Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photoshop World Orlando 2010

In 2009 I was lucky enough to win a ticket to the Photoshop Conference in Boston through the Student Graphic Design Association at the University of Central Florida. I had nothing less than a fantastic time. I stayed involved with the Student Graphic Design Association for another year and I was able to go the the next Photoshop Conference which was held in conveniently in Orlando.

The conference was held in the Orange County Convention Center; a massive building full of geometric lines and arching windows.

Another view of the beautiful architecture from the outside.

This is a shot of the students from the Graphic Design Association with Robert Vanelli. He was one of the staff members at the Photoshop Conference who I was lucky enough to meet last year at the restaurant in Boston. I was thrilled that he remembered me from a year ago and happily posed for a group shot. 

I was also able to find Rod Harlan again! I've followed Rod on twitter since that fateful night at the restaurant in Boston. A one point I made a comment on my twitter account about a piece of art work I had finished. Out of the blue Rod contacted me and asked if he could see it. I nervously sent him a file of my artwork. 

Rod is the President of DriveDV, Inc. - a full service multimedia marketing firm, and SITEdriver - a web development company. He is also the Founder and Director of Education for the Digital Video Professionals Association (DVPA). And that's just the short list of things he does. At the time I was still a bit shy about showing people my artwork, especially someone of such high standing in the arts community. I sent him a file of one of my digital portraits. (To see more of this artwork please visit my previous post Digital Portaits) Rod wrote back shortly and told me that he thought it was great. I couldn't believe that someone in such a professional position took such an interest in what I was doing. 

When I found Rod again at this Photoshop Conference he greeted me with a smile and introduced me to one of his friends as "that girl who makes amazing illustrations". I was simply beaming. 

This is a photo of me with Scott Kelby. Scott is the Editor and Publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor-in Chief of Layers Magazine, training director and instructor for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour, President National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), CEO of Kelby Media Group, and author of a string of bestselling technology books. 

After the first conference I attended in Boston I was browsing through books in the Apple store. I picked up a book called "The iPhone Book: How To Do the Most Important, Useful & Fun Stuff With Your iPhone." It was colorfully written and sprinkled with humor. I turned the book over and was blown away when I saw Scott Kelby's name. Unable to contain my excitement I turned to my friend and shouted "I know him! That's Scott! I met him at the Photoshop World Conference!" 

At Photoshop World they have an expo hall that sells books by all of the professionals who speak at the conference. Many of the books are written by Scott and all of them pertain to art and technology. Except one. While pouring over the book selection I stumbled upon a book titled "The Book for Guys Who Don't Want Kids: How to Get Past the Fear of Fatherhood." At first I assumed the book had been misplaced but upon closer inspection I saw that it was written by none other than Scott Kelby. Curious, I picked up the book and began to skim through the pages. 

It was written by Scott in response to one of his friends finding that his girlfriend was pregnant and wanted to keep the baby. Scott's conversations with this man turned into the advice and tips that were the basis for the book. I remember one story that stood out to me in particular. Scott talked about a promise that he and his wife made to both get up in the middle of the night and take care of their child together as a team. No fighting about your turn vs. my turn. They would both get up and sit as a team. 

He went on to describe how difficult it was at times and how exhausting it is to raise a child. But he also spoke fondly of the deeper connections he built with his wife and the powerful bonds he created with his children. In a sea of tech books I was completely taken with the one book that seemed so out of place. I found it so compelling that a man with so much prestige relating to technology would take the time to write a book helping other men to become better fathers. All of his books about how to use the technology are brilliant, but this book really gives you an idea about what this man is made of. I have nothing but the outmost respect for Scott.

As I was leaving the convention center I ran into Vanelli one last time. He posed for a picture with his son Alec. The enthusiasm and positive energy at the Photoshop World conference is delightfully overwhelming. It brings so much joy to my heart to be surrounded by so many industry professionals who take as much pride in connecting with others as they do in their jobs. 

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