The 12th Annual

Adobe 99U Conference / The Creative Self

Welcome to the Adobe 99U Conference, an event about creative careers. Watch the replay of the conference livestream or explore talks, workshops, and more on-demand.

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From battling the burnout trend to practicing extreme gratitude, hear new perspectives on nurturing your creative self.

Anna Sale: Let’s Talk About Hard Things

"Let's witness this together, this thing that we have to maneuver around together, and don't have the answers for."

Alain Sylvain: Understanding Power Languages

"As we operate, every single interaction we have with clients, with our surroundings, with our work, with culture: we are in a political or power structure."

Anne Helen Petersen: Rethinking Productivity Culture

"If you feel less productive, it's because you are. The hard thing for us, as workers, as creatives, as managers, to understand then, is that there is nothing wrong with that."

Yancey Strickler: A Framework for Your Ultimate Self

"As our self interest grows, so do our responsibilities. It goes from me to us."

Taeyoon Choi: Strategies for Embracing Our Contradictions

"We feel our self-worth when we are seen from all sides, when our contradictions are embraced as a whole being."

A.J. Jacobs: Practicing Radical Gratitude

"Gratitude is a mindset, and it's about refusing to take things for granted."

Master Classes

Dive deep into big ideas from a rebellious creative leader, a designer-founder tackling industry inequities, a prolific creative director, and a brutally honest consultant.

Antionette D. Carroll: Understanding Identity, Power, & Equity in Design Leadership

"We have to hold ourselves accountable to the impact that we're having in our lives and other lives in our communities."

John S. Couch: Designing a New Day

"My argument is that for creative innovation, the ability to function better at work, you need time on your own.”

Nishat Akhtar: Look Around You

"We have this responsibility, to shape these algorithms that shape us."

Emily Cohen: Building the Love Into Creative Business

"Too many people are trying to put on a veneer of professionalism or a veneer of somebody that they aren't, and that can be clearly detected."


Our workshop hosts explore mental health, empathy, and life itself through interactive workshops you can do from anywhere.

Michelle Rial: Charting Stories Through Objects

"It's important for me to have prompts when I have creative blocks, because it can be easier than just starting with a blank piece of paper."

Michael Ventura: Applying Empathy

"We can start to become aware of our unconscious biases. We can start to become aware of the things that have held us back in the past, our fears, our anxieties, and by working through those, we're able to help others."

Octavia Bromell: Exploring Personal Projects

"In my experience, it's actually the work I've created with no application in mind that have gone on to do the best."

Kelli Anderson: Materials for Computer People

"We are straddling this time period where we're one foot into the analog world, one foot into the digital world. Can we have fun with that?"


The Creative Self Workbookby Tina Essmaker

When was the last time you felt connected to your creative self? This workbook is an invitation for you to engage with your creative self as a practice, over five days of exploratory exercises designed by creative coach Tina Essmaker.

99U Articles

9 Ways Creatives Can Manage Anxiety

Develop a toolbox of skills to access in times of stress or uncertainty. Much like your creative practice, your response is a work in progress.

Advice for a Sustainable Desk-Bound Creative Career

Five tips to prevent injury and strain while creating work from cartoonist Kriota Willberg’s book, Draw Stronger.

Is Imposter Syndrome Blocking Your Creative Potential?

“Fake it until you make it” may be the worst advice. Here’s how to regain clarity in your career instead.

How to Be More Confident growing more comfortable with self-doubt.

‘Mind Hacking’ Your Way to Self-Improvement

We are living code with the agency to reprogram our brains. Follow these simple steps to get out of your own way and back to creating.

Cultivating a Sense of Creative Purpose

Clarifying why you do what you do can be the bedrock that gives your work direction and meaning.

Meet the Creative Specimens

Our biologists have spent the past 12 years researching creative specimens in their native environments. The findings teach us that while specimens may share characteristics, each one is unique, bringing irreplaceable value to our creative ecosystem. Get to know the specimens below.

Limited-edition prints of the Creative Specimens are available from our partners at Paper Chase Press. All profits will be donated to Feeding America and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Illustrations by Mark Brooks and alademosca

Purchase Prints
Sensitivo Empathis

Sensitivo Empathis

The Sensitivo Empathis is a highly empathetic member of the creative kingdom, with a canny ability to hear the needs and desires of other creatures.

Multis Taskum

Multis Taskum

The rare Multis Taskum is known for its ability to gracefully and simultaneously handle a wide range of tasks, but risks burnout early in its career span.

Communicatorum Claritus

Communicatorum Claritus

With its talent for collaboration and communication with other creatures, the Communicatorum Claritus has no known enemies in the creative kingdom.

Effectivae Managerum

Effectivae Managerum

The Effectivae Managerum leads its loyal creative flock with empathy and a strategic mindset, evolved over years of experience.

Maximus Designex

Maximus Designex

Easily identified by its colorful bloom, the Maximus Designex brings beauty and theatricality to all creative environments.

Innovato Ideatis

Innovato Ideatis

Few specimens have contributed to innovation in the creative kingdom more than the Innovato Ideatis, known for swimming (and flying) well outside of most creatures’ comfort zones.

Vox Potentus

Vox Potentus

Often found perching at great heights, the Vox Potentus is able to influence nearby creatures with its powerful voice and bold style.

Purposo Careerus

Purposo Careerus

Not easily distracted from its path, the Purposo Careerus’s productive career span is driven by a primal inner purpose.

Versatilum Adaptae

Versatilum Adaptae

With a long career span and incredible adaptability, the Versatilum Adaptae has evolved to thrive in any creative environment.


Will Allen

VP Community Products, Adobe

Scott Belsky

Founder, 99U & Chief Product Officer, Adobe

Mark Brooks

Creative Director, 99U

Head of Brand, Behance

Sean Dunn

Software Development Manager, Behance

Jeannie Huang

Product Designer, Behance

Eunsan Huh

Social Media Strategist, Behance & 99U

Eleanor Lewis

Software Engineer, Behance

Pollyanna Macchiano

Program Manager, Adobe Design

Gus Martin

Content & Community Manager, Adobe Live

Zach McCullough

Principal Designer, Behance

Yuriy Nemstov

Software Development Manager, Behance

Mia Pinjuh

Contributing Editor, 99U

Andrea Rosen

Head of 99U

Samantha Shoushtari Dohrmann

Content Operations Manager, Adobe Live

Francisco Siller

Studio Manager, Adobe Live

Chrysanthe Tenentes

Head of Editorial Content, 99U

Victor Varaschin

Software Engineer, Behance


Jorge Artola & Peter Cobo

Motion Graphics, HIDE Studios

Sam Brodsky

Audio Engineer, Brodsky Audio

Tina Essmaker

Creative Coach

Nickey Frankel

Founder & Executive Producer, Preview Events

Brock Labrenz

Director & Founder, An Films

Joanmiquel Bennasar Mas

Illustrator, alademosca

Andy McMillan

Principal, Regular Events

Andy Mellon

Technical Director, Founders Studio

Robert Morris

Production Designer, Sunbunker

Josh Tag

Project Coordinator, Preview Events



Mama’s Sauce

Paper Chase Press