I remember a time when it was almost impossible to find quality stock and resources without having to pay for them. Digital designers spent small fortunes on CD libraries full of images and brush tips etc. Now the opposite is true. With the advent of high speed internet, anyone and everyone can start sharing their resources--and that's great! Especially when the people are kind enough to share them for free.
I like resources. I find them every bit as fun to make as the designs we use them for. The difficult part is that I make more than I can ever use (or post) and I download a lot more than I can realistically sort through when I'm looking for something specific.
Sometimes I just browse through what I've got to find something that sparks inspiration. When I'm looking for something specific, though, there are relatively few places I go. (Usually even when I'm just looking for random inspiration, I start with the same places first.)
So, I decided to compile a list of places I go a lot. This isn't a "credit and resources list." Credits are listed in my individual posts wherever possible.
-Quick tip- I've learned the hard way that it's a good idea to save all downloaded resources and stock images in a subfolder with the maker's name attached. I have folders for each resource type, then a subfolder by style. Inside that, there are subfolders with each resource maker's name, so (hopefully) I don't lose track of who made what. I started doing this about 3 years ago, but I've been doing digital art for a lot longer than that. Some of the older resources that have survived my computer disasters don't have a maker's name on them and sadly I have no idea who made them anymore.
So, without further ado. Listed in order of use:
Celestial-star.net-Most of the brushes I use if I didn't make them come from this website.
Hybrid-genesis.com-A majority of textures I use (except for mine) come from here. It's the first place I go when I'm looking.
Intellecta Design-This is the publisher of the ornament fonts I use in some of my designs. Really cool fonts.
Billy Alexander- My favorite stock artist, rgbstock gallery. (RGB stock is a cool site because the licensing terms directly allow derivative use with credit to the stock provider.)
Nemo -Huge gallery of cool high quality clipart in public domain.
Hans Braxmeier-A new stock photographer I've found this month on pixabay, but considering how much I have been drooling over his gallery in the past few nights, I think it's safe to include him on the go-to list. (Pixabay is awesome for high quality public domain images.)
Elandria @ Deviantart-Wonderful stock photography and gorgeous costumes for the fantasy-lovers out there. Also a Labyrinth fan, which is an extra win in my book. Another newer gallery I've discovered, but as I've used 3 of her stocks in the past 2 weeks, she deserves to be on the list too.
Fuzzimo.com-This is where I got the Compass Rose Design In my headers and logos.
Apophysis Tutorial-Not a gallery, but a tutorial that I think exemplifies what a tutorial should do. It explains, clearly, what the program is doing and why the user's actions work the way they do. It's simple, straightforward, and easy to follow along. (Note: I'm not much of a fractal artist right now, mainly because I feel like I spend most of my time in fractal explorers going "No...no...no...no...ooh, that's promising...DAMN, what did I do to it?" This tutorial helps with that.)
---Some new sites I found this week: 12/6/12--
Thinkdesignblog.com-Just found this site earlier in the week, but I love it. I've downloaded a bunch of freebies. Definitely worth checking out.
Obsidiandawn.com-I haven't looked much at the other stuff, but there are some really cute sketch brushes I've been playing with. I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time here.
Texturemate.com-Nice high res photo textures to play with.
WebtreatsETC-Lots of high res textures and patterns here (with imagepacks for non PS users, yay!)
And that's it. I'll update the list as I find any other go-to folks.