Once Upon a Sketch Podcast Episode 4 – Roundtable Adobe’s Big Switch

This month on the Once Upon a Sketch podcast we welcome around table of children’s book artists to discuss Adobe switching their software model. Donald Wu, Chris Jones and Mary Reaves Uhles join Wilson and I to give our thoughts and reactions to the Creative Cloud announcement. From how it affects small one person companies to is it worth it to make the move to the cloud. We try to figure out these questions.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud VS Creative Suite (Infographic)

Alternatives to Using the Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe announces plan to switch to subscription service

Audio Version of the podcast or listen on iTunes

podcastroundtable02 Donald Wu – 
Born in Hong Kong, Donald grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area after moving there as a child. Years of drawing doodles in school along with a love of comic books led him to study illustration at the California College of the Arts. While at school, Donald was introduced to many different mediums ranging from watercolors to acrylics. Although Donald started his career using traditional mediums, Donald has since made the transition to digital medium. Donald continues to reside and “doodle” in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Agents website
podcastroundtable01 Chris Jones – 
I’m an illustrator with an expressive and humorous style that is fun and engaging. I’m equally comfortable working on picture books, or sequentially in comics/cartoons.Born near Toronto, Canada, and raised on comic books, red licorice, and Saturday morning cartoons, I’ve been drawing with a passion ever since I could hold a crayon!I’m a Graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and a member of: the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Picture Book Artists Association.
 podcastroundtable03 Mary Reaves Uhles – 
Mary Reaves Uhles has worked for over a decade creating art for children. Her pieces have been included in books and magazines around the world. Prior to beginning her career as a freelance illustrator, Mary worked as an animator on projects for Warner Brothers and Fisher-Price Interactive. To this day her work features a cinematic quality essential to bringing characters to life.
 podcastroundtable04 Norm Grock – 
Norm Grock has been drawing since before he even learned to swim which is saying a lot considering he grew up in Hawaii. Since leaving the Islands’ beautiful beaches and landing in Oregon he went to college and received a degree in graphic design. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Norm spends countless hours perfecting his craft as a freelance illustrator working on several children’s books. With over 15 years in the children’s entertainment industry Norm would like to start working on his passions and create his own intellectual properties.
 podcastroundtable05 Wilson Williams, Jr – 
I have been a professional commercial artist and designer for over thirteen years. My pens, pencils and wacom pen have been drawing and painting images from my imagination my entire life. My work is whimsical, fun and captures the measure of my spirit.

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  1. mary uhles

    hey guys, just went back and listened to the conversation from last week…. and I thought of a question it would be good to follow up on in a future cast regarding this… at the end Norm and Chris talk about how the newest upgrades benefit photo retouchers and app developers. So the question is where does Adobe go to get customer feedback on what to include in upgrades? Do they focus group it? How do they decide what to else to build in? It would be interesting to know those answers as well as how/where they are deliberating on the feedback from the cloud rollout

  2. Andrea

    I’m so glad I have CS6.
    And I don’t think I will be needing anything higher.
    It doesnt change much.

  3. Randy Arnold

    Hey folks, Thanks so much for the podcast. I am personally mad as **** about this change.
    1. When CS6 came out they claimed you could not upgrade to CS7 from CS5.5.
    2. I reviewed the improvements in CS6 and realized there was only one real improvement. Everything new they showed in CS6 could already be done in CS5.5. The one improvement was it initialized and worked faster without crashing or hanging. Reluctantly I popped the bucks for the CS6 and now I feel betrayed and foolish since there is no such thing as CS7. That is misrepresentation.
    I certainly cannot afford the kind of money they are charging. I understand they want to stop piracy, but do they have to do it by extortion? I have seen a lot of efforts to stop copying, but someone always seems to come up with a way around it. From video tapes to disks and of course our own art work. So who is to say that after a year or so you’re paying for this service and someone else is hacking in and getting it free. Adobe will still be paying some kind of price to stop that so it does not mean that they will be making leaps and bounds in the software.
    After seeing all of your works in the podcast, I see that all of you could do your work in Manga Studio. Yes, I just got through reviewing the guest podcast that Norm posted and truthfully I may go back to Manga myself. I had it for a while, but didn’t like the page setup. Maybe I’m just stupid but it seemed awkward. I think Adobe may be selling a lot of Manga and not making a penny for it. Just deserts.
    Randy Arnold

  4. Dayne

    Thanks for the podcast. I am also mad about this change. Yes, I can write off the recurring fees, but I don’t want to be forced into doing that. I don’t upgrade every time Adobe comes out with a minor upgrade and feel no reason to. I am glad I purchased CS6 when I did, I’m set for a while. I’ve been using Corel Painter for my illustrations and love the brushes. I may now also try Manga Studio. See, Adobe is slowly losing their base.

    I remember back when Quark X-Press was arrogant and didn’t listen to it’s customers because they were the best layout software available. They had the market cornered, then came Adobe InDesign and CS. Hardly anyone uses Quark anymore. Well I may go back to Quark again. Adobe is really helping all the other software companies.

  5. Joe Bird

    I’m infuriated, plain and simple. I’ve been a suite owner, for many years, multiple seats as a matter of fact. I feel like Adobe has devalued my investments over the years, for instance, if I try to sell a current seat, I cannot get the retail value out of my investment, In one strolke of the pen, they’ve made my investment a whopping zero.
    I used CS6 creative suite for broadcast, its imperative that I keep up to date with the multimedia apps.
    Now they are dangling carrots with small additions to lure new customers. I’d rather buy that feature as a plug-in. I could go on and on with this subject. I smell a class action suit, and I’ll be right in the thick of it.

  6. OnceUponASketch Podcast - Adobe's Switch to Subscription - Illustration

    […] External Link: OnceUponASketch Podcast – Adobe’s Switch to Subscription […]

  7. Charles Toefield

    I think everyone here has some very interesting points in regards to the Adobe Cloud structure. Unfortunately I think that the possibility of upgrades, increased tech support are really just pieces of wishful thinking ultimately. The cornerstone of this move is really just about further monetizing Adobe’s established customer base then any issues such as preventing piracy and just more about the company being able to dominate it’s audience.

    Sure you have students who may start out pirating copies of Adobe but they eventually purchase a student copy or a full business version. Even in the face of the huge price tag at student level prices.

    Also keep in mind that Adobe has spent years offering huge discounts to the book stores in community colleges and universities across America to get students to purchase the Adobe product and train with it. Basically this move is not only effecting creative professionals but it’s going to force college students to pay out a 50 dollar a month fee, in order to use the adobe service when they are at home. Can anyone who went to college say they can just work on a Graphic Design project strictly at school and not have to put extra time into it at home? Can a college student afford to take on a reoccurring bill like a cell phone that’s tied directly to there education? Really?

    People that continue to pirate out of school ultimately are individuals who aren’t interested in being a creative professional.They don’t value Adobe’s customer support or it’s other features so the idea that the cloud move prevents money loss just isn’t a careful assessment of Adobe’s relationship with it’s customers.

    Most creative professionals purchase a copy of the program because they want to invest in there career. They need things like customer support and such in order to work effectively.

    There are a lot of creatives who don’t upgrade every year because it’s not necessary. Especially Illustrators. This move is simply constructed to force already loyal and paying customers of there software to pay further for the same service. It’s ridiculous.

    It’s really sad to see that the company that I spent money on because of there creativity is not using that creativity to dig into my pocket further. I’m really sadden to see that I’ll eventually have to move on to greener pastures when it comes to software. It’s obviously apparent that Adobe’s not interested in your money as long as they can’t bully you into it.

  8. LadyViridis

    This seems like a pure moneygrab to me.

    I’m a small shop, for sure, and because I’m not making a ton of money, I’m still running the versions of Photoshop I got through college at student rates. I bought the complete CS2 for $250, and I was later able to get a complete copy of CS4 through my college for $20. So even paying $20 a month is way more than my initial investment in the product and makes no sense for me.

    I mostly use Photoshop, but on occasion I do need Illustrator or InDesign. I’m really upset at the prospect of having to pay a big chunk of money more per month so that I can have access to programs I will use maybe a handful of times per year. I haven’t so far had any reason to upgrade past CS4, but I suspect that if I do need to upgrade, I’ll simply get a copy of CS6 and then use it as long as possible. At that point, I’m going to have to start looking at some other alternatives.

    I think Adobe is making a big mistake with this, alienating all the smaller shops and individual artists who can’t afford to pay so much per year. And the thing is, there ARE other programs out there to make digital art with. True, few other programs have the image-manipulation capabilities of Photoshop, but if you just want to paint, there are a ton of programs I already see young artists using like ArtRage and Paint Tool SAI and of course GIMP. They can do a lot of what Photoshop can do, in some cases are even better than Photoshop for painting, and they are much, much cheaper, with either free versions or the whole package available for $30-50. I can see a lot more people migrating over to programs like those rather than be forced to pay so much for Photoshop.

  9. Brendon Wright

    Great talk, chaps!
    That CS2 “free” tip was interesting.

    I found when looking at the upgrade price from cs3 to cs6 that they charged you for the upgrade for each version in between even though you never used them.
    Businessmen just don’t understand artists, eh!
    Here’s a retro funk tune about the whole adobe episode:

    Haha “Yo’ name is mud” get it? Adobe being the clay used for mud huts… Ahem.

  10. Brendon Wright

    D’oh, didn’t proof read that lot. Any way to edit? Too many exclamation marks… “S” missing off “chaps”, moderator, could you fix that before it posts up?


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