Sorry to have missed last week. I have been completely engrossed in re-building my illustration and graphic design skills. And I just couldn’t hardly think in words.
I have not done any design over the last couple of years, I really wanted to just focus on my drawing and painting so I have gotten pretty rusty. Thankfully there are so many tutorials and websites available to help me now, It really is kind of exciting again.
Actually taking a break and working in drawing and painting helped me to better decide what kind of work I want to do. Graphics is an incredibly large field and although I tried, I can’t and should not do it all. Better to utilize my real skills and talents and collaborate with other designers on the things I don’t want to or don’t know how to do. I would have to say that getting into graphic design really changed my life. It gave me a marketable skill that an art education did not.
Graphic Design has changed in so many ways since I started back in the 80’s. Back then we worked on pages by pasting layers of type and images to an illustration board with rubber cement. Then it was photographed and the film was then used to create the plates with which the final product was printed. Each color was a separate plate and printed separately.
Then came computers and I got my first copy of Adobe Photoshop in the early 90’s. I used Microsoft Publisher to create layouts for business cards and greeting cards I wanted to print of my artwork and I printed it all myself on my inkjet printer.
In about 2004 I switched from PC to Mac which was so exciting! I then got serious about graphics and bought the text books for Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator so I could teach myself how to use them. I even started creating my own website with Dreamweaver. Soon I was doing projects for friends and small businesses and when I moved to San Francisco in 2005 I got work designing for a small law firm which led to other opportunities. I was able to make a living as a graphic designer, and have been trying to do that ever since. Getting enough work in this small town after leaving SF after the great recession made that difficult and it was difficult to work remotely so I just got burned out from frustration.
Well, fast forward to today and graphic design has grown and changed again. Now the programs are called apps and there are new ones being created daily to create the tools consumers and businesses use on a daily basis and there are new ways to collaborate and share and it is all very exciting. And now I am connecting and finding projects available everyday. I will soon be busy working and that is very exciting. My focus is going to be illustration and graphic illustration for print. No more web design for me thank you very much. I just don’t speak html that well.
I have never been one to be afraid of computers. Once I realized it was a tool and I didn’t have to write my own programs, I was all for it. I will, however, say that there have been many times in my life that I just wanted to throw the flipp’in thing out the window, I never did. I would just step away, take a deep breath and then get back in there and figure it out.
I guess another thing that stalled me out working in design was that I was getting old. Wa Waaa. I have never been one to look forward to retirement. Re-tiring is something I do to my car, not myself. One of the things I learned in Oregon about myself was that I’m not too old to work. I actually enjoyed working at the fabric store. However it wasn’t a job that would really help with my standard of living and I needed to do something more. Going back to graphic design, not only can help me with that, it is a job that is creative and keeps my mind young and sharp and it isn’t physically demanding.
So why am I sharing all of this? Because my ah ha moment of discovery and learning about all the new opportunities and ways to work has me thinking that maybe this is useful to you. What have you given up in your life or what have you always wanted to do? You’re still breathing and there just might be a way to incorporate that lost joy into your life now. The world is truly at our fingertips. We can learn anything we set our minds to and if you don’t know where to start, just type it into Google and you will be amazed how much you can discover. Online classes are available for everything. Looking for reviews on something, type that in as well or ask someone you know who might be able to guide you in your search. Maybe you want to share your knowledge and mentor others. Your past experience is relevant, and the world needs it.
Not all of the world is falling apart, even though it feels that way. Right now. It is up to us to create positive change and I know we can if we just do it together.
Specifically if you pray, pray for the Ukrainian people who also have a right to be a free nation and truly need all our help.
Have a happy day
P.S. If you’re interested to know what kind of graphics and illustration I have done in the past, here is my portfolio.