Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Investing in self-education

Over the past few days I've been spending some quality time with Illustrator. But I'm not designing right now (hence, no new designs!) Instead I'm having a tutorial from my friend Mordy Golding.

Who is Mordy Golding? Well he's the definition of guru. Look on the Illustrator credits, you'll see his name. He's been involved in the creation of Illustrator since day one and he knows it inside and out. I've actually met him and he's a modest, unassuming man. This weekend he's helping me learn some new techniques and better ways of doing things I already know how to do. How is he doing that? Through Lynda.com.

Lynda.com is, as far as I'm concerned, the world's best online tutorial site, especially for graphic designers. You can buy DVDs from them outright, but even better, you can subscribe to Lynda and view DVDs online. Lynda is the best because they use the foremost experts in their respective fields, people like Mordy Golding (Illustrator), Dave Blattner (InDesign), and Deke McClelland (Photoshop). It's also the best because for their online material, each DVD is broken into small video segments, each segment from 5 to 10 minutes, and each segment illustrating a specific trick or technique to make your life easier and bring your art to the next level. I love it because I can start or stop the video, skip sections I already know, and try new stuff as I'm following along without feeling pressured.

Now Lynda isn't just for uber-high-end software. Their roster of available training is so huge I can't begin to list it all, but it includes far less expensive programs, including Publisher, CorelDraw, and Photoshop Elements. Here's the complete list. Their subscription prices are actually very reasonable for what you get. And best of all, you can check out several titles and even the start of some DVDs without subscribing, just so you can ee if it works for you.

The time I'm spending now with Lynda means I don't have any new designs to show you. And since I'll be out of town for most of the rest of the week at the AKC Agility Nationals, I may not have art to show you this week. But it will be worth it when I can expand my skills and my artistic range. So think about investing some time in really understanding your design software and learning good design technique. It may take some time away from your designing now, but will send more profits to your pocket later.

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