In the last of our dispatches from OFFF Barcelona, Rufus Deuchler and Vincent Gault discuss the future of creative process.
In The OFFF Dispatch we’ve partnered with Adobe to report back from OFFF Barcelona, one of the world’s largest showcases of creativity, art and digital design. To conclude the series, Rufus Deuchler and Vincent Gault discuss the future of creative process.
In the near future, perhaps all of reality will be augmented, all renderings three-dimensional, all digital interfaces interactive.
The possibility of enhancing reality in this way, of shaking up the 2D perception we’ve grown accustomed to with 3D models, was explored in-depth at OFFF Festival – held in Barcelona from 5 to 7 May – an annual gathering of designers, thinkers, developers and students in the creative industry.
Adobe, the main sponsor of the festival, provided a range of workshops and masterclasses, looking at the future of creativity and the role of technology in shaping design. It was curated and delivered by some of the biggest names in design and visual arts.
Rufus Deuchler, Director of Worldwide Creative Cloud Evangelism at Adobe, and Vincent Gault, Senior Technical Artist at Adobe, delivered a keynote speech about how to design for the future – with the aim of both shaping your own legacy, and leaving a mark on the wider world of design.
Here, Deuchler and Gault share what their futuristic-sounding roles entail, what keeps them inspired, and the ways in which they envision 3D technology forever changing the face and purpose of design.
What do your jobs entail?
Rufus: Primarily, evangelism means to bring the good news. That is what I do with a focus on design, and of course Adobe solutions. Pre-pandemic there was a lot of travelling and my team has shifted to live streaming, either on Adobe Live or on our own channels. I also work with the creative community at a global level.
Vincent: In one sentence: making sure that our community is happy! It means maintaining a direct contact with them, promoting them, and sharing their feedback with our teams. They are our heroes.
What are your creative processes?
Rufus: I am Swiss, so my creative process is very structured, everything has to fit into the grid. From the initial phases of research, to the final result, I always keep the client’s needs in mind. So I guess the best way to describe my process is to first get into the client’s shoes, understand their opportunity fully, before making any creative choices at all. I continue to do so with a full understanding of the creative community and the needs of Adobe.
Vincent: I’m more technical than artist, so my passion is not to make the best art, but to make some tools to help artists be better artists – like new filters for Substance 3D Designer or Painter. I generally try to look at what’s missing or take some tedious processes and try to make them simpler.
How do you find inspiration in the world around you?
Rufus: Inspiration for me is everywhere, and I keep notes of things that inspire me to maybe iterate on them one day. I find Behance and its powerful filtering and search tools very effective as they allow me to drill down into very specific creative fields and see what artists around the world do on a daily basis.
Vincent: Easy – I just have to look at what the community does on a daily basis. They are always pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible with our tools!
What role do you think curiosity plays in art?
Rufus: If there is no curiosity, there is no creativity. They go hand in hand. I always think about creativity as the sum of everything seen, heard, read and sensed. The more baggage a creative professional has, the easier it is to empathise and create new solutions.
Vincent: Curiosity is a necessary process if we want to improve not only our creativity, but our life in general. It’s the door in front of you that needs to be opened to discover what is still hidden to you. This is where your next idea is waiting for you, so don’t be afraid, and enjoy the journey.
What are your best tips for getting out of a creative rut?
Rufus: Go for a walk with no distractions except for the joy of taking a walk. For me, this helps me gather my thoughts and come back to my tasks refreshed and ready to move on.
Vincent: Be candid, and try to understand the intention behind a creation before judging the execution.
What are your best tips for finding your USP as a creative?
Rufus: There used to be a time when the unique selling proposition was: I can do everything! From a business card to a website to a promo reel. This is no longer the case. Creatives today need to focus on what they are best at and find clients that will enjoy that particular skill.
I always tell designers to create very specific portfolios because clients look for something specific. If you have many talents and skills, make various portfolios. This will help you focus and will help clients find just what they need.
Vincent: I agree with Rufus. You have to differentiate yourself in one way or another – like The Purple Cow of Seth Godin. Be remarkable in both meanings of this word.
What can 3D design technology be applied to?
Rufus: In my field, graphic design, I am particularly interested in virtual photography. This allows me to quickly change colours of objects and place 3D objects anto a 2D image with ease, without the need to set up a photographic studio each time.
Vincent: 3D is gradually finding its place in any industry that needs stunning visuals. It goes from entertainment like games and movies, to fashion, architecture, packaging, automotive, product design… Whether we are talking about creativity, or efficiency, it’s really easy to showcase the benefit of 3D in any kind of workflow.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given as a creative?
Rufus: Never give up on your creative dreams. It takes time but there will be fruits. Be patient with yourself as you learn, and be patient with whom you work with as they learn to appreciate you.
Vincent: Don’t be selfish. We get inspiration and help from the world and creatives around us. So when you have the opportunity, return the favour: do some tutorials, share some tips. You won’t lose anything doing so, and it will open you new doors.
In which ways do you think design can shape the world?
Rufus: Everything in the world is designed for reasons that go from utility all the way to disruption. There is an intent and a result. Whether it’s a chair or a beautiful illustration, everything conveys a message and a feeling. It is up to us to create the world we want to live in.
Vincent: Design is meant to improve our daily lives, whether it’s from a practical or esthetic point of view. In that sense, the intention is more important than the scale of your design project. Little ideas can change the life of millions of people. I’m looking at you sliced bread!
How is Adobe enabling the creation of innovative and bold art?
Rufus: In recent years we have focused a lot on adding machine learning and artificial intelligence to our tools, because there are repetitive and tedious tasks that are best left to the machines.
Quick selection in Photoshop, for example, or intelligently cropping video around a subject of interest – all tasks that would have taken much more time. Also, the Creative Cloud offers all of the tools to express creativity in a broad range of media. I am not saying that everyone uses all of the applications, but everyone has access to all of the applications when creativity knocks on the door.
Vincent: One of Adobe’s core ideas is the concept of ‘first mile’ – making sure that the first experience with our software is as easy and natural as possible, so everyone can try them and express their own ideas. We want to make sure that the first mile of your creative journey is as enjoyable as possible. Who knows where it will lead you to?
How do you envision the future of creativity?
Rufus: With content creation and consumption exploding across every device, we’re unleashing #creativityforall with Adobe Creative Cloud. Innovative technologies and new opportunities are changing the way people create. Creators all over the world seek new ways to tell their stories and express their ideas. Adobe continues to evolve Creative Cloud to support creators of all kinds, no matter what motivates them – from professional designers to entrepreneurs to artists. The future of creativity is bright, and there is room for everyone to thrive and express themselves.
Vincent: In a way, technology will help you be more creative by making your playground borderless. It’s you starting on a smartphone and continuing at home on a desktop. But it’s also by being more collaborative and letting your friends and colleagues join in a natural way. This already exists, but we can make this even more frictionless. We can improve the ways pieces connect together.
Follow along for more stories from The OFFF Dispatch and learn more about OFFF Barcelona at offf.barcelona.