Behind Adobe’s exciting Million-dollar fund for creatives.

We get it. As creatives, inspiration, creativity and courage have never really been the thing holding us back. Everything and we mean everything, always comes back to having the money, time and space to create our very best work, right? Well, luckily for us, Adobe has done a COVID 180! That’s right, the digital pioneers are turning designers obstacles on their head by offering a million-dollar fund to creatives like you! Pretty damn sweet huh?!


For the past five years, Adobe has been running the Adobe Creative Residency, a programme that pays visual creators a yearly salary to get stuck into developing their work, their style and their personal brand! In return, residents drive forward their own design dreams without limits, whilst sharing their insights, inspiration and innovation along the way. What an amazing opportunity for emerging designers to buy themselves a year of time, to get all those ambitious projects done! You guessed it. Pretty much any artists dream!

So, what started as a programme supporting two creatives per year (hello Becky Simpson and Kelli Anderson) has since expanded to NINE individuals!! With the fund helping designers from Germany, England and Japan, amongst others – the fund proves to be a truly global initiative, providing access to creatives from all over the world. Learn everything you need to know about how to apply here and get yourself ready for next year!

So, that’s what a past resident has to say. Nadine Kolodziey, Artist, illustrator and designer selected for the funding last year reveals more…

During the Creative Residency, I’ve developed my work to be more experiential. I want people to be inside my work – to walk through it or become a part of it. To experience themselves through my illustration rather than just see it.

With 2020 being a gruelling year for many, Adobe has taken the opportunity to adapt and alter to new occurrences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, as well as aiding two lucky recipients with Adobe Creative Residency, Adobe has also launched a second fund, Adobe Creative Residency Fund, an epic programme offering $1 million in support towards personal projects, practice development and the hiring of visual creators for Adobe-commissioned projects over this next, upcoming year. Say whaaaat!

So, what’s the crack? The fund is available for 12 whole months, and with each month, a range of selected applicants will be selected to receive between $500-$5,000 to complete either an Adobe brief or a self-driven, personal project. In addition to the financial funding, each successful applicant will receive further support with a free Creative Cloud membership and access to career guidance workshops. Thank youuuu Adobe!

Applications for Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund are now open and available to anyone with a passion for creating personally fulfilling, innovative and inspiring designs, whether your chosen medium is in illustration, motion, graphics, 3D, video, photography or anything in between, we reckon, you should totally apply!

Meet our new friend Cihan Tamti, a German graphic designer, specialising in visual identities, typography and printed matter. Cihan applied for the Adobe fund early last month and was one of the first to be selected!

Amongst getting the Creative Cloud membership and access to career guidance workshops, he was also given the task to design our TDK x Adobe collab collateral – not bad huh? We got the chance to interview him to get the latest on his creative journey since being accepted by Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund earlier last month. Here’s what he had to say…

Why did you initially apply for Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund, what did you want to get out of it?

To be honest, I first found the Adobe Community Fund on Google and found it exciting that there was support from Adobe at all. I applied because I really wanted to work with Adobe. I also think the community itself is very exciting and being part of it would be really cool and beneficial.

So I just tried it and applied. Luckily it worked!

What is your design background and what differentiates you as a designer?

I am currently studying Communication Design in Dortmund, Germany. I had an education as a media designer before. I had last year a semester abroad in Norway, Bergen and right now I am on an internship in Munich at Melville Brand Design til September.

I am always active and work on a lot of self initial work next to university and freelancing jobs. I love to experiment with letters and customizing fonts. It feels always more personal and human. With instagram, which is my personal gym for graphic design, I have a little following and a great network of designers in different fields to work with as well.

After being name-checked as one of Stefan Sagmeister’s top four young designers on curated by bf and having an article on AIGA Eye on Design “Type Tuesday”, I want to work and collaborate with Brands and Agencies/Studios, where I can create unique Designs on my way. I want to work international and remote. I am looking for projects I can learn from and grow. My dream is to teach one day and having my own studio running.

How did you receive acceptance to the funding and what was your first reaction when you realised you’d been accepted?

I received the acceptance per e-mail and was really surprised usually I am not that lucky.  I was really proud and had this feeling of “this is a big chance for me” and telling everyone I know “I am working with adobe and TDK!”. Surely I was a bit annoying for the people in my environment.

What part of this project are you most excited about and what challenges are you up against to deliver?

The most exciting point was for me the start of the project and meeting Franziska and Thiago. The biggest compliment was for me, that only my own works were on the mood board. I was the whole project just me and could work without any complications.

The biggest challenge was to make the Typography extreme experimental and readable. Finally, it worked out.

Who would you encourage to apply for the funding and why?

I want to make students and young designers aware of this. In addition to the fact that you make a lot of contacts, you will gain a lot of experience and get to know the feeling of a “customer”. In addition, you will earn fair money for a project tailored to you. So young designers with little experience and little courage.

How has this funding helped you and what doors has this opened towards achieving your design aspirations?

That my style is at all suitable for such a project. It’s also nice to get in touch with people like Fraziska and Thiago. I really enjoyed the project and it gave me a lot of confidence. In terms of design, I’ve also learned a lot, especially how my work affects others and how it can work better. I also have a very old Macbook that I can finally replace.

What will happen to the project in the end and will it bring me new cool projects like this one? Hopefully. We will see.

The residency has played a major role in development for all past and current residents – Ask yourself, will the residency be the step-up in your design career?

For further info on Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund and how to apply, CLICK HERE!

Best of luck, The Design Kids!

Where to find more about Cihan

Instagram: @cihantamti

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