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Photoshop World Keynote

Let's look at some Vegas pictures. I might as well start with Photoshop World, which was the primary reason I went. Since the motel PW was being held at (Mandalay Bay) was exorbitant, I stayed at a cheapo place a couple of motels down. It LOOKED close on the map, but walking there...that was another story. I think it took about 1/2 hour to walk to the hotel and another half hour to walk to the convention area. On my way there, before I realized what a daunting trek was ahead of me, I passed by this monkey obelisk in front of Luxor. My two thoughts, in no particular order, were, "Looks like something out of Planet of the Apes" and also, "Hey, they have genitalia!"

The restaurants inside Manalay Bay were all $30-$50 per plate type restaurants. The wall below was the facade of a restaurant called Auriole. And given that it was a wall of boobies, I got the word "auriole" confused with the word "areola," and I was conflicted as to whether I thought it was the height of arrogance to name a restaurant after a nipple, or if I admired the bravado of whoever got that concept past the marketing team. Later I looked up the word and realized I'd been fuming and conflicted over nothing.

There is a ghost sphere beside the highest ass on the wall. Yay!

Eventually, I found the convention. Just a few other people there! I had been hoping to meet some interesting people, but that wasn't in the cards. Either people where there with their own cliques, or they were in their own little worlds and didn't really care to chat.

Because I hadn't gotten my pass in the mail, I went early to make sure I was all registered. That went off without a hitch and they gave me a workbook that was larger than a Madison phone book. (Yay! I get to carry that home on the plane!)

A couple who were discussing their Very Important Jobs in TV or media or something sat near me and I did manage to get them to speak a few words. They were talking about whether or not they wanted to go to the keynote address, and the woman said, "All those people are going in," and made it clear she didn't care to walk any farther (not that I could blame her) or to deal with the crowd. However, since classes weren't starting for like an hour and a half, I figured I might as well go.

As the mob was being funneled into the keynote address area, someone made a remark about being in a big slaughterhouse. And it didn't feel unlike that. But then we got to the spot and it looked pretty cool--and KISS music was playing! After we took our seats, the lights went down and they started playing a mockumentary in the style of VH1's "Where are they Now?" for the band "NAPP." (NAPP is the acronym for National Association of Photoshop Professionals. I do understand that finding a joke hilarious that needs explanation for most anyone else to understand it marks me as a major geek.)

Once the mockumentary was done...live, in concert...NAPP!

And I didn't care if I was a geek or not...I thought it was beyond cool. I had goosebumps the whole time. It really solidified that whatever time & money sacrifices I needed to make to get there, it had been worth doing. The guys in NAPP are the biggest author/trainer personalities in Photoshop. Scott Kelby, in the Paul Stanley makeup, is the president of Kelby Training and probably the biggest Photoshop name in the entire world. Dave Cross (Ace Frehley) is Senior Developer, Education and Curriculum for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals--and he is an instructor I've traveled as far as Milwaukee to see. Now I can say I traveled to Vegas to see him. I thought at first they were lip-synching to a track...but as I was watching the monitors, I realized, no. They were playing live. And they sounded spot-on like KISS.

So...other than the fact that I was shocked to see two things I love, Photoshop and KISS, brought together in a most unexpected way, the experience did lead me to thinking about some things.

Look at all the effort that was put into the show. No only did they get the costumes, produce the mockumentary, rewrite the lyrics of I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night to be about Photoshop, practice the song...there were details. Like the makeup wasn't really KISS makeup. It was an adaptation of the little tool icons in the Photoshop panel. In fact, one of the big faux-arguments in the mockumentary was about who got to be the "move tool." Not only did they develop the hybrid KISS/Photoshop makeup, but then they re-created actual KISS album covers to feature the artwork. Album covers that were shown for maybe a split second, but even so, I thought they did an awesome job on Rock n' Roll Over!

These are big-name Photoshop Guys with big careers. They write books, they produce podcasts, they post blogs, they're on Twitter, and they teach classes all over the world. Essentially, they do (on a bigger scale) all the same kinds of things I need to do to promote myself, my platform and my work.

And they made time for this. Not because it would make money--undoubtedly it cost more to create than it brought in. Did I mention the embroidered NAPP Nation patch waiting for me on my seat that looked just like the KISS Army patch I had when I was 12? And not because they could lure people into buying their product with it. Because no one came to Photoshop World for the keynote address--like those two ennui-laden PW alumni who couldn't be bothered to walk to the next building to see it.

I think they did it for the joy of it. Because they thought it was a fun, outrageous idea, and they ran with it.

In the way of people who are both creative and effective, they did it really friggin' well. Right down to the embroidered patch.

Beautiful behind-the-scenes photos here.

I think, when your art becomes your livelihood, all the pressures of living in this world tend to steer you toward what's selling, how your latest book was received, which douchebag left you a two-star review on Goodreads, who's pirating it now, and OMG now there's a big household emergency and how are you ever going to pay for it and maybe you should go fill out a job application at McDonald's.

For me, it does me good to look at these photos and resonate with the joy of doing something creative because you think it's fun.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 23rd, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
I had seen the rock concert theme of the promotional materials but I never thought they'd carry it through to this extent!
Sep. 23rd, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
oh, that is just super-neat!
Sep. 23rd, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
It was unexpected and very fun!
Sep. 23rd, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
How cool is that? My conferences never look that much fun. :-)

To me NAPP is something I deal with daily but it's North America Partnership Platform. :-) VASTLY different. And I've NEVER seen my boss in Kiss make-up, but I might be prepared to pay money to do so.

Glad you had fun.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
The words "keynote address" really don't bring smoke machines to mind. Now I will be expecting them at every future conference.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Did you squee? Just a little?
Sep. 23rd, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
I think I just sat there. Stunned.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
Wow it looks spectacular. Not a KISS fan but even I am amazed at the trouble they went to! Unfortunately I am surrounded by work/family/friends (thankfully NOT my partner) who have nothing but $$$ on their minds, so I am constantly awed and inspired by people who do things because they love it, they are passionate about it, it expresses who they are etc.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Studies show that the ability of money to make you happy plateaus once your needs are met, so it would make sense to start pursuing your vision for other reasons. Glad your partner isn't among the $$$ crowd!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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