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9 unmissable speakers at Adobe MAX 2020

Illustrated Adobe Max logo
(Image credit: Nini Sum/Adobe MAX)

Taking place annually in California, Adobe MAX is the biggest, the most star-studded, and most inspirational creative event in the world. But this year, on October 20-22, it’s moving online-only. And that’s great news because it means everyone around the world can attend... for free! 

Quite simply, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that no creative can miss. Over three days you’ll get a chance to hear from more than 350 inspirational speakers, across a wide range of creative disciplines, as well as interact with hundreds of thousands of other attendees through the workshops, live chat and collaborative projects. 

You’ll also get a heads up on the latest new features to hit Adobe’s creative tools. Plus there’ll be a glimpse into the future, with sneak peeks of the mind-bending technologies currently being developed in Adobe Labs.

There isn’t room to list all the speakers and sessions here, which include everyone from graphic designers to musicians, illustrators to photographers, and UX designers to animators. But below you’ll find just nine of the headline speakers that will be firing up the creative community at this incredible event. So don’t miss out, register for Adobe MAX today at max.adobe.com!

01. Film director Wes Anderson 

Wes Anderson

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Wes Anderson is no ordinary director. If you’ve seen any of his quirky and unique films, such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Grand Budapest Hotel, or Isle of Dogs, you’ll know exactly what we mean. We can’t wait to hear him talk about his creative process and learn how he translates his astonishing visions into big screen entertainment. 

02. Photographer Annie Liebovitz

Anne Liebowitz

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Across five decades photographing the contemporary world, Annie Leibovitz has become one of the most iconic and influential photographers of our time. She’s somehow able to personalise even the most famous subjects and portray them in a new light. We’re super-excited to hear her discuss how she does it.

03. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t just a talented, Oscar-winning A-list actress, known for countless iconic roles such as Shakespeare in Love and Sliding Doors. In recent years, she’s also become a successful businesswoman, founding the lifestyle company Goop, and authoring several best-selling cookbooks too. Full of creative drive and passion whatever she turns her attention to, her talk at Adobe MAX promises to be one of the event’s biggest highlights. 

04. Artist Shephard Fairey

Shephard Fairey

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

In 1989, Shepherd Fairey did nothing less than change the course of contemporary art with his groundbreaking OBEY art campaign. It seemed unlikely he’d ever top that, but then in 2008 his ‘Hope’ portrait of Barack Obama did just that. Fairey's stickers, guerilla street art and public murals continue to be celebrated worldwide, and we’re fascinated to hear him talk about his art today and how it interacts with a rapidly changing and chaotic world.

05. Actor and director Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

If there’s a movie fan who doesn’t love Stanley Tucci, we’d like to meet them. The Academy Award nominated actor and director has appeared in over 90 films, ranging from The Hunger Games to Spotlight, as well as countless television shows and more than a dozen plays... and been brilliant in every single one of them. Quite honestly, we’d pay to hear him read the phone book. So to experience him talking about his creative process for free is a treat indeed.

06. Rapper Tyler the Creator

Tyler the Creator

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Tyler the Creator is one of those modern creatives who defines the term ‘multi-hyphenate’. In the music world he’s known as a rapper, a singer-songwriter, and producer. In the fashion world, he’s known as a designer, and founder of the clothing brands Golf Wang and Golf Fleur. Tyler has also launched an annual music festival (Camp Flog Gna), created TV shows (The Jellies! for Adult Swim and Nuts & Bolts for Viceland) and been crowned Wall Street Journal Magazine’s Innovator of the Year. We could go on, but you get the point. Whatever he plans to talk about at Adobe MAX, this is a man you need to listen to.

07. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Systemic discrimination against female directors has been one of the biggest issues in Hollywood of recent years. But thankfully, a few have made it through against the odds, and Ava DuVernay, director of commercial and critical hits Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, is one of the shining examples. Currently in production on her next film, Central Park Five, this talented and inspirational figure will be a real must-watch at this year’s Adobe MAX. 

08. Actor and director Zach Braff

Zach Braff

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Most of us know the charming actor Zach Braff from his starring role in the sitcom Scrubs. But since 2004, he’s been directing hit feature films too, including Garden State and Wish I Was Here, as well as working in theatre and as a screenwriter. He’s certainly not going to be short of things to talk about, then, and we eagerly await what he has to say about producing creative work that’s both popular and critically acclaimed. 

09. Artist Ai Weiwei

Al Weiwei

(Image credit: Courtesy of Adobe MAX)

Ai Weiwei is nothing less than a trailblazer in the creative world. From architecture to installations, social media to documentaries, the artist and activist is renowned for making powerful aesthetic statements on the geopolitical events that engulf us all today. Expect his talk at Adobe MAX to come from the heart, and to move you in unexpected ways. 

Tom May
Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.
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