Summary of Exploring Personal Projects

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Exploring Personal Projects summary

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Artist and illustrator Octavia Bromell credits personal projects as the foundation of her career – and a key strategy for maintaining mental health and creative productivity. Bromell, better known as Tink, is an illustrator, mental health advocate and former Adobe Creative Resident. In a video presentation for Adobe’s 2020 99U conference, Bromell makes the case for passion projects with warmth and pragmatism.

About the Speaker

Octavia Bromell, better known as Tink, is an illustrator, mental health advocate and former Adobe Creative Resident based in rural England.


Personal projects – ones that give you joy – can yield huge, sometimes unexpected benefits to your career.

Personal projects hold personal meaning for you, fire you up, bring joy, and often seem weird or wonderful. Sometimes they don’t feel like work, but sometimes they do. They make you excited to get out of bed in the morning. Many beloved works of art throughout history have resulted from passion projects, including Vincent van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night, Matisse’s The Goldfish and Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Bonito.

Not only have personal projects made a mark on art history, but they can also have a remarkable effect on your own work and career. For example, Octavia Bromell created an illustration for International Women’s Day and posted it on Instagram. She did this just for herself, to express herself and her values, but the illustration went on to become a cover for Flow magazine. Other personal projects of Bromell’s have turned into commissions for commercial work, gained major press coverage, resulted...

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