I think I got interested in digital design around the same time I found my passion for writing. Back then I really wanted to make these cute little avatars of Superman to use on my livejournal (100 x 100 love!). The first step was opening photoshop. Holy crap, that was confusing! It really was a foreign language. So I got a little discouraged and distracted and left the art to the “real” artists.
But I really wanted to make t-shirts (don’t ask me why, I just like it. I once made t-shirts that I designed on my computer and then hand ironed on to a gazillion t-shirts for a summer kids camp way back in the day.) and since that mostly focused on text, I gave Photoshop another go around. Learning to use fonts is fairly easy and besides there are a bajillion fonts out there to cover up the fact that you don’t what you’re doing! My favorite site with tons of freeware fonts to download is www.dafont.com.
Then one day I decided I was gonna make forum banners/signature images. But I sucked. So I started reading articles about all the different tools Photoshop puts at your finger tips and more importantly how to use them.
I would have to say the number one skill you must learn to take your graphics from so-so to smoking is the pen tool. It’s a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be using it everywhere! This is the exact article that taught me the basics. And this site has tons more to offer so be sure to look around.
After I got the gist of a handful of the tools I started doing Photoshop tutorials. I would follow along and replicate their results and sometimes use my own image and apply all the same steps and techniques. That’s when I really started to get a feel for the software. Some of the techniques and skills I had learned were starting to sink in enough that I could make stuff on my own without the tutorial.
I still have a lot to learn, but I’m really proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish so far. I’d like to pursue some kind of graphic design career on the side (specifically book cover design), so what better than a fun little cover contest to start me off?
Well here’s my entry:
And a before & after: