The Day 2 Keynote at MAX was all about “Inspire”- having special guests take the stage and talk to us about their work, their life and how creativity has impacted them in both.
First up was Ami Vitale, a Nikon Ambassador and photojournalist. Her images from India, Africa and other exotic locations were amazing. She found the beauty in life even during civil unrest and wars. Her photography was amazing and that was before she showed us baby pandas in China.
Next up was illustrator Jason Seiler, who talked about his work as a political cartoonist, character illustrator and portrait artist. He broke down his famous Time Magazine Man of the Year illustration of Pope Francis. While his work may appear traditional, he does work mainly in Photoshop. But don’t ask him which it is, it angers him! “The media shouldn’t matter or get in the way, the subject and the results is what counts”.
After Jason was a very special guest, the one and only Weird Al Yankovic. It was an odd setup – two chairs, an interviewer asking random questions and Al giving very brief and blunt answers. His biggest applause came when he talked about “Word Crimes” and how his latest album had hit #1. He was very subdued but open during this “conversation”.
Finally, Filmmaker Lee Hirsch took the stage to talk about his work and his latest film “BULLY” which has evolved into “The Bully Project”. This was the most emotional presentation I have seen at MAX. After previewing the film, Lee asked everyone to stand and close their eyes. He then asked anyone who has never been bullied to sit down. As we opened our eyes and looked around, no one had sat down. It was a very powerful image. Adobe also announced that they will be partnering with The Bully Project to help end bullying including a virtual collage, and making donations during the keynote for every tweet. Adobe had raised over $20,000 just that morning from this effort.
Next up was the show floor at the MAX Pavilion, here you could meet the product teams, talk about features and software, try out the new updates and more! My home base was the Community Lounge in the center of the room. I also participated in several Behance Portfolio reviews and even answered questions while staffing the Photoshop/Lightroom booth along Adobe team members. It was a whirlwind of energy, from the Adobe Youth Voices mural with Lee Hirsch making a traditional collage for The Bully Project, to TypeKit having a cool retro lounge with examples of fonts and font books to review. There was even a CDW bus complete with Flux Capacitor and Root Beer stand (featuring Milwaukee’s own Sprecher root beer!).