What is your title at Adobe, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
I’m the Adobe Community Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. I take care of all the Community Leaders across my regions, which include Adobe User Group Managers, Adobe Community Professionals and Adobe Influencers. It’s my responsibility to ensure our Community Leaders have everything they need to advocate on their behalf, which we love! I also try to see as many of them as possible by attending events and activities, mostly across Europe. I’d love to travel further afield but sometimes world politics and/or restrictions prevent visits.
What inspired you most to become interested in Adobe & their graphic apps? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I am not able to create visual imagery – I am hard-wired to be creative with words, not images. Therefore, art, of most any type, really excites me. (‘How do people do that??!!’) At university, my best friend’s father was the 20th century curator of art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Their house was full of art by incredible artists, including Klee, Lichtenstein, Warhol and more. This was the beginning of my love of art and I embrace every genre, type, school and method I see. Working for Adobe means that I am surrounded by stunning visual imagery every day. Even our corporate PowerPoint presentation template is beautiful!
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
I think Adobe has made a bold and brave move by transforming our business model to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Having more tools at your disposal means that you are able to ‘have a play’ with technology that you may never have tried before. It used to be that students thought they had to go to school to learn a certain type of tool, to produce content (assets) with that particular tool. I think we’re widening the ability for people to become experts in other areas. In the past year, my 75-year-old father-in-law has become an expert in photograph restoration, thanks to Photoshop! I hope that Adobe’s business model means schools and universities will be able to create wider and broader educational programes, which teach the foundations of visual design, and allow each student to pick his own tool of creativity.
With all the new updates of the Creative Cloud/Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
What Adobe creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I think anyone who’s ever seen Jason Levine present will rate him as a top creative. I don’t pretend to be au fait with video production, but I find that he’s able to break down the ‘magic’ you see on screen into understandable chunks, while being wildly entertaining. All of our Evangelists are incredible, each in their own special and unique way. They inspire me daily.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Graphics the best?
A few years ago, people like yourself started creating Facebook groups where you could share visual image creations and get feedback from your peers. I love this idea – you’ve created your own community! Having that support is critical to learning and continuing to improve. Now that Behance is a part of Adobe, I am able to find more visual artists that excite me easily, showcasing incredible work. Check out Gavin Campbell on Behance – his work is fabulous!
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
I think you’re going to see more social networks start losing their popularity. Facebook’s changing business model is frustrating a lot of their users, and I think this will be true of other networks as well. Gamification/monetization of a social network is very controversial and most networkers don’t like it. I also think we’ll see more social media sites like Behance develop – having the ability to showcase work is very important to people.
What predictions do you have for the future of Adobe Creative Cloud & for Photoshop?
Adobe continuously surprises me. As a 30-year-old software company, we are definitely not resting on our laurels! I can’t wait to see where we go next.