In this post I want to talk you about how to get started with graphic design if you have never done any before. I will take you through step by step to introduce into the world of pixels and layers! Okay, so here we go:
1. Your first stop should be to get some software. MS Paint is not an option, so forget that now! Head over to getpaint.net or gimp.org to get some awesome high quality free graphics software. The Paint.Net application is very simular to Photoshop, so if you plan on getting this adobe product in the near future, you may want to go with Paint.NET. However, you will have more luck finding tutorials with GIMP, but the interface it quite difference. Both programs have most of the fundemental capabilities that Photoshop has.
2. Got your software? Great, so now you need to learn how to use it. DO NOT just grab the brush tool, doodble something and call it a graphic. I have seen so many people come up with rubish graphics that are crudely done simply because they didn’t learn how to use at least 75% of the program. You don’t just need to learn what a tool does, you need to know how to change all the options of it. There are plenty of free tutorials out there to introduce you to your program, so make the most of them. The most important part you NEED to learn, is layers. If you havn’t learn them, forget about making a graphic.
3. So by now if I asked you to draw a perfect circle and fill it with darkish red you should be able to do it. If I told you to make your layer slightly transparent you would know immediatley where to look to the setting. If you don’t, go back to step 2. Assuming you do, in this step you need to make a graphic. Don’t invent one out of your head, not yet. There are tons of tutorials on how to make just about anything in drawing applications like GIMP. Even Photoshop tutorials will do, as the fundimentals are the same. Copy a few tutorials and make some graphics. Don’t be ashamed that you made it following a tutorial, the fact that know how to use the program alone is awesome.
4. Now you have made a few graphics, repeat steps 2 and 3, but each time diving even further into the program. You need to know how de-saturate images. You need to understand RBG and CMYK. Do you know about curves or levels? No? Then get learning them!
5. Great! You should be really getting good at your program right now. This is the perfect time to upgrade to Photoshop, if you want. If you don’t thats fine, but upgrading in the future will be harder. Practice everything you have learnt now. Keep learning tips and tricks, different effects etc.
6. If you havn’t upgraded to Photoshop yet, shame on you. If you want to get into this professionaly, you are going to have to. If you have, get good with the Photoshop interface, learn where everything is and how all the tools work again. Start learning keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work. Keep going, keep practicing, keep looking at tutorials!
7. Brilliant, you are truly awesome at your software now. Next step, make your own content. Your head should be buzzing with inspiration now. Try anything and everything. Not all your work will turn out great, but keep going, and every now and them, just like any Graphic Designer, you get one really cool piece that you are proud of. Make sure you show of your work too, ask for critiques.
8. Done. Continue this up, but now when you open a blank canvas, an infinite amount of possibilities should wait for you there. Don’t stop practicing, and don’t let arrogance get the better of you. There will ALWAYS be someone better you at some part of graphic design, even the most talented artists have people superior to them in one area. So don’t compete, examine and learn from there work.
Okay, well that’s really all you need to become a Graphics Designer, its the route I took, and I am proud of my progress. I hope you follow in mine, and all the other Graphic Designers footsteps and master the Digital Arts.