Adobe Highlights AIs Assistant Role With 2023 Creators To Watch List


Adobe launched its Firefly generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) image creation tool in March of 2023 at their Adobe Summit event in Las Vegas. At the event, Adobe’s Chairman and CEO, Shantanu Narayen described the role of gen AI as a tool to be “harnessed to enhance and not replace human creativity.” Seven months and 3 billion generated images later, Narayen’s vision is being realized. Now, to highlight gen AI’s role as a creative assistant to human ingenuity, Adobe has announced their 2023 Creators to Watch list at their Adobe Max event in Los Angeles.

While it is always great to see individuals celebrated for taking their craft to new heights, perhaps what is most impactful about this list is how each creator is using gen AI not to do their job for them but to take what they are already doing and push the boundaries of what they are able to create. Along with the convenience of Firefly’s text-to-image interface, three of its most used features are Generative Fill, Generative Expand and Generative Recolor.

Generative Fill is a Firefly feature in Adobe Photoshop that lets the creator add or remove image content using simple text prompts. It can also fill in a portion of the image based on the surrounding environment. For example, a creator might have taken a picture of a loved one standing in front of the ocean but unfortunately caught a photobomber on the beach in the background. The creator could select the section of the image around the photobomber with any selection tool, click on the Generative Fill button and either provide a prompt of what they’d like to see instead or leave it blank and the selection will be filled based on the surrounding landscape effectively removing the photobomber.

Generative Expand, another Firefly feature in Adobe Photoshop, allows the creator to expand the image in any direction. This feature comes in handy when the creator needs to resize an image without having to zoom in and/or losing resolution or change the aspect ratio while avoiding stretching or shrinking the image. Take for instance a creator who shot a picture in portrait mode originally for use in a social media post. However, the creator would now like to use the same image as a banner advertisement. Using the crop tool, the new aspect ratio can be selected and the empty space is filled with new content that seamlessly matches the existing background.

Generative Recolor is a Firefly feature found in Adobe Illustrator that allows the creator to change the color palette of a drawing using text prompts. This feature is a productivity game changer for those who must rapidly modify content such as advertising agencies. An agency may be working with a client who specializes in outdoor gear for all four seasons, for example. The client would like to adapt their established logo to create various branding assets related to the season for which a particular family of equipment is targeted. Using existing artwork in Illustrator, a creator simply types in a text prompt such as “fall colors” or “winter wonderland” and the artwork instantly is recolored accordingly.

Below is Adobe’s list of 2023 Creators to Watch with their specialty and the features they used most. More details on each creator and their work is also available in the links below:

Adobe 2023 Creators to Watch – Work Samples

Content Creators

o Rad Bali – Generative Fill, Generative Expand

o Jayson Robertson – Generative Fill

Digital Artists/Illustrators

o Ann Havbo – Generative Fill, Generative Expand

o Brian Nielsen – Generative Fill, Generative Expand

o Shelly Kim – Generative Recolor

o Lucas Wakamatsu – Generative Recolor

o Rachel Motley – Generative Fill, Generative Expand, Generative Recolor

o Natalie Brown – Generative Recolor

o Sara Sun – Generative Recolor


o Marina Williams – Generative Fill, Generative Expand

o Tobi Shinobi – Generative Fill, Generative Expand, Generative Recolor

o Sarah Stepherson – Generative Fill, Generative Expand

Tech Designers

o Matt Dombrowski – Generative Fill

Looking at this list, it is clear that those in the creative industry such as content creators, illustrators and photographers are able to leverage these features to expand the boundaries of their creative landscape. However, Tirias Research believes the larger impact of gen AI technologies is best illustrated with the inclusion of Matt Dombrowski on this list. Matt is the creative director of Limbitless, a non-profit organization based at the University of Central Florida that designs and builds affordable bionic and prosthetic limbs for patients. In a recent Adobe blog post, Dombrowski captures this larger impact best when he says, “With Firefly, even non-traditional artists can contribute to creative conversations. That’s incredibly valuable for an organization like ours that creates something both highly technical and highly emotive.”

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