Creative Connection

November 22, 2016 /Creative Business /Inspiration /

Adobe MAX unlocks creative potential

According to the State of Create Report, only 31% of people feel like they are living up to their creative potential. Being creative helps make people better workers, leaders, parents and students. Why aren’t we investing more in developing our creativity? With that question in mind, CEO and co-founder of Wanderbrief, Mark van der Heijden, travelled to San Diego to visit Adobe MAX. After a very exciting experience, he is delighted to share some super exciting insights from the best speakers at Adobe MAX that will help you unlock your creative potential.

Creative Potential Shantanu Adobe MAX
Shantanu Narayen: Let People Dream

Adobe’s charismatic CEO Shantanu Narayen talked about how the company is changing the world through digital experiences. Innovation comes from anywhere on the planet and thanks to Creative Cloud it is now accessible from any device, anywhere in the world. It enables everyone to share their stories, since that is the ultimate answer of problem solving through communication. Creative Cloud has a business momentum and is really taking off. With big companies like adidas, Gant and HAVAS using it, more and more people are getting connected to create faster, collaborative and more efficient. Shantanu thinks we can unlock our creative potential by letting people dream.


David Silverman: The Muse Will Move The Pencil
Director David Silverman dressed like he came straight from Burning Man. The award winning legend shared his incredible story on how he ended up directing more than 600 episodes of the Simpsons. He also spent some time at Pixar with Steve Jobs where he co-directed Monsters Inc. When I asked David about how he unlocks his creative potential he gave an amazing answer:

“There’s something about the absent minded mind. It always let’s something interesting come out because you’re not overthinking it. The muse will move the pencil”

I love that advice, since I recognise that feeling when I’m just staring at a blank page and nothing comes out. The best way to make something happen is to just start and suddenly the inspiration will start to flow.

Creative Potential Lynsey Addario Adobe MAX
Lynsey Addario: Go Way Beyond Your Limits (but please stay safe)
And the award for the biggest bad-ass goes to Lynsey Addario. This brave photographer from the US shared her stories from the most extreme wars mankind is facing for the last decades. Without giving a blink she easily switched from telling how she got tortured by IS to spending the last hours with an African woman dying due to a lack of medical help. One of my favourite pictures was one Lynsey shot from inside a Burka, because she had to protect her identity in a Middle-East country. Someone who is willing to risk their life on a daily base to share what’s going on in the world deserves a shout-out; Lynsey you are officially a power woman! Lynsey might be an extreme example of someone who is willing to take a big leap of faith but it’s inspiring to see how you can push yourself to go way beyond your limits.

Exceptional Minds: Trust the Spark In Someone’s Eyes
One of the most inspiring projects I saw was ‘Exceptional Minds’; an organisation that gives autistic people the opportunity to work at companies and give them an honest chance in society and the working life. I think this is one of the best examples of how Adobe helps people to unlock creative potential. By providing them with the latest tools and software they can personally thrive and help businesses with their creative services. After the keynote I had a short chat with the organisation and saw the spark in their eyes when they talked about their projects. That’s just another reason why you should work with Exceptional Minds.

Creative Potential Quentin Tarantino Adobe MAX
Quentin Tarantino: Have an Unstoppable Drive
The most packed session of the conference was with the founding father of classics like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Inglorious Bastards. 10,000 phones and cameras lighted up when Quentin Tarantino entered the stage, eager to get a shot of him and the amazing artwork of his movies on the background. When Adobe asked Tarantino how he defines success, he took a little pause and said: “Being remembered as one of the greatest film makers and artists that ever lived.” Tarantino then mentioned he is only going to direct two(!) more movies before he retires. Will he be able to top Pulp Fiction? We can only wait. Or actually; we’d better use his drive as a source of inspiration and start creating our own movies as well.

Creative Potential VR Adobe MAX
Explore Your Canvas in 3D, VR, AR & Beyond

3D, VR & AR. Probably the most popular two letter words for creatives at the moment. Gavin Miller (VP & Fellow Adobe Research) and Erik Natzke (Artist in Residence Adobe Research) invited us for a private session to paint in VR with the Oculus Rift. I’ve tried VR a few times but this was by far my most mind-blowing experience. In this demo I was inside a studio from an artist and with my hands I could create pieces of art in 3D and actually walk around it. It was so realistic that I felt I was really there. There’s so much more to explore and I really think everyone should start digging into these new ways of creativity.

Creative Potential Erica Warp Adobe MAX
Erica Warp: Open Your Mind
What goes on in your brain when you’re generating ideas has always been a big mystery. That mystery is about to be unraveled by Emotiv. VP of Product Erica Warp showed us a device that tracks your brainwaves. Emotiv partnered up with Adobe to use it’s software and visualise what’s happening in our grey masses. At the stand I used the device as well and got a little video of my brain on MAX afterwards. I started to imagine all the opportunities that this technology will bring to life. How cool would it be to see the brains of Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuck and the Dalai Lama? Or what if you track the progress of both children who get more lessons in creative thinking compared to others? Let’s all open our minds to big data of the mind.

Janet Echelman: Think Big Start Small
A joyful lady entered the stage and shared her story on how her sculptures became icons of cities. Janet Echelman creates experiential sculptures at the scale of buildings that transform with wind and light. The artwork she created in Boston wasn’t just something to look at and get inspired by. It actually changed human behaviour. By making people feel safer in the city and more connected. One of her pieces was also shipped to San Diego where it was part of the closing party; MAX Bash. Although Janet now creates art for the biggest clients out there, she is still terrified for every new challenge: “I face the terror by doing research, that’s how I gather my insights and trust to succeed.”. She unlocked her creative potential by starting with a super small piece of art and ending up with a piece bigger than six building block.

Listen how 7 Adobe MAX speakers unlock their creative potential:

Creative Business, Inspiration

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