With a new year fast approaching, it's time for Creative Boom's annual unveiling of the freshest blogs and websites for creative entrepreneurs. This definitive list for 2016 includes some of our usual favourites but there are plenty of new contenders as well.
If you're a freelancer, agency owner or you're climbing the career ladder – then our suggestions will offer daily inspiration and ideas. That's whether you work in the fields of art, graphic design, illustration, photography or any other creative discipline – we've helpfully broken down our recommendations into various categories, making this article a handy bookmark for future reference. We've even thrown in a few lifestyle and travel sites, for a little fun.
If we’ve missed anything, feel free to tweet us and make your own suggestions via @Creative_Boom and we’ll consider adding them to the list. Enjoy!
1. Plenty of Colour: Quite simply, this is a wonderful blog offering inspiration devoted to colour – curated by Vancouver-based artist Chloé.
2. Colossal: One of the best in the business, Colossal is a daily source of inspiration from the fields of art, design, photography, illustration and crafts.
3. Demilked: This is an art, design and photography mash-up, delivering everything that's trending around the world.
4. Nowness: Working with established and emerging filmmakers, Nowness is a global video channel that shares the best in art, design and culture.
5. The Great Discontent: The Great Discontent, which now has an accompanying print magazine, is full of beautifully big images, cleverly placed typography and exciting page layouts – published by Brooklyn-based creative studio Wayward Wild. With in-depth interviews from the creative industries.
6. This Isn't Happiness: A simple Tumblr blog sharing art, photography, design and disappointment. Ha!
7. My Modern Met: Art, design, photography, architecture and the odd feel-good story – My Modern Met is a decent source of inspiration. A must for your bookmarks.
8. Visual News: Offering a collection of the world's most compelling visual content, Visual News curates great work from creatives everywhere.
9. Yatzer: Yatzer is a global online destination that allows readers to both discover and follow the most engaging creative projects and people in art, fashion, design, architecture and hospitality from around the world. Initially founded by Greek interior designer Costas Voyatzis in 2007.
10. Where Cool Things Happen: Inspiration for, you guessed it, cool things. Focusing on travel, art, graphics and lifestyle.
11. iGNANT: An online magazine featuring the finest art, design, photography and architecture.
12. Creative Roots: Representing nations through art and design, Creative Roots is an ever growing art and design blog based on countries of the world, with each post being influenced by its countries, culture and history. With 160,000 page views each month, CR is inspiring readers from all around the world.
13. The Creators Project: A global celebration of creativity, arts and technology. Launched in 2009 with Intel as founding partner, the platform features the works of visionary artists and designers.
14. Hyperallergic: A forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture across the globe.
15. Aesthetica: A leading international art and culture magazine founded in 2002 and explores the best in contemporary art, design, photography, film, music and performance.
16. Hooked: Hooked is a street art blog established in 2005 as a place to share street art, ephemeral art, graffiti, stencils, zines, tags, screen printing, illustration and everything and anything in-between.
17. Artsy: Not necessarily a blog – more an online resource for the art world, featuring galleries, museum collections, foundations, artists, art fairs and auctions – but still a great source of visual inspiration.
18. Hi Fructose: A new contemporary art magazine, available both online and as a printed publication.
19. Art Biz Coach: More of a helpful blog to learn how to sell your art, rather than offering any visual inspiration – Art Biz Coach is Alyson Stanfield, who shares her invaluable wisdom with the world.
20. Artsy Shark: Inspiring website for artists who want to build better businesses, offering not just inspiration but lots of business advice. Founded and run by Carolyn Graham Edlund, who is also a business coach.
21. Fine Little Day: Fine Little Day is a sprawling and happily inconsistent company and blog based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Follow for all things Scandi and crafty.
22. A Beautiful Mess: One of the best craft blogs online, A Beautiful Mess is managed by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. It offers everything for a homemade lifestyle. Bookmark it now!
23. Etsy Blog: The handmade and independents online marketplace that we know and love as Etsy has a superb blog, offering inspiration, tips and business advice.
24. Folksy Blog: Check out the super helpful blog of the UK's own online marketplace for modern British craft, Folksy. With seller tips and industry news, you crafters can keep up with what's happening.
25. C.R.A.F.T.: If you are curious to know, C.R.A.F.T. stands for Creating Really Awesome Fun Things and this superb blog will show you how.
26. Brit+Co: Brit+Co is the one-stop-shop for designers and makers, offering crafty and DIY tutorials on just about everything you can imagine.
27. Lovely Indeed: This blog really is Lovely Indeed, as it has a focus on DIY but also travel, family and style. Lots of inspiring ideas to craft from.
28. Oh Happy Day: Oh Happy Day offers plenty of inspiration for every DIYer and crafter – helping you be prepared for any party, holiday season, interior or venture.
29. Oh Joy: This is a wonderful lifestyle blog which shares more than just crafts. You'll appreciate the tutorials that they share as well.
30. Pie in the Sky: Another crafty, handmade blog that shares plenty of ideas to make your home and lifestyle magical.
31. Friends of Type: Created by four designers and lovers of lettering, you'll discover fresh and original typographic design and lettering updates on a daily basis.
32. Grafik: Home to the world's most inspiring graphic design, this popular blog is full to the brim with projects and ideas – offering superb inspiration for all you graphic designers out there.
33. Eye on Design: This is the blog of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and it showcases the best new multidisciplinary work from emerging and established designers across the world.
34. It's Nice That: With a stunning new design, It's Nice That continues to be a superb portal for every design sector imaginable and champions new and established creative talent.
35. Design Clever: Built by aspiring graphic designers Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker to celebrate talented creatives, you can submit your own work or just seek out inspiration from others.
36. Gurufiku: A collection of visual research surveying the history of graphic design in Japan. Put together by designer Ryan Hageman.
37. Design is Kinky: A long-established blog that offers an endless supply of graphic design inspiration, and it's been around since 1998 would you believe.
38. Visuelle: Visuelle plucks the very best graphic design work from around the world and shares with its growing audience.
39. Print.PM: Put simply, Print.PM is a daily inspiration blog for print lovers.
40. Quipsologies: Quipsologies gives you the latest and greatest graphic design projects, events and news from the industry. Run by the massive graphic design enterprise, Under Consideration.
41. Feature Shoot: One of the best daily sources of photography blogs on the web, Feature Shoot covers fine art, portraits, documentary, still life and much much more.
42. PetaPixel: Sharing news, updates and inspiration for the photography industry, PetaPixel is a must-read.
43. The Phoblographer: The Phoblographer is about photography reviews, tips, news and culture – exploring the photography world and pop culture's effects on the art form.
44. FlakPhoto: An online photography channel that presents the work of artists, curators, bookmakers and photo organisations across the globe. Nicely designed and laid out, it's perfect for those of us who love visual culture.
45. 500px: Still one of the best places on the web to discover new photography talent, 500px allows you to showcase your work and stay inspired.
46. Think With Google: Compelling data. Big ideas. Creative juice. Put Google research and insight behind your thinking and enjoy all kinds of digital goodness.
47. Brain Pickings: A classic and much-loved intelligently written blog by Maria Popova, literally picking out everything that's creatively and intellectually interesting.
48. Think Smarter World: This smart blog captures the best insights on enlightened living from creatives, spiritualists, and progressive scientist – connecting the dots between spirituality, science and creativity. Awesome.
49. Project Gutenberg: Ok, so it's not necessarily a blog but Project Gutenberg is a must for your bookmarks. It offers over 50,000 free ebooks, so you can expand your knowledge one free book at a time.
50. Inc.com: An intelligent and inspirational resource for the business world and creative entrepreneurs everywhere.
51. First Round Review: First Round is a seed-stage venture firm that focuses on building a vibrant community of tech entrepreneurs and companies. It also has a very smartly written blog known as First Round Review – a superb source of tips and advice from leading experts.
52. The New Yorker: Quite possibly our favourite read of the moment – The New Yorker is a weekly magazine offering a signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, international affairs, popular culture and the arts, science and technology. It also has a beautiful website. Subscribe to the magazine very affordably, and you can also get the iPad version on a weekly basis.
53. The Atlantic: The Atlantic covers news and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life on the official site of The Atlantic Magazine. Smart reading and insight.
54. London Review of Books: Since 1979, the London Review of Books has stood up for the tradition of the literary and intellectual essay in English. As well as its online platform, each of its printed magazines contain up to 15 long reviews and essays by academics, writers and journalists. There are also shorter art and film reviews, as well as poems and a lively letters page.
55. Harper's Magazine: The oldest general-interest monthly in America, Harper's Magazine gives you a unique perspective on politics, society, the environment and culture.
Learn something new
56. edX: Learn from the best, anywhere and anytime – thanks to edX, offering online courses from some of the world's leading educational institutions.
57. Mind Tools: Selling itself as "essential skills for an excellent career", Mind Tools is a superb learning resource with a huge amount of learning videos to browse and watch.
58. udemy: A place to learn real world skills online. Courses include everything from yoga and guitar to web development and design.
59. Treehouse: One for the aspiring web designers and developers, Treehouse allows you to learn HTML, CSS, iPhone app development and much more.
60. Coursera: Take the world's best courses, online with Coursera. This fabulous resource partners with top universities and organisations worldwide to offer courses online, ranging across a whole host of topics. Wonderful.
Freelancer tips and advice
61. GV Library: Great tips and advice around a whole host of subjects – design, product management, hiring, engineering, marketing, entrepreneurship, startup stories and founder interviews.
62. Millo: Business tips for creative folk – that's what Millo is all about. Loads of helpful resources for those going freelance.
63. Guardian Culture Pros: The Guardian's own online network for cultural professionals with a wealth of industry insight, tips and advice. Make sure you also check out its Media & Technology network for similar, helpful content.
64. Freelancer Lift: Founded by successful freelancer Liam Veitch, Freelancer Lift aims to be a community and online learning resource for those of us who wish to go freelance, and stay that way.
65. Copyblogger: Designed to help content marketers and internet entrepreneurs, Copyblogger has plenty of ebooks, tips and advice on how to market your business online.
66. Fast Company: This inspiring website will help a new breed of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business.
67. Moz Blog: Brought to you by the friendly people at SEO firm Moz, this blog gives you loads of inbound marketing tips and tricks, which are essential to boost your own skills.
68. Entrepreneur: The latest small business tips and advice from Entrepreneur, an essential guide to entrepreneurship.
69. Seth Godin: Enjoy Seth Godin's riffs on marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread.
70. Red Lemon Club: Run by the popular illustrator Alex Mathers, Red Lemon Club offers a wealth of tips and advice on running your own creative business.
Some interesting travel sites
71. 12hrs: If you had just 12 hours somewhere, what would you see and do? 12hrs is a beautifully designed travel website that organises unique itineraries that are short and sweet.
72. Manger: Mimi Thorisson writes about classical cooking from her villa in Médoc, France and via her travels. Her Icelandic photographer husband takes all of her stunning imagery. Prepare to drool over each and every post she writes.
73. Melting Butter: Curated travel hotspots, courtesy of Melting Butter. Its founder Jenny Nguyen-Barron builds itineraries with art galleries, plant boutiques, jazz bars, and new restaurants recommended by experts.
74. Sidetracked: An online and printed magazine featuring a limited collection of personal stories of adventure travel, journeys and expeditions.
75. The Travelling Light: A curated, visual and ever-growing collection of special, sometimes secret places to visit around the world.
Some cool lifestyle sites
76. Freunde von Freunden: With deliciously inspiring content and ideas, FvF is an independent and international publication documenting inspiring people from diverse creative and cultural backgrounds.
77. Headspace: Enjoy a little daily mindfulness and zen with Headspace – lots of tips and advice on how to live a happier, more peaceful existence.
78. Kinfolk: With jaw-dropping and mouth watering photography, Kinfolk is a popular choice for many creatives worldwide. Its website features content that’s available to everyone (new web stories, City Guides, Galleries and films) but they also offer access to content from their back-issue archive to full subscribers. Join the cool club to get everything Kinfolk has to offer.
79. We Heart: One of our favourite go-to lifestyle blogs for travel and cultural ideas and inspirations, We Heart has it all.
80. Tiny Buddha: Simple wisdom for complex lives, Tiny Buddha offers daily posts on how to be happier, more fulfilled and satisfied with life.
81. Everyday Carry: Check out what real people are carrying in their wallets, handbags and bags – the daily essentials of everyone, shared in this unusual blog.
82. What Should I Read Next?: Super helpful website for bookworms. Just type in a book you like and the site will analyse its huge database of real readers' favourite books to provide recommendations for what to read next.
83. Life Hacker: Improve the little things in your life to be happier, healthier, smarter and more successful.
84. Instructables: This could easily sit beneath Crafts, but we've placed it here because it includes so much more DIY and homemade ideas, like with food, play and technology. A must!
85. Wallpaper: Wallpaper magazine looks at the stuff that refines us – art, travel, fashion, watches, jewellery, architecture – it's a visual online feast of everything we love in our creative lives.
Just for fun
86. Drawspace: Now everyone can draw with Drawspace – lessons, e-books and classrooms to help you learn to draw, at long last.
87. Dave Conservatoire: An excellent free online music school that aims to provide world-class music education for everyone. Awesome.
88. WhizzPast: Welcome to the web's hottest history blog – the best place to learn about our amazing, action-packed past.
89. The Daily What: Another ‘trending’ website where you can easily discover popular content from around the world. Expect things like ’10 Dogs That Think They Can Speak English’ and you’ll happily waste many hours browsing through the site.
90. How Stuff Works: Learn how everything works via this nifty site; How Stuff Works covers everything from animals and culture to health and science.
91. Dilbert Daily Strip: The official Dilbert website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animation, mashups and more.
92. Letters of Note: Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.
93. The Oatmeal: The oatmeal tastes better than stale skittles found under the couch cushions. And it contains comics, quizzes and endless fun. A classic.
94. The Useless Web: Fancy wasting some time? The Useless Web is your answer to your prayers. Press the random website button generator and you'll be whisked off to goodness knows what.
95. Sanger: Back by popular demand, it's a pug that constantly licks your computer screen. Joy!
96. Duolingo: Why not learn a new language for free? Duolingo lets you learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and... Irish? Irish! Fantastic. Check it out.
97. TasteKid: TasteKid helps you discover new music, movies, TV shows, books, authors, games, and people with shared interests.
98. Astronomy Picture of the Day: Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
99. Weave Silk: Draw stunning symmetrical images with the click of a mouse. Simple yet fun.
100. Lumosity: Last but not last, Lumosity is cutting-edge neuroscience, personalised for you. Enjoy games and tools developed by a team of neuroscientists to train your brain.