On Thursday evening at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Adobe Design Achievement Awards were held. I was most honored to be asked to present the award for best animation. When you are face to face with all those young, hopeful things, sitting together in little groups – daring not to dream but not being able to help it – you’re honestly amazed at the raw talent of it all. Every category chock full of imaginative, interesting, smart thinking projects, by students from all over the world. One of the things I stressed to the students was the need to make, and keep, as many contacts in the industry as they possible could. Also to make the most of this unique moment provided by Adobe. You look at their work and can’t help but feel good about the future of our industry as well as being cheered by the prospect of following them through the course of their careers, which I’m sure will be illustrative.
The three finalists in the animation category, Axel Brotje, representing the Braunschweig University of Art, Johnny Kelly, from The Royal College of Art in London, and Sean Monahan, of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, each produced excellent short films. All were diverse in look and theme, yet each one was arresting, unique, stimulating to the senses and of the highest professional quality. All of these young men have bright futures ahead of them.
Fische und Schiffe by Axel Brotje was the winner. Axel is a charming, unassuming young man from a small town in Germany. He was, I think, fairly blindsided by his win which made it all the more poignant. Making the most of this opportunity to be here in California, he got up early the next morning and made his way to SIGGRAPH.
On a side note, I was impressed by the fact that, for services rendered, Adobe donated 10 licenses to each judge for them to choose a worthy recipient organization. The judges worked extremely hard sifting through thousands of entries from more than 30 countries and made the awards the great success they undoubtedly were.
Take some time to look not only at the animations, now on Adobe’s site, but also at the other categories of this exceptionally interesting competition.