What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
Responsibilities? Wait, who told you I had responsibilities?!
OK, I’m the President of CreativePro Network, which is the parent company of CreativePro.com, InDesignSecrets.com, CreativePro Week conferences, and InDesign Magazine. We love helping creative pros become more efficient and productive with their tools, such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, PowerPoint, fonts, and so on.
However, the title I prefer is “co-host,” because a) my business partner is Anne-Marie “Design Geek” Concepción, and b) I do see my role as being a host — like at a party! The host plans, organizes, and creates the space for the community. And CreativePro really is a worldwide community! So sure, I teach, present, consult, edit articles for the magazine, write a lot, record videos… but the thread that holds it all together is offering an environment in which creative pros can learn, connect, and thrive.
Now, I should mention that I also do other stuff: I have recorded a couple dozen video training titles for LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com)… I have written a bunch of non-computer books (such as Spectrums: Our Mind-Boggling Universe From Infinitesimal to Infinity)… so, “daily responsibilities” is tricky. It’s always changing!
What inspired you most to become a Graphic Designer/Teacher?
My step-mother was a graphic designer, and I was nine when she came into my family’s life. She and I would spend hours dreaming up designs for album covers, designing logos for the various crazy companies I would invent… she gave me cutting edge art supplies such as Letraset, Format, X-acto blades (we’re talking the mid-1970s). At the same time, my step-dad worked at Xerox PARC, where much of the modern “graphical user interface” was invented, and I would hang out there after school, playing with color laser printers and vector drawing programs. This stuff wasn’t available anywhere outside research labs, but for me, it was the perfect digital playground.
So by 1989 — when desktop publishing was just taking off — perhaps it was inevitable that someone would say, “you should write about what you know.” I wrote books, which led me to doing videos, and speaking at conferences and workshops all around the world. I realized that I love helping people get better at these tools.
You know, I see InDesign, Illustrator, and all this stuff as tools of democracy. That is, they’re empowering! They make it possible for almost anyone to create and share, to express, to communicate. That’s very powerful stuff.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
It’s interesting, and frustrating, how many creatives want to just create, without taking the time to understand the craft or the tools or the technology. I love that creative energy, but it’s so important to slow down, and take some time to learn the boring stuff. For example, in InDesign, you have to learn to use paragraph and character styles — and even object styles — correctly. In Photoshop, you have to understand resolution, and the difference between vectors and rasters, and why non-destructive editing is so important. It’s not hard, it’s just that it’s not flashy-fun-creative stuff. You know what I call “Blatner’s first rule of publishing”: Take time now to save even more time in the future.
What predictions do you have for the future of InDesign and other creative apps?
Flying cars! Jet packs! Oh, you mean like InDesign and creative apps? Remember that InDesign is a page-layout app, but a “page” can be almost any kind of rectangular area — not just print, but screens of all sorts and sizes. InDesign is special because it’s an agnostic aggregator… that is, it lets you pull together all kinds of content onto that page, and then gives you the power to set relationships between the objects, and even behaviors. While I don’t think we’ll be seeing 3D or XR (e.g. VR/AR) in InDesign, there’s no reason Adobe shouldn’t extend its 2D capabilities far beyond what we see today.
CreativePro Week is coming!!!
Use my code: CPWAF33 when you register to take $100 off!
CreativePro Week 2019 is June 10th – 14th in Seattle.
#Photoshop #Illustrator #InDesign
Speakers to include David Blatner, Anne-Marie Concepción, Dax Castro, Jesús Ramirez, Mark Heaps, Michael Ninness, Lisa Carney, Howard Pinsky, Tony Harmer, Laura Coyle, Von Glitschka, Laurie Ruhlin, Conrad Chavez, Brian Wood, Erica Gamet, Chris Converse, Nigel French and more!
It’s going to be Awesome!