Get paid for a year of creative freedom, courtesy of Adobe

Applications close soon for the Adobe Creative Residency, which covers a year’s wages (plus travel and project costs) to build your portfolio and gain industry experience.

20 January 2020
Reading Time
3 minute read

Applications for the 2020 edition of the Adobe Creative Residency close this week, on Wednesday 22 January. The programme may well have flown under your radar in the past, but for illustrator and 2019 resident Octavia Bromell, it opened up a lot of new opportunities. We caught up with her after a year of being paid a full salary to explore a highly personal and meaningful project entitled The Joyful Everyday.

The residency is positioned as a bridge for artists in the early days of their creative career to go from amateur to professional, elevating their passion into a full-time job. It does so by giving one successful applicant a year’s wages plus health benefits, mentorship, and speaking and networking opportunities. Applicants have to submit a project proposal – which for Bromell was The Joyful Everyday, an illustrative series that draws on the artist’s experiences with anxiety and depression, and being able to find happiness in the minutiae of everyday life.

“[The residency] has meant I’ve been able to spend the year turning my experience with mental health into the cornerstone of my career as an illustrator,” she tells It’s Nice That. “It’s so important for me to not only find my niche but to make work that really fulfils me, and this does, so on a personal level that has been amazing.”

Via connections made by the residency, Bromell has also been commissioned by brands including Moleskine, Apple and The Royal Shakespeare Company, meaning she has “levelled up both my work and my career”, she continues. It has “opened doors and made introductions I could never have made on my own... I’ve given talks all over the world on creativity and mental health, been able to work with companies whose products and services I have used daily, and have laid the groundwork to get the work and the clients that really fulfil me. I’m also so much more confident in myself, my work and my business, the impact of which I have no doubt will shape my career for the rest of my life.”

Adobe says it is looking for a variety of ideas, people and cultures from its next round of applicants, who have a strong focus in one of the following categories: short-form online video, photography, illustration (digital drawing and painting), design (digital and print), and experience/interaction design (using Adobe XD). However, other areas of expertise will be considered.

To apply you need to submit a project proposal and share your existing work. Applicants need to be prepared to make the Creative Residency their full professional focus for one year. This includes sharing your process and insights along the way with the Adobe community, travelling for up to 25 per cent of the year to Adobe events globally, and not undertaking another job. Residents retain ownership of the work they create during the residency, but grant Adobe a license to use the work in promotional material.

Applications close on Wednesday 22 January 2020. Find out more about how to apply here and tips for making your application stand out here. The 2020-2021 Creative Residents will be announced in May 2020.

GalleryOctavia Bromell: The Joyful Everyday

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Octavia Bromell

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on

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