I think most people can agree that the comeback of in-person events this year is a major win for us. I can’t speak for all creatives, but I know the YouTube and streaming platforms weren’t cutting it for me anymore. As a creative, I crave conversation and IRL creative collaboration. This is why I jumped at the chance to attend Adobe Max 2022 for my SparkChoice this year. Adobe Max is a creativity conference (put on by Adobe, of course) for people in the creative industry (such as designers, developers, photographers, project managers, producers, etc.) to learn about new products, showoff technological advances, and learn from world-renowned creatives SUCH AS STEVE AOKI (IYKYK) 🎂.
Now the last time I attended Adobe Max was in 2017, and I came out of that on such a creative high and inspired. In regards to this year, multiply that times 10. I knew going into Max this year I was going to be impressed with how Adobe would step up its game. What I didn’t anticipate was how much the words of the keynote speakers would resonate with me. I FELT SEEN.
Let me backtrack a little bit here. From the tech side of things, Adobe is really making waves with time-reducing editing and creative capabilities. I graduated from college 9 years ago, and things that used to take me hours to do, have now been reduced to minutes (or maybe an hour at most). They even managed to launch a beta version of ‘Share for Review’, allowing for consolidated and accurate feedback. With all that being said, one quote from our opening keynote session stuck with me:
“Artificial Intelligence should enhance human creativity, not replace it.”
We learned about trending creative styles - no surprise that nostalgia is back and not going anywhere anytime soon. Visual trends like the power of play, prioritizing our planet, and self-love are statements in themselves. And last but not least, media and cinema have a huge role in what comes out as a design trend (paper cutouts, hand lettering, maximalist expressions, etc.). So how do we approach new creative while giving our clients what they want but also have creative fulfillment in our work?
In every session I attended, there was a common thread: With the influx of content creators and influencers, it’s a challenging time to create, and learning to reset is big. I think covid forced a lot of us to reevaluate how and what we create but, more importantly, how to collaborate. I don’t know if any company has it nailed down, but it’s something I myself am still trying to nail down. As a Sr. Art Director, I have to think of not only the creative but how that gets executed and who is responsible for that - whether it’s myself or my fellow Sparks. Working in social media, I feel like time goes by incredibly fast, and we constantly need to act on things that are happening in real-time. But it was something Steve Aoki said that changed how I approach my work now:
“You just have to be realistic about the kind of access you have. You work with what you’ve got and have fun. That’s the most important thing - enjoy the process.“
Adobe Max reminded me that I have one of the greatest jobs in the world, and that is visual storytelling. There were so many women at the forefront this year, from Cristina Mittermeier to Sian Heder to Antionette Carroll, and it was overwhelming (in a good way). To see women in all these different industries owning their space, telling purposeful stories, and never forgetting where it all started. So to everyone in the creative industry wondering if Adobe Max is worth it - I hope this gave you a reason.