Celebrating the creative community
Image source: Adobe Live Collage / Francisco Siller.
This year has been surprising and unparalleled in the way it has disrupted all facets of life. While it’s easy to only focus on the negative effects of the pandemic, social unrest, and economic downturn, I often go back to advice a teacher once gave me: “When bad things happen, it brings out the goodness that is latent.” This resonated with me then and certainly does now – so I choose to focus on the good that has also been happening, particularly as I look across the creative community.
So many brilliant, creative minds have used their platforms to address important topics, educate, and at times provide reprieve from the news. I’ve always believed that creativity gets fueled by challenges, and 2020 has certainly raised the bar high when it comes to presenting us with challenges.
Communitarianism is central to what we do at Adobe, and during the past couple of months I’m so proud that we’ve been able to provide access to even more content through Adobe Live as well as expand our Creative Residency Program to now include a Community Fund.
Earlier this year, when most of us began sheltering in place, we started to see our Adobe Live audience for livestream sessions more than double to 47,000 views per week. In addition to live viewers, we’ve seen a significant increase in replays, with as many as 100,000 replay views in a single week. People are craving, more than ever, creative content that is both educational and inspirational.
In response, we’ve more than doubled the amount of content we produce on Adobe Live and extended our global coverage to include creatives in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia. And while moving Adobe Live to remote streaming hasn’t always been easy, this challenge has allowed something very special to happen – more collaboration among streamers. It’s been inspiring to see how these changes to Adobe Live have led to greater interaction and engagement within the community and across time zones.
Beyond providing more learning and inspirational content, we’re also constantly looking for opportunities where the creative community can help each other. A recent example that I really appreciated was a segment where we were able to connect pro designers with small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to provide pro bono design input. And it should go without saying, we are also committed to Adobe Live continuing to be a platform that showcases the inclusiveness of our creativity community and amplifies the voices of our BIPOC members.
We were proud to support #BlackOutTuesday in June by pulling our planned streams for that day and instead opening up a space for the community to connect with each other and discuss everything going on. We’ve also had some very moving and personal stories shared on streams recently by BIPOC artists. I’m excited to see the continued evolution of Adobe Live this year and beyond. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to join one of our sessions at www.behance.net/adobelive.
Creative Residency Community Fund
Since we launched the new Creative Residency Community Fund in April, we’ve received more than 3,000 applications and given funding to more than 250 people from 36 different countries. The funds we’ve given to date are supporting projects across photography, video, illustration, design, user experience, and motion design. I’ve been amazed to see that we’re supporting creative projects everywhere from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. to Japan, France, South Africa, Guatemala, Columbia, Brazil, India, the Philippines, and beyond.
I have been inspired by the projects people are working on. I want to highlight some of the fund recipients and projects that I was particularly moved by:
- Ashanti Jason is a photographer based in London who received a grant to work on a series of still life photographs called “Adorned Cinema,” for which she created editorial and still life photography inspired by Wes Anderson. Ashanti says: “Being part of the Adobe Community Fund has allowed me to have a better sense of community. I have been able to get support and advice from fellow recipients, and they have really inspired me with their talent and make me want to work harder. The major way the fund has made a difference to me personally is that it has been such a boost of confidence because the team really believes in you.”
- Alexis Hunley is a Black, queer, female photographer based in Los Angeles who has spent her residency documenting the Black experience of COVID-19, as well as the BLM protests in LA. She says: “Being a fund recipient afforded me the opportunity to focus on creating a meaningful project, and the guidance I received pushed me to put forth a more impactful body of work.” I encourage you to read her full post on the impact of the fund.
To date, we’ve committed more than $500,000 of our $1M fund, which means there are a lot more projects to help fund! We’ll be taking submissions and applications through the rest of the year, so if you are a creative with a project that needs a little help, I encourage you to apply.
I didn’t think I could admire and love our Creative Cloud community more than I already do; however, the past several months have shown me the resilience, spirit, and heart of this worldwide movement. From the projects being funded through the Community Fund to the breadth of content and stories being told on Adobe Live, I feel honored that Adobe can help you continue creating.