Saturday, 15 November 2008

Learning Photoshop

I was asked recently how I learned how to use Photoshop. It is a more interesting question than you know...

About 1995, I wasn't much good with computers. I could do word processing like everyone else, and had tinkered a little, but that was it. I was teaching Illustration on an HND Graphics course at the Sheffield College. My Line Manager decided it would be useful if I could teach Photoshop the following year. I was given a copy and told to go home and learn it over the summer break, ready for September. I'd been on a day's course the year before, so knew how Photoshop worked, but of course, I'd forgotten all the detail.

Not my best summer. Lots of stress, quite a few tears. I decided the only way was to try to stay one step ahead of the students. Come September, I was sort of ready.

There was a nice new computer suite, full of Apple Macs. Unfortunately, I had a PC at home. Not a problem once your inside Photoshop, but I'd never used a Mac before: I didn't know how to turn it on!!!!

I had to ask my students for help (19 year old blokes mainly). Amidst the grinning, one pointed out the 'on' key, carefully disguised with an apple logo. Grrrrr...

It took me most of that year to regain my credibility. It was appallingly nerve-wracking too, constantly trying to pretend I knew what I was doing. But, by the end of the second year, I realised that I at last had a grip. I left the college soon after, to return to full-time freelance work, but that baptism of fire stood me in good stead.


Vita said...

great story!
I learn uner pressure best, and teaching something is one of the best ways to learn:)

Carla said...

Hi Lynne,

Thank you for you very nice comments.
I am new to blogging, it is very interesting and I am coming across great sites, like yours of course! Your work is great!

I look forward to more of your updates.


Jon M said...

I should really investigate this Photoshop thing. I know nothing about it! Just shows I guess, we know what we need to know about computers most of the time!

Doda said...

What a great story!
I learned photoshop at college, but I have never as yet combine my drawings with photoshop. This is something I want to do more.

Do you think that it has become standard for illustrators to use photoshop in conjunction with their paintbrush nowadays?

Lynne Chapman said...

Hi all,

A number of people do use Photoshop etc for elements of their illustration, and their are many wholly digital illustrators, but I would say the vast majority of children's book illustrators still use the traditional techniques, as do I.

Photoshop comes into it's own for working at the planning / rough stage (adjusting layouts, touching up sketchwork, fiddling around with scale etc)and also at the other end, for 'finishing' work. If you want to know more what I mean, type Photoshop in my search bar and you'll find where I talk more specifically about how I use it.

I rely on it so much now for the subsiduary stuff, I can't imagine how I coped without!

Today I will be using it to adjust the colour balance on the Dragon's Dinner proofs.

Alice said...

Thanks so much for your comments on my site! It is seriously an honour to have you browsing my Saturday morning scribbles. I love your blog , you're an inspiration!

Ellis Nadler said...

I had similar experience teaching Illustrator (called in at the last minute after the designated lecturer broke his ankle.)

krisztina maros said...

oh, adorable donkies! :)