Ceci Menchetti from The Art Directors Club shares her recap of the ADC Festival of Art + Craft on behalf of CREEM magazine. The photos featured in this guest blog post were all taken using the Leica X Vario.
Welcome to Miami!
Miami is a city unlike any other. In fact, some say it can only be truly appreciated when you think of it that way: as its own entity, entirely separate from the two countries it bridges together, embodying a completely unique lifestyle and mentality (and a decidedly “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem” all-around policy).
The ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design took place in Miami Beach last week, where hundreds of creatives descended for three days of inspiration and rejuvenation and jumped right in to that Miami mindset. With a full schedule of nonstop hands-on workshops, social opportunities, and awards celebrations, there was little time to explore the beachside city’s dynamic culture (or even to exit festival headquarters at The James Royal Palm Hotel), but certain aspects of the landscape here jump out at you and beg to be photographed, especially when you look up.
Pastels and neons dominate the hotel exteriors on Collins Avenue, which is just as busy, bikini-clad and bopping at 3 p.m. as it as at 3 a.m. Palm trees burst with ripening coconuts that must occasionally be dodged by pedestrians below. After a while, everything takes on the turquoise color of the ocean and your eyes permanently adjust to the tint of your sunglasses. It’s a place that can suck you in and turn you into the sun-drenched and slow-moving version of yourself if you’re not careful.
Or if you’re here for a conference, you have to be careful not to go insane. The views outside your meeting room window will taunt you, beckoning relaxation and sun therapy that will never come. The constant shuttling between stale air-conditioning and tropical humidity is enough to send your body into a state of total confusion. The impossibility of finding a brightness setting that will allow you to use a laptop outdoors will infiltrate your psyche like a fever.
Luckily, the ADC Festival is not your traditional conference, with no speakers to snore through or excruciating presentations to endure. Attendees are encouraged to mix business with pleasure and to make a concerted effort to leave behind their daily work routine in order to jolt their creativity and inject an element of pure novelty into things. With poolside parties and mojito-fueled activities, the festival embraces the strange spell Miami casts on anyone who comes here rather than trying to fight it or turn it into a sandy version of New York. Because this is definitely not New York.
When we returned to New York, with visions of commercial art, stilettos, and Pitbull dancing in our heads, it was a bittersweet homecoming. Though we were relieved to have another successful event behind us, and new legions of dedicated community members, it was also difficult to leave a place that may have deceived you into thinking it was perfect. The knowledge that no city (especially not one where it’s impossible to wear all black) can ever really achieve perfection was of some comfort when the beach faded out of view during take off.
Here are some of our favorite images from the festival:

– Ceci Menchetti
CREEM is a quarterly art and fashion print publication based in New York. For more CREEM collaborations, click here.
For more information about all the happenings at the ADC Festival and Annual Awards, and everything else going on at ADC throughout the rest of the year, visit adcglobal.org