FEB 22

Applying to be an Adobe Creative Resident

AKA THE process behind applying to share more process


Hey Adobe! Hello, hi.

I’m a graphic designer and therefore naturally inclined to be a compulsive over-sharer. It’s fair to say creative species are generally obsessed with documenting, adopting and understanding the processes that lead to great work, or at the very least, pinpointing where things went horribly wrong. In the spirit of sharing process, which is essentially what the Adobe Creative Residency is all about, I thought I would take you through the stages of putting my application together.

I’ve always admired Kelli Anderson’s work for her scientific and relentlessly curious mind, although it was mostly a coincidence that I happened upon her Creative Residency blog post back in 2015. I remember thinking it all sounded too good to be true, even though I didn’t fully understand what the residency even was at that point. I was determined to find out more and followed along her 12 month journey with co-resident Becky Simpson.

Kelli and Becky have totally different styles, so it was really cool to see how they approached things. It was obvious they both had an awesome experience with the Residency and when I heard on the internet vine you were looking for new candidates, I knew I had to apply. “Gotta be in it to win it”, my Mum’s voice immediately rang in my head. As it would turn out though I couldn’t be in it because that year it was only for people living in the United States. Bummer!

Fast forward a year and I get a magic email saying you are expanding to only two more countries: Canada and… GERMANY! Woohoo! Naturally I immediately engaged in a text frenzy with friends who also shared my excitement. Suddenly, I went from ecstatic to sh*t scared—what was I going to pitch as my proposal!!??


The problem wasn’t that I had no idea, it was that I had TOO MANY ideas! My brain felt like it was exploding and so I did what any designer under pressure would do; I turned to post-its. I started what I like to call “word vomiting” everything onto different coloured post-its and created a spiderweb of ideas on my apartment wall. From this I could see a few different areas forming, all very loose ideas but based on work I already do:

OMGLORD: Things that make G-Lord say OMG

  • Expanding and building on this blog and newsletter
  • Creating more handy resources and useful content
  • Podcasting, experimenting with different mediums and outputs
  • Exhibition relating to said OMG moments and things

Living in Berlin: Products and resources related to living abroad and language learning

  • Life as antipodean designer
  • Learning German and creative ways to approach a foreign language (board games, anyone!?)
  • Illustrations and anecdotes about lols in translation
  • The MANY challenges you face working and designing in another country

Colour Me G-Lord: An exploration in colour

  • Something to build off of my 100 day project
  • Experimenting using different design tools, materials and photography
  • Understanding the effect of colour, how to use it and what it impacts
  • How colour is linked to our emotions, mood and associations

Broads Aboard: A community platform about women in design

  • Expanding my Broads Down Under project beyond Australia
  • Taking it off and creating a community platform rather than a personal blog
  • Research, investigation and design documentation
  • Championing women in design and sharing resources
  • Helping companies hire women
  • Interviews with women in Germany (even globally!)

I chatted with multiple friends, designers and non-designers, male and female, there was a resounding response; this idea to create an online platform to support women in design could really be something invaluable not to just to me, but so many others.

After getting over the initial blank page paralysis, I was reminded that the hardest part of a project is just starting! The second I began to add dot points under the questions, more words and ideas poured out. Dot points became sentences, sentences became paragraphs and before I knew it I had a proposal. You really can’t steer a parked car!


I then sent the draft of my proposal to a handful of friends (again a mix of designers and non-designers, male and female) to get their first impressions. Asking people I trust to give honest feedback is essential and they were a huge help in putting this application together. Another person who really helped was current resident Christine! I knew she was going to be in Berlin and offered to play tour guide around Kreuzberg, not that I ever need an extra excuse to brunch!

This whole application process has been a real exercise for me; from collecting all my random thoughts and ideas into one cohesive document, to thinking of creative ways to stand out. This blog post being one of them!

Thanks for making it this far, I hope you gained some insight into how I think, how I work, and how badly I want this Residency. I know there is so much to gain from this program and I’m ready to give it everything I’ve got!

Cheers Adobe!



Behind the Scenes

AKA THE process behind... OKAY I’m just going to stop now


A few photos of how I created the images for this post, as well as other concepts that didn’t quite work out. Always lots of trial and error, no matter what I’m working on!