Embracing our creative differences

2020 has shown us that embracing what makes us different has never been more important. Diversity enables creativity. The ability to build connections that bridge us as well as make the most of the unique differences among us, will push us forward and drive us to excel, together and as individuals.

This year, we’re bringing a renewed focus to reflecting on our differences and highlighting how our diverse backgrounds, experiences and lifestyles are crucial for driving creativity and innovation.

We brought together inspiring females from around Asia Pacific and challenged them to celebrate each other’s Creative Differences, as well as share what makes them unique. Get inspired by their stories and artworks!

Joy Li and Sha’an d’Anthes (Australia)

Sydney-based creatives Joy and Sha’an quickly struck up a friendship after meeting at Adobe MAX 2019. For this campaign, graphic designer Joy created an artwork inspired by Sha’an’s charming and cheery designs. Although this is now her well-loved signature style, Sha’an initially worried that her work would not be taken seriously due to its lighthearted and playful nature.

Joy captures the spirit of Sha’an’s illustrations as well as her personality in a retro cereal box design, incorporating whimsical illustrations and icons to represent her, as well as custom logos and typefaces.

Illustrator and author Sha’an’s artwork celebrates Joy’s affinity for exploring cultural issues in her work. It is inspired by a set of recipe templates that Joy previously created, as a nod to the role that food plays in preserving family traditions as well as conveying care within Asian families.

Here, Sha’an delves into her own Singaporean heritage by illustrating traditional recipes learnt from her grandmother, who created and collected them over the decades in a weathered notebook. Not only was she able to learn more about her culture, but it also gave her the opportunity to reconnect with her grandmother, albeit from afar.

Mayrhose Coronado and Grace Ciao (Singapore)

Illustrator Grace’s career began by accident when she noticed a wilting rose on her desk and decided to preserve it, by using it to adorn an illustration. This penchant for experimentation and discovery is her creative difference and helps her create art that uplifts and inspires. She is best known for her flower-adorned characters, affectionately named Bloom Belles, which is depicted against a backdrop inspired by Mayrhose’s work.

Mayrhose has always been passionate about photography, but it grew when she moved to Singapore for work, giving her a sense of belonging and a platform to connect with others. The challenges she faced while adapting to her new home is a key factor of her creative difference, and she aims to spread awareness and overturn stereotypes about migrant workers like herself through her photography.

Singapore’s iconic colourful shophouses quickly caught her eye, and its ornate facades, intricate motifs and striking ceramic tile patterns feature heavily in her work. In this piece, she takes cue from Grace’s use of flowers as a medium and turns her into one of her Bloom Belles, creating a vibrant image that radiates positivity and cheerfulness.

Jingo Li and Dong Xiaoxian (China)

Jingo and Dong have opted to create contrasting portrayals of Hua Mulan, a popular Chinese fictional folk heroine. Mulan is a character of contrasts, who is at once graceful and gentle, yet strong, and tenacious. Their artworks present different styles and atmospheres, representing Mulan’s two identities as a daughter and a soldier.

Dong depicts Mulan in her military uniform, with confidence and determination shining in her eyes as she heads into battle for her country. Her work is influenced by the creativity of ancient Chinese art and techniques, with her brush style emphasizing outlines and the minimal colour palette representing calmness and nobility.

Jingo’s artwork highlights more of Mulan’s gentle qualities and beauty, against the backdrop of a troubled world. It shows a more modern take on Mulan, with the liberal use of red shades to exemplify Mulan’s quiet strength and resolute character.

Both artists see Mulan as kindred spirits, as her determination to push boundaries and break gender stereotypes resonate strongly with them. Jingo and Dong hope the artworks inspire creatives like themselves to tap on their creative differences, to think boldly, create bravely and keep growing in their unique paths.

What makes you different can be your greatest strength. What’s your Creative Difference? Share your own #AdobeCreativeDifferences story with us on Instagram!