Cocktails with Creatives: An Inspiring Mix(er)

Where the NYC creative community meets up to share their ideas and art.

Lindsay Morris (Adobe) introduces Karen Okonkwo & Joshua Kissi (TONL) at a “Cocktails with Creatives” happy hour.

by Lindsay Morris

posted on 09-27-2019

Fresh inspiration fuels creativity. And at Adobe, we’re all about cultivating that inspiration by giving creatives new ways to share ideas.

With that goal in mind, we hosted a “Cocktails with Creatives” summer happy hour series on Adobe’s Union Square office rooftop in NYC. During these gatherings, Adobe Stock partners and artists shared their creative vision and where it fits in today’s visual and cultural landscape.

Here are highlights from each happy hour and examples of the work that was shared:

Inspiring action through color and creativity

To raise awareness of the impact of climate change on coral reefs, Adobe joined forces this summer with The Pantone Color Institute and The Ocean Agency on Glowing Glowing Gone. This global creativity campaign inspires brands to use the colors of climate crisis to share the ocean’s warning and inspire meaningful action.

Adobe Stock: The Ocean Agency.

“The initial response to the Glowing campaign has been overwhelming, especially amongst the creative and surfing communities. Our aim is to use the power of color and creativity to to save vital ecosystems such as coral reefs, by revealing unignorable support for action.” —Richard Vevers, CEO & Founder, The Ocean Agency

During the first happy hour, attendees heard how the three brands collaborated on new creative assets for Glowing Glowing Gone including a curated gallery of oceanic imagery, a custom palette based upon the colors of climate change, and a new Adobe Stock gallery of images inspired by the color palette. We also saw examples of how other brands like the World Surf League are getting involved by incorporating the colors into their own work.

World Surf League jerseys at the 2019 Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o surfing event.

If you’re going to Adobe MAX 2019, learn more about Glowing Glowing Gone during the “Using Color in Your Creative Work to Increase Effectiveness and Impact” session. And visit The Ocean Agency booth #215 in the Community Pavilion to learn about a new creative challenge that will use the power of color and creativity to accelerate climate and conservation action.

The impact of going beyond the photo

TONL is an exclusive Adobe Stock Premium Partner that seeks to transform the idea of stock photography by displaying images of diverse people and their stories around the world. TONL challenges the stale, homogenous look of traditional stock photography by showcasing the many ethnic backgrounds of everyday people.

Adobe Stock: TONL.

During the second happy hour, we celebrated TONL’s 2-year anniversary with co-founder Karen Okonkwo & Joshua Kissi. They spoke about what they’ve been up to over the past two years and what they’re planning for the future. We also got a closer look into two of their recent photo narratives: Men Cry Too and Women/Women of Color in Soccer.

Adobe Stock: TONL.

_“Our mission is to transform the idea of stock photography by displaying images of underrepresented people while also telling their stories. One of our latest projects is called “Men Cry Too” where we address toxic masculinity. The point is to expand on this photo series so there is a pool of images to use that show men being vulnerable. Our Nike photo project centered around the stories of women/women of color in soccer – a group we know that is marginalized and never gets the respect it deserves.” —_Karen Okonkwo, Co-Founder, TONL

Four artists share their vision

During the third happy hour, we showcased the work of four Adobe Stock Premium Collection artists. Each shared her artistic vision and what makes her work relevant and unique in today’s creative landscape.

Adobe Stock Premium Artists (left to right): Lisa Weatherbee, Jessica Pettway, Adrien Broom, Dee Williams.

Lisa Weatherbee

Lisa Weatherbee is a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in NYC. She is invested in the power of photography to shape our social consciousness and cares deeply about diversity, representation and creating images that feel authentic to our modern world.

Adobe Stock: Lisa Weatherbee / Cavan Images.

_“Growing up, I didn’t always see imagery in the media that felt representative of my own experience and background. Because of this, my inspiration as an artist is to create authentic, emotional imagery that is diverse and inclusive. Work that breaks down stereotypes and expands upon the big concepts in life – on love, on gender, on family.” —_Lisa Weatherbee, Adobe Stock Premium Artist

Jessica Pettway

Jessica Pettway is a New York-based visual artist. With a unique eye for color and playful compositions she creates surreal arrangements that serve as a relaxing escape from everyday life. Familiar household items, dollar store finds, and sculptural representations of plants are decontextualized and collaged to engineer her own nature.

Adobe Stock: Jessica Pettway.

“I love working with everyday items and then subverting them and giving them a new function or context, usually rooted in humor! I’m really obsessed with the humor in cartoons like Looney Tunes and Animaniacs and how their everyday lives were so absurd!” —Jessica Pettway, Adobe Stock Premium Artist

Dee Williams

Dee Williams is a Jamaican portrait and event photographer based in NYC. Her photography shares stories by marginalized communities, infusing the photo world with portraits of people within the African diaspora.

Adobe Stock: Dee Williams.

_“My inspiration stems from documenting the beauty that is within the Black community. I use my art and platform to share stories from marginalized communities because I want to fill the art and photo worlds with beautiful photos of the African diaspora.” —_Dee Williams, Adobe Stock Premium Artist

Adrien Broom

Adrien Broom is both an image maker and a visual storyteller. As a photographer, fine artist and set designer, Broom infuses a sense of magic and wonder into the images she creates. Whether she is using elaborate sets or relying on the beauty of the natural world, Broom creates images that are both familiar and otherworldly, fantastical with a touch of sinister. Often capturing images of women, as both mothers, daughters, sisters, and children, Broom’s photographs explore the contrast between adulthood and childhood, nature and fantasy, finding a balance between the two.

Adobe Stock: Adrien Broom.

_“My work is rooted in reality, with one foot in fantasy. Being connected with other woman photographers who are all creating outside the box was such a wonderful experience and I’m so grateful to Adobe for bringing us all together!” —_Adrien Broom, Adobe Stock Premium Artist

Are you looking for a new opportunity to connect with peers, gain fresh inspiration and rejuvenate your creative process? Register for our biggest event of the year: Adobe MAX, November 4–6 in Los Angeles.

Topics: Creativity, Photography

Products: Stock