As a Principal Worldwide Evangelist for Adobe, RMCAD alumnus and Radiance Award honoree Paul Trani has turned his life-long passion for art and design into a career where his top priority is to inspire others. With over 20 years of experience as a creative professional, he has worked in design, public speaking, and training roles. In an interview with RMCAD, Trani talked about his job, what inspires him, and advice for people who are interested in a creative career.
When did you first become interested in art?
Just like most children, I was interested in it as a young age. I remember making drawings from a He-Man comic book when I was about five years old. I thought, by the power of Grayskull, I have the power to create!
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue this interest as a career?
Through middle and high school, I showed an aptitude for art. I took all the art classes I could, including summer classes and even some college courses while I was still in high school. So, a career in the field seemed like a natural progression. I’m one of those annoying kids who always knew what I was going to do.
What inspires your work as a designer, public speaker, and instructor?
As a designer, other creatives’ work really inspires me. I’m really into the human form, as well as nature and flowers right now, and I like following artists who create that type of art.
As a public speaker, I really like inspiring others. I love what I do so much. I’d say my passion is evident on the stage. But just inspiring people isn’t enough, which is why I would like to think I also empower people through training.
Tell me about your current work at Adobe.
At Adobe I’m a Principal Worldwide Evangelist for Creative Cloud, focusing on design and illustration. My goal is to inspire and empower the general public to be creative and create using Adobe tools. This is a dream job that I’m excited about every day!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Lately, a typical day for me includes hosting live streams to show people how to create art. The other half the day, I’m working on content for the next special event, or testing out new internal tools. This, of course, is when I’m not traveling.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy speaking to the public and showing them how to do amazing work. It’s like I’m helping create careers. Getting an email from someone saying I’ve had an impact on their career is the best.
How did your education at RMCAD influence your work as a designer?
It taught me to hustle. You get what you put into it. Also, we were taught by experts working in the field who would tell us what it’s really like out there. It helped me to focus on my portfolio, because that’s ultimately what I was going to leave with.
What advice would you give to young artists and designers?
I have so much advice! The biggest thing is to just work hard at your craft and not worry about what others do. Focus on what you do. If you don’t know what you want to do, just try things. The things you learn today might not make sense now, but years down the line all of the dots will connect.
What do you hope to do in the future professionally?
Right now, I’m working on photography with my new home studio. I’m also working on my drawing. I’m just focusing on my craft, you could say, and seeing where my interests go. Professionally in the long term, I’d love to do for design what culinary shows have done for cooking—a design show to inspire creatives the same way cooking shows encourage people to learn about food.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Twenty years ago when I was doing CD ROM design, I thought I had the best job in the world. When I was doing paste up for a local newspaper, I thought I had the best job in the world. When I started training, it was really challenging, but was also the best job in the world. I hope people turn whatever they do into the best job in the world—eventually they’ll be right.
Check out this interview with our other Radiance Award honoree, Jenny Morgan.
Note: Some of the questions in this interview have been edited for clarity and brevity.