I’ve been doing my best to recharge my batteries for the second half of 2017. It’s been slow-going since coming back from summer shutdown; shockingly, I’ve been finding my usual 5:30 A.M. wake up time to be a wee bit less appealing than it was back in June…

However, the best part about my job is now kicking into high-gear, and starting in August I’ll be off on another crazy adventure that will reach its grand finale at Adobe MAX 2017 in Las Vegas this October.

On Friday, we announced the remaining Semifinalists in this year’s Adobe Design Achievement Awards:

1,700 students all over the world are now waiting with baited breath to see if they advance to the final round of competition in this global digital media competition I run for Adobe. For me and my super-dedicated team spread equally all over the world, the next few months are going to be a LOT of work (even more so than the last few have been) – but they will also be a lot of fun. And they will be rewarding as hell.

I must keep reminding myself of that, for the times when I feel as though I might die of exhaustion…


Tonight, I’m sitting down to make my contribution to a blog post I asked my team to collectively write. Each of us is supposed to contribute a paragraph about the ADAA entry we personally are cheering for in this final round of the competition.

But it’s hard for me to choose; I’ve had more contact with students than anyone on this project, not just because I’m the leader, but because I’m quite literally connected, via a 24/7 chat, to each and every one of the thousands of them who submitted over 6,700 entries this year.

(but I really cannot whine; this was my idea!)

So many of them have shared their stories with me at this point, about how winning this competition will change their lives. About how coming to Las Vegas, meeting all of us, being honored by Adobe – would be a dream come true. Would truly, as our slogan says, “launch their career”.

It’s going to take me a long time to make my choice. I think, in my heart, I’ll know that I’m really cheering for every last one of them.

“I was just back from a long trip last night. This morning, when I woke up and checked my phone, I got the email saying that I made it into the semifinals. It’s like the first drop of sun visited through the window; it’s like the best gift welcomed me home; and it’s like a slight whistle started the new day. I’m glad that I made this so far, though there’s still a long way to go. Good luck for all the talented people here! =D”
– Mengyan Li, Savannah College of Art + Design

“I have encountered Adobe Awards last year, 2016, through Doodle Arts Magazine and planned to join but I don’t know how and I had so many projects to finish. Some of my colleagues in Mapúa got into semis and I felt envy. So this year, I decided to join the earlybird submission. Knowing that I am one of the semifinalists, it is a great pleasure to share to the world how art and design in the Philippines doing. Adobe Awards is a great opportunity for us to expose the Arts & Society in our country.”
– Jomari Bolaton, Mapúa Institute of Technology, Philippines

“It feels like a dream come true to be even there among such talented people. I had never thought that I would be able to do something in this field in my life ever. This is a great source of validation for my dreams to be honest.”
– Siladityaa Sharma, Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles / India

Thank you, students.

YOU are why I still haven’t thrown in the towel and moved to Mexico.



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One thought on “H2

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    What an amazing opportunity to be able to reach so many young artists all over the world and allow them to showcase their work! I can’t imagine the impact it will have! Who would have thought that possible a few years ago? Or how art can alter the future of the human race, by sending life changing messages to its audience? You are lucky to be the coordinator/facilitator for such a significant project. Maybe one day their art will force all of us to stop and look at each other in a different way, and maybe we won’t hate each other any more. We can always hope…….

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