A few years ago I was against the idea of digital art. Then I tried the Adobe Creative Cloud for the first time and realized that an endless amount of artistic freedom was at my fingertips and within my book bag I basically carried an entire art shop. For anyone who is even slightly proficient within the programs know that the first encounter can be intimidating. The tiny icon buttons on the toolbar or in the panels line the sides of your screen only to produce seven more icons when clicked on as greys and whites dominate every inch. It seems cold and sterile. I remember questioning how anything fluid and painterly can possibly come from something so structured and symmetric.
Then I began to mess around, creating palettes and combining colors to form gradients which turned out to be incredibly similar to the way I was working in studio classes. I created something simple, but alas, it didn’t look like a third grader did it while fooling around on paint in their computer class. And so I gave it a chance.
Now as I’m entering my senior year of college, I reflect on the time spent learning the programs that Adobe has to offer but also acknowledging the fact that my ignorance has left me with time wasted. So recently I’ve been doing a lot of catching up, watching hours worth the tutorials, taking notes, writing down keyboard shortcuts, reading articles and listening to contemporary illustrators who excel in their field. My new understanding of these programs has completely changed the way I work and think as an artist, leaving me excited and inspired to work on building a new portfolio this summer.
What I would really like to share however, is the website that has initiated this independent study of programs and taught me simple and quick ways of getting the results I want. YouTube is a great source of instructional videos but sometimes it’s hard to find clear tutorials that are up to date on software. So when I was looking for tutorials I found that within my google search, Adobe Creative Cloud would come up repeatedly. After clicking on it I realized that Adobe had teamed up with Behance to produce these live videos. This is when I realized there would obviously be no better instructor to learn how to use the programs from than the people who excel in their fields by using the Creative Cloud themselves.
Below is a link that will take you directly to this site and you will see recordings of what were once live demonstration videos ranging in a multitude of categories including: graphic design, illustration, motion graphics, photography, and UI/UX. Most of the videos will be lengthy as they are full instructional videos going from nothing to a finished product with step by step directions. However, the information given within is immensely valuable and it came to my surprise that it was actually free and available to anyone.
So this summer, embrace the unknown. Get a mini notebook that you can carry with you and a pen that makes you smile. Bring your laptop to a cafe, go outside in the grass, spend a day in the library, stay up late and then sleep in, just whatever you do, take notes. Observe. Make this summer productive. Learn from others and in return share your work with the world. My only regret is that I hadn’t started sooner.