Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference is back with a bang this 26–28 October 2021. This virtual event is set to feature more than 400 talks, labs, and workshops in 11 different tracks, from graphic design to photography, UX and AR. Whether you’re a design-lover in search of inspiration, or a creative professional looking to build new skills, this year’s dynamic catalog has got you covered. And once again, the entire event is totally free and open to all.

Here, we pick out a few of our favourite sessions in the line-up, from an intimate chat with design superstar Marina Willer, to a round-table discussion with two creative activists who are working to protect our oceans.

Wendy MacNaughton, Amos Kennedy, and Adobe Stock Artists Talk Diversity
Friday, Oct 29 | with Wendy MacNaughton, Amos Kennedy and more

In this mainstage broadcast, some of the world’s most influential visual artists will discuss how they champion diversity in their practice. First up is print-maker Amos Kennedy, who will share his approach to using the medium of letterpress to showcase Black culture and address racial injustices. Next is Wendy MacNaughton, the acclaimed graphic journalist behind Women Who Draw, a database promoting visibility for women-identifying and non-binary illustrators in the publishing industry. Trained as both an artist and social worker, her work centers on “deep looking” — the idea that through direct observational drawing we’re able to overcome bias and connect with one another. Also joining them on the panel are Adobe Stock artists Wiji Lacsamana, Hideo Tsuto and Lynne Hardy.

Speak Data
Thursday, Oct 28 | with Giorgia Lupi

Data is ubiquitous today, but what does it really mean, and how can we extract real value from it in our daily lives? In this illustrated talk, prolific information designer Giorgia Lupi will spill the beans on data humanism, her unique philosophy for understanding and challenging the impersonality of numbers. As Giorgia surveys her diverse work over the last decade, you’ll discover the far-reaching applications of data humanism, from corporate and institutional work to personal projects, and learn how to harness data as a design tool, while respecting human privacy and experience in the process. If you’re looking for a taste of Giorgia’s compelling work, check out our write-up of this year’s Plastic In the Air and last year’s Happy Data.

Mindfulness Exercises and Inspiration: Against the Odds
Wednesday, Oct 27 | with Marina Willer 

In this session, join Pentagram partner, designer, and filmmaker Marina Willer as she and her team share personal and professional advice on ways to cope during a pandemic. You’ll learn how she’s been managing to keep sane in the face of uncertainty, giving herself creative, purposeless tasks that work purely as mindfulness exercises. You’ll also find out how these doodles and down-times actually happened to bring inspiration to her other projects, and explore why, as creatives, it’s important that we create spaces and moments that put our wellbeing and mental health first.

The Art of Photography
Wednesday, Oct 27 | with Ellen Sheidlin and Jimmy Nelson

Magic, conflict, the very real, and the surreal — this session will unpack how two distinct innovators use photography to create conversation. With her absurdist, dream-like imagery, self-taught Russian artist Ellen Sheidlin has amassed a huge Instagram following, and a growing client list that includes BMW, Nike and L’Oréal. Her insight will be invaluable for any photographer looking to expand their reach in a rapidly-changing industry. Then, attendees will hear from Jimmy Nelson, the celebrated photographer known for his striking images of indigenous and tribal peoples. Documented most recently in Before They Pass Away (2013) and Homage to Humanity (2018), his images offer a heady mix of fear and beauty. Don’t miss his talk if you’re interested in the links between storytelling, documentation and aesthetics.

Saving the Planet Creatively
Thursday, Oct 28 | With the Ocean Agency and Viva con Agua

Water scarcity and pollution is a global challenge. For those looking to better understand what design can do to make a positive contribution to this problem, this session brings together two creative organisations currently working on the frontlines of water resilience and ocean conservation. Hear from Richard Vevers, founder of The Ocean Agency, on how to use creativity, technology, and powerful partnerships to help protect our waterways. He will be joined by Michael Fritz, the co-founder of Viva con Agua, an agency that leverages creative and joyful activities to provide access to water and sanitation for the world’s most vulnerable people.

To learn more about the event, and see the full catalog of sessions, visit max.adobe.
All images: Adobe MAX.

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