Temi Coker — 20 days of Posters

When it comes to crafting your best creative work, there’s a measure of creativity—but more than anything, it’s grit and perseverance that defines the best creatives.

When it comes to crafting your best creative work, there’s a measure of creativity—but more than anything, it’s grit and perseverance that defines the best creatives. No one embodies that more than Temi Corker, an Adobe Creative Resident. Temi is a photographer and graphic designer that has awed the creative community with his digital posters. His latest project, “20 Days of Posters” in Illustrator and InDesign, is a story of self-learning and pure inspiration.

Prior to becoming an Adobe Creative Resident, Temi was a high school teacher. During his breaks, he would design posters in Photoshop. He has designed more than 300 posters to date, and his style has been characterized by the creative blending of photography, graphics, and colors to create beautiful image-composite posters. But as a teacher who taught students to think outside the box and push the boundaries, he was not satisfied with his work.

Temi wanted to branch out into designing his posters in Illustrator in addition to Photoshop. That’s why he set out on an ambitious project to design a poster every day for 20 days. The purpose of this project was to push him to learn Illustrator and unlock even more creative ways he could take his image composites to the next level. Starting in July and ending August, his journey illuminated so much. Here are some highlights of a few of the pieces he created:

Waves — Day 12.

On day 12 of his project, Temi saw a picture on Adobe Stock of a woman biting her lips that intrigued him; he wanted to build on top of that mysticism. He brought the image into Photoshop, traced the lips with the Pen Tool, and completely replaced the lips with an image of ocean surf. He contrasted the lips with a whimsical background created in Illustrator using the Gradient Mesh and transformed in Illustrator using the Wavelength Distort feature. The final piece is a breathtaking poster the exudes playfulness and deep intrigue.

Royalty — Day 15.

Temi’s day 15 poster, titled “Royalty,” is a story of contrasts. He takes a black and white Victorian photograph and layers in vectors of rich colors that, while contrasting the black and white photograph, also match the contours and beauty of the extravagant dress depicted in the image. Temi used the Blend Tool in Illustrator to create the turquoise, lavender, and tangerine-yellow twists of color in the foreground. The final product beautifully balances vintage and modernity; black and white with color.

Throughout this project, Temi learned a lot about Illustrator’s features, including the Warp Tool, Gradient Mesh, and Blend Tool. What was most interesting in our conversations with Temi, though, is not what he did, but how he learned his newfound creative skills in Illustrator. YouTube was one of his go-to resources for learning. He found Skillshare to be an extremely helpful place as well. But one of the top skills he took away was understanding how to find all these resources. It was by reading and seeing other designers’ and artists’ work to understand what he wanted to create. From there, he learned how to articulate those in search terms that led him to right places.

The final results from Temi’s 20 Days of Posters are truly spectacular. It just shows that the best way to begin is by doing. Once you have a taste of your tools’ power, creativity takes over. Check out Temi’s entire collection of posters he created here. You can also buy his book, MERGE: Vol V, on Blurb.