Better late than never, but I wanted to share an update on an amazing opportunity I received this past October. Via my job, I was able to go to the Adobe MAX Conference in Los Angeles this year! If you are unaware of this event, let me just tell you how utterly incredible it is. If you are aware, well too bad because you have to listen to me anyway.
First off, it’s in LA. I’ve never been to California, so that was amazing in and of itself. And going to that weather from Chicago… YES. So because I am one of two graphic designers for our company, I had to go alone, which surprisingly didn’t bother me at all. What WAS scary was that I was approved to take this trip 5 days before I had to leave, so I spent an entire work day scheduling my flights, hotel, conference sessions, etc.. Nerve-wracking. But exciting nonetheless.
Skipping to when the actual conference began, I managed to somehow make friends during breakfast on the first day. I met these 4 other fantastic designers, all from around the country, and we just clicked- enough to give ourselves the group nickname “Naked by 5.” Be jealous. (I need to mention them because they made the experience even better than it already was, and they’re definitely a huge part of what a great memory I have of the conference.) Anyway, the event had a large convention area, filled with nerdy, drool-inducing designery things of which I have only imagined. A root beer float station. A flux capacitor. Life size games. A make-your-own-tshirt printing station from Threadless. 3D printing. Contests. Food. Drawing/creating/artsy stuff (I am featured in this super cool thing here). Free things galore. Just an awesome place to walk around and learn about all the fantastic new design programs and thingamajigs.
Large keynotes were held, showing off all the new gadgets and Adobe software. I won’t go into large amounts of detail, but the stuff they showed was cool. Like REALLY cool. You know, stuff that makes us design nerds freak the hell out. Speakers presented as well, basically telling us how they got to their level of awesomeness. Speakers included Lee Hirsch, Jason Seiler, Ami Vitale, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I might also add that the CEOs of Microsoft and Adobe gave us all free Surface Pro 3s. Yep, that happened.
There were also smaller sessions, labs, and workshops, where you signed up to learn from professionals in the fields of digital design, graphic design, illustration, photography, and video. My favorite speaker was by far James White from Signalnoise. If you ever get a chance to listen to him speak, please do. He’s f*cking great.
Let me throw in here that everyone got to see Kings of Leon play at the Adobe MAX Bash after party. This after party consisted of not only free booze and food, but other fun artsy stuff to do (playing with what was basically a giant lite brite!), as well as watching designers get drunk and try to dance. It was just so much freaking fun.
That sums it up for the most part. See the (not so great) photos I took here! Not apologizing because I was having such a great time that I preferred to enjoy it rather than spend my time taking photos. If you get the chance (or can get your company to pay for it), I HIGHLY recommend going. It’s not only educational and fun, but the experience will make you figuratively jizz in your designer pants. And who doesn’t want that?