Christina Poku on how the Adobe Creative Residency programme is aiding her photography practice

In response to Covid-19, Adobe has launched a community fund supporting a range of applicants with grants of $500-$5,000.

23 July 2020

For the past five years, Adobe has been supporting the next generation of creative talent with its Adobe Creative Residency. It started out as a programme supporting two creatives per year, providing these lucky candidates with financial support and access to Adobe technologies. Since then, the programme has grown exponentially. In 2019, it offered the residency to nine creatives around the world from Japan, Germany and the UK; allowing each creative the time and resources to execute their respective personal projects. And this year, in response to the exceptional circumstances fuelled by Covid-19, Adobe has adapted the Creative Residency again to better support another year of talent.

This year, as well as aiding two lucky recipients with the Creative Residency, Adobe has launched a Creative Residency Community Fund. The fund supports hundreds of visual creators throughout the year, providing them with paid Adobe commissions or offering them grants of $500-$5,000 to make their projects happen. Alternatively, speaking of the year-long programme and her experience so far as one of this year’s Adobe Creative Residents, we chat to the London-based photographer and art director Christina Poku on how the programme has and will benefit her.

Launched in May 2020, the Creative Residency programme will run for 12 months. Though she only started the residency a couple of months ago, Christina tells us, “the residency has already been an exciting way for me to get out of my comfort zone, test new things and have the time to really start fleshing out ideas and techniques that interest me.” With a unique aesthetic which combines staged compositions with an unapologetically vivid colour palette, Christina’s hyper-real work examines the abstraction of the everyday. It’s not only the financial reward that will largely impact the photographer’s practice however, but she also credits the mentoring scheme as “vital for [her] development.”


Christina Poku

“It’s a pretty rare opportunity to have a whole year to explore your own personal creative projects,” Christina adds. It’s allowed her the time and space to reflect on past work as well as examine new approaches when it comes to ideation and refinements. “While the residency is very much self-directed, which I love, it’s really encouraging to have a wealth of people from a range of expertise within Adobe available to support you and give guidance.” And as we catch up with Christina, she’s currently looking forward to her next chat with her manager Franziska who’s also a “brilliant” creative, not to mention “really resourceful.”

At present, Christina’s just finished working on a couple of mini-series while moving through the planning and art directing phase for her residency’s major project. For this primary piece of work, the artist is taking a deep dive into the idea of “technology as abundance.” Combining methods of photography, cinemagraphs (stills with a small moving element) and set design, the photographer hopes to create a series of staged scenes which explore “how technology can create growth, build community and change barriers to entry.”

In a period of uncertainty, finding sustained creative motivation can be tough. For Christina, it’s essential to take stock of how you’re feeling and “be honest with yourself” in order to sustain stimulation. “Everyone has been affected in different ways,” she says on the matter, “so if you’re able to take some time to process where you’re at mentally, that’s really important for being creative.” To anyone struggling with their creativity at the moment, she advises working on personal projects as a means of expression if you’re not feeling too emotionally overwhelmed. It could start as something very small, which may pick up momentum and grow bigger. Who knows, you could be the next recipient of the Adobe Creative Residency fund.


Christina Poku

Share Article

About the Author

It's Nice That

This article was written by the It’s Nice That team. To find our editors and writers, please head over to our Contact page.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.