Each year, the Adobe Creative Residency “empowers talented individuals to spend a year focusing on a personal creative project,” while “sharing their experience and process with the creative community.” The 2017 crop of creatives includes graphic designers, data visualizers, lettering artists and photographers.

Aundre Larrow

Recently, one resident–Aundre Larrow–a Brooklyn-based photographer, was kind enough to sit down with Format Magazine to discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by the Adobe residency. Besides generally making us aware of its existence–no creatives I spoke to had heard of such a thing–he offers some great advice to young creatives, while also revealing a bit about his own personal project, a “visual study of how our sense of place impacts us.” Here are some prime excerpts:

On How He Discovered the Adobe Residency- 

“[He] found out about the Adobe Creative Residency by accident…when he received an email from someone at Adobe who had discovered his photography. After asking around and looking into work created by previous Adobe residents, Larrow was sold. ‘I’m still not sure why she sent me that email,’ Larrow said, ‘but I’m really happy she did. I didn’t know this existed.'”

Dude, same.

On How The Residency Works-

“Adobe pays you like an employee. You have health benefits and a salary; you do expenses like a regular person. Once you start the residency, you don’t have another job. The residency is your job…my project is really travel-based, and they paid for the flights, the Ubers, the food, and places to stay. Then on top of that, I have two internal mentors and two external mentors.” 

All. Expenses. Paid. And. Four. Mentors. Damn.

On the Residency’s Challenges-

“…in the beginning I really struggled to share my work because I was afraid of how it would come off to my peers, or my new peers, or internet people. I was really anxious that what I was doing wasn’t going to go well.”

Refreshing to hear this from someone currently represented by Tinker Street .

On the Most Rewarding Part of the Residency-

“First, the other residents are awesome…Also, I’ve really enjoyed being challenged. Often when you work on something that’s successful, the client will ask you to do that same thing repeatedly until it’s not popular anymore. There are times when you feel really frustrated with that…But this gives you the ability to show the range of your skills, because the client is really yourself.”

The client is yourself: besides a cool perk of the residency, this also sounds like a Buddhist teaching updated for the 2018. As for the other residents, check ’em out here.

On His Advice To Other Creatives Considering the Residency-

“For creatives that are thinking about the residency: just do it. There’s no reason not to do it. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t get it, and at least you’ll have the practice of preparing a pitch and articulating it. That’s so valuable. I have friends that are super talented but they’re afraid of so many things so they never try anything. I always say, don’t be afraid.” 

Just do it.

Applications to be a 2018 resident are due @ midnight on February 25th. The form can be found here, good luck! 

All Images Courtesy Aundre Larrow 

Check out more of his work, from his project “Stories from here,” below: