What We Learned: Adobe Creative Jam
Jun 1, 2016
“Never forget the power of a story, the power of really good storytelling.”
Zan Gantt, senior editor at Centerline, learned a lot at the Adobe Creative Jam that was held at CAM Raleigh on May 24th in Raleigh. The power of storytelling was, far and away, the most valuable takeaway.
According to their website, Adobe’s Creative Jam is a “unique two-part creative experience where design duos compete in a tournament utilizing Adobe Creative Cloud.” The teams have three hours to work – and zero rules to follow – after which they present their work to an audience/jury who choose the winners.
Centerline had three teams entered into the Motion Design Challenge:
- Team Green Unicorn with a Rainbow Reflection in the Eyes, Maybe: Jingky Gilbert, Simon Lavit
- Team Kill the Comic Sans: Michael Mercer, Marcos Zanet
- Team You Don’t Have a Chance: Zan Gantt, Chance Qin
“There was a lot involved, but we had a lot of fun,” said Chance Qin. “Making things in three hours, that’s a lot less time than usual for our daily projects, so time management was a big thing.”
The theme was “Connect the Dots,” and all brainstorming, concepting, design and production had to be done in that three hour timeframe.
“Our team was the only one without audio, we just didn’t get around to it. You want to make your project look as complete as possible,” said Qin. “Sometimes people focus on the one thing that’s missing.”
Another thing there wasn’t much time for at the Creative Jam? Nerves.
“It was our first time doing something like this, so we were nervous, we wanted to do a good job,” said Qin. “We still had fun, and did a good job, but next time our approach to the brainstorming phase will be better, because we won’t be as nervous.”
Nerves certainly contributed to the stress, but Gantt said there were other things to worry about as well.
“I needed a lot of work space because we were working with cut paper as well as other elements, and that was difficult because there really wasn’t that much space to go around with all the teams. Then, they let the audience come in and watch us work. The pressure really came when there were people talking, watching and walking all around you,” explained Gantt.
How do you deal with that kind of pressure? Take a deep breath, maybe do a few push-ups…or if all else fails, you chug a beer and hope for the best.
“Around the two hour mark, someone offered me a beer and I just chugged it. I hadn’t eaten much, so that 8% beer gave me a buzz,” laughed Gantt. “I probably won’t do that next time, but it did help with the nerves, and I was way more comfortable during the pitch portion of the challenge. I wasn’t worried about what anyone thought of me anymore.”
To Gantt, the winners focused on telling a story, rather than the literal interpretation of the theme.
“We went strictly with a concept and visuals, and didn’t try to attach a story to our animation. There was no character, no attachment,” said Gantt. “I’m not sure how I would have attacked it differently, looking through this lens, but the power of a story was definitely a big takeaway.”
While winning would have been awesome, in the end, not coming in first wasn’t that big of a deal.
“The experience was the prize – having the opportunity to take an idea and turn it into something, in less than three hours, was the prize. I was really proud of everyone, not just our teams, but everyone that was able to turn something in and have something cool to show off.”
The Creative Jam team created a “Social Recap” of the Raleigh event, check it out here: https://nvite.com/CreativeJam/ral/social