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Creative Spotlight: Will Suarez aka “HI Def Willy” on Creative Cloud

If you’ve visited the Creative Cloud Facebook page, then there’s a good chance you’ve seen the work of Will Suarez aka “HI Def Willy.” A believer in bringing cultural awareness and unity, he enjoys creating pieces that showcase people from various ethnic backgrounds and their unique characteristics.

Intrigued by his work, we connected with HI Def Willy on Facebook. We wanted to not only see more of Will’s work, but to also learn how Creative Cloud helps bring his innovative ideas to life.

Find out more about HI Def Willy’s style, learn how Creative Cloud has enables him to work more efficiently and more in the Q&A below.

Adobe: Describe a project you are currently working on or have completed with Creative Cloud.

Will: Recently I have been focusing on creating a series of fine art pieces combining illustrations, photography and analog techniques into digital formats to create surrealistic portraits .Using a matte gel transfer technique, I transfer high res images onto fine art paper, canvas or wood.

What was your inspiration behind the project?
During my long commutes around Texas for meetings and work, I find myself always meeting random people walking the city streets. I get inspired by the stories told, the way people view them and the myths that people create of them. I wanted to capture that and find a way to show those emotions in these pieces.

How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?
Using the Creative Cloud has changed the way I work dramatically. It definitely has simplified everything and makes it easy to keep organized. I can seamlessly access and save progress on projects and pick right up from where I left off on any of my other devices on the go.

What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?
As a freelance graphic artist and being on the go most of the time, having all my files accessible to view, edit and share, sure come in handy. I utilize many of the Touch Apps . One of the more frequent one I use is Adobe Ideas. It allows me to start a vector sketch on the go and access through the Creative Cloud on my PC where I can then continue to edit and complete.

Describe your style of work in a few words.
Everything’s a work in progress… pushing the limits.

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t create without _________.
Music and life experiences

What advice would you give to an individual who is considering Creative Cloud?
If you are looking to grow and develop your style, you definitely need to look into it! Invest in your talent and gain access to utilize all the great tools that you get with Creative Cloud. Not only will you stay current on updates and gain access to many options, but it will definitely streamline your workflow. The allotted space is more than enough to be able to carry along with you a mobile studio. Creating couldn’t get much easier. Everything you need is right there whenever, wherever.

Anything Else?

Thank you Adobe for always putting out great products! I am excited to see what new apps and features will be added in the future! For all fellow graphic designers, artists, creators, and innovators, keep pushing your limits, get out of your comfort zone and explore, create, define your work. Putting your work out there for people to see and enjoy is what it is all about. Stay humble, pour your heart into what you do and don’t ever be afraid to take a leap of faith.

Be sure to follow HiDefWilly on Instagram, Twitter and “like” him on Facebook.

Ready to have your work featured for everyone to see? Share your work with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below and you could be our next spotlight!

5:14 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Jeffery Fina on Adobe Creative Cloud

How has Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow? For user Jeffrey Fina, the ability to venture out and collaborate with other creative individuals is just one of many ways Creative Cloud enables him to grow as a creative professional. And that’s just the beginning. The most cutting edge tools, 20GB of cloud storage and ability to seamlessly work on projects on various devices enables Jeffrey to successfully operate a fine art studio and be on dad duty. We connected with Jeffrey after coming across the work he shared with us on Facebook and wall. You can learn about his current projects, where he sources inspiration and more in the Q&A below.

Want to have your work featured? Share your work with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

Adobe: Describe a project you are currently working on or have completed with Creative Cloud.

Jeffery: Most recently, I have been working on high resolution abstract 3D forms created in Trimble Sketchup and rendered in Photoshop. These projects are designed at full size for large format printing and can take time to render. I own and operate Hudson Valley Giclee, a fine art and digital printing studio, where I will create the large format digital prints of these works. This project is one of many that will be part of an expansion into print publishing and art consulting that my colleague Bruce Bleach and I are formulating. We plan on starting in the Hudson Valley and the tri-state area and expanding nationally.

What was your inspiration behind the project?
The inspiration behind this and most of my personal and professional work is being able to utilize all facets of what digital technology can produce and finding an aesthetic that goes beyond a sometimes engineered digital look. For me, Photoshop has become the crossroads of all these applications. I can throw a number of file formats at it… and boom; they open.

How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?
Prior to the Creative Cloud, I was truly bound to my studio computer. My business requires me to venture out and collaborate with artists in their native spaces. My workflow is seamless now because I always have my software and files on board.

What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?
Photoshop is a work horse. It’s what a paintbrush is to a painter. Bridge is my viewer for all file types. The 20GB of cloud space is super helpful in having access to project files on the go. I am a new father so when I am on baby duty, it’s not easy to sit with a cup of coffee in my studio. Having all my files on my laptop is great. As a fine art studio, having client files on the go is helpful when proposing a mockup of a full resolution image. In fine art printing and studio work, detail is key.

Describe your style of work in a few words.
I like to break the rules…

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t create without _________.
Coffee, music, and integrity.

What advice would you give to an individual who is considering Creative Cloud?
I would tell those who want to be more creative that it’s best to grow ‘into’ a tool then to grow ‘out’ of one. You should use the most powerful tools to accomplish your creative goals instead of being limited by inefficient tools. The learning curve is also longer and deeper but doesn’t prevent you from moving forward with your ideas and concepts. I’ve been using Adobe products for 8 years and I average 30 hours a week face deep in the software one way or another. I’m still excited about what these tools can do and what the future brings.

See more of Jeffrey’s personal work at http://www.ultimaars.com/.

11:54 AM Permalink

Our Top 12 Most Notable Moments of 2012 – Part Two

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!

Scavenger-150x150 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.

CreateTheWeb-150x150Moment #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.

 

CreateNow-300x111Moment #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.

 

BehanceMoment #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.

 

CreativeCloud-150x150Moment #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.

 

Facebook-150x150Moment #1 | Top 3 Creative Cloud Facebook Posts

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.

 

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Our Top 12 Most Notable Moments of 2012 – Part One

We can’t believe 2012 is about to come to a close! Before we start planning for 2013, we wanted to reflect on some of the most memorable moments this year. Join us in counting down our top 12 most notable memories of 2012. Check out the first half of our list below and stay tuned for part two!

Acrobat-150x147Moment #12 | Acrobat XI Launch
October marked a milestone for Acrobat with the release of Acrobat XI. This version is focused on simplifying everyday work from editing PDFs more intuitively to building forms from scratch in limits.

 

 

 

Exclusive-150x125Moment #11 | Exclusive features for Creative Cloud Members
2012 was certainly a great year for Creative Cloud members. Just as we promised back when we introduced Creative Cloud in April, we’re providing exclusive tools and feature updates for fan favorite Creative Suite applications like Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and more. And this is just the beginning. Just wait and see what we have in store for you in 2013!

 

 

DPS-150x127Moment #10 | Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition Added to Creative Cloud
In September, we launched Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition to members, allowing them to create, develop, and deliver iPad apps – all without writing code! As of our Create Now event this month, there have been more than 20,000 apps published via our Digital Publishing family.

 

 

Muse-150x150Moment #9 | Muse added to Creative Cloud
Added to the Creative Cloud in August, Muse has continued to receive updates that allow users to design HTML websites like never before. At the recent Create Now event (more on that in part 2), Creative Cloud users learned about added features, which enable users to design for mobile with ease.

 

 

Lightroom-150x150Moment #8 | Lightroom added to Creative Cloud
In June, photo buffs certainly received a treat when they found out that Lightroom 4 was available as part of the Creative Cloud membership. The Lightroom team was exceptionally proud of this release – as they found the right balance between powerful controls and an intuitive user experience. Combine that with publishing tools and you have one magnificent update to Lightroom.

 

 

Anniv-150x150Moment #7 | Illustrator 25th Anniversary
On March, 19, 1987, drawing and line art changed forever. Enter Adobe Illustrator. This flagship product turned the big 2-5 this year and took vector graphics to a whole new level with the release of the CS6 version, offered in the Creative Cloud.

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Creative Spotlight: Tad Carpenter’s Sad Santa Book

‘Tis the season for some holiday-inspired creative work! Tad Carpenter is no stranger to us when it comes to sharing some of his great pieces of artwork. He was a part of our Creative Suite Spotlight series and was featured on our Design Center showcase for his interpretation of the ‘Modern Day Venus.’ This time around, we reached out to Tad regarding his recent book, Sad Santa, which was created using a number Creative Suite 6 applications.

Get a feel for his book in the below animated teaser and get an even more in-depth understanding to how Tad found his inspiration for the project in a Q&A exchange we had with him.

Adobe: What’s the background and creative process for your Sad Santa book? 

Tad Carpenter: Working on Sad Santa was a dream come true. It was 100% a project built on passion. It was an idea I was kicking around in my head for sometime and decided to take the time to make it a reality. I wrote the manuscript and created several examples of how I envisioned the artwork looking and the book being designed to start. I was lucky enough to have contacts with various publishers I had done work with prior and then started to shop the concept around. I was thrilled with the feedback I got from publishers, and Sterling Books quickly acquired it.

What inspired you to create this book? Store_SadSanta_tadcarpenter-264x300

This book was written and illustrated shortly after getting married to my best friend and now wife, Jessica. After planning a wedding for over a year, it came and went so quickly. We planned a huge party for all our friends and family for an entire year and then it was over. I thought, “I bet this is how Santa feels each year.” He works all year for one day and just like that, it is over. No doubt December 26th has to be an awful and horrible day for Santa. So, after many conversations with Santa himself, I was right! Santa does get the post-holiday blues. When the toys are all made, the presents handed out, and the Christmas cookies eaten, Santa is miserable. Will Santa ever feel like his old holly-jolly self again? What will cheer him up? And with that, the idea for the book was born.

Do you have any useful tips to share with our community?

Passion projects are good. Sad Santa started as a little sketch and a few lines of copy in my sketchbook. I was passionate about the idea and the project. No one was initially paying me to work on this project but I knew something was there. Always trust your gut and make your vision happen.

Any other details you’d like to share with the community about the project?

One thing I want all the kids and parents to do this year and make a tradition moving forward is this: Since Santa’s most difficult day of the year is December 26th after all the presents have been delivered, make sure you drop a little thank you note to Santa in the mail on that day so he knows how much you care. That will surely give the big guy a smile. :)

11:17 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Director Ross Ching and Empty America

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Director Ross Ching has mastered the art of the time-lapse video and has recently done it in very innovative way. He has created an eerie video series, titled “Empty America,” by removing the hustle and bustle that normally is the heartbeat of major U.S. cities, using Creative Suite 6 applications, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro. Check out our exchange with Ross on his inspiration and some of his quick video tips.

Adobe: Can you give a quick description highlighting your creative process/creative workflow for Empty America?

Ross Ching: People really find connections with things they recognize in situations that they don’t recognize. It’s almost as if the viewer is in on an inside joke. It’s something that I always try to incorporate into my work, and that’s why time-lapse, super slow motion and stop motion are so prevalent on the Internet. So when deciding which cities to feature in this series, I wanted people who have never even been to the locations to be able to pick out landmarks that they’ve seen before. 

What was your inspiration behind the project?

I live in Los Angeles. I drive in Los Angeles. I think about traffic a lot in Los Angeles. A couple years ago, I discovered Matt Logue’s Empty LA photographs. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but every time I was stuck in rush hour all-hour traffic, I found myself thinking, “What if tomorrow everyone’s car disappeared?” What would that scene look like? How would people react? How quickly would the atmosphere rebound from centuries of fossil fuel emissions?

So I took Matt Logue’s still photography concept and applied it to something that I do best — time lapse. That Los Angeles video was very successful, and so I pitched an expansion of it to Thrash Lab, a destination for digital filmmakers created by Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst Network. They really liked it and believed in my work, and it’s now the biggest set of videos on the channel.

Do you have any useful tips or techniques to share with the community?

When creating something for the Internet, people’s attention span is VERY short. Think about how you look at other videos on YouTube and think about the how long it takes you to either skip through the video or click the back button. Our main goal as a video creator is to get the viewer to watch from beginning to end without skipping or hitting the back button. If they’re able to do that, they’re MANY times more likely to share the video with a friend — and that’s how seeds of viral videos are made. So let’s look at the elements to do that:

Must be short — 3 or 4 minutes or less. I’ve got many other tabs open and my pot of water on the stove is about to boil.

The 10 second hook — Probably the most important aspect. We need to WOW the viewer right off the bat. That means either showing them something they’ve never seen, or some kind of filmmaking technique that’s really unique. Whatever it is, if your friend doesn’t say WOW when you tell them the first 10 seconds of the concept, it’s back to the drawing board.

Sustainability — Once you have them hooked, you need to create a device that pulls them to the end. Some examples: a story, beautiful cinematography, creative art, exciting visuals that are rarely seen. Anything that will get them interested in seeing what happens at the end.

Check out more from the Empty America series on Thrash Lab’s Facebook Page.

11:05 AM Permalink

Firewater’s A Little Revolution Music Video – The Making Of with Brian Yap

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.

11:16 AM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Imagine Dragons Album Cover Art by Louis Lander Deacon

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Does the photograph above look familiar to you?  If you guessed that this was used as an album cover for the indie band, Imagine Dragons, you’d be spot on. While many may focus on the music from the Imagine Dragons’ Continued Silence EP album, we wanted to delve into the making of the album art and uncover who was behind the concept and design.

Meet the man responsible for this fascinating image, 19-year-old Louis Lander Deacon– a photography student whose photo has become synonymous with the Imagine Dragons’ brand. Check out more of this photographer’s work and our conversation with him about his creative process.

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1:50 PM Permalink

Top 5 Creative Cloud Tips (and Benefits) from Dave Cross

Dave-CrossOur team noticed Photoshop trainer, author, speaker and photographer, Dave Cross (@DaveCross) sharing Creative Cloud tips on Twitter, so we tapped him to see if he’d be up for sharing his insights with our Creative Layer readers. Dave told us that in the relatively short time that he’s been an Adobe Creative Cloud member, he’s already benefited in some unexpected ways, and continues to see additional opportunities where he can take advantage of Creative Cloud features. Here are Dave’s top 5 Creative Cloud tips (and really some benefits), written by the pro himself:

Tip #1: Apps

Of course, having access to all the Adobe applications is pretty sweet. But there’s a “hidden” benefit: Adobe Creative Cloud members get access to new features before they are released to everyone else. There have already been exclusive new features added to Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Muse and more, and I expect that will continue in the future with other apps.  

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5:48 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Eric Merced on Adobe Creative Cloud and the Touch Apps

Like a superhero, Eric Merced possesses a special power – the ability to unleash creativity. With his trusty iPad loaded with Adobe Touch Apps, along with access to Creative Cloud and the Creative Suite 6 applications, there is no project too big for Eric to tackle.

We sat down with Eric to learn how these Adobe products have improved his workflow capabilities, given him the ability to seamlessly transfer his work between technologies and helped him become the illustrator he is today. Read our Q&A with Eric below and be sure to check out the new hero-themed Twitter background we created to celebrate his work.

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Adobe: When were you first introduced to Adobe Touch Apps?

Eric Merced: It was with my first generation iPad (I currently own the iPad 2) and Adobe Ideas. There was a lot of complaining going on about how the iPad was not ideal for creating high-resolution art and Ideas was the first app that made me think otherwise.

What was the very first creation you made with Touch Apps?Gordon_Merced1-111x300

Even though I had already used Ideas to dabble in creating art on the iPad, my first “wow” moment that cemented my desire to create illustrations and comics, was when I used Creative Cloud to upload an image of The Dark Knight Rises’ character, Bane. The idea of being able to back up my work directly from the iPad and have it available on my iPhone or desktop was thrilling. I later took that image into Photoshop Touch and added textures, which brought the image and my workflow to another level.

How has the integration from Touch Apps through to the Creative Cloud features changed your creative workflow?

It has simplified everything. I feel good knowing that I have a powerful mobile studio with Ideas and Creative Cloud.  The iPad’s feature of allowing apps to store files in iTunes is good, but I feel Creative Cloud is a step up because it allows you to access those files from other devices (i.e., iPod, iPhone, desktop). That’s true integration right there, and it’s also essential for a true mobile studio experience.

Which pairing of the Touch Apps and the applications within Creative Cloud is most instrumental to your creative process?

Photoshop Touch and Photoshop CS6. Any file I tweak in Photoshop Touch can easily be opened in Photoshop on my desktop.

eric-merced-211x300Where’s your favorite location to create?

Mostly inside, as I don’t travel much, but Adobe Touch Apps allows me to physically create anywhere inside I’d like, as opposed to being tied to a desk and chair.

How much of a difference has direct touch input made to your creations?

The ability to zoom in and out, resize with a pinch, or to move the canvas around with two fingers is amazing. It makes doing these things much faster and more natural.

If you had the opportunity to travel to anywhere in the world with your Touch Apps, where would it be and why?

I’d love to go to a lot of places in the world – maybe too many to mention here. And who knows, with the iPad and Adobe Touch Apps on hand, now that’s more possible than ever.

For more on Eric’s work, stop by his website to see his portfolio. Want to be featured in one of our upcoming spotlight posts? Drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below.

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