Peek into Their Creative Processes

By Gabrielle Hooks

Recently, Adobe brought 16 artists to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York for Make It on Mobile, a hands-on immersive experience of Adobe’s mobile apps. These artists—all at the forefront of modern workflows in illustration, photography, and design—used what they learned to create posters inspired by their surroundings and each other.

Each participant chose a creative mantra to embody some part of their identity as an artist. Using the apps on an iPad Pro, they then expressed that mantra as 17" by 24" posters. The artists had only two days to go from brief to printed piece—and the first day was largely spent getting to know the apps and each other.

You'll find six of the 16 posters below, along with insight into each person's creative process. To see all 16 finished pieces, as well as behind-the-scenes photos, visit the event's Behance page.



Apps: Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Mix

Victoria Siemer is a graphic designer from Brooklyn, New York. Her creative mantra was “somewhere out there.”

“I shot a portrait in my room," Victoria says. "Then I brought that into Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Mix on my iPhone. I was seeing an outer space vibe take shape, so I ran with it.

“The vector constellation type was meticulously created in Illustrator Draw. It’s strange, at first, but it emerges if you stare at it for a while. I like that there’s this unevenness to some of the things in this piece—a handmade feel that I don’t normally get.”


Apps: Photoshop Mix, Adobe Comp CC, Photoshop Sketch, Draw, Comp

Dan Mumford is a freelance illustrator working in London. He was inspired to create his illustration by the creative mantra “anything ordinary can become extraordinary.”

“I took photos of vines and trees from the garden outside," Mumford says. "I sent the photos to Photoshop Mix and started cutting out branches to get a rough composition. From there I brought the piece into Comp CC so that I could quickly lay out elements and make an even more finished rough.

“Then I brought the piece into Photoshop Sketch to do a gradient wash treatment. I added final touches in Illustrator Draw. Most of that is freehanded.

“Creating on an iPad is fairly similar to the way I work in the studio on a giant computer. It was kind of nice to recreate what I would normally do, but in a much smaller capacity. I think it all came together quite naturally.”



Apps: Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Sketch, Photoshop CC

Gemma O’Brien is an artist and typographer based in Sydney, Australia. Her creative mantra: “The world is now your studio.”

“I travel a lot and I’m also working on the go," O'Brien exlains. "But when I’m not traveling, I usually do brushes in an analog way. So I wanted to figure out how I could incorporate that same idea digitally.

“I went to the park across the street and took a photo with my phone. I opened the photo in Photoshop Mix and applied a good filter. It all came together really quickly.”


Apps: Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Sketch, Photoshop CC

Kahori Maki is a graphic artist in Tokyo, Japan. She was inspired to create her illustration from the creative mantra, “You’re always on location.”

“I was inspired by being in the moment," she says. "It’s easy to forget to be in the present. We’re always thinking about the past or the future too much.”


Andrea’s apps: Illustrator Draw, Illustrator CC

Jenean’s apps: Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Capture CC, Comp CC, Illustrator CC

Andrea Pippins is a designer and educator living in Baltimore, Maryland. She chose the creative mantra “Nurture your creativity.” Jenean Morrison is a painter and textile designer from Memphis, Tennessee. She was inspired to create her illustration from the creative mantra, “Collaboration is a patchwork of ideas.”

 “Jenean and I realized that we have very similar illustration style: doodles and a lot of florals,” says Andrea. “So these are both very collaborative pieces.”

“I did a few illustrations by hand, then turned them to vector using Capture CC. I also drew some floral patterns in Illustrator Draw, which was a great experience because I’d never used an iPad to create. I love that you can zoom in and create as many details as you want, or zoom out and play with size proportions.

“We sent some of Jenean’s hand-drawn illustrations to Illustrator CC to refine. After we were done, we moved them to Illustrator Draw to work more on the iPad. Color was added and hand doodles were layered.”

Jenean adds, “A lot of what you see are elements of Andrea's drawings mixed in with mine. We wanted both of our palettes to feel similarWe took a bunch of Andrea’s iPad drawings and turned them into brushes in Capture and into a few little drawings inside Photoshop Sketch. The patchwork grid was laid out in Comp. It was my first time using it.”

Both posters are below. Andrea's is on the left, Jenean's on the right.