What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
Adobe Certified Instructor/Higher Education Coordinator for C2 – I teach Adobe software mainly in the print design realm. I am also an Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Freelance team member which means I advocate and evangelize for Adobe both virtually and in person traveling the country speaking at groups and events.
What inspired you most to become interested in Adobe & their graphic apps? Why did you pursue this as a career?
At my core I am a graphic designer and illustrator. I was exposed to Adobe Photoshop early on in high school and Aldus Freehand in college. I found the software unrestrictive and allowed me to express my creativity in a new medium. I started college studying architecture and was the art director for the college paper. I enjoyed my time doing paste ups and layouts using Quark and switched majors to Graphic Design (Commercial Art). I graduated and worked in the industry for 10 years before someone approached me to teach at my alma matter. I’ve been teaching professional ever since, going on 15 years. I love seeing someone gain that moment of clarity where they understand a process or tool that was completely foreign to them before they came to the class. That “aha” moment is priceless.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
There are a lot of self-imposed obstacles. I think people focus too much on a certification or degree over their body of work. I’ve seen amazing work from people who have no formal training whatsoever get passed over for the person with a 4 year degree and a lackluster portfolio. But attitudes are changing and I also have heard great success stories from people who never stepped into a college. Lately, I’ve been asked about Adobe Certification and if it is necessary for a designer to pursue this. Certification means nothing if you can’t create the work to supplement it.
Another obstacle is in higher education. There is a need to balance software and creative skills. Too many schools focus on design and never give their students the education on the software to produce their ideas. I’ve even been told “we don’t subscribe to using Adobe products because we want to give our students options”. This is a failure on the part of the school – students need to learn industry relevant software just as much as we learned how to use a pencil and paper. Skewing too far to one side means you will be lacking in the other. Far too often I see people who have great conceptual skills with no software skills to back it up.
With all the new updates of the Adobe Creative Cloud & Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
The fact that I can take my copy of software wherever I go. With the synching options, I can log into anyone’s computer and my workspaces, preferences, brushes, etc. are all there. It is my copy of the Adobe Creative Cloud. When I log off, they move with me. For Photoshop, the new upsampling options are brilliant and am excited to see where 3D printing takes us. I also like the new TypeKit fonts coming out especially with desktop fonts now an option.
What Adobe creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I love seeing the posts on Behance from Jason Levine and Paul Trani, and I also follow Julianne Kost and Glyn Dewis. Each one has their own focus (Jason – video/audio, Paul – 3D, Julianne – Photoshop/Lightroom, Glyn – image compositing and manipulation). In general I look for people who inspire me to be better at what I create. I never try to mimic someone, but learn from them and adapt their techniques or look into my own style. Each of them share a passion to educate and give to others both of their knowledge and self.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Graphics the best?
I use Facebook and Twitter pretty regularly. Facebook is like an archive where I can go through a newsfeed and check up on statuses. Twitter is my instant messenger. I can reach out to most of my colleagues and friends and get a pretty quick response. For presenting good examples of design and Photoshop – I go to Behance and Deviant Art. Behance’s option to discover specific creative fields is a great way to get inspired.
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 social networks will continue to evolve into more encompassing forms of communication. As they advance and evolve, more users will find ways to utilize them to share their works. For now, I think Behance is the best way to gain useful feedback, collaborate and present your work in a profession and well designed site.
What predictions do you have for the future of Adobe Creative Cloud & for Photoshop?
As users become more educated as to what the Adobe Creative Cloud really includes and offers, more people will join up. I look forward to more options for synching or file sharing. The updates I have seen so far since it’s launch last year have been phenomenal. As for Photoshop – I think bigger and better things are on the way but I can’t say anything more, people are listening…