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As I promised here is a link to few place that I like around the convention center and in the art district!


Enjoy your time in LA!


Explore DTLA! Adobe MAX 2018




Adobe MAX DTLA Part 2 - Food!

Posted by chanaart Aug 28, 2018

One of the greatest things to do it LA is to eat!  Yes we have so many places to go to around the convention center but I wanted to suggest some of my favorite place!



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One of my new favorites is  Hotel FIGUEROA. Hotel Figueroa has been a den for downtown LA since 1926, and went through a major renovation
or as we call it here "FACE LIFT"

I was lucky enough to be at the opening party last month and visit the new bar/restaurant , beautiful rooms and see the amazing art that hanging all over the main lobby and corridors . It is a special place to sit around after a long day at the conference and have a drink and enjoy the surrounding!

I highly recommend to go to the Bar upstairs and enjoy the view of the pool and taste really good food!


The Perch LA

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Roof top sitting at: 448 S Hill St.


Glamorous rooftop setting with French small plates, handcrafted cocktails & grand views of the city.

Great atmosphere as well as tasty food.


Bottega Louie

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The Dessert Gallery...At 700 grand street


Italian restaurant, gourmet market, and French patisserie located on the ground floor of the Brockman Building (just around the corner from Whole Food)

Great food and amazing desserts...Just  come by and look at the desserts and you feel like going to a dessert gallery. Place is fun but a bit noisy. If you need to talk business with a future client might not be the perfect place.


LA Live: $$$

If you want a fast break from Adobe MAX food you can try the restaurant in LA Live.  Here are 3 that recommended..They might be a bit pricey but very convenient!

If you love high quality sushi, try dining at Katsuya. This sushi restaurant with several locations was named Southern California’s Best Sushi Restaurant (by an L.A. Times Readers’ Poll). Master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi creates unforgettable rolls, sashimi dishes, and more.
Rock’n Fish
For a more straightforward American menu, check out Rock’n Fish, a bustling eatery known for steaks and seafood. Rock’n Fish is also known for outstanding artisanal cocktails, so it’s a good place to stop if you’re looking for a happy hour drink or a late night beverage.
When you want close the night within a hidden oasis, head back to Hotel Figueroa for poolside dining at Veranda. A light and fresh, Coastal Mediterranean menu makes abundant use of seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. The bar takes its queues from European cafe culture with the Aperol Spritz, Milano Torino and other poolside friendly cocktails.


Another area to explore is the restaurant around the Art district. A longer walk or a short Lyft/Uber/Taxi ride.



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Bavel: Art District DTLA 500 Mateo Street

Bavel, in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, is a Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Ori and Genevieve have always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their family lineages, bringing together the flavors and dishes they grew up with. I ate there few weeks ago - and it is just perfect!

The restaurant was selected as one of the18 best new restaurant in America!

If you do not have reservation you can sit at the bar. Try to reserve the balcony sitting it is less noisy. I loved the lamb dishes, the salads and the pita is out of this world...(And I know since I am from the land of Pita)

Was not that crazy about the dessert..So went to

Salt & Straw

Home made Ice Cream just around the corner and it was just perfect.! (I had the coffee flavor..But try the others..It is so good!)

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Salt & Straw 829 E. 3rd St.



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Trendy Italian restaurant from an acclaimed husband-&-wife team Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis highlights creative seasonal fare.The concept for Bestia juxtaposes decorative contemporary elements against a raw, industrial space dripping with character. This approach pays homage to sophisticated modern-day Italian spaces, which often integrate contemporary interiors into centuries-old structures. Strong, traditional building materials such as tile, steel, marble, and wood also provide pops of festive color.

Special dishes and great atmosphere. and yes you might need reservation!


I am going to add more places in the next few weeks! Please feel free to recommend your favorites!

There are so many good place to eat!


Cheers till next time!



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Adobe MAX is back to Los Angeles October 13-14 Pre Conference and October 15-17 General Conference.

Since I live and work in Los Angeles I decided to share with you my favorite place in DTLA!

Feel free to add comments as well as new suggestions and lets keep it as an ongoing blog/conversation to make people feel welcome in our big city.


Art and Music in DTLA  part 1:


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Disney Music Hall:

Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Probably 20 min walk fro the convention center or a short ride (with your favorite transportation: UBER, LYFT, TAXI, BUS, CITY Bike, Train)


You can enjoy a concert in the evening or just visit the place and take a tour! do not forget to go upstairs to the hidden garden !


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The Broad:

Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Probably 20 min walk fro the convention center or a short ride (with your favorite transportation: UBER, LYFT, TAXI, BUS, CITY Bike, Train)


The Museum is closed on Mondays. It is free but you need reservation.

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The Music Center:

Address: 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Probably 20 min walk fro the convention center or a short ride (with your favorite transportation: UBER, LYFT, TAXI, BUS, CITY Bike, Train)


The venues includes:

Ahmanson Theatre

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Mark Taper Forum

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Music Center Plaza

The W.M. Keck Foundation Children’s Amphitheater

Blue Ribbon Garden



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The Museum of Contemporary Art  MOCA:

Address: 250 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Probably 20 min walk fro the convention center or a short ride (with your favorite transportation: UBER, LYFT, TAXI, BUS, CITY Bike, Train)

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California/


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Grand Park:

Address: 200 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Probably 20 min walk fro the convention center or a short ride (with your favorite transportation: UBER, LYFT, TAXI, BUS, CITY Bike, Train)

After a full  day at Adobe MAX or early morning you can enjoy a stroll or coffee at Grand Park. checkout the information in the web site for special events and music.


I tried to cover one area around Grand Avenue!

Will post next week other areas in the art district!




Certiport's Live-in-the-Application exam format


I am glad to share with the community that starting in the fall the ACA exams will be live in the App.ACA_Headers_LITA.jpg

What does it mean for our students?


The Live-in-the-Application (LITA) exam format uses cutting-edge technology when validating software application knowledge and abilities through Certiport’s certifications. Candidates must know how to use the software and have experience performing tasks in the application to accurately complete questions.


The Live-in-the-Application exams use the real software to administer performance-based and knowledge-based questions in the actual application, thus reflecting a real-world job situation for the candidate and delivering more reliable results.


This hands-on exam experience can be administered on a PC or Mac* machine at the testing center and makes it easy to get started. This exam format is available with the Autodesk Certified User, Autodesk Certified Professional, Microsoft Office Specialist and soon the Adobe Certified Associate Creative Cloud exams.

For the first time they will be able to test their working knowledge.  Once they start the test they will be live in the app and be able to answer question while doing the task. This is a big change!



I am lucky to be part of the team that wrote the new tests.  The first test to be out and available is Adobe Photoshop. Stay tune for more information as soon as Certiport releases dates for the rest of the tests.


Here is some more information from  Certiport Site.



Uses the full application of the certification sponsor’s software.Candidate demonstrates the proficiency of the application.
Candidate applies knowledge instead of memorization.
Any method of completion in the application can be used.
Candidate is tested in the same application used for learning, practice and day-to-day tasks.
Can be administered on both PC and Mac machines.Flexible options in your classroom or lab to launch an exam on different types of machines.
Mac version of the exam uses the Mac version of the application. PC version of the exams uses the PC version.
Uses cutting-edge exam delivery formatCandidate can more accurately demonstrate their knowledge and skill of the application.
Exam format is a closer alignment to the real-world job application use.



Chana Messer


Subject Matter Expert Writer/Certiport

This is a blog post I wrote back in 2012, and decided to share it with you.


Mac in art: Creating Photoshop Brushes using Adobe Illustrator Objects

Creating Photoshop Brushes using Adobe Illustrator Objects


Creating Photoshop Brushes with Illustrator Shapes. Easy. Seamless workflow. Great results!
In this sample I am using stars, circles and lines.
You can use any shape desired to achieve the look you want to get.


1. With the Ellipse tool selected, create a perfect circle (best to draw from center: hold down the option/alt and shift key). From the view menu bar: guides: make guides. Lock the guide.

Guide from an object (you can make a guide from any object in Illustrator)

2. With the Star tool selected, create a star, and snap it to the guide (View: Snap to Guide)

    With the Rotate tool selected (from the tool box) hold down the Option/alt key and click


    on the center of the guide. 36° and click copy. Make sure your preview is on!



Stars around the guide
3. Once one star is copied, go to the Object menu bar: Transform: Transform again (command/Control D). Repeat to create a complete circle of stars.


Circle of stars
4. Repeating the same commands, create a line and rotate in to the center of the guide.
Lines rotated in 36°
5. Repeating the same commands, create a circle on top of the line and rotate it again 36°.

   With the Circle selected, choose the Scale tool from the tool box to scale the group of the small

   circles to the center of the guide, and use the Transform again command to scale the group of   the small circle to the center of the guide 80% each time.  


   6. Go to the View menu: Guides: hide or clear guides.

Final shape
7. Select the final shape: Object: Group  (Command/Control G). Edit Copy (Command/Control C).

8. In Photoshop: Create a new document 72 DPI. White Background. Edit menu bar: Paste (command/Control V) Select the Path in the dialog box.

9. the path is loaded to the selected Background. In the path Panel save the path.

(give it a name in case you want to bring another path to the same file -only one work path per file)

Path from Illustrator
10. Now the fun starts! Add a new empty layer and name it: Brush practice.

     Make sure that the path is loaded to the new layer. With the brush tool selected choose a brush

     stroke the path. (Best to choose first the brush and than go to the stroke path command) .    

    stroke the path. (Best to choose first the brush and than go to the stroke path command)

     Make sure the foreground color is black: Select the Path with the path selection tool.

     Go to Path: Stroke Selection. Experiment with the brush size.



Brush size, stroke path command
11. Select the outer Stars and play with the Brush size to stoke it. Select the rest of the shapes and

      stroke it with a smaller brush size.


Path is stroked with 2 or 3 different sizes of brush
12. Load the selection of the stroked layer (Select load Selection or Command/Control Click on
      the layer thumbnail to load the selection. Edit: Define Brush Preset and give it name.


Saving the brush


13. Now the fun begins! Create a new layer and start testing the brush you created!


Drawing with the new brush

14. Working on the brush variations. Changing the size on the  spacing in the main brush dialog

      box, finding the space and size needed for the design.


Spacing preview


15. Changing the Shape Dynamic controls, playing with the direction of the brush - make sure

      you see the preview of the brush. Choose a color for the Foreground and Background.

      In the Brush control - adjust the color dynamic controls. Work with the saturation and

      the brightness Jitter. You can introduce more colors to the brush if you change the amount

      of the Hue slider. Play with the Purity slider to achieve pure colors or gray scale.


16. With the brush tool, explore the brush strokes and the colors. Add effects to the brush.

      Drop Shadow, Bevel and Emboss to create any metal look! (gold, copper, silver).

      Adding different effects will effect the brush look as well. Save the brush preset.



Final Brushes! Keep playing and exploring!



Whenever I show my friends and peers something I create with Adobe Spark I get the same questions.
  • Why do I like Adobe Spark?
  • When do I use it?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • How do I share My story


I like Adobe Spark because it is user-friendly and I can create a Page, a Post or a Video from anywhere. Since it is a web-based application I can create on any device from anywhere.   I use it to promote my work, to write tutorials as well as social media.  And yes it is user-friendly!
I would like to share my recent Adobe Spark Story.

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My friend Yael decided to open a Pop-up home restaurant at her place. She is an amazing cook and wanted to share her creativity with others while creating dinner parties at her house twice a week. Some kind of culinary and cultural experience. Bringing people together to enjoy good food around the table "family style."


She is not into social media.  She does not use Instagram or Twitter.  She has a Facebook page but barely visits it. Overall she is not media-savvy.  Friends suggested a Website but she does not have the budget.
I suggested an Adobe Spark Page that will describe her passion for food, will tell the story of her new adventure, and feature food images.... We uploaded the page last week on her Facebook and sent to other friends as well. We asked them to share.
I tweeted the link. I shared it on Instagram!  Within one week she received reservations for 3 dinner parties!


I call it a success! 



Check out the spark Page:

Yael's Table


Spark your ideas and share it!

Have a Sparky Day!









We have been asking for a new brushes management for a while!
Guess what it is happening in Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 and it is great and exciting!

Make the workflow with brushes easy and organized. No more brushes all over the place with names that do not relate to the project!


With the new Brushes and Brushes Preset you can do the following:



  • Organize brush presets into folders—including nested folders.
  • Any brush-enabled tool preset can be converted into a brush preset; all of its attributes—such as opacity, flow, and blending mode—are preserved.
  • In the Brushes panel flyout menu, easily toggle between the different views to see any combination of the brush name, brush stroke preview, and brush tip
  • View more brushes in the same screen space using the zoom slider.
  • Drag and drop brush presets to reorder them conveniently.
  • Collapse or expand folders to see only the brushes you need.
  • Use the Show Additional Preset Info option in the flyout menu to see the associated preset tool (for example, Eraser) and any included colors.



  • You can import a wide variety of free and purchased brushes—for example, Kyle's Photoshop brush packs—into Photoshop.
  • In the Brushes panel, from the flyout menu, choose Get More Brushes. Alternatively, right-click a brush listed in the Brushes panel and select Get More Brushes from the contextual menu.
  • Download a brush pack. For example, download Kyle's "WaterColor".
  • With Photoshop running, double-click the downloaded ABR file.
  • The brushes you added are now displayed in the Brushes panel.


  • Photoshop can now perform intelligent smoothing on your brush strokes. Enter a value (0-100) for Smoothing in the Options bar when you're working with one of the following tools: Brush, Pencil, Mixer Brush, or Eraser. A value of 0 is the same as legacy smoothing in earlier versions of Photoshop. Higher values apply increasing amounts of intelligent smoothing to your strokes.
  • Stroke smoothing works in several modes. Clicking the gear icon to enable one or more of the following modes:
  • Pulled String Mode: Paints only when the string is taut. Cursor movements within the smoothing radius leave no mark.
  • Stroke Catch Up: Allows the paint to continue catching up with your cursor while you've paused the stroke. Disabling this mode stops paint application as soon as the cursor movement stops.
  • Catch-Up On Stroke End: Completes the stroke from the last paint position to the point where you released the mouse/stylus control.
  • Adjust For Zoom: Prevents jittery strokes by adjusting smoothing. Decreases smoothing when you zoom in the document; increases smoothing when you zoom out.

While using stroke smoothing, you may choose to view the brush leash, which connects the current paint location with the present cursor position. Select Preferences > Cursors > Show Brush Leash While Smoothing. You can also specify a color for the brush leash.

For complete information checkout my Spark Page (includes at the end a glossary on brushes as well).

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Brushes are a great way to enhance your Adobe Illustrator creative work.

You can go a long way with Illustrator's basic tools, draw wit the pen or curvature tool. Use the width tool to change the profile of your stroke and so on.  But with the right set of brushes – and the flexible way in which Illustrator allows them to be used on vector shapes – you can quickly and easily add texture and character to any piece of work. Brushes are also part of your Appearance and as such you can save Graphics Style using brushes.

In this Adobe spark Presentation I go over how to use Adobe Illustrator brushes as well as drawing with the Blob brush tool





As a fine artist and a designer visuals are very important to me. Using Adobe Spark enables me to create visual

stories on any device without any knowledge of animation, transitions or HTML.

I use Adobe Page in my classroom to deliver a tutorials. At my design studio to tell a story or create an

immediate portfolio. I am able to create and deliver engaging presentations and share creative ideas across

different devices and social media simply with a link.


In the following link I am sharing an extraordinary story about Charlotte Salomon. An artist that was born in

Berlin in 1917 and died in Auschwitz in 1943. Her story is unique. She did not survive the war but her art did.

“Life or Theatre” is a unique achievement of art and literature. No one who enters into Charlotte Salomon’s

world will ever forget it. The survival of Charlotte’s art transcends her own death in the gas chamber.


Here is Charlotte Salomon story:


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Charlotte Salomon


Here is a link to Adobe Spark insiders Facebook page