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Chris Dunmire : 6 Optical illusions that will knock your socks off!

Creatively stuck? Stimulate your senses!

6 Optical Illusions

        . . . that will knock your socks off!

They wave, spin, oscillate, pulse, drive, elevate, and move!

By Chris Dunmire

If you ever find yourself creatively stuck, try moving. Really! Whether you get up and move physically in a vigorous walk or exercise or engage in some type of mental / visual stimulation to help move your senses, you'll activate different parts of your body, and that get things flowing.

One extremely fun way to engage your creative senses is by staring at optical illusion (or visual illusions) by old-school artists M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, and Marcel Duchamp. Or if you prefer something more recent, Wikipedia suggests "Sandro Del-Prete, Octavio Ocampo, Dick Termes, Shigeo Fukuda, Patrick Hughes, István Orosz, Rob Gonsalves, Gianni A. Sarcone, Ben Heine and Akiyoshi Kitaoka as contemporary artists who have experimented with illusions."

Here's what artist Gina Quarles says about the way optical illusions inspire her:

"Optical illusions, along with changes in nature, can have a powerful impact on your creativity. . . . I have an extreme appreciation for optical illusions. I have found that when I look at them and begin to see several objects that are located within them, my mind is more open to seeing things on a deeper level."

Now — let's get to knocking those socks off. I've selected six really cool optical illusions for you to enjoy. Bookmark this page and come look at them anytime you need to unstuck your brain. And note that these aren't your common M.C. Escher kind of optical illusions, either. These are extra special motion optical illusions — undeniable movement in these illustrations is all yours just for the gazing! See how these eye tricks move you and inspire you to new creative heights . . . and hopefully not motion sickness!

Optical Illusion Photo Credits: Thank you BigStockPhoto.com for giving Creativity Portal licensed permission and use of these amazing images on our Web site! (Specific links to images are available in my descriptions of each illusion below.)

Expanding Blue Flower Optical illusion

1. Expanding Blue Flower Bursts

This is my favorite of the bunch. Just let your eyes gaze at this illustration and watch
what happens! The blue flowers seem to be growing outward — expanding — but they're
really not getting any bigger!

Expanding Blue Flowers motion illustration and optical illusion courtesy of Big Stock Photo.

Red Aurora Optical illusion

2. Red Aurora

Look particularly at the four-pointed diamond star in the lower-center where the waves
bunch in closer and closer. You can see the waves kind of pulsing outward.

Red Aurora motion illustration and optical illusion courtesy of Big Stock Photo.

Blue Traffic Optical illusion

3. Blue Traffic Coming and Going

These cars may be on ice the way they slide side-to-side! Quick, without looking again,
tell me how many black cars are in the mix? And what direction are they going (or coming)?

Blue Traffic motion illustration and optical illusion courtesy of Big Stock Photo.

Wavy Background Optical illusion

4. Wavy Background

This one might make you a little queasy, so watch out! You can almost imagine yourself
in a swimming pool the way the water waves up and down. A little nauseating, huh?

Wavy Background motion illustration and optical illusion courtesy of Big Stock Photo.

Escalators Optical illusion

5. Up-and-Down Escalators

Unlike the traffic cars above going left-and-right, these escalators go both up and down!
Imagine yourself in a big shopping mall right now! Can you smell the Starbucks
and Cinnabon?

Escalators motion illustration and optical illusion courtesy of Big Stock Photo.

Spinning Flower Fantasy Optical illusion

6. Spinning Flower Fantasy

These nine flowery wheels spin left and right! The daisy-wheel feel of this one is slow
and steady... cog in a wheel, gears, etc. But watch it, they'll stop moving if you focus
on only one!

Spin Flower Fantasy motion illustration and optical illusion courtesy of Big Stock Photo.