Brenda Milis

BRENDA-MILIS

PRINCIPAL OF CREATIVE SERVICES AND VISUAL TRENDS, ADOBE STOCK, SAN JOSE CA/NEW YORK NY

Brenda leads a group at Adobe Stock that services the visual needs of top enterprise clients and identifies visual trends to identify where consumer interest is growing. Brenda has worked for a large variety of editorial brands among which are WSJ magazine, Bloomberg Pursuits, Time magazine, Marie Claire, and Men’s Health magazine. She also launched and served as the founding photo editor of Style.com and before coming to Adobe, served as the Executive Director of Photography at Refinery29, leading both the editorial and branded photo teams.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
Born in La Jolla in Southern California but have lived in Brooklyn for 17 years so I consider myself very much a New Yorker.

DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL?
I did not. I studied Art History with a focus on photography at UC Berkeley, then Gender and Media Studies at The New School in New York City.

LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
Righty

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
Middle of the day person, ha! I love sleep so much! That said, my eight year old son has trained me to get up excruciatingly early on a daily basis.

FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
I identify with most protagonists in the fiction I read on some profound level, which is why I’m such a rabid reader of quality fiction.

ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR DO YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
I used to play cello for some years and regret letting it lapse

FAVORITE BOOK?
Too many to list. I’m a ravenous reader, mainly fiction. I love my commutes because I get to read the whole time. I will say, however, that something about Patty Smith’s Just Kids was one of the most moving books I’ve ever read without any gratuitous drama or emotion

FAVORITE MOVIE?
Notorious, the Alfred Hitchcock spy thriller

FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
Just finished The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and it was, truly, marvelous

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Instagram

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
Collage is dear to me so I’d say Hannah Hoch

FAVORITE CHARITY?
Smile Train

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Reading, meditating, working out

COLLECT ANYTHING?
Nothing specific: there are so many beautiful things in the world so what I bring into my home is very eclectic

COLOR USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
Blue, blue, blue

DOES PRINT HAVE A ROLE IN YOUR DESIGNS?
I’ve gone back and forth between digital and print over the years and am now fully immersed in digital at Adobe. When your focus is imagery either is satisfying.

DESIGN MENTOR/INSPIRATION/HERO?
The reason I studied Art History is that all serious artists inspire me and I love to champion all artists’ work. So it really depends on the year or the season when you ask me.

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Strength is that I trust my gut and come up with ideas very quickly. I don’t think there’s any weakness for creatives!

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Trust your gut (there it is again), try many new things, and be very, very tenacious.

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A Philanthropist

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
It all works out for the best

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