How best to use emotion in your art & design projects

Creative director and designer Dan Rubin discusses how to produce powerful work that really engages.


Dan has also curated libraries of images taken from Adobe Stock's extensive collection of photos and illustrations – libraries based around emotions suggested by Digital Arts readers. You can browse the first library here – where Dan also explains why he thinks the images are so effective at depicting those feelings and suggests ways to use them in your work.

The first library concentrates on joy – the purest form of positivity. Tune in tomorrow to discover what he – and you – have picked next.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock lets you access over 40 million powerful photos and illustrations from within the tools you already use.

Open Adobe Stock up on your browser or from within your CC 2015 desktop tools such as InDesign and Photoshop, and you can browse to find the perfect image/s for your project - and download them straight into your application.

You can license each image individually – or to save money, sign-up for an annual plan. There's no difference in price based on size – you always get the largest size!

Image: #57649793 by Masa2105. Dan says this image evokes memories of "swinging through the air, music and the sounds of people enjoying themselves flying past your ears like the wind through your hair."

Image: 67193459 by ibush.

Dan says that "when I search for images, I look for photos I feel like I would take under similar circumstances. This shot makes me feel the joy and freedom of an open field."


Image: 81394698 by Sunny studio.

Dan says "I grew up near the sea in Florida, and splashing in the waves is one of the biggest pleasures of my life – seeing this takes me right back to the beach, surf, and sun."


Image: 77505726 by Anna Omelchenko.

Dan says "The energy of a concert, surrounded by friends and fans who share your passion for the performer, is another pure form of joy: that which is shared."


Image: 84020732 by Joerg Dirmeitis.

Dan says "Rope swings are always fun — especially in summer. Joy is synonymous with fun, and this image makes me want to get outside and join in."


Image: 69128564 by Ivanov Alexandr.

Dan says that "as a traveler and explorer, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of achievement and wonderment as you reach the peak and are rewarded with an incredible view."


Image: 45946229 by Maksim Bukovski.

Dan says "My niece and nephew are my favourite people in the world – constantly smiling and giggling, this image reminds me of their joy, and the joy they bring me."


Image: 84297545 by Rita Kochmarjova.

Dan says "We love dogs – not only for their companionship, but for the emotions they show and make us feel. How can you not see this and feel joyful?"


Image: 57851720 by Kuco.

Dan says "Children are one of my favourite examples of happiness and joy — this older photograph feels so honest, simple; a snapshot of joy from another time."


Image: 65722665 by Martinan.

Dan says "There’s nothing more pure than a child’s emotion — so this was a natural choice for Joy: pure and simple."