2021 Next Creative Leaders - Next Creative Leaders

When I See Black

Agency 72andSunny

Client Adobe


Region - North America

Annual ID



Black creativity is not a monolith — it contains multitudes, and the work that it inspires represents a spectrum of backgrounds, disciplines, identities and stories. To evoke that spectrum, Adobe collaborated with 72andSunny to create “When I See Black,” an integrated campaign that gave Black creators the spotlight.

First, we asked artists to share how their experience of Black identity infuses their art, and the When I See Black film was born. The film showcases 12 multidisciplinary artists answering the prompt “When I see Black…” in their own words, while showcasing their work.

Next, we partnered with Complex to bring When I See Black to the inaugural ComplexLand (a gamified virtual world event), where we created a gallery space to put five more Black artists on a world stage in the Adobe Creativity Space, and drove visitors to shop their work directly.

Our partnership with Complex extended beyond ComplexLand as we developed branded editorial content. We interviewed the five artists featured in the ComplexLand exhibit to dive deeper into their worlds. The final result was a series of intimate films that, again, allowed the artists to explore in their own words the relationship between their Black identity and creativity.

This project is:

72andSunny Los Angeles

My Role in This Project
As a Creative Director on this campaign, I helped lead and shape the work with the central goal of highlighting and celebrating the diversity of Black creativity.

And as a Black creative, I found that my role on this project was naturally multidimensional. I was able to lead the work with a lens of lived experience. Furthermore, the fact that I’m an example of the spectrum of experiences we were aiming to highlight (a non-American, Black British woman of Caribbean descent) meant I brought an intrinsic understanding to the brief.

Leadership took on different forms — sometimes my role was that of translator; communicating creative themes and language to clients who were newly experiencing the Black diaspora through the lens of creativity. Other times I acted as a facilitator; ensuring my team (not just creative, but all departments who worked on the project) brought diverse, representative and empathetic perspectives into the project. One of my most crucial roles was that of advocate — an integral part of our creative process was to ensure our artists were in control of their narrative and their words were true to their personal relationship with their art and identity. In a multiple-stage process that included an hour long interview with each artist, we worked with the artists to craft their stories, and by proxy, the story we told.

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