Written by: Alexa Patton, Graphic Designer at GrovaBack to menu
On October 18–20, I had the opportunity to attend my first ever creative conference, Adobe Max 2022! After hosting a virtual conference for the past two years, Adobe Max finally reopened its doors to thousands of attendees in sunny Los Angeles, California. We learned about what’s new in Adobe, heard inspiring stories from creative leaders, and got to connect with others in the industry. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience with amazing learning opportunities that I’ll be sure to implement into my upcoming projects. Keep reading for my Adobe Max 2022 recap!
Adobe Max 2022 had over 200 speakers leading sessions, labs, and keynotes on a variety of topics. The labs gave attendees hands-on experience in topics they were interested in and presented opportunities to directly ask educators questions. These labs were a big help in perfecting a workflow or jumping into a program you weren’t familiar with. While sessions were not hands-on like the labs, they did offer tons of powerful knowledge from industry experts. Speakers led us through in-depth updates in Adobe and talked about how their past experiences lead them to success in their medium.
I found the session, “Learn How Personal Projects Make You a Better Designer,” led by Nubia Navarro especially inspiring. In this session, Navarro spoke about what you can learn from yourself by working as your own client. She discussed how you can use this method to refine your personal style to be successful in future projects, both personal and client-focused. She talked about burnout in the industry and how personal projects can be something fun, but also great for your portfolio. Creating for yourself can be a hard task sometimes, but after her session, I look forward to creating more outside of the office.
In addition to the inspiration I found from Navarro’s session, the Inspiration Keynote was great as well. At this event, the audience heard from artists including Kadir Nelson, Steve Aoki, Cristina Mittermeier, Siân Heder, and Jeff Koons. It was exciting to hear the stories of how they got their start in the industry while learning more about what keeps them motivated as artists. Kadir Nelson’s speech really stood out to me, and I enjoyed hearing about his journey, both the successes and failures. Learning the backgrounds of those we look up to helps put into perspective that not everyone has to have the same story to become skilled in their medium.
Adobe had too many exciting releases this year to count! I’m going to go over a few of my favorites that I can’t wait to use on a regular basis. A big focus in many of their updates is the ability to seamlessly collaborate creatively, no matter how far your team may be from one another. With the share feature, you can now “Invite to edit” or “Share for review.” No more exporting a PDF and sending it over email; With “Share for review,” you can simply share a review link with others, and their comments will appear directly in your working file. Reviewers don’t need a Creative Cloud subscription to comment on your document either. It’s perfect for both sending drafts to clients and in-house to keep all your feedback in one place.
Another personal favorite of mine is the Intertwine feature in Illustrator. This feature ROCKS. You no longer have to mask multiple layers to achieve an overlapping effect between text and a path. Simply activate the tool in the object dropdown menu, and circle the parts you’d like to overlap. From there, Illustrator will do the work for you! This will be a great tool to add to your daily workflow, especially since it’s nondestructive to your paths.
One last update that blew my mind was about the improvements to masking and selection tools across Photoshop and Lightroom Classic. In Photoshop, you can now easily select separate objects with ease and content aware remove or resize to seamlessly adjust items in your work. In Lightroom/Camera Raw, you can select people with ease. AI will automatically create masks for specific regions such as the hair, eyes, facial skin, eyebrows, and more with just the click of a button. This feature is changing the game of masking—it will be such a time saver for future projects.
It wouldn’t be Adobe without MAX Sneaks or Max Bash! At Sneaks, we got a peek into what’s new in Adobe Research. While some of these may not make it into upcoming versions of Adobe products, they sure were exciting to watch. AI played a huge role in their research, and it would be a lifesaver to see Magnetic Type and Vector Edge in a new update. The Magnetic Type feature would allow you to edit type more freely without having to outline each letter to achieve a specific look. Vector Edge would allow you to create product mockups within Illustrator on top of a simple JPG image without rasterization of your designs. While these haven’t been released yet, I do hope these make it into the updates to Adobe products soon!
After Sneaks, we had the opportunity to attend MAX Bash, the celebration of the year for the creative community. It was another amazing opportunity to network and kick back & relax after a long and exciting day of sessions/labs. We got to enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment by Steve Aoki and 21 Pilots, making it an unforgettable experience!
While my time at Adobe Max is over, the knowledge and connections I made will last. I left the conference feeling incredibly inspired and grateful for the opportunity to attend. I look forward to implementing my newly learned skills into future products in and outside of the office. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my incredible employer, Grova Creative. Thank you for always valuing learning as a key for success!