While we weren’t able to be one of the over 12,000 attendees at Adobe MAX this year, we fortunately live in the digital age and were able to watch it streaming live, and revisit the talks and announcements as they became available online and to everyone.
Thursday’s keynote was particularly inspiring. While Wednesday focused a lot on software and program updates (also important), the speakers highlighted at the Thursday General Session demonstrated diverse creative backgrounds and mindsets about the work they do showing that success is achieved and lived in different ways.
Those speakers included “a potter, a photographer, a musician, and a filmmaker,” as Ann Lewnes, Adobe Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, remarked, before we found out these those more general relatable terms represented more well-known people including Jonathan Adler, Annie Griffiths, Mark Ronson, and Jon Favreau.
Some highlights from each speaker*:
At 27, Jonathan Adler was unemployed and unemployable so he started making pottery. “When I started marking pots, there was nothing to gain, there was nothing to lose. I just need to be creative.”
He had connected with clay at a summer camp years before and with this nothing-to-lose attitude, Adler has now achieved becoming a successful potter, designer, interior decorator and more with his own home line.
Despite his incredible success, Adler really wanted to talk about “how much I hate myself. I absolutely hate myself. And I absolutely love myself…. And the dichotomy between self-love and self-loathing is the fuel to all my creativity.”
Describing how he thinks of an idea (often when he’s dreaming), gets really excited about it and loves it and then starts the process of hating it, reevaluating and rethinking it over and over again as it comes to light. He finds inspiration in everything and strives to keep an open mind. Adler used a grenade as inspiration to make pottery, and a cloud as inspiration for a couch. When he realized there was a huge problem in the world because no one had made mugs based on iconic rap stars, he solved it.
“My work is really a window into my mind,” Adler said.