Gavin Strange: Super Sleep Fighter – Inspiration Mega-List Vol.1

In his latest column, designer Gavin Strange presents the first volume of his 'Inspiration Mega-List' to get your creative juices flowing.

Man. It’s been a heavy few weeks hasn’t it? You only have to glimpse at a news channel (although I highly discourage it – rolling news = misery) or get a notification pop-up alerting you of more darkness.

The thing is about these inevitable dark moments as the world turns, you can’t really control them. Sure, you might have some sway in them, such as the election, but you never really have full control. And you you can’t let things concern you of which you have no control over.

So with that in mind, today’s column is just one long mega list of inspiration and fun. Links, videos and things that you can get stuck into to fill your mind tank with wonderment and joy!

No messing about, let’s get started…



Draplin, the legend himself, has made a beautiful book not only packed with his whole career’s worth of gorgeous design, but also filled with his life story and views. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing him speak, then you’ll know how entertaining, heartfelt and inspirational this book will make you feel. Buy it!

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing him speak, then you’ll know how entertaining, heartfelt and inspirational this book will make you feel. Buy it!

Gavin Strange

One of my heroes, this book not only shows you deep inside his highly detailed and gorgeous notebooks, book also features many interviews and snippets of his creative mind and process. It’s packed full of macabre magic!

The Spanish brothers Juan and Ale have a style like no other and a portfolio of work and side-projects that never fail to make you smile. Their huge book looks back at their past and shows just how much their creative upbringing has influenced their mind-bindingly colourful creations. A pure joy.


I read this in one sitting, on the train journey home from the launch event of the very same book. Insightful, well written and packed full of testimonies from many successful and creative folk doing what they love.

This is the book that inspired me to write my own. Never had I ever considered writing a book myself until the pages of this one made me think ‘well, maybe I could!?’. It’s like your all-in-one pocket guide to constant inspiration, to encourage you to always push forwards. A little gem indeed!

‘Do Purpose’ is like your all-in-one pocket guide to constant inspiration, to encourage you to always push forwards.

Gavin Strange

A serious book with a serious message. Take a glimpse behind the curtain of Pixar and discover the techniques and strategies used to manage large teams. It shows you how to grow and maintain a healthy and positive culture of creativity and the challenges that it will bring.


Installing this made my brain happy. Who needs YouTube comments, really!? As my friend Stef said; “Never read the bottom half of the internet”. With this plugin, you won’t have to!

Just straight up beauty this one. When you open a new tab in chrome, it displays a gorgeous full-screen time-lapse video. Simple and stunning.

My favourite productivity tool this. Plays calm, soothing sounds to let you focus on the task in hand. So useful!



Foo Fighter’s frontman delivers an honest, funny and inspiring keynote speech at SXSW. You’ll come away wanting to pursue the things you never thought you were good enough to do. All hail King Grohl.


Nothing puts you in perspective like someone who’s engineered a theoretical clock that won’t finish it’s cycle until the known universe is completely obsolete. Totally unnecessary and completely fascinating. I watch it to feel pointless and positive at the same time.


Nike sure to know how to make an advert don’t they!? This will have you running out the door feeling like you can do anything. Great cinematography and just a fun, positive message. Branding done right.


I really wish Sir Ken Robinson was Education Secretary, he’d sort things in an instant. A brilliant speaker delivering a poignant message in a truly funny way.



Tim Urban writes one of my favourite websites (Wait But Why) but here he talks about his procrastination monkey and what to do with it when he comes out to play


There are no words to describe this one. If you haven’t already seen it, then just hit the link and press play, you won’t regret it.


I adore this channel. Really considered and thought out content that will blow your mind but backed up with gorgeous illustrations and silk-smooth 60fps animation. I always feel smarter after watching their work.

Well written, well researched and really well delivered videos on just about all topics. What I love about this channel is everything’s always done so positively and respectfully. Lovely.

Not only do I like the content that Vox looks into – everything from politics to rap music, but I like the graphic style and the animation techniques used. Really great stuff!


We’ve gotta end on a laugh or two, right!? So here’s 3 of my favourites to give you a giggle…

The Robot uprising isn’t gonna happen quite yet. Watch a collection of ridiculously expensive automatons falling over doing ridiculously simple things.

Yeah. Exactly that. And as funny as you’re imagining it too.

I really don’t know how to describe this. ‘Wonderfully weird’ is probably the best I can do!


There we go then! SUPER SLEEP FIGHTER : INSPIRATION MEGA-LIST VOLUME 01 is over! I hope to do another instalment of this later on in the year!

Until next time; stay inspired, stay positive and stay frosty.



Posted on Jun 14th, 17 by

By Day, Gavin is a Senior Designer for the Interactive arm of Aardman Animations, by night he's a Designer & Director going under the alias of JamFactory, indulging in all manner of passion projects. In 2015 he wrote his first book 'Do Fly', published by The Do Book Company, and he co-founded the contemporary design store 'STRANGE' with his wife Jane. He lives in Bristol with Jane, his son Sullivan and their greyhound Peggy.

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