Adobe Max 2018 – Where top creatives go to be inspired.

P.S.A: If your terrible L.A. commute was even worse these past few days, my apologies!

As far as BIG ASS conventions go, Adobe Max is right up there. For the second straight year I was fortunate enough to attend this truly remarkable event, as the top creative minds from all over the world gathered at the convention center to soak up new ideas, sharpen their skills, and get inspired.

I’m writing this from Burbank Airport, on my way back to Las Vegas, inspired, motivated and energized after talking to fascinating people from all corners of my professional field. Now, to give you some insight on what I saw, did, listened to, and soaked up, a synopsis of everything I learned this week.

Max Sign

Max Sign

Day One – Game Changers

There’s no better way to start the Adobe Max convention than by listening to the keynote by Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems. Shantanu introduced all there is to “ooooh and ahhhh” about in Adobe updates. In conjunction with the newly introduced Photoshop to iPad in 2019, no, that is not a drill, you heard correctly, Photoshop for iPad will support native .psd files and sync from cloud to desktop versions so you can easily create on the go. #gamechanger.

photoshop on iPad

photoshop on iPad

This year, Adobe has done lots of testing of augmented reality, a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Dare we say: Content Aware. Ever since Photoshop introduced Content Aware, our minds have been blown. To get rid of a street light in the middle of a street with no evidence of it ever being there is just mind-blowing.

The 2019 update of Photoshop Using Adobe Sensei, Content-Aware Fill gives users more options to easily remove objects from photos. In addition to that, Photoshop also gains a frame tool that serves as a placeholder for images.

Designing a New Future

In my breakout sessions today, I learned about designing a new future for your brand from Leland Maschmeyer, Creative Director at Chobani, as well as Brian Collins, CEO/Chief Creative Officer at Collins & Partners. Maschmeyer and Collins spoke about creating a new brand and design operating system based on their work with some of the world’s leading brands such as Spotify and Chobani.

Maschmeyer and Collins also dove into leveraging a brand’s beliefs, capabilities, and marketplace wants, an approach that is aimed at inspiring and reimagining your organization,  leveraging design to connect and make a leap into the future.

We Are All Wrong

In my other session, I learned “What Nobody Told You About Making the Jump to Creative Director” by Creative Director of Adobe, Adam Morgan. The chasm between senior creative and creative director is massive.

Every designer who approaches this big leap has no idea what it takes to make that leap. More than not, they truly just believe that being talented is the only thing that it takes. They also believe that senior management will see that they are ‘hot stuff’ and promote them to CD based on their merit. News flash: IT NEVER WORKS OUT THAT WAY.

The most important skillset it takes to be a CD is being proactive. “Learn that khaki talk”. Meaning, learn about the company, learn the way your company works, learn how the money is being made, about everyone’s jobs and roles, because essentially, being part of CD, is not only knowing what you need to do to get a job done but also knowing what your designers are going to do to get the job done.

Day 2: Big Names, Big Stories

Keynote: Ron Howard: Academy Award-winning filmmaker, one of film and television’s most enduring legends, with over fifty years in the entertainment industry.

Ron Howard Keynote

Ron Howard Keynote

Quest Love: Producer, author, musician, DJ, designer – best selling author, 5-time Grammy winner, and member of the hip-hop group The Roots.

Quest Love Keynote

Quest Love Keynote

Nicola Scott – Comic book artist who has worked on iconic characters such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

Nicola Scott Keynote

Nicola Scott Keynote

Albert Watson – Photographer who made his mark as on one of the world’s most successful and prolific photographers since he began his career in 1970.

Albert Watson Keynote

Albert Watson Keynote

Whether or not you are a creative just getting started or someone with 30 years worth of experience, everyone can take away an experience like no other from this conference. Each creative has their own words of advice and insights. Some of the best advice given from one of the speakers, Ron Howard was: “Someone has to help you understand early on that your creativity has value. You’re not wasting your time dreaming.”

me and Johnny Earle owner of Johnny Cupcakes

me and Johnny Earle owner of Johnny Cupcakes

Smirnoff branding by The Yarza Twins

Smirnoff branding by The Yarza Twins

flatlay 3d illustration

flatlay 3d illustration

Ray LaMontagne poster illustration printed on large format

Ray LaMontagne poster illustration printed on large format

Creative Lounge \ aqua

Creative Lounge \ aqua

Abstract Geometric Photo Collage Tutorial

I just found this super cool tutorial by Chris Spooner on how to make a Geometric Photo Collage Art. Mind you, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, I would not recommend this. You can always play around with your Geometric Illustrator template and create your own as well.

Here is the link for the tutorial:

Here is my original image:


and then here is the image I created:




Anaglyph 3D


Chalkboard lettering tutorial in Photoshop

Once again my love for donuts prevails.

If you are typographically challenged when it comes to drawing letters, you result to other ways in order to improvise. I made this super easy tutorial that will make your lettering look like chalk letters! No more messing with photoshop to get the right effect.

1. Open a new document in photoshop sized at 8.5″x11″

2. Write out whatever saying you want. I used one font that looks handwritten (Moonflower bold) & Happyloverstown

3. Reduce the opacity of the text layer to anywhere from 10%-14%. (You can barely see mine below).

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 1.40.39 PM

4. print the document out

5. trace the letter with a pencil and shade in the bold ones (like I’m doing below). It doesn’t have to be perfect because you ultimately want it to look like you hand drew it from the start.

unnamed copy

6. Scan the document once you are done tracing

7. Import the scanned document into Photoshop

8. Use the magic wand tool to select the white background. Then go to Select>Similar

then Select>Inverse to select the text

9. Move the letters (you’ll see the scissor tool when hovering over the letters) to a new document.

10. Place an image as a background, meaning this layer will be below your text layer you just pasted. (I got my image here:

11. Your text looks exactly like a pencil drawing and probably pretty ugly. So, put a color overlay on it. You can chose any color you want but in order for it to look like a chalk effect, choose white.

12. Voila! You’re done!

Here’s my final product:



Planetary Awesomeness

Some of my favorite tutorials are by YuLia Sokolova and today I created some space icons from one of her Photoshop tutorials. Here’s my outcome:

planets Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.46.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.46.39 PM


As a little kid growing up in the 90’s, the spirograph was my entertainment pretty much all day, every day. I loved that thing so much with the little carrying case. I thought I was so important. Let me bring you back a few years:


Now, since today is Thursday and I’m sure all of you are well aware of #TBT by now, I decided to teach myself how to make one in Illustrator. Here is the result:


Donut kill my vibe.

Hi there,

many people have asked me if I can draw. The answer I give is usually “no” under the circumstances I am looking at something. So here it is, I am obsessed with looking at black and white images and drawing them. I got some Micron pens too for Christmas and have been putting them to use.

This will not be your first post you see with my Microns..or Donuts for that matter. (As I recall I have already made a post about Donuts).


Invitation Design + Tutorial

I created these vintage flowers from this tutorial I found here:–cms-21817

I loved them so much I decided to then make an invitation design out of them. Here is my result:

Vintage Flower tutorial turned Invitation Design Birthdayback BirthdayFront Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.16.17 AM

Surreal Poster – Illustrator Tutorial

Check out this awesome illustrator tutorial on how to make a surreal poster. Here is what I came up with:


Reflecting + Projecting – 20 Years of Design Excellence

Last night I attended the Reflecting + Projecting exhibition inside the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum. It was an exhibition of the AIA Nevada Excellence in Design Award-winning projects all the way from 1994 to present. We have so many talented architecture students that come from UNLV and was amazed at all the award winning designs that have become a reality.

Reflecting + Projecting

While I was there I came across a biography about an artist, James Turrell. If you don’t know who he is already, he is an American artist who works directly with light and space to create artwork that engages viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. He is a brilliant artist  who has been obsessed with light since a very young age, has been awarded over 50 various awards including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship award and appointed by President Obama for the National Medal of Arts in a White House Ceremony.

James-Turrell-3_151459822293 13-1024x807 fh_bridgetsbardo-1400x1000 James-Turrell-Las-Vegas