Art directors are becoming animators. Print designers are becoming web designers. Illustrators are also photographers and editors who also shoot film. They are the New Creatives, and we are celebrating their work.
With the Creative Cloud our product teams have removed the barriers to creative expression: Designers can build parallax HTML5 experiences. Illustrators are making EPUBs. Photographers are using their cameras and Adobe technology to become filmmakers. And coders have the tools to make beautiful design.
It’s an amazing and interesting time in our industry; people have the ability to self-express, in any discipline, without boundaries. I Am The New Creative promotes the amazing work our community is producing and marks this moment in time as a movement and a celebration of creativity.
One of the most incredible aspects of this program has been watching creative professionals merge their mediums and their portraits to produce “New Creatives” versions of themselves.
There’s something magical about the compositions. As a designer there’s always a part of me in my work, but to personalize my work in this way, to make my work more representative of me, presents an alternative perspective. All of the artists we’re working with are enjoying this experience and are appreciative of our desire to promote their amazing creative output.
Our new site highlights the New Creatives, their disciplines, their work, and their stories.
Visitors to the site can join us and become New Creatives (submissions are made through Behance and curated by our team); we’ll be choosing a number of artists and celebrating them and their work throughout our social properties and on Adobe.com during the coming year.
Be sure to check out the work of the New Creatives, get inspired, and join us.
Dublin-based illustrative designer Steve Simpson caught our attention with his whimsical approach to animal illustrations in the menu created for his client Fade Street Social. Learn more about his workspace, favorite Creative Cloud features, and how he created this work in the Q&A below:
What are you working on now?
I’m currently designing and illustrating a label for my favourite Irish whiskey. Can’t spill anymore about this one, except to say it’s a lot of fun with hand drawn type. I’m just finishing thirty 1 inch monsters for a ten foot roll of stickers for a client in New York, which will be great preparation for my next job; a 400 meter long mural. Thankfully, it will be done digitally and not on site.
What’s your dream project?
I really like a mix of illustration and design in a project; I love the control you have as an illustrator when you’re also doing the graphic design part of the project. There can sometimes, as an illustrator, be a tendency to create a piece that will primarily look great outside the context of the design; for instance in the portfolio. If the designer is also trying to create something that will stand alone, the whole design doesn’t exactly gel. As an illustrative designer, you can get a much better harmony, with neither side fighting for centre stage. (I’m starting to sound like an old hippie.)
I’m really enjoying packaging projects at the moment, so perhaps a beer label, tea or biscuits would be a fun project to work on.
What does your workspace look like…is it your personal studio, or a neighborhood coffee shop?
I work from a studio, but at the moment I probably have more used coffee cups than the neighborhood coffee shop. It’s a typical cluttered working studio, think less Zen, more punk DIY, but with wifi. I have a room to myself (usually) with a couple of tables, a light-box, iMac and piles and piles of paper. I sketch a lot, constantly (and quickly) redrawing ideas until I’ve exhausted as many options as possible. I hate it when a better idea comes to you when you’ve nearly finished the project, so I try to go through as many options as quickly as possible. Which does create a mountain of roughs and tidying at least twice a year.
Do you share your workspace with anybody? Furry friends count.
I’m saying goodbye to my summer intern Nikkie (Little Paper Forest), who’s off to finish her degree in Illustration back in Canada. In the garret there’s a web designer and another design/illustrator, a couple of Irish guys. It’s good to have somebody to talk ideas through with sometimes. I also like to have an occasional moan, which isn’t the same when you’re on your own.
How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?
I’ve been using Photoshop since about 1993/94 and it probably accounts for around 90% of my digital day. Other day-to-day essentials include: InDesign, Illustrator and Acrobat. I love exploring new stuff, seeing how it can add something different to what I’m already doing. Having all of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps available to download is very exciting. Currently looking forward to playing around with After Effects CC. Also loving the CC desktop client. Very cool being able to see updates as they become available and so simple to update.
What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?
Really loving the hook up with Behance. I like to put some of my projects on my Behance work-in-progress page, great for instant feedback. The ability to do this straight from Photoshop CC is very cool and prevents me getting sidetracked by other online distractions.
What was the initial ask for this project?
I first met the client, Dylan McGrath, with the Creative Director Gary Gleeson, when we sat down in a Dublin bar to discuss the Fade Street Social menu cover. The building was still being renovated at the time. Dylan wanted a busy kitchen environment that reflected not just his own personal attention to detail but also the humor of the Irish. As a nation we’ve been through a torrid time lately with the rise and fall of the Celtic tiger economy and we appear to be going through a period of reflection; rediscovering what it is to be Irish. I think what Dylan is doing reflects this. It’s about quality traditional foodstuffs in a modern changing Ireland. It’s presented with creativity and flair and a touch of Irish humour. That’s pretty much what the cover needed to reflect.
How did the client’s vision match up to your execution?
Initially there were to be humans in the kitchen, but I thought it would work better with animals, so I took the food from the menu and made them the kitchen staff. As I’m drawing them they naturally develop as characters and by the time I’m finished often, privately, have quite elaborative back-stories. I think Dylan may have asked for one of the speech bubbles to be changed but otherwise they went with my initial pencil sketch. We printed a large tryptic version that is behind the reception when you enter and you can really see the detail when blown up. They were very happy.
Did you look at real animals for inspiration?
In my initial sketches I try to work without any reference material. I want to get as much of what I see in my mind down on paper. I try not to worry about whether a sheep looks exactly like a sheep at the early stages, it’s really not important. If the wooly beast is right for the space, if he has a good shape, if he is working well with the environment, if I’m happy, only then will I go and find reference material to make him more ‘sheeply’ accurate. If you look at the sheep in the centre, I think it’s his eye that really gives him his personality. If I hadn’t gone off and found photo reference then he would probably have just had a round dot for a pupil.
Where did some of the personalities come from for these animals?
I guess they are all either people I know or me, mostly they are me at the beginning and my different moods, but they change and develop into their own personalities the more I work into them. I did feature Dylan in the design, he has a chicken on his head. Vincent was the money man, he’s featured on a bottle of vino on the left.
Which animal is your favorite? And why?
I like Angus the bull, who was always called Angus, but the day before I handed the final artwork in I just happened to watch a documentary on cattle that mentioned Angus bulls were all black, and my Angus wasn’t, he was a really nice black and white. So I had to reluctantly change him. Looking back I think being black really makes him. I guess this proves that I don’t use photo reference as much as I should.
Thanks again to Steve Simpson for answering our questions and giving us insight into his illustrative design process. For more inspiration, be sure to keep in touch with Creative Cloud on Facebook and Twitter.
San Francisco-based CreativeDash wowed us with their photo-realistic take on the app icon. From sushi to eggs and even fuel-tanks – CreativeDash uses the world around them to spark inspiration.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Among other projects… Kewe, a social app commissioned by famous pop singer Taio Cruz, is definitely a big focus right now.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
Ideally, something that allows us to innovate/create things that have never been done before; A project that is free from the limitations. Internally, we’ve been mulling over the idea of something similar to the old text adventure games like Zork and Peasant’s Quest, but with a crazy spin on the “UX.” We want to remove the visual interface we are accustomed to and free your brain to create a world of adventure. That of course, is a topic for another day.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO CREATIVE CLOUD APPS?
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF WORK IN THREE WORDS.
Clean, Intuitive, Sophisticated.
WHERE DO YOU SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION?
Professional networks like Behance and dribbble, and the world around us.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORKSPACE LOOK LIKE?
A studio. Ninety-degree IKEA furniture throughout. We love it.
DO YOU SHARE YOUR WORKSPACE WITH ANYBODY?
Yes, the rest of the CreativeDash team. We’re looking into getting a plush giraffe to match our Swedish faux-shrubbery and make it cozier in our 16-foot high ceiling office.
WE LOVE YOUR CREATIVE APP ICONS – DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?
We have more than a favorite, but if we had to pick, we’d say The Cerberus icon.
This icon was made for an antivirus company. Fun project.
WHAT DOES THE HOME SCREEN OF YOUR PHONE LOOK LIKE?
Most would find it boring with just the default iOS 7 icons.
WE HAVEN’T SEEN ANY PHOTO-REALISTIC APP ICONS QUITE LIKE YOURS. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO THAT ROUTE?
The world around us. We can go into the benefits of skeuomorphic design and how the user forms a connection between digital interfaces and real-life ones… but there are tons of articles out there about that. Some hate it, others love it, but for us it gave us a way to push the envelope of digital realism in our work, as well as entice users into using the product. Here’s some sushi.
FILL IN THE BLANK: I COULDN’T CREATE WITHOUT ______________.
Photoshop: The ink in-between our imagination and the screen.
You’ve hit a brick wall. It’s difficult to concentrate. Social media sites and emails are suddenly demanding your attention. The ideas just aren’t coming today. Has this happened to you?
It’s difficult to get into the creative process when you can’t focus and feel surrounded by distractions. Luckily, Behance’s 99u blog broke down seven ways to boost your creativity to help you get in the zone.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
Separate work from consumption
Instead of gathering information while completing a project, keep these tasks separate to focus on the creative process in its own step. Absorb all of the information first, and then create.
Putting limits on a project can prove to be beneficial to your creativity. Instead of attacking a task like you normally would, consider adding a time limit or size limit to encourage you think about it in a different way.
Influencing your mood in a positive way can actually have an impact on your ability to think outside of the box. Quick exercise or recalling good memories might help you find your positive place.
Be sure to check out the full list at 99u.
What quick tips do you use to boost your creativity?
We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that our new family of Creative Cloud desktop apps, and many of the powerful publishing and collaborative features that we announced at Adobe MAX in May, are now available. These include:
- Hundreds of new features in new versions of the apps you love, including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Adobe Muse CC, Dreamweaver CC, Edge Animate CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and more. Your Creative Cloud membership includes more than 30 tools and services that enable professional-grade content creation and delivery across print, web, mobile apps, video and photography.
- The new Creative Cloud app for your desktop, which keeps your entire creative world in sync and organized. Download and manage the latest product updates, keep tabs on your work and your followers on Behance, and more – all right from your desktop.
- The ability to sync your application settings to Creative Cloud. Whether you use a Mac or PC —or both! — you can synchronize your workspace settings — including things like preferences, presets, brushes, and libraries. No more tedious fussing with your apps on a new computer. Just log in, sync, and get back to work.
- Integration with Behance, the world’s leading creative community. Members are able to publish their portfolios, follow others, publish work-in-progress from within a growing number of CC apps, and solicit feedback from a worldwide community of over 1.4 million creatives. And now, stay connected with the world’s best creative work with the Behance mobile app for iOS.
- A Behance Prosite for Creative Cloud member. Create a personalized, professional looking, dynamic web site in minutes to show off your work and build your brand.
- The new Adobe Kuler iPhone app, so you can share your color themes and explore thousands of others available on the Kuler website. Sync your favorite themes, and they’ll be accessible immediately in Illustrator CC. We’ll be rolling out support for synced color themes in other CC apps later this year.
- The updated Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition that extends InDesign CC and allows you to create iPad apps without writing code.
- Over 200 new tutorials added to Creative Cloud Learn to help customers get up and running quickly. And the all new Creative Voices videos that give you a glimpse into the lives of some of the most creative minds in the world.
If you are a Creative Cloud member, all of these new apps and services are available to you today, available on a completely redesigned app center on the Creative Cloud website. For enterprise and education customers, we expect to make everything available on June 21 and government customers will see the updates in July. To learn more about Creative Cloud for enterprise, go here.
So, what’s next?
One of the advantages of being a Creative Cloud member is that you get updates and new features continuously. We already have the next batch lined up and you will be seeing the following new features and functionality as soon as they are ready:
- File syncing on the desktop, including file versioning and private folder sharing. Customers may continue to upload and share files via the browser, with desktop functionality and more features coming soon. Private folders will let you share just the files you want in the cloud, and with versioning, every layer will be maintained and past versions will be saved. Comments on versions and invitations to join shared folders will appear in your activity stream in the Creative Cloud desktop app.
- Typekit fonts on your desktop. Quickly find the perfect fonts in the growing Adobe Typekit library, sync them to your computer, and have them immediately available for use in any desktop application. Full Creative Cloud members will soon have access to over 700 fonts, installed with a single click.
- An exciting new technology in Photoshop which we demonstrated at our MAX conference, that automatically sizes, crops, and creates image assets for the web from a document’s layers. This makes it significantly easier to go from static visual design to responsive layouts using HTML5 and CSS.
- A Creative Cloud app for iOS to keep your entire creative world in sync and organized – on the go.
We can’t wait to see what you do with these new apps and services. If you have any questions or comments, please post them in our forums, where we are continuing the conversation. And if you’re not yet a Creative Cloud member, it’s easier than ever to get started with a complete plan, or 30-day free trials of all the new CC apps.
The Creative Cloud Team
“I work without seeing what I’m creating. Programming is like writing words.”
If qubibi’s words rings true for you, you might want to dive a bit deeper into his story. qubibi’s inspiration spurs from his observations around his home city Tokyo, Japan. He uses the city’s energy to craft his designs, emphasizing in animation. When asked how he turns an idea into art, he reveals, “I begin by writing and then I imagine music. After that, I start using digital tools like Photoshop without making any sketches, I just work directly on the computer and see how it evolves… In my case I can’t create art without Creative Cloud.” Check out his recent redesign of the Creative Cloud logo and more background on his work in the video below:
The Creative Cloud provides designers like qubibi with built-in shortcuts for everything from debugging to simple animations so they can spend less time on tedious tasks and focus on what makes web design fun, creativity. qubibi uses Creative Cloud to access his work from any computer at any time and benefits from sharing his work with fellow designers on Behance. Find out more about Creative Cloud and the future for web designers like you.
You probably heard back in December that Adobe acquired Behance, the leading online social media platform that enables creative professionals to showcase and share their work with millions. We wanted to share some great news for our Creative Cloud complete members.
Starting today, Behance ProSite (normally $100/year) will be available at no additional cost for all paid Creative Cloud complete members. ProSite transforms a public Behance portfolio into a fully customized personal portfolio site with your own URL. You can design an incredible portfolio site that stays in sync with your projects on Behance, increasing your efficiency and helping your work get more exposure from Behance’s 18+ million visitors every month.
If you’re ready to get started building and customizing your Behance ProSite, just a few quick steps:
- Login and go to the Apps page on creative.adobe.com
- Find the ProSite icon under “Other Services” and click on the “Get Started” link
- You’ll be brought to the ProSite welcome page on Behance, where you can either log in or sign up for Behance to build your portfolio and launch your ProSite when you’re ready.
Not a paid Creative Cloud complete member yet? Free Creative Cloud members can link their accounts to Behance.net using the “Get Started” link under the Behance icon. When you’re ready, move up to a Creative Cloud complete plan or team plan, and you’ll get ProSite too!
If you have any questions, please leave comments here or visit our forum.
UPDATE (May 6, 2013): In addition to all the groundbreaking Creative Cloud announcements today at Adobe MAX, we have great news about Behance ProSite. We’re now including ProSite with ALL Creative Cloud paid memberships. When you’re ready to build and customize your ProSite, just follow the same simple steps in our original post here. If you missed the keynote, you can watch it here.
Here is the second half of our countdown to our top 12 moments of 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed the year as much as we did. As we look forward, we’re extremely excited for what’s in store in 2013. Here’s to an amazing new year!
Moment #6 | Creative Cloud Scavenger Hunt
Back in April, we got creatives involved in a scavenger hunt right in our backyard in San Francisco the day of the Creative Cloud launch – and it sure was a blast. The grand prize was $10,000 and a lifetime Creative Cloud membership, with two runner-up prizes of 1-year Creative Cloud memberships, which ended up being grabbed by some very lucky winners. Thanks again to all those who participated! We had some great memories from your social documentary.
Moment #5 | Create the Web
Kicking off the first leg of the tour in San Francisco, we announced key updates for the web development community, including Dreamweaver updates and new Edge Tools & Services, exclusively for Creative Cloud members. This also included the first release of Edge Animate (formerly known as Adobe Edge). With these new apps added to Creative Cloud, we’ve seen a tremendous appreciation from you – landing its rank at number four.
Moment #4 | Create Now Live
This online event pulls into the number three spot due to the big feature updates we were thrilled to announce for Creative Cloud members. Photoshop updates included Retina Display support and more, Muse acquired a way to create mobile versions for websites, and the very popular announcements of Creative Cloud for Teams and the addition of Creative Cloud Training. You can still watch the keynote and other snippets from the event on our Create Now Adobe TVchannel.
Moment #3 | Adobe & Behance
We’re thrilled that the Behance community will be joining our family! 2013 holds more in store for how we deepen the connections between our creative tools and services via Creative Cloud and creatives like you around the world.
Moment #2 | Creative Cloud Launch
This is where it all began, which is why were placing this in the runner-up spot for our notable moments. Along with the launch of Creative Cloud, we were excited to introduce the new version of Creative Suite 6, loaded with major feature updates to all our CS applications.
None of the moments up to this point would have mattered if it weren’t for you, our community. A big thanks goes out to our Creative Cloud Facebook fans. We hit our 50,000 likes milestone just before the end of the year! Here’s a look at our Fan favorite moments based on your engagement.
There’s no denying the fact that Brian Yap is one talented Adobe Touch Apps user. We’ve seen his Touch Apps projectssuch as the Grovemade iPhone/iPad Cases, his demo videos on Adobe TV , and we’re excited to bring you more of his great designs. This time around, Brian has lent his talents to the self-described “world punk” band Firewater for their recent music video titled “A Little Revolution.”
We chatted with Brian to learn how he utilized his favorite app, Adobe Ideas, CS6 tools, and Creative Cloud in making of the music video. Check out our interview below and pick up some useful tips along the way.
Adobe: How did this opportunity to work on the Firewater music video project come about?
Brian Yap: Paul Griswold contacted me about working together for no reason other than seeing and liking my illustrations on an Adobe TV video – where I was using Adobe Ideas and talking about how it fit my style. We connected and talked a bit about wanting to collaborate on a fun project. Then, earlier this year, a friend of Paul’s and musical hero of mine, Todd A., contacted him in the hopes that he could get help creating a music video on a tight budget. The band was Firewater and the video was created for the first single off their new album.
Live footage was shot in Turkey and was mixed with animation built from illustrations I did on the tablet with Adobe Ideas and then fine-tuned in Illustrator. The pieces were then animated with After Effects, as well as other programs outside of Adobe. Being able to work remotely made it possible for me to connect with these amazingly talented guys and get in on this project, without ever actually meeting them in person.
Talk us through your creative process. How did you approach this project?
I started by working with the team to come up with a bunch of visual concepts to illustrate. I began collecting references and sketching things out. The process was cool because I would feed Paul Griswold sheets of designs and pieces, and then when the test animations started, it lead to other ideas and concepts.
Usually, whenever someone tells you to just draw cool stuff, the first thing that happens is white paper freeze, but Firewater’s music and the tracks from the new album are so filled with energy and ideas that it was easy to get things flowing and get into it.
Tell us why Adobe Touch Apps, specifically Adobe Ideas, was an ideal tool to use for this task?
I was able to work while traveling with Ideas and the Creative Cloud and keep all the many pieces and designs organized. Being able to draw while traveling for another project, or get out of the office or studio and work on this project really kept me inspired. The vector-based quality of Ideas meant that the process of cleaning up a sketch to make it finished and the way I wanted was super fast and easy so I could explore a lot more pieces quickly and feel okay about not sending everything.
What was the inspiration behind the images you created?
All the inspiration for the work I contributed to the piece was from the song. The tone of the music, the energetic and upbeat sound, and the themes in the lyrics, all helped to lead everything from color to what I was drawing. The video footage shot in Turkey had a “dance number” skew/protest march. It helped inspire me to keep the illustrations meaningful but usable in a way that matched the tone of the song.
Speaking of music, how critical does music play in your creative process? What genre or music gets you in a creative mode?
I’m definitely an aging music nerd. Everything I do is inspired by the music I listen to and when possible, like this project, actually part of the work. Todd A and Firewater’s sound and big catalog were on constant repeat during this project, and I think I made some new fans for them around me because of it. A lot of time it’s hip hop, like Ghostface Killah. When I need to slow it down, like when I’m sketching or playing with concepts, I get into bands with a more songwriting, musical exploration type feel. Lately groups like Manouk, Manchester Orchestra, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and instrumental outfits, like Red Sparowes, are as important to me working as the tools I use to draw.
What tips/suggestions do you have for creative individuals thinking about getting into Adobe Ideas?
The pinch and zoom allows you to work with an almost infinite sized canvas. Drawing on a tablet with a photo layer is an unbelievable way to keep a reference file, sketchbook and finished canvases all in the same place. I always say, just play around with it. Get used to the features and what it does and then make the tool work the way you work.
For veteran users like yourself, what tips and/or techniques can you offer?
I was using Ideas for a year before bothering to play much with opacity. It led me to a whole new way of drawing with Ideas that look like pencil by using a super low opacity and black or grey and just layering strokes. Always keep playing with the app. I think the simplicity makes it easy to use for everyone, but there are some smart guys behind this application and the ways we as artists use it is only fenced in by our imagination and willingness to adapt to a new artistic tool.
For more on the making of the music video, check out the project on Behance.
From ideation to execution, every creative has a specific process. In a recent article by The 99 Percent, well-known musicians, comedians and writers shared their personal creative processes and success strategies.
How do you create? Check out The 99 Percent article for more inspiration.