Our commitment to showcasing amazing creative work from around the world works across This Works and our WeTransfer.com wallpapers. This list runs down the 20 creatives whose images were most popular on the backgrounds, and gives us some insights into our users’ creative interests and instincts…
Dick Bruna 1927-2017
With our main HQ in Amsterdam, we are embedded in the Dutch creative world, and so the death of Miffy creator Dick Bruna was a big deal. But with this wallpaper top of our chart, we see that the illustrator and his famous bunny meant a great deal to people all over the world. Read more.
Having hired a first ever head of photography partnerships in 2016, this year saw us double-down on a whole host of great photography content. We worked with Delaney Allen to give away a high-res pack of his images, described by his mum as “weird but also approachable.” Read more.
On paper, Johan Lolos, aka le backpacker, has the dream job, roaming the world and capturing the stunning places he visits with his camera. But in reality? Nope, still a dream job. We gave away a pack of Johan’s beautiful photographs, plus he shared some great tips about marketing yourself as a creative. Read more.
We followed Scott Listfield’s lonely spaceman from strangely-signed woodlands to sculpture-strewn deserts, and you know what? We’d do it again. Inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, he found the perfect character to depict his (and our) estranged relationship with the here and now. Read more.
A Million Waves
We get to see a lot of great surf films, but it takes something special to really stand-out. Daniel Ali and Louis Leeson’s documentary following one of Sierra Leone’s only female surfers is a majestic piece of film, and the visuals are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Read more.
We Make Carpets
Cocktail umbrellas? Paperclips? Forks? Dutch collective We Make Carpets create amazing photographs…nah just kidding. They make carpets, obvs. These site-specific artworks can be considered contemporary interpretations of a centuries-old craft that celebrate mass industry and beautify the ordinary. Read more.
When it comes to our WeTransfer wallpapers, sometimes less is more. The Australian artist Carla McRae has a stripped-down style with a sparing use of color but her charming images draw you in before you really know what’s happening. Read more.
Mexican duo Mara Soler and Daniela Villanueva win the award for the best way of describing what you do. Billing themselves as “the coolest señoritas directoras in the world of multidisciplinary stuff,” their super-fun GIFS tickled our fancies and won our hearts over and over again. Read more.
This Polish photographer was part of Your Work Here, where we gave over our curation to our users. The work is striking, unsettling and hugely memorable. Using a 19th Century technique called wet plate collodion adds a drama to her images which clearly struck a chord. Read more.
Mico Toledo is the only artist to appear in all three of our ranking-based 2017 best-of lists. That makes sense; not only do his photographs of protesters against the Standing Rock oil pipeline thrum with personality, they humanize one of the biggest news stories of the year. Read more.
The wonderful oil paintings of South African artist Kirsten Beets are summery and surreal. Based on man-made pools, the scenes she depicts put in sun-kissed settings where we can almost smell the chlorine. But they are unnerving too; stripped of all context we are not quite sure what is going on. Read more.
Part of our Your Work Here program – where we opened up curation to our users – Sergei’s work packs a powerful emotional punch in a very simple, understated way. He spoke engagingly about bringing more stylistic diversity to LGBT photography. Read more.
The London-based artist Alex Chinneck has an enjoyable sense of theater. His work is underpinned by clever concepts and even cleverer engineering feats, but they also work as immediate visual thrills, which explains their presence on this list. Read more.
We featured Australian artist Zoe Croggon right at the start of the year, but her mind-bending sports collages continued to turn heads throughout 2017. Her intelligent, insightful interview adds the conceptual context to the fantastic visuals. Read more.
One of a select group of creatives who we have featured in both 2016 and 2017, the Swedish photographer Emma Hartvig makes work that stirs up our emotions. This year her choreographed series of synchronized swimmers made a big splash in both our team and on our wallpapers. Read more.
Now Playing: Red Light Radio
We’ve thought a lot about how online radio works in 2017, through our ongoing partnership with Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM and this short series Now Playing. We profiled a selection of the world’s most interesting stations, and this feature on Amsterdam’s Red Light Radio proved most popular of all. Read more.
This piece may just have the best opening line we wrote all year –“Never seen cars Moonwalk or do the worm?” Chris Labrooy is a CGI artist whose Cut & Shut series of dancing, wiggling, shapeshifting VW Beetles was a joyous addition to the This Works world this year. Read more.
The Indian designer Pavithra Dikshit has one of those thrillingly eclectic portfolios which reflect a versatile and restless creative mind. Her Paper Salad project is a wonderful series of 52 beautifully-crafted, well, paper salads, inspired by real salads she made herself every week. Read more.
As part of our mission to showcase a broad-range of creative minds, we are always looking for charities which share our interest in using creative as a force for change. Creative Growth is a brilliant organization engaging people with various mental and physical disabilities with art of all sorts. We were proud to showcase some of their students’ work and pleased as punch to see them crack this top 20. Read more.
More from This Worked 2017
Stay with stories from our 2017 review of the year
- 1. Dick Bruna 1927-2017
- 2. Delaney Allen
- 3. Johan Lolos
- 4. Scott Listfield
- 5. A Million Waves
- 6. We Make Carpets
- 7. Carla McRae
- 8. The Flaminguettes
- 9. Magda Kuca
- 10. Mico Toledo
- 11. Kirsten Beets
- 12. Sergei Pavlov
- 13. Alex Chinneck
- 14. Zoe Croggon
- 15. Emma Hartvig
- 16. Now Playing: Red Light Radio
- 17. Chris Labrooy
- 18. Pavithra Dikshit
- 19. Creative Growth
- 20. Henn Kim