Intro

Aside from the hopefully now over week-long hangover and remorse for the 25+ pigs in blankets you jammed in your gob in the name of Jesus, January can only mean one thing: resolutions. For creatives, self-initiated projects are not only a good way to scratch an itch that your paid work has not quite been reaching, but they can also help you win more of the briefs that you want in 2015. There are two key things to consider: setting yourself limitations and doing something regularly.

If you’re keen to explore a new style or sharpen your analytical skills, using current affairs to trigger ideas is usually a good place to start. However, this week's events in Paris have meant that you'd be tempted to avoid drawing on the news – but it's inspired many creatives to produce works to show support. Many illustrators especially have been deeply touched by the attempt to the silence a magazine whose cartoons especially were so controversial – and they're reactions have ranged from sending love to showing their defiance of those who attack on freedom of expression.

Works such as this by French illustrator Jean Jullien have been widely posted across social media, both by the creative community and beyond – a groundswell of feeling that we can only hope tips the balance back in favour of good after the horror of this week.

Read on to see more inspiring projects across art, design, animation, photography and more.

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