I speak to creatives all over the world who love their jobs, but aren’t personally satisfied unless they’re also exploring ideas or creating things on the side. I’ve met corporate designers who illustrate children’s books on the side. I’ve met digital freelancers who create and sell physical goods through Etsy. And I’ve met people from every field who write blogs, publish books or regularly speak at events as a way to share their ideas, get feedback and make sure they’re up to speed on the latest creative trends.
With that as the backdrop, I couldn’t be more excited to announce our new Creative Residency Program at our 99U conference this week. This program gives talented, emerging creative professionals the opportunity to spend a full year working on a dream project. They focus on honing their craft, while actively sharing their creative passions and processes with the community. Adobe pays them a salary and covers their expenses for the year – all of which means they can focus on their passion projects without worrying about client deadlines and competing priorities.
We will encourage residents to explore their strengths and weaknesses through the support of mentors both inside and outside the company; and to share their insights and work at conferences, workshops and through social media.
We’re also announcing the first two “residents” of the program today: designer Becky Murphy and illustrator Kelli Anderson. For the past year, Kelli has been deconstructing everyday tools and contraptions, stripping off their normal interface, and reducing them to their functional minimums. She’s doing this because she believes in creating a more active role for users of these products – inviting them to play, tinker and respond to the objects with their hands. During her residency, she hopes to polish, produce and release some of these tools. Becky, a designer, illustrator, author and Etsy shop owner, will educate creative entrepreneurs on how to launch their passion projects. She wants to establish her Etsy shop, Chipper Things, as a growing, sustainable business, while working on a successful launch of her book, The Roommate Book.
You can learn more about Becky and Kelli on the Creative Residency program page and by checking out the videos below about their work.