The MacWorld "Conference Seminars" were held at the Design Business Centre alongside MacExpo 2004 on the 18 and 19th November. Adobe software is now pretty much ubiquitous, and such seminars are a good opportunity to get some fresh inspiration and see commercial designer and artists 'in action'.
The first session: 'Digital Art Masterclass' featured digital artist Jose Villarubia some of his work and talking the group through his techniques and artistic sources. The work he showed was generally sourced photographically, illustrative and derived from classical sources. His tecnhique is generally quite simply, advocating the use of a small number of layers, focusing on atmosphere and emotion. Other work he showed was the colorization of line artwork for comics, also interesting to see the way in which he builds up mood and character through the use of colour and lighting.
The second session: 'Digital Design Agency' was run by members of the Illustration design agency 741, looking at the concepts, best practices, tools and techniques behind some their recent work. They are a multi-disciplinary agency consisting of a wide group of illustrators with varied skill sets, some working mainly in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. It was this harmony between Illustrator and Photoshop that I was most interested to see. The tendency seems to be to work pretty much as I do: using PS to composite and as the dominant package, but Illustrator/Freehand where a cleaner, sharper vector result is needed. The illustration work was shown by four different members of the group, ranging from painterly styles through to calligraphy. I was slighty dissapointed that the artist who works pre-dominantly with vector-based linear work wasn't there, it would have been interesting to see him build up his artwork from scratch. However, the other members of 741 demonstrated their processes in a humourous and engaging manner and it was good to pick up tips and tricks.
A very crowed MacExpo was also a chance to browse through a well stocked book shop, to see the latest G5 a bit closer up and to see other Adobe products demonstrated.