Relearning Photoshop and Two Month Intentions
If you ever want to feel young and dumb again try learning or relearning a skill like Photoshop. Your brain will feel so naïve and young again. It's positively refreshing to know that no matter how much you learn in life there will always be new skills to master and contort your brain.
Photoshop is a skill and program I've never fully mastered even when I was a student with all the time in the world. I got a very surface level introduction to the program in my photojournalism class in college. This was mainly used for photo editing and less for artistic or graphic design pursuits. I didn't know half of what this program was capable of. For the past decade or so I've periodically downloaded free Photoshop trials and, unwilling to drop any cash after 30 days, would promptly would forget everything I'd learned, if anything. I've tried to cheat the system by downloading the free versions of Photoshop imitators but these aren't much easier to figure out and are missing key features as I found out later.
This resurgence of Photoshop interest happened when I decided to attend a Meetup group about graphic design a month or so ago. As a confused and bewildered college student, I thought studying graphic design was out of the question for me. I thought you needed to know how to draw and be creative which I had doubts about. Where did I get this reliable logical information? An episode of the Real Housewives of New York when I used to watch it. Hilarious. So if I could turn back time, I would have at the very least tried out an introductory graphic design class to see if I enjoyed it as much as I do now. Not that Psychology is a bad major but for me it didn't help much with the job prospects plus the recession equals questioning everything I did in college.
The leader of the group, after giving me a run down of all the current Photoshop tools, convinced me to give it a try after I got used to using all the tools again. Either I didn't know about half of these tools, possible, or a lot of them are new because I hardly remember any of them from before. Another aspect missing from the last time I tried to learn and master Photoshop is all the outlets for learning and inspiration. YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are all places I go to answer questions about certain tools and be inspired by other designers who are creating on another level of awesome. My old pal, Pinterest, is the most helpful when delving into new interests. I created a new board for graphic design images I want to recreate or that inspire me and now my feed is filled with new and interesting images daily.
I've also used Canva to do mock ups of what I want to try and create in Photoshop since I can't have it on my work computer to try out new ideas when the day is dragging. First world office problems. Canva is great for specifically sized images for social media or blog posts. There website and app are easy to use and free so I won't be giving up all my free graphic design and photo editing apps. They also have a bunch of templates in case you aren't sure where to start.
In a recent episode of Forever 35 Kate and Doree talked about two month intentions as opposed to the weekly ones they have been doing for months. This is an interesting time period for me because I usually always break down tasks into weekly versus long term goals. If I don't write down the long term goals, or break them up into easily attainable weekly goals, they usually are forgotten. Maybe two months will be more helpful in completing tasks and goals that are more long term? Here's hoping.
My two month intention is to create at least one new Photoshop image each week. I'm trying to keep it as attainable as possible which is easier said than done. What usually happens when I delve into a new passion project is I burn out too quickly by spending huge chunks of time creating or learning at the beginning. Then I take a well deserved break and never get around to making anything new because I'm still burned out or run out of creative impulses. I'm currently bursting with ideas but I know that some weeks I might not think of anything or life will get too crazy for image manipulating. I'm trying to keep it easy since I have over achiever sensibilities. So far since I started this two weeks ago and have two images.