I have no degree or background or whatsoever in design. I’ve not even picked up a book on design. I was just lucky. I’m trying to locate Ms Elaine Tai, a Secondary School teacher, who introduced me to Photoshop. I owe her more than just a treat.
Photoshop. It’s a wonderful program. Check that. It’s a wonderful money maker.
I’m asked quite a number of times when I started designing stuff and such. Back in Sec 2, Ms Elaine Tai taught about 4 of us Photoshop. Only I liked it and began playing around with merging shots together. Feathering was my first feature used and I loved it. Then it got on to blending options, filters, masks, renders, etc. I found it an incredible release to be able to create something beautiful and inspired. I never left Photoshop and am now on CS4 since the old version 6.
My first exposure to designing came at school level. You know you design stuff for the school and you do it free. So you’re cheap, er nope, free labor. I must have done over 15 full scale posters that covered 2 storeys or so. Also included are things like brochures, phamplets, websites, etc. I didn’t mind getting exploited. I was enjoying the process of having a say in the way things were turning out. It is a pretty good feeling to have the school draped in something you made.
It slowly moved to web design. Baring heavily scripted sites, an entire site could be conceptualized in Photoshop (althought Fireworks is better for that). I used Photoshop for everything. It still continues to be a highly versatile tool which explains why its reaching to the mainstream audience.
Well, web design gets you noticed. I got a couple of big breaks designing websites for a few small firms and a international non profit youth group. Because I enjoyed my work so much I never bothered charging a fee until I was offered a 4 digit sum for a short 2 week project. (4 digits is peanuts now that I realise) I snapped it up. Duh. Getting paid for what you love to do? Awesome!
Everything was going through Photoshop. School work, project work, my old “band”, family photos, greeting cards, SYF performances, debates, the list goes on.
And then this.
So I ORDed and sorta took a month break after being more or less mentally tortured in the army (numbed is probably a better word). I was getting freelance work on and off but you know you gotta get a stable job. On the turn of 2009, I did my usual financial plans for the year and knew pretty much what I needed to earn before starting uni. I had a target end amount and did not mind working slightly long hours as long as I could still enjoy my pastimes and stay true to the values I hold. I left myself open to any job that came my way.
First interview, and I was handed a full time design based job. O M G.
So here am I in the office, churning out designs, letting my creativity go wild and loving what I’m doing and getting paid.
The power to create your dreams is awesome. Being rewarded when doing something you love is even better. I’ve much to be grateful for.