When I was asked to make a list of some of the sessions at CreativePro Week 2022 that I’m most looking forward to, I thought, “sure, no problem, that’ll be easy.” With so much great stuff for creatives on the agenda, how could I go wrong? It turned out to be a little harder than that—for the exact reason I thought it was going to be easy! With so many amazing speakers talking about so many important topics, I was shaking my head as I scrolled up and down the list. I could make a case for any one of them to be an absolute do-no-miss. But, in the end I went with my gut reactions, picturing that I was in the conference hall in Washington, DC and the doors to all the sessions were about to be locked. Which ones would I drop everything and run to get into? So, lace up your sneakers: here’s the list of 7 CreativePro Week sessions that I think are sprint-worthy!
I have been a Julieanne Kost superfan for as long as I can remember. I’ve learned more practical Photoshop knowledge from her than anyone else. Don’t get wrong—I love flashy cool effects, too, but what gets me sitting in the front row of her sessions are the useful everyday tips and techniques that make working in Photoshop much more productive and pleasant. Julieanne doesn’t just know Photoshop; she knows Photoshop users—what we struggle with, and how to help us. I always come away from her sessions with a bunch of notes for things to try out ASAP, and usually end up wondering how I got along without them. She never disappoints.
Jesús Ramirez is a Photoshop rock star because he has the ability to produce stunning work and show you how to accomplish the same things yourself with style and ease. Like all amazingly talented people, he makes the incredible look easy. But more importantly, he gives you the confidence to take on any task in Photoshop, believeing that it’s going to come out awesome. And there are few tasks more fundamentally important than making selections and masks. I’ve been using Photoshop for more than 25 years but when I watch Jesús, it seems fresh and new again. I wouldn’t miss this one for all the pixels in Adobeland.
What more could be said about these two folks? It’s not just that they know just about everything there is to know about InDesign, it’s that they share it with everyone in such a relaxed, fun, human way. The cheerful back-and-forth banter is my favorite, as they take turns showing each other incredibly obscure but incredibly useful stuff. I guarantee there will be audible gasps of amazement in the audience. If you’re someone who uses InDesign every day, the things you learn in this session alone could return your investment on the show.
I never miss a session by Tony Harmer because he personifies the joy of creativity that got us all started in this business. He’s lived the life of a creative pro for so long and knows the tools so well, that he could do a session in his sleep. But his sessions are the exact opposite of sleepy—always brimming with the excitement of discovery, yet delivered with the voice of precision and experience. I don’t know how he does it but I’m sure glad he does. It’s that combination of art and science, data and design, that makes him the perfect person to watch on the topic of infographics.
This is such an important topic, and it’s being covered by the perfect speaker for the job. It’s no secret that that’s Adobe has been pouring the majority of their resources into Creative Cloud features and services in recent years. They’ve put a ton of thought and effort into figuring out how to support collaborative creative workflows. And as an Adobe insider, Bart Van de Wiele is uniquely positioned to show us how to take full advantage of Creative Cloud. He knows the tools inside and out, and how they all connect. He truly cares about helping folks learn how to do their work better. He’s also really tall, so you can see him clearly from the back of the hall, which is important since his sessions are always packed.
To paraphrase a very old commerical, when Nigel French talks about type, people listen (maybe it’s the English accent). Whether he’s showing you how to lay out a 1000-page book, or create amazing special type effects, he brings the same impeccable taste and craftsmanship to the topic. The projects he shows are inspired (and inspiring), yet always understandable and achievable by us mere mortals. He breaks down the elements of great type so you can easily see what’s going and and incorporate it into your own work.
When I spoke at these events, I swore I wanted it in my contract that I would never directly follow Russell Viers on stage. It’s like following Elvis. Even if you’re great, you can’t help but pale in comparison. Russell is a force of nature and when he holds forth on a topic like Adobe Bridge you will learn a ton—not just the hows but the whys—and be excited to try it all out as soon as possible. Russell is a huge believer in Bridge and I bet he’ll make you a believer in it, too. He’s also the funniest presenter I’ve ever seen and the most unflappable. Never mind a specific piece of software, Russell’s sessions make me feel excited about my career. Miss him at your peril.
I hope to see you Washington, D.C. this coming May 9–13. Click here to learn more and sign up now!
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