Adobe Stock Artist Development Fund congratulates our final 2021 recipients

Gradient illustration of a woman's face..

Credit: Adobe Stock/ Chelsea Victoria/Stocksy.

As we emerge from the other side of a restful holiday break, we wanted to acknowledge and congratulate the final group of recipients for our 2021 Artist Development Fund, a $500,000 creative commission program from Adobe Stock: Ina Gouveia, Lochi Shaun Kalu, Kazuho Kurita, Carina Lindmeier, Amanda Lobos, Mumbi Muturi, Christina Nwabugo, , Kentaro Osato, Yuya Parker, Danii Pollehn, and Shingi Rice.

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’ve 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 awarded $12,500 each to 40 selected artists in 2021. These talented creators used the funds to support new projects, focused on accurately depicting their communities and personal narratives. Stay tuned for news about future commission funding opportunities with Adobe Stock.

Meet the latest Artist Development Fund recipients

Photo of Ina Gouveia.

Credit: Luiz Pontel.

Ina Gouveia

Ina Gouveia is an illustrator and designer living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She holds a degree in Visual Arts from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Key themes of her illustrations are the interaction and relationships between diverse bodies and the relationship between body and place. As an illustrator, she has collaborated with clients including UNICEF and Vogue Brazil.

She hopes her project for Adobe Stock Artist Development Fund will help expand public awareness and understanding around ideas of gender equality and the construction of self-worth. She says, “As a Brazilian and bisexual woman, I live in a moment of great fear and difficulties in pursuing my dreams. Despite hostility and violence, I believe that representing our realities and the hopes of unity among minorities is a way of facing fear and opening up possibilities.”

Photo of Lochi Shaun Kalu.

Credit: Lochi Shaun Kalu.

Lochi Shaun Kalu

Lochi Shaun Kalu is a filmmaker and writer from Lagos, Nigeria. With a background in communications, media, and creative direction, his work brims with intriguing narratives.

His commission project for Adobe Stock, called “LAGOS GYRATION,” is inspired by the Joyful Rhythm and Celebration of Self creative briefs. The creative will follow different people in Lagos as they interact and enjoy themselves, giving the viewer a personal, intimate look at the carefree, joyful moments of Lagos life. His overall vision for the work is “a soft roar about the spirit of Lagos—from my heart to the world.”

“I really just want to display the average Nigerian having a good time,” he says. “I aim to do this by capturing joyful expression in motion through gestures, movement and dance, and leisure activities.”

Photo of Kazuho Kurita.

Credit: Kazuho Kurita.

Kazuho Kurita

Born in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, Kazuho Kurita is a photographer, sign language interpreter, and a member of the art collective called Circus Vision. Introduced to sign language and the deaf community at age 23, Kazuho is fascinated by the beauty and subtlety of sign language, and considers himself an interpreter first, and an artist second. Through his photographs and documentaries featuring friends and acquaintances who have different abilities, illnesses, and modes of expression, he aims to help hearing people better understand how others communicate.

For Artist Development Fund, he took his inspiration from the Celebration of Self creative brief. The project focuses on depicting disabled people and exploring all the human senses. Of his work with deaf people, Kazuho says, “It’s a collaborative work with my friends who are deaf. I hope that you will feel how beautiful sign language is and have an opportunity to think about what deafness is.”

Photo of Carina Lindmeier.

Credit: Carina Lindmeier.

Carina Lindmeier

Carina Lindmeier is a freelance illustrator from Linz, Austria. She specializes in digital illustration with a figurative, contemporary style. Her work is characterized by a handmade digital aesthetic, with layers of textures, vivid patterns, bright colors, and subtle imperfections. She cares deeply about female empowerment, often depicting women in their daily lives. Her past clients include Adobe, Refinery29, Bombay Sapphire, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins Publishers, and Red Bull Media House.

Carina’s project for Artist Development Fund will explore the theme of empowered women, playfully communicating concepts of vibrant positivity, wellbeing, and health. She says, “As a woman, I want to use my power and strength to empower and express the voices of others, using my creativity and visual language. Together, we can rise and shine even more.”

Photo of Amanda Lobos.

Credit: Amanda Lobos.

Amanda Lobos

Amanda Lobos is a Black artist and designer from Vila Velha, Brazil. Her work includes visual identity design, digital illustrations, packaging, prints and poster design, all with a signature boldness and striking color palette. She is passionate about creating visuals that inspire and reflect her intersectional communities and sharing the value of her experiences.

Her Artist Development Fund project incorporates inspiration from the Taste of Heritage, Celebration of Self, and Identity & Gender creative briefs. With her commission for Adobe Stock, she aims to express her experience as an artist, relying on creative labor to survive and thrive amid significant global turmoil. She says, “I intend to create a visual representation of existing, creating, and living as a Black bisexual Brazilian artist escaping the biggest political, social, and health crisis through art.”

Credit: Mumbi Muturi.

Mumbi Muturi

Mumbi Muturi is a photographer and multidisciplinary creative living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. Initially inspired to pursue photography after taking a camping trip with a group of photographers in 2018, she found the heart of her art in the faces of the people she meets. Portraits are the heart and soul of her practice. As a hands-on creative director, she styles the clothing and the sets for most of her productions, which now include photography and video shoots.

As an Artist Development Fund recipient, she is focused on creating stock imagery that accurately represents people and life in Kenya, and to share modern rural Kenyan life through her lens. Mumbi is a member of African Women Photographers, Black Women Photographers, and Diversify Photo Up Next photographers.

Photo of Christina Nwabugo.

Credit: Christina Nwabugo.

Christina Nwabugo

Christina Nwabugo is a British Nigerian storyteller, photographer, and director based in London, UK. Her work explores the symbiotic relationship between people, culture, and nature, with an active focus on representation and inclusivity. Her past clients include Apple, Nike, Tiffany & Co. and others.

With her work, she seeks to celebrate the trail blazing activists who are responsible for spreading positive information regarding caring for our planet, and hopes her work will serve as a conversation starter to inspire positive change.

Experienced in the world of stock imagery, her commission project for Adobe Stock focuses on authentic casting of Black people expressing the human connection with green communal, natural spaces. “My work really talks about Black people in nature,” she says, “My work really brings environmental activism and nature to the forefront.”

Photo of Kentaro Osato.

Credit: Kentaro Osato.

Kentaro Osato

Kentaro Osato is a photographer and filmmaker, producing work for clients including well-known musicians and athletes. Based in Japan, he is also the founder and head of Circus Vision, a multimedia arts collective addressing challenges to accurate, inclusive visual representation through video, photography, and design.

Kentaro was born with congenital physical disabilities in his lower limbs, feet, and hands. While working on film projects with disabled people, he began drawing on his own life experience to build a creative world where all people, regardless of ability, can participate and feel welcome. Of his commission project for Artist Development Fund, called “Our Standard,” he says, “The importance of diversity and acceptance in society seems to be growing in Japan. [In this project] I would like to focus on people with disabilities and create new opportunities for them through our creativity. Disabilities are not something special to them — they are normal. I am convinced that expressing them creatively will lead to building a world where they can live with confidence and vigor, with smiles on their faces.”

Photo of Yuya Parker.

Credit: Yuya Parker.

Yuya Parker

Yuya Parker is a Japanese photographer living in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in the small seaside town of Fukude, in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. His grandmother was skilled in calligraphy and ikebana (traditional Japanese flower arranging), and he loved watching her create. From an early age, he enjoyed painting and photography.

After studying architecture in Tokyo, pursuing his interest in landscape design, and studying photography at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, he found his current career as a photographer and director. His commissioned Artist Development Fund project responds to the Joyful Rhythm and Taste of Heritage creative briefs, nods to his appreciation for ikebana, and expresses the beauty of food as cultural narrative and inspiration.

“Edible items can express moments of joy,” he says, and his images capture that joy, filtered through memories of his hometown and grandmother.

Image of Danii Pollehn.

Credit: Daniela Pollehn.

Danii Pollehn

Danii Pollehn is an illustrator and designer based in Hamburg, Germany. Her work encompasses imagery celebrating the natural world, botanical illustration, and the female form, including paintings, printed editions, digital illustration, and pattern design. Her editorial and lifestyle commissions include branding, packaging, and advertising campaigns, with past work for brands such as Zeit Verlagsgruppe, Neverland, Volkswagen and P&G.

Danii’s Artist Development Fund project expresses her feelings of otherness and her hope for authentic and empathetic representation of women and of disabled people, based on her own experiences. She says, “Growing up with epileptic seizures and having a brain tumor, I’ve been perceived as being imperfect, being ‘broken.’ It’s still something I fight with: to accept my condition and my past. Instead of feeling ashamed, I should be proud.”

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Credit: Shingi Rice.

Shingi Rice

Shingi Rice is a self-taught photographer of Spanish/British and Zimbabwean origin. She grew up in Spain and is now based in London, UK. Her creative experience includes fashion, portrait and lifestyle photography, styling, and art direction.

Due to the lack of accurate representation and cultural identification she has experienced in her surroundings, she decided to focus on creating beautiful imagery highlighting the importance of the representation of people of color — especially Black women, the LGBTQ+ community, plus-size models, individuals with disabilities, and mature models.

Her Artist Development Fund commission project focuses on queer love. Incorporating interviews with her models and documentary elements, her portraits also bring an awareness of fashion aesthetics. She says, “I photograph individuals from the perspective of someone who wants to see a change and a sense of belonging for a community in which I belong, where different identities coexist in refuge.”

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