Adobe Systems Incorporated

When Digital Waters the Seed of Natural Creativity

With another school year now well underway, I find myself thinking about an article in WIRED magazine in which Michael Gough talks about about drawing, children, and creativity—what we teach them, and how this is changing with the explosion of digital creativity tools.

Michael is the head of Experience Design at Adobe and a self-proclaimed “compulsive drawer.” He’s had lots of personal and professional experience backing up his ideas about creativity and technology.

I was especially struck by his comment that we’ve trained people to think of drawing (and, by extension, creativity) as a talent that only a special few are born with. Many of us over forty grew up hearing this old, tired idea.

Does it make sense anymore?

Michael believes that everyone has the inherent ability to draw, and that technology can help this ability bloom. I think the idea can be extended to creativity of all kinds—not just drawing.

I remember when our schools had programs to “teach technology” because we learned through formal instruction; today our children “play” with technology. This process of experimentation and exploration is fundamentally a process of creative thinking.

As the parent of teenagers (who’s spent some time working in a school), I see how differently young people react to media than the older generations. For them, their cell phones and tablets are extensions of their hands. They don’t think of gadgets as sophisticated technology that they have to master—they simply pick them up, download apps, and start playing (read: creating).

And with children getting introduced to devices with incredible power to capture inspiration and create at ever younger ages, they’re expressing themselves differently, whether for school projects or for fun. My daughters started doing homework on tablets in middle school; children just a few years younger have been playing with smartphones and tablets since they were toddlers.

When I saw the images that my daughter created using Photoshop on her tablet, I was amazed

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© Gwen Luhmann

Seeds_1

© Gwen Luhmann

“How did you learn to use that?” I asked.

“Mom, they give it to us at school.” (Duh, Mom, like I need someone to show me.)

Creativity scholar Ken Robinson agrees that it’s time to throw off the old ideas about who’s creative and who isn’t. In his book Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative, he writes:

“Human intelligence is uniquely and profoundly creative. We live in a world that’s shaped by the ideas, beliefs and values of human imagination and culture. The human world is created out of our minds as much as from the natural environment.”

Those of us who grew up in the pre-digital past were given things like crayons and paper to feed our creativity. As we moved through our educational lives we were sorted into students who were “creative” and those who weren’t.

Digital is changing all of that

Our children live in a world where there doesn’t have to be any distinction between people who are creative and those who aren’t. Digital is leveling the playing field so we can experiment more freely and develop everyone’s creative side. And it’s an incentive for parents like me to spend more time experimenting with new apps and tools to try to keep up with the younger generation.

With all the new possibilities for expressing creativity, people everywhere are going to be running around shooting and playing with pictures, drawing, making music, and capturing inspiration in all kinds of ways. I can’t wait to see how much fun we all have doing it.

6:45 PM Permalink

The New Creatives Report 2014

We love talking about creativity, but we seldom take time to examine the state of creative professionals themselves. For those of us who chose creative careers, are we happy we did? What inspires and motivates creative professionals to do their greatest work? How do Creatives feel about the pace of change in the industry? Today we released some striking research to delve into what really makes creatives tick. Get Scott Belsky’s full rundown of the “The New Creatives” report.

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9:05 PM Permalink

Sometimes the Hardest Thing to Get is the Easiest Thing to Give

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One of the benefits of social media is that it allows us to keep up with what our friends, colleagues, and mentors are working on. But, one of the consequences of having constant access to an almost unlimited stream of inspiration is that it can make us feel self-conscious about our own productivity or creative ambitions.

Whether it’s a series of illustrations or photographs, a mural, a short film, or a new blog or podcast, just about everyone I know has had trouble getting started on some kind of creative project, or has left one unfinished.

There are an infinite number of reasons for putting the things we’re passionate about on hold—from a lack of time and energy, to insecurity and fear of failure—but there’s one thing that seems, universally, to help get people going: encouragement.

At Adobe, we build the tools and services that help creatives express themselves. But having access to the latest tools and technology isn’t always the answer; new features and more intelligent algorithms are great, but sometimes what we need, more than anything else, is to know that someone is in our corner, with all the reasons why we can do something instead of all the reasons why we can’t. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do:

A group of us at Adobe got together and decided that one of the most meaningful (and, quite frankly, fun) things we could do for our community is help as many of you as possible either start a creative project you’re passionate about, or finish a project that you’ve already started. If that describes you or someone you know, send your name, mailing address (anywhere in the world), and a description of the project to act@adobe.com. Let us know what your challenges are, and what obstacles are getting in your way. Obviously we can’t work miracles, but what we can do is send you a little encouragement, and let you know that there are people at the finish line cheering you on.

1:58 PM Permalink

Revealing Our Creative Cloud Mosaic

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Adobe is celebrating creativity by bringing together artists from around the world to help us co-create our new Creative Cloud identity. The idea is simple: we’ve invited 48 designers and artists from around the world to contribute “tiles” of their own creative expression which we’ve assembled into the world’s most creative digital mosaic. This mosaic will actually serve as our Creative Cloud identity to be released on June 18.

If you haven’t already, please visit our Behance page and watch as we build out the mosaic one tile at a time. You can also learn about each artist and visit their full online portfolios.

And don’t miss the final, big reveal as we unveil the finished mosaic during our live online event on June 18; register for it today to see firsthand everything new that’s coming to Creative Cloud.

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I AM THE NEW CREATIVE

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.

 

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Be sure to check out the work of the New Creatives, get inspired, and join us.

AJ

Graphic Designer / Executive Creative Director / Maker of things

 

 

 

4:00 PM Permalink

EMC Design Joins Creative Cloud

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Update: October 18, 2013: A few months ago we welcomed emc design to Creative Cloud for teams. Take a look and see how they’re benefiting now:

Welcome to Creative Cloud, emc design (@emcdesignltd). This UK-based design shop recently announced on their blog that they’ve signed up for Creative Cloud for teams. In their post, they list several of the features that are helping them streamline their workflow and create even better work.

As you can see, not even a burglary has kept them from producing top-notch work, thanks to CC. Here are just some of the advantages that emc design laid out in their post:

  • Every staff member is granted access to all of the Creative Cloud applications from anywhere, which increases flexibility for remote working and gives people the option of working at home when deadlines are tight. Because pulling an all-nighter is a lot better when you can do it in your sweatpants, on your couch, with real food, instead of in a dark office with only cold pizza and vending machine snacks to munch on.
  • emc staff has access to the latest creative tools, which lets them experiment more and push their creative boundaries. No more waiting for the newest tool, only to see your competition get it first.
  • We’ve all lost valuable time, or even missed deadlines, due to IT issues. But with CC, administrators at emc can easily manage licenses and install applications – case in point, after their office was burglarized, they were able to quickly re-install Creative Cloud on 5 new Macs and keep producing their best work without skipping a beat.

We’re excited to work with emc design. So stay tuned for more updates spotlighting this great shop, here and on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

2:20 PM Permalink

Eames Remix Winners

To coincide with the launch of the new Creative Cloud apps, we paid tribute to the late, great Charles Eames by hosting our own Eames’ Chair Remix contest. The task: take the iconic Eames chair and using Adobe products (Illustrator and Photoshop) personalize a digital version and share it with us and the Behance community.

Among the impressive and creative entries we received (check them all out below), we’re excited to announce that ANDESIGN is our grand prize winner and will be receiving an Eames Molded Plastic Dowel-Leg Armchair, one year membership to Creative Cloud and an Eames poster for his impressive “Eames Nest” design.

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Also, did you know that we put six top designers to the test as well? See what impressive designs they came up with.

A big thanks to everyone who participating. For more fun, news, tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t be disappointed.

All Eames’ Chair Remix Entries:

1:17 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight: Leandro Erlich’s Reflective Optical Illusion House

Looking at a normal object in a different way helps creatives bring a fresh perspective to everyday items. The Argentinian artist Leandro Elrich did just that in his piece titled “Dalston House,” turning a house on its side.

The piece uses a wall of giant mirrors, which reflects against a huge horizontal print of a Victorian terraced house. Visitors are then free to climb and jump around on the print of the house, which is reflected in the mirror above. Visitors hang from windows, skateboard along ledges, and crawl along walls in this optical illusion.

Visitors get creative with Erlich’s optical illusion, titled “Dalston House.” (Image courtesy of the Barbican)

Visitors get creative with Erlich’s optical illusion, titled “Dalston House.” (Image courtesy of the Barbican)

If you’re in London, be sure to check it out now through August 4, 2013. Check out the full article on Colossal. Also keep an eye on our blog, Twitter and Facebook for more spotlights on creative projects.

4:10 PM Permalink

Creative Spotlight on Creative Cloud Logo Redesign Artists Erik Johansson

When you think of a common hobby, you often think of photography. Popular, yes, but there are a few creatives that go above and beyond. They see the world through a unique lens and produce stellar pieces of work. Photographer Erik Johansson (@tackochgodnatt) is an individual who takes photography and flips it on its head. Don’t believe us? For starters, check out the Creative Cloud logo he reimagined below.

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If there is anyone who can create surreal images, but captured in a realistic way, it’s Erik. A native to Sweden currently living in Berlin, Erik has the luxury of having two distinct environments at his fingertips to inspire and capture some amazing photographs. Berlin, described by Erik as a “hip place,” has a large photo and art community, which enables him to be surrounded by other creatives. When he is in search for unique landscapes and scenes, he heads home to Sweden.

After receiving his first digital camera at age 15, he wanted to do something above and beyond with photography. It was then he discovered photo manipulation. Combining his love for drawing and photography, Erik would begin a project with a sketch, shoot some photos, and then head into post production using his tools of choice, Photoshop and Lightroom. Having these tools and more at his disposal with Creative Cloud has enabled him to do anything.

Want to learn more about this photography master? Get a behind the scenes look at how Erik produces some of the most unique creations in the world in the video below. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news, tutorials and more surrounding photography.

 

Erik on the web:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog

8:43 AM Permalink

7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

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.

Restrict yourself
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.

Stay Positive
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?

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7:04 PM Permalink