What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
Since I run my own business I have many titles that change every day, but overall I’m the Owner & CEO (Chief Education Officer) of Dave Cross LLC. I run several businesses at once: the Tampa workshops where I do small hands-on classes; my writing, speaking and teaching activities; and a rental photo studio. That means lots of emailing, posts in wordpress, phone conversations, writing, recording videos, organizing travel…and vacuuming, painting etc of the studio. And of course teaching on creativeLIVE, at photography and Photoshop events and corporate locations. I’m very lucky to have my wife as my volunteer CFO so I thankfully don’t have to delve into the accounting side of things.
What inspired you most to become a Photoshop Educator & Trainer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
It just sort of happened. Although my degree is in Education, I had planned on working in the Sport Administration field. I got side-tracked from that when a former employer opened an Apple dealer and asked if I could help him out. Once on staff they needed someone to teach a class on PageMaker so I volunteered – and I was hooked! Teaching the students in that class how to use their software tool was such a rewarding thing that I knew I had to make this my career – although I never really imagined that 25+ years later I’d still be lucky enough to do this for a living.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
There’s a lot of competition out there: my Son graduated with a graphic design degree a couple of years ago and it was tough for him to find the kind of job he wanted. Prospective employers were looking for a lot of knowledge: probably more than was taught in a college degree. That’s why I think that expanding your knowledge into a range of software products and skills is very important.
With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
Someone once called me the Smart Object Whisperer, and I am proud to preach the gospel of working non-destructively and to use Smart Objects. It should be no surprise that my favorite changed to Photoshop in recent memory include Smart Objects, Smart Filters and Camera Raw Smart Objects.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists/creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I enjoy the work of photographers who embrace Photoshop as part of the creative process rather than a tool solely to “fix things”. People like Joel Grimes, Richard Sturdevant and Erik Johansson are just a few examples. I also love seeing artwork created by “unknown” artists in places like the Surreal Fine Art & Conceptual Portraiture on Google+
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
From a Photoshop and photography standpoint I spend the most time on Google+. Compared to Facebook there’s way more content and less socializing. Don’t get me wrong, learning on Facebook that it’s someone’s birthday is great, but if I want to be inspired I go to Google+
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 hope that the communities on Google+ continue to flourish and that we continue to see better ways to showcase inspirational work.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop?
Adobe is the kind of company that is built to innovate, so I expect that we will continue to see innovations that we can’t even dream about right now. At the same time, I hope that they will also continue to tweak existing features and make them better.