Navigating the Changing Landscape of Digital Design: My Concerns with Adobe’s Practices

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Art, Design, Fashion Trends, Artist Journey, Entrepreneurship, Generative AI

“Holes” illustration, circa 2017. © Diane Pascual. See more of my illustration work here:

As an artist and small business owner, my passion lies in creating and sharing knowledge through online courses on advanced Photoshop techniques. Over the years, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of Photoshop in turning creative visions into reality. However, recent developments surrounding Adobe’s subscription practices and their user terms have left me deeply concerned, prompting me to reevaluate my reliance on their software.

Concerns with Adobe’s Subscription Model

The recent lawsuit against Adobe alleging hidden early termination fees and a convoluted cancellation process is troubling. As a business owner who values transparency and fair dealings, I find these practices concerning. Subscription models should be convenient and straightforward, allowing users to easily opt out if they no longer find value in the service. Instead, it appears Adobe has taken measures to retain customers by making the cancellation process unnecessarily difficult, which undermines consumer trust.

User Terms and AI Model Training

Equally alarming is Adobe’s user terms and agreements, which state that they can license our artwork to train AI models. As an artist, my creations are deeply personal and often represent countless hours of hard work and creativity. The thought of my artwork being used to train AI without my explicit consent is unsettling. This raises significant ethical and privacy concerns about how our data and creations are being utilized.

The Value of Learning Photoshop

Despite these concerns, I acknowledge that there is still value in learning Photoshop, especially for those aspiring to work with larger companies and enterprise-level clients. Photoshop remains an industry standard in many professional settings, and having a solid understanding of its advanced techniques can open doors to numerous opportunities. For this reason, I continue to offer my courses, believing that mastering Photoshop is still beneficial for those aiming to work in certain sectors.

Exploring Alternatives

However, given the current landscape, I am actively exploring alternative software solutions that align more closely with my values and the needs of my students. Programs like Affinity Photo offer robust features and a more transparent business model, making them an appealing choice for independent artists and small business owners. These alternatives provide powerful tools without the ethical and financial concerns associated with Adobe’s practices.

Moving Forward

As I navigate these changes, my commitment to providing high-quality, relevant education remains steadfast. I am gradually incorporating tutorials for alternative software into my courses to ensure my students have access to a diverse set of tools and techniques. This transition aims to empower artists to make informed decisions about the software they use, based on both functionality and ethical considerations.

In conclusion, while Adobe’s software has played a significant role in the creative industry, recent practices have highlighted the need for change. By exploring and integrating alternative solutions, we can continue to thrive creatively while upholding our values and ensuring fair treatment for all artists. I encourage fellow creatives to stay informed and make choices that best serve their artistic journey and professional goals.

Why This Change?

Recent developments have prompted many artists, including myself, to reconsider our reliance on Adobe software. Issues like hidden fees and complex cancellation processes have made many of us question whether Adobe truly supports our creative community. Additionally, Adobe’s terms allowing them to use our artwork to train AI models have raised significant ethical concerns.

Versatility with Affinity Software

In response, I’ve been exploring alternative software solutions that offer powerful features without the ethical and financial concerns associated with Adobe. Affinity Photo, for example, has emerged as a robust competitor with a similar user interface and functionalities. The skills you’ll learn in our Advanced Photoshop Course can seamlessly translate to Affinity programs, making it a valuable investment regardless of the software you choose.

More Than Just Photoshop

My course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive skill set that goes beyond just mastering Photoshop. Here’s what you’ll gain:

  • Business Skills: Learn essential business practices that will help you thrive as an independent artist or creative professional.
  • History of Surface Pattern Design: Dive into the rich history of surface pattern design to understand the context and evolution of the field.
  • Portfolio Preparation: Get your portfolio ready to pitch to companies with confidence. We cover everything from creating standout designs to presenting your work professionally.
  • Ethical AI Considerations: We have a dedicated section on ethical AI, exploring how to use AI to enhance your art responsibly. Learn about the implications of AI in the creative industry and how to navigate this evolving landscape ethically.

Why Now?

There’s never been a better time to invest in your skills and career. The design industry is evolving, and staying adaptable is key. By lowering the course price, I hope to make this valuable resource accessible to more artists and designers who are ready to take their craft to the next level.

Ready to Take the Leap?

Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your skills and expand your creative toolkit. Enroll in our Advanced Photoshop Course today for only $997 and unlock a world of possibilities.

Thank you for being a part of our creative community. Your support and passion inspire me every day, and I look forward to continuing this journey together.

Let’s continue to create, inspire, and innovate—together, and on our terms.

Your Design Guide,

Diane Pascual

The Gypsy Goddess

TAGS: Adobe subscription practices, Photoshop alternatives, AI model training, Affinity Photo, digital design, independent artists, ethical concerns, subscription cancellation, Photoshop courses, advanced Photoshop techniques