down.

This review is only on the recording capabilities, but as you can see, Movavi provides several other functions for screenshots and editing.

But now it’s time to find a video I want to record and capture with Movavi. I decided to do so with a few types of videos so that I understand how well it performs. At first, I wanted to see how Netflix worked out. I started a TV show, began the screen capture, then waited for about five minutes. After stopping the capture, it brought me to a basic editing area.

Here are some of the options in this module:

Adjust the playback volume.
Save the current frame.
Save As.
Adjust the language.
Open the video in the more advanced Movavi Video Editor.
Share to YouTube.
Cut the video in its current position.

One of the main features involves cutting the video down. As mentioned above, a business person, student, teacher or a regular person might have a strong need for cutting out the rest of the video. Therefore, the user drags the cutting tool to the spots they want to save. Hit the Cut button, then everything else gets removed.

I also enjoy the Save to YouTube feature, since it’s a pain in the rear to download the video to your computer and go through the regular YouTube upload module. On the Upload to YouTube screen, you can change the title, description, tags and the Save To location. It even provides options to adjust the resolution, category and privacy.

I could definitely imagine using Movavi Screen Capture Studio in my professional life as well. Therefore, I went to a popular WordPress training module on Udemy and joined the course. This was a free course, but I imagine you’d have the same screen capture experience if you paid for videos on Udemy or Lynda. Regardless, the WordPress course recorded nicely and I was able to cut it down whenever I found something that dragged on.

My final test was with a simple YouTube video. What’s cool about Movavi Screen Capture Studio is that you can capture regardless of the size of the video. So, I completed the capture on the smaller YouTube screen, but the fullscreen view worked fine as well.

Get Started With Movavi Screen Capture Studio

Capturing videos like this is both legal and productive. Companies have been doing this for quite some time, and the average TV and movie buff would find this interesting as well. If you have any questions about this Movavi Screen Capture Studio review, or if you’ve tried out the software in the past, let us know in the comments section below.

This post Movavi Screen Capture Studio Review: Recording Online Videos is a Breeze was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

How to Master Microcopy

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Microcopy  is the little bits of text that guide users through an experience. In apps and websites, microcopy includes things like button labels, hint text, and error messages. Often an afterthought that gets quickly added at the end of the development process, microcopy actually provides a really simple way to assist users as they interact with your product.

Microcopy is small yet powerful copy. Don’t judge it on its size, judge it on its effectiveness. In this article, we’ll see how microcopy can be used in all sorts of functional and delightful ways.

Microcopy is design

Design is about words. Words still form the backbone of communication on the web and in the apps, and microcopy should be a vital element of the design process from the very start.

When done right, effective microcopy increases conversions, improves the rate of task completion and delights users.

Alleviate the concerns of your users

Microcopy is extremely contextual. That’s why it’s so valuable. It answers a very specific question people have and speaks to their concerns right on the spot. You should anticipate user’s questions. User testing is a great way to find out what kind of questions users are asking.

For example, when users are about to sign up to Tumblr, they’re asked to choose a name for their blog. This seems like a big deal, because you’re going to define not just the username, but the URL at which you’ll be found by others. In order to reduce the stress of making a big decision that could affect the future of your blog, Tumblr reminds users that “You can change it any time”. Problem solved. No more worries about choosing the wrong sub-domain name.

Microcopy can be fundamental in reassuring your users at the point of subscribing or sharing details. When people add their emails or connect their Twitter accounts, say “we hate spam as much as you do.” Whilst ‘not to spam/auto-tweet’ might be taken for granted by good marketers when asking for email address/access to the social network account connections, the user is less than sure.

Microcopy from Timely covers all the potential user concerns in one tight little sentence.

We all know how frustrating it can be when you lose content while you’re in the middle of something. Autosave will help make sure that never happens. And microcopy should be used to reassure them that their data is safe.

Google Drive keeps you informed that your hard work is okay.

Users don’t like to give out personal information, especially if they feel it’s unnecessary. Explain to the user why you need their information, or outlining how you use (and protect) their data. For example, Facebook addresses all users concerns, head-on, in its signup box. Their form explains the service is free (forever), and if you’re nervous about giving your date of birth it deals with that too.

Use friendly and helpful copy in a moment of failure

How errors are communicated can have a huge impact on the way someone experiences your website or app. If you aren’t explicit about the error, your users are going to have a hard time figuring out how to fix it. Often overlooked, an ill-constructed error message can fill users with frustration. A well-crafted error message, on the other hand, can turn a moment of frustration into a moment of delight.

A short sprinkling of humour is often a great way to diffuse the frustration of an error.

Brings delight

Injecting delightful details into your designs is a great way to  break the barriers that exist between man and machine.

Users like to interact with other people. If your product sounds human, it’s easier for people to trust you.

Yelp shows the humans behind the brand and encourages people to open up and leave an honest review.

Microcopy can provide a nice opportunity to convey personality to your designs. Good microcopy can turn a routine task into something memorable.

Each time you visit Flickr, the site welcomes you in a different language, which adds a quirky, playful touch.

OkCupid compliments your city when creating a new account: “Ahh, Paris.”

The secret to writing amazing microcopy

Writing microcopy takes more than good writing skills. Just because microcopy is small, doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement. There are multiple factors that play a role in designing great microcopy. Here are a few tips to make a little bit of text pay off in a big way.

Avoid technical jargon

Every company has its own language, which often sneaks onto the website and in the app. Don’t let it happen. What works for you not necessary will work for your user. You need to convey technical information in simple terms.

Use your user’s dictionary

Use natural language and talk to your user like a person.  Don’t write the vocabulary from the top of your head. Instead, get to know the user: research and reuse the existing language of your audience.

Keep it short and helpful

Users don’t want to read long instructions on how to complete a single task. When implementing microcopy use simple unambiguous language and short sentences. It’s supposed to be micro-, not macrocopy.

Be careful with jokes

It’s not always appropriate to use humour in your microcopy. First, not everyone shares your sense of humor. What might sound good on the paper, but in fact can be regarded as uncaring or rude.

Is it really funny or just rude?

Second, it really depends on the context. For instance, a user losing a significant amount of work—then saying “Oops! We can’t seem to save your data” is entirely inappropriate.

Pair microcopy with a picture

Whether it’s a photo, illustration, or a simple picture can sometimes be the perfect pairing for your microcopy. They work together to create a feeling of delight that’s more magical than words or pictures alone. As Dr. Seuss once said:

Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.

When you’re about to send out a campaign using Mailchimp, the accompanying animation shows how stressful it is.


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Collective #346

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Collective #345

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WordPress SEO Plugins: All in One SEO Pack vs. Yoast SEO

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Anyone looking for WordPress SEO plugins will probably have heard that Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack are the best of the fold. But which one is better than the other? This article will highlight the most important attributes of both plugins and guide you towards deciding which works best depending on your […]

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React vs Angular: An In-depth Comparison

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Should I choose Angular, or React? Today’s bipolar landscape of JavaScript frameworks has left many of developers struggling to pick a side in this debate. Whether you’re a newcomer trying to figure out where to start, a freelancer picking a framework for your next project or an enterprise-grade architect planning a strategic vision for your company, you’re likely to benefit from having an educated view on this topic.

To save you some time, let me tell you something up front: this article won’t give a clear answer on which framework is better. But neither will hundreds of other articles with similar titles. I can’t tell you that because the answer depends on a wide range of factors which make a particular technology more or less suitable for your environment and use case.

Since we can’t answer the question directly, we’ll attempt something else. We’ll compare Angular (2+, not the old AngularJS) and React to demonstrate how you can approach the problem of comparing any two frameworks in a structured manner on your own and tailor it to your environment. You know, the old “teach a man to fish” approach. That way, when both are replaced by a BetterFramework.js in a year’s time, you will be able to re-create the same train of thought once more.

Where to Start?

Before you pick any tool you need to answer two simple questions: “Is this a good tool per se?” and “Will it work well for my use case?” None of them mean anything on their own, so you always need to keep both of them in mind. All right, the questions might not be that simple, so we’ll try to break them down into smaller ones.

Questions on the tool itself:

How mature is it and who’s behind it?
What kind of features does it have?
What architecture, development paradigms, and patterns does it employ?
What is the ecosystem around it?

Questions for self-reflection:

Will I and my colleagues be able to learn this tool with ease?
Does is fit well with my project?
What is the developer experience like?

Using this set of questions you can start your assessment of any tool and we’ll base our comparison of React and Angular on them as well.

There’s another thing we need to take into account. Strictly speaking, it’s not exactly fair to compare Angular to React, since Angular is a full-blown feature-rich framework, and React just a UI component library. To even the odds, we’ll talk about React in conjunction with some of the libraries often used with it.


An important part of being a skilled developer is being able to keep the balance between established, time-proven approaches and evaluating new bleeding-edge tech. As a general rule, you should be careful when adopting tools which have not yet matured due to certain risks:

The tool might be buggy and unstable.
It might be unexpectedly abandoned by the vendor.
There might not be a large knowledge base or community available in case you need help.

Both React and Angular come from good families, so it seems that we can be confident in this regard.


React is developed and maintained by Facebook and used in their own products, including Instagram and WhatsApp. It has been around for roughly three and a half years now, so it’s not exactly new. It’s also one of the most popular projects on GitHub with about 60,000 stars at the time of writing. Sounds good to me.


Angular (version 2 and above) has been around less then React, but if you count in the history of its predecessor, AngularJS, the picture evens out. It’s maintained by Google and used in AdWords and Google Fiber. Since AdWords is one of the key projects in Google, it is clear they have made a big bet on it and is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.


Like I mentioned earlier, Angular has more features out of the box than React. This can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Both frameworks share some key features in common: components, data binding, and platform-agnostic rendering.


Angular provides a lot of the features required for a modern web application out of the box. Some of the standard features are:

Dependency injection;
Templates, based on an extended version of HTML;
Routing, provided by @angular/router;
Ajax requests by @angular/http;
@angular/forms for building forms;
Component CSS encapsulation;
XSS protection;
Utilities for unit-testing components.

Having all of these features available out of the box is highly convenient when you don’t want to spend time picking the libraries yourself. However, it also means that you’re stuck with some of them, even if you don’t need them. And replacing them will usually require additional effort. For instance, we believe that for small projects having a DI system creates more overhead than benefit, considering it can be effectively replaced by imports.


With React, you’re starting off with a more minimalistic approach. If we’re looking at just React, here’s what we have:

No dependency injection;
Instead of classic templates it has JSX, an XML-like language built on top of JavaScript;
XSS protection;
Utilities for unit-testing components.

Not much. And this can be a good thing. It means that you have the freedom to choose whatever additional libraries to add based on your needs. The bad thing is that you actually have to make those choices yourself. Some of the popular libraries that are often used together with React are:

React-router for routing.
Fetch (or axios) for HTTP requests;
A wide variety of techniques for CSS encapsulation;
Enzyme for additional unit-testing utilities.

We’ve found the freedom of choosing your own libraries liberating. This gives us the ability to tailor our stack to particular requirements of each project and we didn’t find the cost of learning new libraries that high.

Languages, Paradigms, and Patterns

Taking a step back from the features of each framework, let’s see what kind higher-level concepts are popular with both frameworks.


There are several important things that come to mind when thinking about React: JSX, Flow, and Redux.


JSX is a controversial topic for many developers: some enjoy it, and others think that it’s a huge step back. Instead of following a classical approach of separating markup and logic, React decided to combine them within components using an XML-like language that allows you to write markup directly in your JavaScript code.

While the topic of mixing markup with JavaScript might be debatable, it has an indisputable benefit: static analysis. If you make an error in your JSX markup, the compiler will emit an error instead of continuing in silence. This helps by instantly catching typos and other silly errors. This is something we really miss in Angular.


Continue reading %React vs Angular: An In-depth Comparison%

Stockio Review: Stock Photos and More Without the Attribution and Costs

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Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

If you’re looking for a featured photo to match that perfect blog post, the process often takes much longer than you would expect.

Most bloggers have no interest, or money, to pay for stock photos, and most of the time you can find royalty-free images that don’t require attribution.

Unfortunately, there are a few main problems when it comes to finding royalty-free images that don’t require attribution:

Many search engines don’t have the proper tools to filter out photographs that aren’t legal to use.
Many times you stumble upon a free stock photography website only to find that you’re required to provide an attribution link on each photo.
There are so many photography sites that you often have to bookmark several of them to find the pictures you need.

It’s a tough process, but with the help of Stockio you should be able to make it much easier.

The Stockio free photo finder is much more than a collection of stock images.

It offers items like fonts, vectors, videos and icons. Therefore, a web designer, blogger or regular business person trying to make marketing materials can go to one location online to find everything.

The True Stockio Advantage

As a blogger and web designer myself, I find it pretty unfortunate when I locate an online asset (like a photo or vector) only to see that it requires attribution (or some sort of credit to the creator). Yes, attribution is great for sending more business to the designers and photographers of the world, but sometimes it simply doesn’t make sense to have a link below the photo. Take book covers, for example. It’d be pretty weird if a beginner blogger on a budget had an attribution link underneath their book cover.

It’s fine to have blog posts with image credits, but you can’t expect companies to place attribution on a slider image.

That’s why Stockio makes so much sense. It allows photographers and designers to find an audience, yet the people using their creations aren’t bogged down by the whole attribution thing.

Stockio encourages its users to credit things like photos and vectors, but it’s not required. Therefore, you can pick and choose for the situations it makes the most sense.

Now that you have a better idea of what Stockio offers, let’s take a look at the functionality of its website, along with the selection you can choose from.

Free Photos with Stockio

The free photos are the main focus on Stockio, so we’ll begin with that. Upon landing on the Stockio website, you’ll see a large Search bar for you to punch in any keyword you want. In addition to that, the website has several featured galleries for images, fonts and everything else on the site.

Let’s say, for example, I have a hardware store client that needs to start featuring some of its lawn maintenance products. We’re talking lawnmowers, fertilizers and sprinklers. Therefore, I want to search for photos that are tagged with the “lawn” keyword.

After doing that on Stockio, I saw a large collection of relevant images pop up. These lawn images are high-resolution, beautiful and ready to be used for marketing, blogging and social media materials.

After finding a photo I liked, the Stockio website brought me to the main page for that photo. What’s great about the image pages is that they’re not cluttered with tons of ads or other buttons that make you confused during the process. All the user sees is a Free Download button without any information about leaving attribution. These photos are available for both personal and commercial use, as long as you don’t go out and resell the actual photos. Depending on the photo, you’ll see some different sizes and formats, allowing you to keep the resolutions high and the formats the same.

Stockio Also Offers Free Fonts and Vectors

The free fonts come in all shapes and sizes, from gothic styles to more professional typography. Stockio eases the search process by presenting a wide assortment of categories. You click on the category that makes the most sense, then you’ll see a full gallery of the photos tagged with that category.

For instance, some of the categories on this page include:


The free vectors appear rather impressive as well. Stockio doesn’t seem to provide categories for the vectors, so you must go through the featured collection or make your search through the homepage.

As with the regular photos, vector files come in multiple forms. For example, this particular vector has both EPS and JPG files. You have the opportunity to select the file format that’s going to work best for your project. Once again, the attribution requirements are completely eliminated from the vector area, leaving you free to download at your own will.

Stockio Has Videos Too!

Quality free videos are hard to come by, so it’s refreshing to see that Stockio keeps a large selection of quality choices. For example, I received at least 20 or 30 great results when I punched in the keyword “lake.” It appears most of the videos come in standard mp4 format, but that’s just from looking at a few of the video downloads. In fact, the video pages are even easier to handle than the photos and vectors. With only one format, you only have to think about clicking that Free Download button.

Don’t Forget Your Icons

As a writer I don’t use icons at all. However, the web designer side of me likes to play around with icons when creating new websites and breaking up the monotony of text. Stockio provides a solid set of free icons. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can choose from icons of cats, houses, PSD files, computers and more. Before downloading, Stockio asks whether you’d like a PNG or SVG. Then, you’ll have to select the size if you go with a PNG.

Stockio is the Real Deal

I’ve said it before, but the free stock image business has seen it’s troubles. Most of the time you find a site riddled with ads or attribution requests, but Stockio has managed to avoid all that. Therefore, I’d recommend giving Stockio a try for your photo, vector, font, video and icon needs. You don’t have to sign up for a free trial or anything. Just start searching and downloading the items you need. Have fun!

This post Stockio Review: Stock Photos and More Without the Attribution and Costs was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

Find the Perfect Icons with IconShock 2.0

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Icons are one of the must-have assets that every designer needs in their toolbox. They’ve become an essential part of crafting the perfect UI.

The trouble is that it can be difficult to find the right icon for the job. Sure, it may be the right object. But it may not be the right color or available in the size you need. That leads to having to settle for something that doesn’t work as well as you’d like.

That’s what makes IconShock 2.0 so unique. They’ve hand-crafted over 2 million icons – over 400 sets in all. Not only that, but they cover over 30 styles with almost all of them being pixel-perfect vectors. But that’s just scratching the surface of what IconShock 2.0 can do.

Customized to Fit Your Needs

Customized to Fit Your Needs

It’s one thing to simply download an icon file and then try to make it fit your project. It’s quite another to download an icon that is customized to your exact specifications. Yet IconShock provides you with that very experience.

Using their web-based customization tool, you can pick an icon and make it your own. Choose the sizing and colors you want. You’ll even get a list of related icons and the ability to search for others. From there, download a transparent PNG file. Premium members get even more options, like large sizes (up to 512px) and the ability to export to SVG or AI file formats. Plus, premium members get access to every single icon in the collection – with 100+ new ones added weekly.

As well as being able to choose and customize those particular icons your project requires, now, with IconShock 2.0, you can also download many of those icons in icon font format as well!

The whole process is quick, fun and really increases efficiency. The end result is getting exactly what you want – which ends up in a better project.

A True Variety of Icon Sets

IconShock 2.0 offers an incredible array of choices (2 million+ icons makes for a pretty good selection). Their icon sets cover multiple industries and, odds are, you’re going to find the perfect fit for whatever you’re working on.

Let’s take a look at five of their most popular sets, each with hundreds of icons you can customize and download for free:

Flat Icons

IconShock 2.0’s Flat Icons Bundle sports a clean, colorful style that will help you to create a standout UI. The soft color palette combined with geometric shapes will add a touch of class to any design project.

Flat Icons

Glyph Icons

The Glyph Icons Bundle is made of up minimal outlined shapes. Perfect for when simplicity is a must.

Glyph Icons

iPhone Icons

With the iPhone Icons Bundle, you’ll find a set of solid monochrome icons based on the original iOS 6 designs. They were built with the original iPhone sizes in mind, but can be customized to match your needs.

iPhone Icons

iOS Line Icons

If you’re looking for truly minimal outline styling, the iOS Line Icons Bundle may be a great fit for you. They’re conceptually accurate with iOS 7 and above.

iOS Line Icons

Material Design Icons

The Material Icons Bundle is a great choice when following Google’s Material Design. Based on minimal glyph icons, but with Material’s color palette added in for extra punch.

Material Design Icons

Icon Fonts

And, don’t forget that all of the above icon sets are available to download in icon font as well. All perfect for quick integration into popular web frameworks like Bootstrap and Semantic.

iPhone Icons

Looking for Something Else?

We’ve only begun digging into the vast icon library of IconShock 2.0. Take a look at their entire list of icon sets to see all that they have to offer.

Start Using IconShock 2.0 for Free

Now that you’ve seen the top-quality icons and game-changing tools of IconShock 2.0, it’s time to add their collection to your design toolbox. You can start using these stellar icons for free. If you’re looking for even more power, upgrade to a premium membership and take things to the next level.