The Antidote

SanDiego_Harbor.jpg

Goodbye stress, hello feeling of accomplishment…

This past week, I reached the grand finale of a number of really important work initiatives, and I think it’s only fair that I now catalogue a great big heaping antidote to all the stress I’ve been experiencing (and complaining about) for the past nine months or so.

Because it was an INCREDIBLE week. I am on a high right now.

It was Adobe MAX 2016, in San Diego, and unlike last year, when I was just kicking around LA being inspired by the creative awesomeness of my new employer, this year I was in charge of stuff.

A lot of stuff.

And it was a lot of work.

Namely, I was in charge of the winners’ experience for the 2016 Adobe Design Achievement Awards (I’ve been running the ADAA competition community for the past year, with an amazing team of offshore designers who are actually past winners of the ADAA themselves, from over a decade ago). I was in charge of throwing these standout student creatives an amazing party that made them feel like “creative pros”. I was in charge of their travel, from all corners of the world. I was in charge of throwing a networking event to help them “launch their careers”. I was in charge of making their prize experience at Adobe MAX meaningful — of finding ways to connect them to other meaningful people and events inside a 10,000-person creativity conference.

And this was just one project, in just one of the two roles I play here at Adobe.

And it all. was. AWESOME.

(Props to Trent for bearing with me through it all; he got to attend the conference this year, too, and it was extra amazing to have him there with me at the end of everything.)

Trophies lined up the night of the ceremony.

Trophies lined up the night of the ceremony.

Yes, it was really, really hard getting it all done, and being plugged into Slack for 24 hours a day with 5,300 students who submitted their work from all over the world for a chance to be a part of this, until we whittled it down to 34 finalists and 14 winners. It was hard being on hand to talk to ANY of them, at ANY time, about ANYTHING.

I’m not quite sure how I did it, actually, except that the MORE I did, the more I cared about all of them. And the easier it seemed to get. When I finally met them face to face in San Diego, I couldn’t help myself —

There was a lot of hugging. Huggin’ like a straight up Munga.

Me with Ann Liao and her team from Taiwan. Love these kids so much now, I may have to go to Taipei to visit them.

Me with Ann Liao and her team from Taiwan. Love these kids so much now, I may have to go to Taipei to visit them.

I just had to make it all happen for them.

And now it has. And I am so happy – I almost want to do it all over again.

ALMOST.

Hello, beautiful San Diego (from my hotel room)!

Hello, beautiful San Diego (from my hotel room)!

Getting the kids ready to network like the pros...

Getting the kids ready to network like the pros…

Hello, from your ADAA mascot!

Hello, from your official ADAA mascot!

So happy and proud of all these young people on their big night.

So happy and proud of all these young people – it’s their big night!

The ADAA team really crushed it at MAX this year.

The ADAA team really crushed it at MAX this year.

Most talented boat on the high seas!

Most talented boat on the high seas!

My team from Taiwan missed the boat... but then... THEY CAUGHT IT. I have never been so happy.

My team from Taiwan missed the boat we chartered… but then… THEY CAUGHT IT. I have never been so happy.

The 2016 MAX conference was a showstopper; the students listed Zac Posen and Quentin Tarantino as their big inspiration moments.

The 2016 MAX conference was a showstopper; the students listed Zac Posen and Quentin Tarantino’s keynotes as their big inspiration moments.

Closing out the week with the MAX Bash, and an Alabama Shakes concert.

Closing out the week with the MAX Bash, and an Alabama Shakes concert.

Students at the MAX Bash. Epic end to an epic week.

Students at the MAX Bash. Epic end to an epic week.

Except it wasn't quite over... My Taiwan team flew back to Taipei from San Francisco, and they managed to talk their way into Adobe's offices before they left, to leave me this note. <3

Except it wasn’t quite over… My Taiwan team flew back to Taipei through San Francisco, and they managed to talk their way into Adobe’s offices before they left, to leave me this note. ❤

I mean, I do want to do it all over. Just not for a little while yet. Mama needs a VACATION…

••••••••••••••••••••

See all our pictures of San Diego – including a stopoff with the McMahon family!– here.

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2 thoughts on “The Antidote

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Awesome!! Totally Awesome!! I love the enthusiasm of the Taiwan team! They are unstoppable! What a great feeling to have helped these young people, Lisa. I feel so much better about the future of the world knowing that these kids will be in it! Art can bring us together. Bet you can’t wait to do it again (but not for a little while). Right? Congratulations!

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