Last week I went to Adobe MAX 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. I have been attending this show since it was run by Macromedia and called the UCON – Adobe inherited MAX which was primarily a developer show with a smattering of content for designers. Four years ago the decision was made focus more on designers. Fast forward to 2013 – Adobe launches The Creativity Conference.
For my part Adobe has always been about creativity and although developers dream up and create the tools that fuel the creative world, it is designers who take those tools and model a new reality. This was hands down the most exciting MAX to date. The keynotes were spectacular and the session schedule was incredible.
The Keynote on Tuesday morning was comprised of four presentations: graphic designer and illustrator (Pentagram) Paula Scher, multimedia artist Phil Hansen, photographer Erik Johansson, and designer writer Rob Legato. I encourage you to visit their sites. Each of them gave inspiring talks about their work and how Adobe’s drive to make creative tools helps them realize their artwork. My favorite was Phil Hansen who is so talented and a driver of the “think in the box” mentality. His work is true genius – he has made paintings from regurgitated food, hamburger grease, candles and utilized application methods from spitting to karate chops instead of brushes. He also discussed a new collaborative work of capturing stories into art. He basically will take your call listen to your story and use the text to make his work. Here is the link to the kickstartr campaign which includes his phone number so you can actually be a part of the process.
A large majority of the sessions filled up rather quickly. If you go next year make sure you get your badge early and sign up for sessions immediately, as they fill up and Adobe keeps a tight lid on classes. So now standing room opportunities, once a class is full you don’t get in. Most all of the Premiere and After Effects session were full as well the publishing on the iPad sessions. Here is a list of sessions so you can know what to expect next year if you decide to come.
Adobe’s big announcement that seemed to irritate some, perplex a few and made all the sense in the world to everyone else, was the new rev of Creative Suite that is now called Creative Cloud. As you could guess Creative Cloud is subscription based. Access to Creative Cloud runs from $19.99 to $49.99
I have heard some gnashing of teeth but in all honesty when you see it all laid out and understand the brilliance of having access to all the CC tools, you will find that Adobe has given digital artists what they always wanted – endless room to create whatever their mind and heart desires. This will also stick a pin in those who pirate software so if you are one of them just know now the free ride is over. My word of advice is honesty is the best policy. I heard there are some folks who want to petition Adobe to change their minds about CC. There will always be detractors and they have their reasons but progress moves quickly and it doesn’t go backwards.
MAX is a great place to connect with like minded people as well as make new friends. I recommend designers and digital artists look to MAX as the go to conference for inspiration, learning new tools, and getting the inside track on where digital technology is headed. I’ll see you there next year!