How Visual Influencers are Embracing Disruptive Expression

Creative confidence to break the rules.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Ulas and Merve/Stocksy.

by Lindsay Morris

posted on 12-10-2019

Creative experimentation and expression are at an all-time high. With a wealth of digital tools at their fingertips, visual influencers are creating and showcasing more vibrant, layered, and unique images on their own terms. These artists are not afraid to broadcast new ideas to the world in real time, and their work often poses more questions than answers. They embrace the broader conversations and inspiration that their artwork stirs.

At Adobe Stock, we call this trend Disruptive Expression. It’s all about visuals that show artistic experimentation and fluidity. Disruptive Expression imagery can be serious and intense in its meaning, but it can also be spirited and playful in its tone. It lives off the creative confidence to break some rules — and without apology.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Nicolette Herrera.

Disruptive Expression on Adobe Stock

We’re engaging with artists to create more content that is true to this visual aesthetic. For example, we launched the VSCO Collection on Adobe Stock last month. Many VSCO creators are visual influencers who have garnered large followings for a reason — they instill inspiration and beauty in how they see the world. They present social critiques and challenge the status quo. Much of their work embodies the Disruptive Expression aesthetic and moves us beyond what is often shown within traditional “ stock photography.”

We’ve also curated a new gallery of Disruptive Expression visuals, which you can use in your own work to foster authentic connections with consumers by celebrating individuality and fearlessness.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Will Milne.

Hear how to leverage this visual trend

We recently partnered with Adweek to take an in-depth look at Disruptive Expression from three angles:

During this webinar, we had a conversation with three creatives who shared their unique perspectives on Disruptive Expression. Here’s what they had to say:

Brenda Milis, principal of Creative Services & Visual Trends at Adobe, explained how Disruptive Expression is driving artistic experimentation with inventive images and imagined selves: “This is a time often referred to as ‘The Age of Anxiety,’ an era of complicated social and cultural issues. Disruptive Expression presents a much-needed space for creative experimentation and unrestrained play which can range from purely whimsical to serious and political in its messaging.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / paul.

Christopher Michael is a freelance photographer based in Dallas, Texas who combines portraiture and his love of fashion and art to create images that are artistic and relatable. He is an Adobe Stock Premium contributor and VSCO artist. He gave us the behind-the-scenes scoop about his process when creating art: “To me, Disruptive Expression is fully immersing yourself in the art of photography and knowing that there aren’t really rules to photography. It’s creating whatever you feel with no apologies.”


Image source: Adobe Stock / Christopher Reid.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Christopher Reid.

Alp Peker is a Turkish photographer living in Izmir. He is an Adobe Stock Premium contributor, VSCO artist, and a medical student. He’s a busy guy! While it can be a challenge balancing it all, his art remains true to the social topics he is passionate about: “I mock social standards in my photographs in my own way because I want to be free, to the way I think differently, to the way I dress differently, to the way I can express my emotions in my own way. I want to be disruptive so that I can be my own person.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Alp Peker.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Alp Peker.

Want to learn more about this trend and how to incorporate it into your work? Watch the webinar replay to hear the full discussion and see more examples of Disruptive Expression visuals that are available on Adobe Stock.

Topics: Creativity

Products: Stock