Over the last few weeks, I’ve been quiet on my social media channels, and that wasn’t by mistake. I have been struggling with imposter syndrome and insecurity as I tried to find for the best ways to respond to the murder of George Floyd, the numerous recent acts of senseless police violence and racism, and a much longer history of racism.

Like all of us, when I want to help take on any large problem, I started by listening to the people most affected and sat down with Black, Brown, Indigenous and/or LGBTQ+ friends, co-workers, and members of the community…


Design is in my DNA. A lot of people say things like that but as the son of a Creative Director and a soft sculpture fabric artist, who had his design education start when I was just two years old in the basement of my childhood home, its true. My father and I would write my storybooks and then create all the handset type and linoleum blocks we needed to bring the story to life on an antique letterpress. That education continued when I was 12 years old when I started to follow in my father’s footsteps on the path…


I’ve been talking at design and creative conferences of all sizes for a while, and during that time I noticed one thing always stays same — the format. I stand on stage and try to cram as much information as I can into my allotted time, trying to leave as much time as I can for questions at the end and then stay afterward in the lobby outside the auditorium as long as I can after the session to answer as many questions as I can.

On the one hand, the audience is getting useful information, but on the other…


I talk in episode 43 of The Crazy One podcast about one of the ways I do to keep myself out of creative slumps is to constantly look for new tools to help my creative process. This means that I am downloading, trying and then deleting about 98% of what I try out. Over the past few years Evernote has remained my go-to Swiss Army knife for my creative process but over the past year I’ve found myself falling out of love with it but I wasn’t sure why. In the last month, I’ve finally found a new tool that…


As a foundation to this podcast here are the apps I use, the books I read, the web sites I visit, the people I follow and the video I watch as a starter kit for all creatives to use when listening to this podcast.


Over the past few years the demands on my time have steadily increased and as a result, I find that I’m rarely able to write the more in-depth articles I really want to for this blog. Most of my writing consists of my weekly inspirations which are an important part of my process but I hate being reduced to someone who is just passing on the creativity and experiences of other people.

At the same time, I’ve always been aware of the fact that I am a designer by profession and a writer by necessity. I love writing but I love speaking at conferences and teaching more. So a podcast seemed like a natural next evolution of this site. It’s also selfishly important for me because I’ve learned that when I feel like my process is stagnating or I am not able to be as creative as I want to be then I have to blow up my process and do something different.

So I thought I would do something new and…


It is a great time to be a designer because the number of apps and plug-ins to help you with your workflow is exploding right now. I wanted to start writing a new series to highlight the best one’s I find. I am going to let the content dictate the timing of these pieces since have no idea if there will be enough content to write it every month or not — we will see. Here are the best new apps and plug-in I've found this month.


In a world where people now officially have a shorter attention span than goldfish (serious — read this) bite-sized information often trumps a good book. But I still believe that you constantly have to keep seeking out new ideas and perspectives so you can keep evolving your palette on creativity, design and everything that touches your creative process. I have found the ability to develop your palette is an essential skill that goes constantly overlooked because people think that their talent alone is enough to create great ideas or designs. I think that would be true if we were just…


I think one of the best features of Sketch is their vibrant plug-in community who continues to work to create new functionality and features that you can add to the application. But the problem is that when you go to the Sketch Extensions / Plug-ins page all you can do is search for a plug-in by name. So with no reviews or ability to even sort by downloads how are you supposed to know which ones are any good and how do you know if you are missing out on any really great plug-ins? I wanted to share a few of my favorites but also put the question to Twitter and with the help of Sketchapp TV and Sketch Hunt heard from a lot of other Sketch users on their favorites. So here are what I think are the 10 best Sketch plugins that I use and love every day.


I thought we would start off the new year by looking at some new tools you probably have never heard of. After years of Photoshop being the only horse in the design tool race, we saw a host of new apps and Photoshop starting to losing its popularity among designers. Its market share was mainly lost to Bohemian Coding Sketch but also saw the rise of more real-time design and prototyping with tools like InVision. It looks like this is only going to accelerate in 2016 with a whole new crop of contenders trying to grab a place in our application dock and break into the mainstream design workflow consciousness. Here are 9 new or soon to be released tools you should keep an eye on in 2016.

Stephen Gates

Head Design Evangelist at @InVisionApp. International keynote speaker. Host of The Crazy One podcast.

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