Sometimes the Universe sends amazing opportunities your way, and no matter how scary it is to jump in and put yourself out there, you have to say yes to learning and growth and being thrown out of your comfort zone. ;) That being said, I'm absolutely honored and excited to announce that I’ve been chosen to be one of the four Adobe Creative Residents this year.
Adobe describes the Creative Residency program here, but in a nutshell: they’re giving all of us full-time support to work on a personal project for an entire year. (AN ENTIRE YEAR!) In return, we create, share our process, ask for feedback, learn from amazing mentors and creatives, and put ourselves out there. Amazing, right?!
My personal project will be an exploration around the ways we document our lives, and how I can get more people exploring and documenting their lives in more creative and meaningful ways. We’re putting so much of our lives out in social media, and I like bringing it back to the essence of why I love scrapbooking so much — gathering the bits and pieces of life, taking a step back to reflect, and using photos, words, and actual stuff, to get creative.
My big goal for the Residency is to build out a series of products (mostly physical, maybe digital) that get people excited to document their lives. I’ve already started doing this by designing my own stamp sets and journals — this Residency is going to help me reach a wider audience (non-scrapbookers, I’m looking at you! ;)!) and get better feedback on my work (yikes) and improve my process.
Those who know me well and know my journey know that this means the world to me, and having Adobe’s support is a wonderful affirmation that I’m on the right path. See, I’ve always had this internal struggle: I love design, and I love scrapbooking. In my head, they didn’t go together at all. In the past, I’ve had friends make fun of my love for scrapbooking (jokingly, but jokes can cut deep, too — please remember that), and over the years I’ve learned to not share it too openly, in fear of people calling my scrapbooks cheesy or a “mommy hobby” (hey, what’s wrong with moms? Moms are cool.) Especially in design school — I’d never dream of mentioning my love for scrapbooking, lest I not be taken seriously. I’ve had a professor snarkily make fun of scrapbooking in a passing comment, and I made a mental note to never mention it.
See, the big struggle was that I wanted to be designing for this space. I wanted to be in the craft AND design world. I didn’t want to work at a design studio drawing logos or mocking up packaging. I wanted to be designing Project Life cards, stamps, journals, and aaaaalll the paper things. But I felt it didn’t really fit into being a legit “designer”, especially when I started comparing my work to the amazing designers who worked for big tech companies here in the Bay Area. I liked color, lettering, crafty things vs sleek and polished logos. I didn’t know how to design websites, apps, and knew basic icon design. Then, the identity crisis. The shoulds and musts and the internal struggle. Finally, I decided to just own it, and worked towards creating my own stuff and my own business, leaving my design side to the occasional client work, hoping to transition to my own business full-time this year.
Talking about my love for scrapbooking to the bigger design community has always gotten me a little anxious. So you can just imagine my face when I got the call that Adobe was interested in my work and wanted to know more. Me, talk about my scrapbooks, to all the big folks at Adobe? (Hahaha…. oh no.)
Turns out, this fear and overthinking was just all in my head. I got nothing but interested nods, encouraging words, and excited suggestions when I talked about documenting life and traveling and all the stuff that excited me creatively. I hadn’t even gotten the Residency yet, and already there was so much creative encouragement. Knowing that the wonderful folks at Adobe have my back and my best interests in mind is just about the best nod of support and encouragement for me to keep going. Owning the things that excite me most about making stuff, and hopefully being able to share it in a way that inspires others to stick to what excites and inspires them the most. My biggest lesson this year has been just that: when you’re doing work you’re truly excited about, it’s pretty easy to get others excited about it too.
Here’s to an amazing, creative, waaaaayyyyyyy outside my comfort zone year.
Follow along with our creative journeys at #CreativeResidency. I’ll also be posting updates on this blog, on Instagram, and a monthly newsletter. (Stamp enthusiasts, don’t worry — stamps will continue, but most of my efforts will be towards my Residency project. Make sure you’re on my newsletter list so you don’t miss any product sales + announcements!)
Also: huge shout out to the awesome Libby, for the brainstorming & idea-refining, support, and constant encouragement. Huge shout outs too to the other three amazing Creative Residents — Craig and his amazing light pieces, Syd and her incredible illustrations, and Sara with her super fun videos. It’s such an honor to be making alongside you guys, and so glad we get to go on this journey together.