Design Arts Today
Hi, I’m Angela and I’m a graphic designer, and I’m excited about this new blog! I started it for multiple reasons:
- As a designer, I find a fascination and interest in the visual expressions around me, and this blog is to inspire, explore, and apply design to our lives and work.
- My friends are new to learning the Adobe applications and I can post the answers to some of their questions in hopes it will help others who are learning the software.
- I’m continually learning myself about design, photography, video, and will post what I learn so that 1) next time my memory-challenged mind comes across the same problem I will remember what I did and 2) hopefully it can help others.
- My context is church ministry and unfortunately this is one area that is notorious for bad graphics, as churches usually do not have money to hire designers and need to rely on volunteers, most of whom do not have skills training in design. It brings me great joy to help volunteers develop their skills to bring glory to God!
Here’s the somewhat-loose-estimate of my skill levels in different areas:
- Graphic Design. Professional. I have a BFA in design from University of Illinois and have done design work first full time and now on the side for about 23 years. I’m continually learning from others, as nowadays there’s not a whole lot of time to do things myself — I find myself often managing others who do the actual work.
- Photography. Above amateur but below pro. Started out with a Minolta fully automatic SLR when my dad taught me at the age of 12. I’ve only started using manual mode on my SLR in the last couple of years so I feel like I’m still learning the ropes on my camera (Nikon D700) as well as photography.
- Video. Amateur. I’ve been using Final Cut for maybe 5 years now (on and off), and can do some basic video editing and keyframing. I just got Motion and am learning the ropes… can barely do a few things.
- Stage Design. Beginning intermediate. Most of my stage design skills come from being a graphic designer and reading a lot of books. I can’t tell you all the jargon used but can use light, color and space to make an interesting design. But I haven’t had any formal education — just learned along the way due to trial and error, reading lots of stuff, and learning from others.
- Web Design. Beginner. I confess. I cheat. My sister is a whiz-bang web programmer, so I make up Photoshop comps and send them to her and she does all the programming. So I am learning all the HTML stuff… and it’s a slow and painful process. Good thing I’ve got a smart sister to ask all my questions when things don’t work!
- Illustrator. Advanced. (On previous versions, at least!) Probably my most well-known program. I have been using it since it came out version 1.0. The only problem is they keep updating it and changing things so I have to re-learn things! CS5 is an amazing program but I still don’t know what all those new little symbols mean.
- InDesign. Semi-advanced. Started in Pagemaker and Quark and then switched to InDesign. I think I started on Version 1 as well. I’ve published a couple of books in InDesign but don’t often use some of the special effects (transparency, text effects, etc.), as I usually do that kind of stuff in Illustrator and Photoshop.
- Photoshop. Beginning intermediate. Photoshop has been one of the latest additions to my repertoire so I feel like I am still finding my way around.
- Lightroom. Pretty new. Just started using it a few months ago. I can edit RAW photos but other than that it’s still a bit baffling to me.
- Final Cut. Beginning intermediate. Can do editing, some effects, animation, use of filters, batch capture stuff. Still have a ton to learn.
- Motion. Very new. I’ve only done one project and felt like my brain was climbing a cliff trying to learn everything. Most of the project was my cheating by using pre-existing examples included with the program.
- Apple Pages. Beginning intermediate. I learned to build my own templates and change existing ones, as well as create, modify and use styles and graphics, but there are still things about this program that are very puzzling.
I’m no expert — so if you have found another solution, please post a comment! My hope is that we can all learn from each other!