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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Vosseler

My Experience at Adobe MAX

So I may have gotten stuck in my title conventions...I've decided to abandon it. I felt very stuck in trying to find the right title that related to "The Design of ___", so I'm admitting defeat! I wanted to change it because I didn't want to talk about the design of the Adobe MAX conference, I wanted to talk about how excited it made me and how fun it was! Three days of keynote presentations and educational sessions (some with Conan O’Brian, something my colleague Lauren was VERY excited about) that are all about Adobe’s creative suite products. This was my very first conference! I was so glad that Adobe made attending free and virtual. The increase in accessibility made me even more excited to dive in and learn. Since I’m currently on the job hunt, I’m always desperate for anything to provide structure to my day. What better way than scheduling around timed sessions?

Since I’ve never attended an in person conference, I really didn’t know what to expect. I jumped in - signing up for session after session on different topics. Since this was hosted by Adobe, all topics were related to using the Creative Suite. I was extra excited because while I’m familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator, I wanted to learn more about InDesign and XD.

I learned how to use Photoshop in college, but I’ve never really advanced to an expert level. I can do 95% of what I set out to do (thanks Google!) and as Photoshop has advanced, I have rediscovered my love for playing around and learning in it. There were so many levels of session to sign up for, from beginner to advanced, and since I’ve been doing the super fun Behance creative challenges I watched each session with rapt attention. Same with Illustrator, I devoured Tony Harmer’s LinkedIn Learning sessions thanks to my partner with a free membership, so when I saw he was hosting sessions on Illustrator I signed up immediately. I learned how to get started in InDesign and how easy it is to translate my knowledge from other suite products to easily understand how to use others. Don’t get me started on how intuitive it is to start working on my new iPad!

A collage of Gwen Verdon in a black leotard with her hands on her hips exploding out of a violently erupting volcano with lighting and lava
An Explosion of Power

Since I've been doing my blog collages, I've resisted using Photoshop to edit them. I wanted to go back to my roots as an artist and separate my personal work from my professional work. Watching so many different experts use Photoshop may make me reconsider. Be warned: I have a scanner and I know how to use it!

Beyond just tutorials and teaching sessions, there were many lectures as well. My passion for accessibility in UX led me to sessions on the Next Generation of User Experience and making Innovation Accessible and Designing Inclusive Experiences. I got support in how to plan my next steps in my creative career, advice on staying connected virtually, and saw how many fellow designers and creatives were a member of my community just a chat box away. I worked on projects with a wonderful background soundtrack of industry professionals who wanted to share their expertise with others, and it was so nice to feel connected to people while alone in my apartment.

I’m walking away from these 3 days feeling energized and inspired to keep learning. I hope that my experience with my first conference is one that I get to continue with different conferences in the future.

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