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Adobe MAX conference inspires Stoke to fearlessly create

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In October, members of the Stoke team met up in Los Angeles to attend the Adobe MAX conference, which was held in person for the first time since 2019. We were honored to be a part of this creativity-focused event, with hundreds of inspirational sessions and speakers from around the world. 

Stoke’s booth for Real Creative Leadership, the video podcast we produce with Adobe Executive Creative Director Adam Morgan, gave us the chance to connect with some new and longtime listeners and viewers. We’re proud to share that Adam’s own 2022 MAX presentation — which will also be a future podcast episode —  was among the top five sponsored sessions.

In addition to chatting with MAX attendees from around the world at our booth, the Stoke team soaked up all the knowledge they could from the fantastic sessions that the conference offered. Here are some highlights in their own words:

“One of the highlights for me was a session on gaining confidence in using color by Zipeng Zhu, founder and creative director of Dazzle Studio. He’s known for the raucous color choices in his design practice, and it’s a style that he has successfully leveraged for brands of all types. His clothes, his exposition, and his presentation deck (complete with seizure warnings) inspired me to let go of the fear of getting it ‘wrong’ and to instead adopt a curious, curatorial approach where I can try improbable combinations to take advantage of the unexpected.”

— Raphael Wenger, Creative Manager
“I enjoyed meeting talented people and learning how they use different products. I enjoyed helping people understand why they need our podcast, Real Creative Leadership. Adobe MAX led me to discover ways creative work works as an ecosystem, of which our podcast is a part. In addition to all of Adobe MAX’s incredible offerings, working in real life with my fantastic Stoke colleagues while at the conference was definitely a highlight.”

— Amanda Olson, Content Strategist/Writer
“The product updates, keynotes, and Sneaks are always exciting and fun. I was excited about the new ‘intertwine’ feature in Illustrator, which takes a process that used to be cumbersome and laborious and simplifies it in an elegant way.”

“I attended a really good session by Patrick Holly (ECD at Upwork) on how to optimize creative and design teams for remote work. He spoke about developing meaningful personal relationships within his team although they all work remotely. He spoke about how leaders need to model behavior of being vulnerable and personal with their team in order to break through the formality and distance that can be so common in Zoom meetings.”

“Holly also spoke about measuring the things that really matter — how outputs are more important to measure than inputs — and how giving people ownership and autonomy with their work has been successful for them.”

— Brian Barrus, Creative Director/Chief Design Officer
“Some of my key takeaways from Adobe MAX include the idea that AI will integrate more with designers vs without designers, which is a huge fear for creatives. I also learned that 3D animation is getting progressively easier. I enjoyed seeing all the new features available to Creative Cloud users and having the opportunity to meet with like-minded creatives and learners. I learned that AR features and VR features are helping open up both corporate and creative solutions.”

— Derek Davidson, Video Editor/Animator
“Adobe MAX displayed an amazing contingent of young creatives full of ambition, excitement, and curiosity. The energy of the entire conference felt inspiring and buzzy. I met so many people who flew in from around the world to attend, some on their first voyage to the U.S. ever. All were inspired by the programming, especially the creative leaders.”

“Engaging conversations and a fun attraction overall. I enjoyed the Food Trucks showcasing L.A. street food and our fusion culture — Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Filipino, American was a nice nod to local culture.”

— Heather Rudúlph, Director of Content Strategy
“One of my favorite MAX sessions was ‘Creative Strategy That Delivers: Fewer Tasks, More Action,’ by Bridget Esposito, the VP, Group Director at Prudential. Bridget was insightful, engaging, honest, and funny as she recapped how she led the Prudential Creative House to establish a new framework and process for creative briefs. These documents may be small, but they have a huge impact on the trajectory of a creative project. Bridget actually sat down with Adam Morgan at MAX to record an episode of Real Creative Leadership live in the conference’s glass booth. Here at Stoke we’re looking forward to sharing that episode — and a few others — with the Real Creative Leadership community in the coming weeks.”

— Stephen Schenkenberg, Senior Director of Content Strategy

The Stoke team is always excited for any opportunity to expand our creative knowledge and connect with fellow creatives from around the world. We would like to thank Adobe for inviting us to be a part of this incredibly inspiring event.