Last night a stock image saved my life: four scenarios where stock imagery saves the day


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There are many reasons why all creatives dip into stock libraries at multiple points in their practices. It helps to envisage the project at hand and spur on ideas, but one of the most common, and extremely helpful uses of it, is how it pulls everything together.

We’ve all been there haven’t we, in a little bit of a pickle with a project, or panicking the night before an interview. To show you exactly how Adobe Stock imagery can help in these situations, we’ve brought them to life. Below, we present four different creatives in multiple scenarios where last night, a stock image saved their life.

The Graduate

Tilly has just graduated from her BA in illustration. During her studies, she’s developed a signature style and loves creating assortments of patterns and textures. Tilly is confident she is destined for a successful career producing coffee shop murals, independent children’s books, and one-off fashion collabs.

It’s the opening of Tilly’s degree show and she’s approached by a major high street chain who sees potential in her work. A few days later she finds an e-mail sitting in her inbox, they want her to come in for an interview. Tomorrow.

She panics. This is her dream but as a fresh graduate, she doesn’t have the cash, or the time, to print her works onto materials. Are these fashionistas going to take her seriously if she comes in with a portfolio of sketchbooks and zines? She begins to have flashbacks to Devil Wears Prada. Only she’s Anne Hathaway. No one wants to be Anne Hathaway.

Does Tilly:

A: Accept she’s possibly not ready and cancel the interview. Everyone says you need a rest after graduating anyway, she should go back home for a bit and another opportunity will come her way. Or will it? Two years pass and Tilly is working at the fish and chip shop (The Codfather) at the end of her parent’s road.

B: She heads to the interview but she’s under-confident about the work. She’s flustered and drops her portfolio on Oxford Street on route to the interview. Her printed matter flies everywhere. Tourists laugh and cab drivers shake their heads beeping their horns. If only it was digital…

C: They said she had potential so it’s time for her to show it. Tilly opens Adobe Stock and utilises the product mockup collection. A capsule collection is made in the space of an evening with her designs on T-shirts, dresses and of course, tote bags. Her work has a new lease of life and the interviewer is impressed by her ability to think into the future with her ideas. (She gets the job.)

The Agency Battle

London-based advertising agency Weebles + Kinetica are currently working on a massive pitch for a global brand. It’s the kind of pitch that means bonuses for everyone. They’re feeling pretty chuffed with how it’s going but their art director was in the pub last night and overheard a junior from MPPPNO (Weebles + Kinetica’s rival agency) boasting about how they’re pitching for the same job. Their idea sounds pretty good.

Do Weebles + Kinetica:

A: Brush it off. Their idea is fine! Paranoid is for the weak anyway. But, quietly, art directors and project managers are thinking twice about the initial idea. It gets to pitch day and no one is on the same page. It’s a disaster, the creative director of the brand actually just walks out at one point. The team leave and walk past the All Bar One next door where MMPPPNO are cheers-ing with cocktails.

B: They send in a mole. A freelancer Weebles + Kinetica are tight with is currently working with their rivals and they convince him to throw in some wild ideas with the hope they’ll bite. The freelancer is rumbled and it’s all over Twitter. Weebles + Kinetica’s reputation is ruined.

C: They take their original idea to the next level. They dive into Adobe Stock and think about how that idea could live in the real world. Mockups with an identity are made, billboards are envisioned. It tackles under-discovered realms of advertising. They win the pitch and go on a team holiday to St Lucia.

The Film Director

Jack is a promising film director with more Vimeo staff picks than you’ve had hot dinners. A networking event puts Jack in contact with film financiers and executive producers which could take his work to the “next level”. He has an idea for a longer, narrative-driven film but after personally investing in his recent showreel, he’s broke.

Does Jack:

A: Head to the meeting with his current showreel stumped at what else he can do with no money. The financiers are confused. They’ve seen all this work before, they thought he had big ideas? Everyone at the meeting is bored. He leaves hopeful but overhears staff talking about a “very disappointing meeting”. The director’s confidence is shaken. He vows never to make, or watch, a film again.

B: Jack attempts to make a teaser trailer for his film concept. But, with his limited resources, he ends up filming most of it in his flat. The lighting is terrible, props are shoddy and the main character cast is his housemate Simon, whose GSCE in drama is not proving very helpful. Jack shows the short in the meeting and is laughed out the room. He takes a job filming Love Island over the summer and falls into a world of reality TV.

C: Jack remembers the vast collection available in Adobe Stock. Moving image clips of neighbourhoods, journeys, crowd shots, even motion graphics to show how he thinks the film would communicate in terms of titles too. He pieces together a “film collage”, a moving mood board if you will. He’s proud of the trailer he’s made and talks over it about the narrative. The financiers are excited, the creative producer starts naming people they should get on board. Fast forward a few years and Jack’s walking the red carpet at the Oscars. Simon is still a waiter.

The Adventurous Entrepreneur

Louise is a creative who has a brilliant idea for a new co-working space. It’s a friendly one, it’s reasonably priced, has an in-house barista and helps creatives develop their practice. After years in pompous co-working spaces where square footage and wifi use is priced to the max, she knows there’s a market for it.

A regular peruser of estate agent sites, Louise spots a building in a bustling creative area that would be the ideal space. She’s got meetings with banks, investors and possible agencies who could move in once it’s up and running.

Does she:

A: Walk into the bank with her head held high before being knocked down by snooty bankers in M&S three-piece suits because she doesn’t have enough of a plan. Confidence jilted, Louise walks away feeling lost and never asks for help. Freelancers around the world continue to work at stuffy co-working spaces. Some days Louise stares out the bus window, dreaming of what could have been.

B: She goes the numbers route, creating reams and reams of Excel spreadsheets. She feels like she’s (probably) doing the right thing. But, this isn’t what she’s best at and when bank managers find loopholes, she flusters to the max. Hours of staring at those Excel boxes are wasted and Louise is no better at maths.

C: As a creative, Louise turns to the benefits she knows are available in Adobe Stock. She mocks up what the space would look like, she adds details which none of the current co-working spaces have and shows initiative about how she could build on the space she’s found. A name and an identity are shown on business cards and signage. She shows it to agencies and they look into their leases. Bank managers share her vision, they want to help with the numbers.

Louise opens co-working spaces all around the world and freelancers flock to her like an overlord of creative working.

Adobe Stock offers a curated collection of thousands of beautifully designed and visually impactful templates sourced from leading designers, stock artists and agencies – perfect for designers and visual storytellers who are looking for exceptional ways to tell authentic stories.

Its diverse marketplace of royalty-free assets is uniquely and natively integrated within Creative Cloud, saving you time and enabling uninterrupted creativity so you can search and license high-quality assets without ever leaving your favourite apps. Stock like only Adobe can. Click here to try Adobe Stock free for one month.

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.

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