When told that I would be attending the 2016 Adobe Max Conference in San Diego, I was beyond excited. Before that, I had only heard about it in passing from other staff members and it certainly peaked my interested. Although my trip at that point was almost a year away, I started preparing.
As the months turned to weeks (yes, I had a countdown timer on my computer), I was eagerly awaiting to overpopulate my brain with new ideas and concepts from this conference. Continuously checking for new classes, what events Adobe would be hosting, which guest speakers would attend, I started to realize how impactful this trip was going to be for my creativity and work ethic. Days before my adventure, I knew that I wanted to make a short film of the experience. With no definitive plot, I packed a DSLR camera and accessories. I knew that spark would come to me when I arrived and if you think about, what’s a better place to be inspired? Plus, some of the greatest occurrences came from spontaneity… Even though this was something I didn’t have to do, it would be a shame to walk away from this trip without some tangible proof of my experience. Hopefully those of you reading will agree when you watch later.
My first day there, was almost like culture shock arriving to a new country. Being as eager as I was, I made sure to arrive early for registration… and it seemed as though I wasn’t the only one. You try your best to navigate through the sea of artistic minds and soak in as much as you can in the process. Inside the main Community Pavilion, there were multiple sponsors, traveling art shows, demonstrations, free swag and a plethora of “creative recharging stations.” There was pure amazement on everyone’s faces and I could feel my heart race as I started to make conversation with these elated attendees.
Continuously, each day after was filled with non-stop learning… and I mean, NON. STOP… Audio… Color Correction… Editing… Typography… Design Strategies… I was getting what I bargained for with each class attended. My brain literally hurt with all the knowledge I was trying to absorb. However, the one class that really resonated with me was Cultivating Creativity. Immediately, I knew that this course was going to be beneficial, simply based on the title alone.
The trainers were asking simple questions, but provided thought provoking answers. Such as, “what do we do when we happen upon something inspiring?” Seems like a simple question, right? I thought so, at least at first. It wasn’t until they started diving deep into the concept of Ikigai, that it really sucker-punched me. Ikigai is a Japanese term for “reason to wake up.” Everyone has a reason. It’s just a matter of finding it. At that moment, you could hear the murmurs spreading around the room as the gears started to turn in everyone’s minds. It was an awaking moment for me, as I realized, I never really thought about that question before. What did I do when something inspired me? Most of the time I would just acknowledge what was there and move forward with my initial reaction. Now when I see something inspiring to me, I pause. I listen. Then breathe. Sometimes that little bit of mindfulness makes all the difference in the world… It allows me to breakdown my goals and start a forward momentum. These classes weren’t the only things that triggered my imagination.
There were so many mind-blowing events during the conference. From the Welcome Reception, Sneaks with Guest Host Keenan Peele to the Adobe Bash, my mind was constantly repeating, “What’s next? Give me more!” I cannot recall a time in my life where I was so stimulated! The biggest event by far was the Adobe Bash. As soon as I walked through the main entrance, my immediate reaction was “where are my establishing shots?” This event was a videographer goldmine! Everywhere you turned you could see someone’s idea brought to life with thematic food stations, eclectic display pieces and art installments that were surrounding the area. The energy and dynamic flow is surely missed.
As my trip started to near the end of its journey, I started to reflect on all the outgoing and imaginative people I met. From guest speaker Quentin Tarantino, talking about his humble beginnings, to classmates who shared their current projects for feedback, this whole conference was filled to the brim with ingenuity. Being able to connect with attendees, gave me a little insight into their little world of production. It was amazing to see how differently everyone was inspired. The Adobe community is only going expand in the coming years and I am so thrilled to be a part of it. Writing this has given me the opportunity to reflect on all the information that I obtained. There were so many other experiences that I would love to express but that would turn into a much larger post. Instead, please give my video a look and see just for yourself how eye opening these experiences were.
I also want to give PACTV another massive thank you for sending me, help broaden my horizons and further my education in this ever-growing industry. For that, I am forever grateful. If you would like to hear more about what I learned in-depth, you can contact me at Erika@pactv.org!