I’ve always considered myself a creative person. So whenever I get a chance to use my creativity productively, I jump at it. This one time, way back in high school, I had to create a unique and creative cover for a paper I wrote in some boring class with a less than interesting topic. So I tried to create it with a friend on a PC using the Paint program in conjunction with Microsoft Word (Remember when word art was EPIC?!), to no avail. Then my friend said “Whoa wait, what are we doing? Why don’t we just use Photoshop?” At the time, I had no clue as to what “Photoshop” was or how Adobe Creative Suite would eventually influence and become an integral part of the way that I create. Now, I’m utterly (and happily) addicted to Adobe products. So how I could I pass up a chance to dive deeper into Adobe’s World? Thus begins the tale of Adobe Days.
Adobe Days was an EPIC opportunity to travel to San Francisco for two days (which for me was the first time) to check out the Adobe HQ, meet the amazing team that keeps it all running so smooth, and provide/receive some valuable information about their Creative Suite products and the cool stuff they have planned for the future. But it wasn’t just me, there were a slew of other student bloggers invited there as well that I met. These folks are TA-LEN-TED! Ambitious, driven and even inspirational are some really appropriate adjectives. Connecting with them was one the most enriching experiences I’ve ever had and upped my Cali experience tenfold:
Bobby Adamson from The Student Hustle
Lauryn Ashley from Talk Nerdy 2 Me
Thomas Frank from College Info Geek
Maximillian Garland from Bright Futura
Sarah Feng from HackCollege
Greg Narayan from Honest College
Josh Axelrod and Amanda Nachman from College Magazine
Chris Pund from Dorm Room Biz
We were all nerdy, media driven people; even though we weren’t all artists. But now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. All the cool stuff I actually learned at Adobe Days.
Creative Suite 6
The first thing the team at Adobe showed us was the new CS6; the first full-scale update to their Creative Suite in almost two years! These folks pulled out all the stops and I almost didn’t recognize it. Everything from the splash screens to the tool icons have been revamped and optimized to streamline workflow and increase performance. One of my CS6 weapons of choice, Photoshop, is a prime example of this. In Photoshop, there is a new tool called the Content-Aware Patch that can dramatically help in image editing by analyzing the pixels around the area you select and filling it in with an image that blends almost seamlessly into the rest of the image.
They also added a feature that I’ve been waiting for since CS3: BACKGROUND SAVE and AUTO SAVE! The background save feature saves files in the background, allowing you continue to edit other projects. The Auto Save feature can resurrect your lost projects from the dead if you hadn’t had a chance to save them before your computer crashed or some other unforeseen error. I almost drooled.
(Well, actually I did…)
The team at Adobe has really taken a lot of things into consideration with the development of CS6 — one of which is accessibility. To that end, Adobe has developed the Creative Cloud. It’s a Cloud-based service that grants you access to the entire creative suite, including Business Catalyst, Typekit and more! It’s also been integrated into the Adobe Touch apps and comes with 20GBs of storage so that you can fully sync your projects. The whole Creative Cloud package comes at a great price for students, at only $30 a month with a one year subscription. Considering the value of having the storage capacity, Cloud based services and the entire Creative Suite at your fingertips rather than shelling out upwards of $700 for a box set, Creative Cloud is a pretty sweet deal. Not to mention the fact that access to the Creative Cloud also gives you access to Adobe software updates for the duration of your subscription. Meaning that down the line when the next CS-ß-X-DragonPunch is released, you’ll be right there with the rest of the world; enjoying the latest version for $30 a month.
Personal Branding 101
There were was one workshop that almost encapsulated what Adobe Days was entirely about: personal branding. It was a little activity they had us do in which we used the new Illustrator and Photoshop CS6 to create a t-shirt design that represented ourselves. Self-Representation. BAM! That was it right there; building your personal brand. Making what you do and who you are stand out no matter what the career of choice. Which is especially important for students who are graduating and venturing into today’s competitive job market. Dave Rosenburg, Chief Strategic Officer from GMR Marketing lead a workshop on how he uses Adobe to do just that and gave us a few tips on how we could do the same.
It’s not just about being creative, it’s more about how your creativity maps against business. Instead of showing just a piece of work, show an example of something that engaged people” to give people an example of how your skill sets benefit others.
The whole experience has made me even more thankful. I’ve traveled across the country, met so many people and learned a lot as well. It also lit an even greater fire within me because with so many new blogger friends doing amazing things, I’m going to have to work even harder to make my personal brand shine!