Adobe Stock Artist Development Fund congratulates new recipients

Closeup of couples hands with projector lights on them.

Today we are pleased to congratulate the fourth group of recipients selected for the Artist Development Fund, a $500,000 creative commission program from Adobe Stock: Matelli Graves, Jerilyn Guerrero, Simi Jois, Kei Mongari, Phatthranit Osman, Cheryl Thuesday, and Lisa Weatherbee.

Adobe Stock selects artists for recognition and funding based on their application proposals and their demonstrated ability to create visuals from the perspective of their own regional, ethnic, and lifestyle communities. Working with global artists from different backgrounds helps us get closer to our goal: expanding and maintaining a truly inclusive, world-class stock collection that authentically represents all of us and inspires creators worldwide.

The Adobe Stock Advocates program is part of our commitment to supporting and promoting accurate, inclusive representation in stock imagery, and we have invested $500,000 in an Artist Development Fund especially targeted to help self-identifying artists from underrepresented communities explore ambitious new projects, offsetting up-front costs like hiring models, renting spaces, and equipment.

In collaboration with the Adobe Creative Residency program, Adobe Stock is awarding $12,500 each to 40 selected artists as they undertake new projects focused on accurately depicting their diverse communities and unique experiences in a visually fresh, inclusive way. Applications will remain open for a few more days, so there is still time to learn more and apply.

Meet the latest Artist Development Fund recipients

Image of Matelli Graves.

Credit Matelli Graves.

Matelli Graves

Matelli Graves is a fashion and portrait photographer and cinematographer, based in Columbus, Ohio. Self-taught, he began shooting photos and video for friends, then decided to focus on a career in image-making. His work for clients such as Dior, Tommy Hilfiger, VSCO, ASOS, Henri Bendel, and others exudes confidence and cool.

For Adobe Stock, he focuses his lens on Black hair — specifically, cornrows. “Cornrows have been used in African culture for thousands of years to show status, then transition to holding food for Africans when they were transported to the States,” he says. “Now you’re seeing cornrows being used in fashion all over the world.” His project takes inspiration from the history, culture, and expressions of community through hair braiding and styling.

Image of Jerilyn Guerrero.

Credit: Jerilyn Guerrero.

Jerilyn Guerrero

Jerilyn Guerrero is a CHamoru and Filipino multidisciplinary illustrator and designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Born on the island of Guam, her experience growing up on her native island and her time spent in New Jersey and California combine in the different lenses that she uses to view life and develop creative work.

Jerilyn’s art celebrates self-reflection and self-sovereignty. For her Artist Development Fund project, she responds to the Celebration of Self creative brief. She says, “My images are an extension of the theme I’m next exploring in my illustration work, which is, ‘Growing through joy’. I communicate different ways a person may tend to themselves with more care and grace, to nurture the peace and joy in their lives.”

Credit: Simi Jois.

Simi Jois

Maitreyi “Simi” Jois is a culinary photographer and stylist based in Chicago, IL. Inspired by the ingredients, spices, and dishes from her own kitchen, she aims to share the rich flavors of her Indian heritage through bold, immersive images.

For her Artist Development Fund project, Simi responds to the Taste of Heritage creative brief. “As a woman of color,” she says, “I want to share my personal narrative as a first-generation immigrant. But it isn’t just my story to tell. I use my camera to capture stories from members of my diaspora: people who preserve culinary traditions while creating beautiful new ones in Indian-American homes.”

Simi believes that her love for creating unique flavors deeply informs her passion for culinary optics. Her work has been featured on MSN, Better Homes, theKitchn, The Hindu Newspaper, and more.

Image of Kei Mogari.

Credit: Kei Mogari.

Kei Mogari

Kei Mogari is an illustrator living in Tokyo, Japan. Her creative work includes book design, corporate collaborations, stationary, and character design, in Japan and abroad. She won the longlist for the AOI World Illustration Award in 2021.

Inspired by the Family Life creative brief, Kei’s project for Adobe Stock will consider the various forms and roles of family through illustrations. “There are many forms of family, with or without blood ties,” she says. “Ideally, everyone should have a happy family surrounded by love, but the reality is different.”

Image of Phatthranit Osman .

Credit: Phatthranit Osman.

Phatthranit Osman

Phatthranit Osman (also known as “Biruoh”) is a UI/UX designer and illustrator from Thailand, currently based in Cork, Ireland. Since childhood, Biruoh has been inspired by video games, and drawn to color as a way of expressing mood and emotion.

Deeply invested in raising awareness about the importance of diversity and helping others, she often spends her time creating art tutorials and guides, which she shares with her followers online. In her project for Adobe Stock, she is exploring gender identities and diverse people in everyday situations, influenced by her personal experiences growing up in rural Southeast Asia, rendered in her colorful, holographic style.

Credit: Cheryl Thuesday.

Cheryl Thuesday

Cheryl Thuesday (also known as “Ras”) is an illustrator originally from South London, England. At an early age, her family moved to the United States and settled in a small town in New Jersey. Later, she attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she learned to marry fine arts with commercial artistry. Her Caribbean and Asian heritage influences her color choices throughout her illustrations. She has created artwork for companies and publications including the New York Times, NPR, Hewlett-Packard, and others.

Her commission for Adobe Stock is inspired by the Identity and Gender creative brief, and her perspective on stable and healthy relationships. “When it comes to illustrations of LGBTQ families and the older generation, there is not much,” she says. “I am a Black lesbian who is getting married and potentially would like to start a family. These illustrations would be a testament of my journey and others who are either on that path or has already started the process.”

Image of Lisa Weatherbee.

Credit: Lisa Weatherbee.

Lisa Weatherbee

Lisa Weatherbee is a portrait and lifestyle photographer living in New York, NY. She is highly conscious of the power that photography and media imagery have to shape the way we see ourselves and each other. An experienced photographer for brands, advertising, and stock, her past clients include Apple, Canon USA, Cavan Images, Citibank, Madewell, The New York Times, and others.

For her Artist Development Fund project, Lisa will explore family and identity. “Throughout my career, my work has been about inclusiveness, diversity, and depicting humans and families in ways that feel real,” she says. “I believe that representation matters, and that belief stems from a childhood where I didn’t always see myself reflected in the media images around me. I grew up wanting to change that. My images show families of all shapes and sizes, expanding and breaking down gender norms.”

Discover inclusive, unique, contemporary imagery. Learn more about Adobe Stock Advocates program.