Celebrating the Legacy of an Icon of Sound + Vision: Adobe’s new David Bowie-inspired digital tools invite fans to create their own unique personas

david bowie

“The ability to make art is inherent in all of us.”

David Bowie

While David Bowie started his career as a musician, he ended up building an artistic and cultural legacy that transcends music and time. He was both the artist from another world and the one that inspired the greatest human connection. He still influences creators today, showing that freedom of expression is important – that it’s possible to explore your identity and harness your creativity to proudly be whatever you want to be.

This is why, on the 50th anniversary of perhaps his most famous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, we are proudly working with Bowie 75 - the official campaign marking Bowie’s 75th birthday - to empower people to unleash their own personas. We have created a range of Bowie-inspired digital tools and are giving them away for free across certain Creative Cloud apps. This is the latest in Adobe’s work to preserve and share the works of great artists that have changed the world, putting their tools in the hands of today’s creators.

Of course, representing Bowie was no easy feat. It is, quite simply, impossible to define the mercurial icon by a single tool. He constantly changed his music from genre to genre and mixed his personas at the same time. That’s why it’s taken a whole suite of digital tools to truly represent his creative force, and help others emulate his spirit.

The new tools, available now, have been inspired by his colourful and vibrant personas. They include a range of make-up brushes; texture and pattern samplers that will let creatives sample the fabrics and patterns of Bowie’s well-known outfits; ​a collection of backgrounds & 3D Substance props inspired by David’s posters and album covers; and a sticker pack, featuring iconic Bowie, related graphics.

Creating an experience that allows people to explore their identity in the same way Bowie did.

“I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfil other people’s expectations. If you feel safe in the area that you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

The Adobe x Bowie digital tools include over 150 graphics, colour swatches, vectors, patterns and stickers, created by Tina Touli, Kae Neskovic, Tabea Mahern and Thomas Hedger. They can be used across Creative Cloud apps, including: Photoshop, Photoshop for iPad, Illustrator, Illustrator for iPad, Fresco, Adobe Express and Substance family. In addition, 18 digital brushes created by Kyle T. Webster can be used in Photoshop, Photoshop for iPad and Fresco. They are available here.

“All art really does is keep you focused on questions of humanity.”

Ultimately, art, to Bowie, helps question societal beliefs and conventions. It can empower people to truly show their real selves to the world. For Bowie, there was never one defined version of ‘self’, but rather a series of personas, each as vibrant as each other, that could showcase what he wanted to represent in that moment.

But now it’s your turn to get involved and channel your own out-of-this-world, iconic persona!

Download and find out more about the different Adobe x Bowie tools available for free here.