20 inspiring quotes from designers, illustrators, photographers & filmmakers at Adobe Max 2015

Legendary director Baz Luhrmann, creator of the Happy Mac icon Susan Kare, Humans of New York's Brandon Stanton and leading illustrators and designers Jessica Hische, Louise Fili, Becky Simpson and Maira Kalman share their wisdom.


Adobe's annual Max conference is a chance for the company to show off the new products, updates and improvements it's made to its software, but in addition it's also an event that attracts thousands of professionals in the creative industry who're looking to be inspired by the many sessions and talks hosted by big-name artists, designers, illustrators and more.

We spent much of our time at Adobe Max in such sessions, and have collected some of our favourite quotes from speakers including legendary film director Baz Luhrmann, the creator of the Happy Mac and loads more familair icons Susan Kare, Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton and illustrators and designers including Jessica Hische, Louise Fili, Becky Simpson and Miara Kalman, which we'll share with you here.

"I photograph every sofa I see. I have hundreds and hundreds of photos of discarded sofas. To be allowed to be broken is really wonderful," Maira Kalman.

Image: Maira on stage at Adobe Max.

"The point of everything is to digress," Maira Kalman

Image: The cover of Maira's latest book, My Favorite Things, which is an illustrated exploration of the significants of objects in our lives, available from Amazon here.


"If I'd waited for the perfect idea, I never would have started," Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York.

Image: Brandon on stage at Adobe Max.

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"We're addicted to being busy. If you want to find your calling, find 10 minutes," Elle Luna.

Image: Elle on stage at Adobe Max.


"Time is the only thing of true value," Baz Luhrmann.

"Creativity is self medication. Everyone has an imagination, but the need to create is just the need to get something out, to express. We all need to do that in different ways in life. But when you can't control it, that's the height of creativity, and it's a sickness."

Image: Baz talking on stage at Adobe Max.


"Don't wait for permission to go out and create." Baz Luhrmann.

Image: Baz Luhrmann at the premiere of his film The Great Gatsby in 2013, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Toby Maguire.

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"Hold on to your stuff," Susan Kare, whose early sketchbooks are now on display in MOMA.

"In design, there is not one right answer, there's a range." Susan Kare.

Image: Just some of the icons Susan has created for Apple.


"I love logo makeovers. I get enormous satisfaction cleaning up someone else's mess." Louise Fili.

"You should never depend on any one type of work or any one client, and you should never sit and wait for the phone to ring with the perfect job, because there is no perfect job"

Image: A portrait of Louise by Henry Leutwyler.


"As a designer, you have to understand that you have to have your own personal projects to know that you can grow and find your own design voice," Louise Fili.

Image: The cover of Louise's book Elegantissima, available from Amazon here.

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"Starting somewhere now is always better than starting somewhere later," Becky Simpson.

Image: Becky signing prints after her talk at Adobe Max.


"Don't wait for permission from anyone, just run after what you want," Becky Simpson.

"Everybody has a story."

Image: The cover of Becky's book I'd Rather Be Short available from Amazon here.


"What's correct is not always right," Jessica Hische.

"Work that you start now, if you're still working on the same project six months from now, you're really questioning the work you were doing at the beginning of it, but that's just something that's normal as a creative professional because we get better, rather than thinking we're awesome at 21 years old."

Image: Jessica at her talk at Adobe Max, after which we caught up with her for a chat about balancing freelancing with being a new mum, the importance of mentorship and how she wrote her first book. Read the interview here.

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"If there's a typeface you love, as long as you're not tracing over it you can make your own version. Spend a lot of time with those letter forms, and stare at them, and then go to sleep. And then draw them tomorrow, and your version is going to be completely different," Jessica Hische.

Image: The cover of Jessica's book, In Progress, which is available from Amazon here.


"Creativity is the world's greatest recycling program. We get inspired by what we see and then we inspire others." Scott Belsky, founder of Behance.