When the collaborative vibes are virtual

Image of the virtual gallery

Collaborative partnerships have operated the same way since the dawn of human art. In a post-pandemic world, with physical togetherness no longer assured, can artistic partnerships not only survive but thrive?

Concept and character designer Pablo Gomez and web designer Jorge Valle are proof positive that virtual collaboration can thrive. Together, they have created the Adobe Virtual Gallery for Adobe MAX, featuring the 3D, video and digital art of 30 diverse creators.

3D render of robot character by Pablo Munoz Gomez.

Source: Pablo Gomez

Pablo, who lives in Australia, and Jorge, who’s based in New Zealand, had worked on overlapping projects but never together. They have complementary skills and share Spanish as a first language. It was enough for Pablo to make contact with Jorge, and a collaboration was born. The most important elements? The work – and trust.

Let there be trust

“For me it is hard to jump on a collaboration with someone I haven't worked with before. I hadn't worked with Jorge on something specific, but we had worked on similar projects,” Pablo said.

Headshot of Pablo Gomez

“Jorge is very independent so I can rely on him. A huge part of collaboration is trust.”

Pablo Gomez

Jorge agrees that trust is key and having complementary skills helps build it. While Pablo and Jorge know enough about each other’s specialties to discuss their approaches, they each have their distinct areas of focus. This, along with the nature of the work itself, made Jorge say yes to the opportunity.

Lasercut frame of two characters holding hand from Jorge Valle's video 'Trust me. Everything's giong to be fine.'

Source: Jorge Valle

“For me to pick up a project, it needs to be challenging and appeal to me. A virtual gallery was such a good idea that I couldn't say no - the opportunity of focusing both on design and the unique feeling of it as applied to Adobe,” Jorge said.

“There are quite a few galleries in the metaverse space that allow people to put up their own art, but they look like an old video game; often the graphics aren't great. Being able to focus on the lighting, the design of the rooms, gave this project a unique feeling.”

Creativity and collaboration

While the notion of collaboration isn’t new, the application of the practice has changed significantly with the advent – and acceleration – of digital tools.

“Creativity has become far more collaborative than ever before. The first question we ask is, “Who are we making this with?” said Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President for Adobe Creative Cloud.

“The key to helping people create new ways is to bring creativity to the web, the phone, and make it much easier for creative people to collaborate.”

Jorge and Pablo acknowledge that while they wouldn’t mind sharing a beer at the end of a long week, they can do that virtually. In other significant ways, the virtual nature of their collaboration positively impacts their workflow.

Headshot of Jorge Valle

“It gives us flexibility to work at our own pace. We can send a message and know that whenever the other person is available they will read it. It makes things easy.”

Jorge Valle

“Sometimes you don't get the inspiration when you have set hours of work; in this collaboration, when there is no schedule for physically going somewhere, inspiration can strike at any point and you can share it immediately.”

Complexity and control

The ease with which Pablo and Jorge collaborated is evident in their work together. The immersive and 3D Adobe Virtual Gallery is a website-based app. Navigating by clicking and scrolling, you walk through the gallery like a video game. The design prioritises accessibility and aesthetics.

“What we wanted to do was make it easier for anyone to have the same experience and this is why we went with a web app. This way it's inclusive and anyone can access from tablet, desktop. You can go at your own pace, just like you would a real gallery. You have control of your own experience,” Pablo said.

Experience digital art in its new habitat at Adobe MAX.

See the Adobe Virtual Gallery that Pablo Gomez and Jorge Valle collaborated to create.