I had the privilege of attending Adobe Max 2018, an annual conference where the creative software giant Adobe debuts new technologies, offers a variety of learning/inspirational sessions, hands-on labs, and a bash featuring buffets galore and a live performance by Beck. They also host a community pavilion where other third party software and hardware companies try to lure you into their grips with free goodies ranging from a shirt you screen print on-the-spot to an iPad—a sort of mini trade-show if you will. I also got a free Adobe Max hoodie (three years ago the giveaway was a Microsoft tablet and last year’s was a Fuji camera, but hey that’s okay it’s hoodie season). Here are my three biggest takeaways from the conference.
Adobe Rush is Playful, but Limited
Adobe is working really, really hard to make the best software for consumers. They are paying attention to trends and making it easier and faster to create and distribute. Take for example Adobe Rush CC. They are marketing this towards video makers who deal with A LOT of volume. Like, daily video makers… ahem, YouTubers. I got to play around with it on a tablet. It got my attention, but it has some limitations. I’m going to give it a whirl for a personal project, but probably won’t author any client work with Rush.
Make Time for Personal Projects
The sessions I attended were top notch. There were so many to choose from and it was hard to narrow it down. In the end, I attended six. The highlight was one featuring Adam J. Kurtz. He spoke about how important it is to do personal projects for fun (and profit). Yeah I get it, we’re all busy, but if your job is sucking the soul from your body, make some damn time and do SOMETHING FOR YOU! There’s time to do it, I promise. Check out Adam online to see how his dumb ideas (his words, not mine) turned into paying work. He’s a treasure.
Hands-On Labs Are Worth Your Time
Next year—and I hope I get to return—I’d attend more labs than sessions because you can watch most of the sessions online in the future (for free). The labs are hands-on with pretty well-known experts and they give you their personal email address and claim they’ll answer your emails! Seriously, I’m going to be hitting up this colorist from DC in the coming weeks… I hope he’s ready.
All-in-all Adobe Max was a fabulous experience and I highly recommend it if GIANT crowds don’t bother you. And, shout out to the LA Convention Center for dealing with 14,000 creatives running around with coffee and trying to find tubes for their posters.