Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my little experiment

So, I may have posted on my blog awhile ago that I was considering a return to school. Right? Hm... let me check...

Ah, yes - here it is.

When I last wrote about my little contemplation, I neglected to say what my desired field of study would be. Not sure WHY I was being all mysterioso about it, but whatever.

What I'm most interested in learning is graphic and web design.

Wanna know why? Well, the reasons are several.

First and foremost? Given that you're reading this blog that I write, I'd love to be able to make my blog look the way I REALLY WANT IT TO. Which is not the way that it looks right now. I'll be honest: I use the standard layout that Blogger provides, and then I get my free backgrounds from Aqua Poppy. I love the backgrounds (most of the time), but I really don't love the layout of the blog. I'd love to know how to write the code to design my own blog, and then also have the graphic design skills to make my OWN backgrounds, etc. I feel like a technological moron about these things, and I'm really tired of that. So, yes, making my blog TRULY reflect what I love and what I'm about is the primary reason I want to learn these skills.

A very close second is that I have a super strong gut feeling that learning how to create beautiful graphics and web pages would be one of the very few ways in which I'll ever be able to truly show my artistic side. Because I can't draw - or paint - for shit. And I mean that, literally. My 6 year-old son draws and paints better than I. But to have the power of the KNOWLEDGE of the mighty design software products on my side could unleash all the great works of art I've had pent up inside me for nearly 36 years. Alright, I might be over-dramatizing this just a smidge, but there is definitely a kernel of truth at its heart.

Third, I know that I will not be working in my prior field of study: Psychology and Social Welfare. I have no desire to go back to school for a Master's Degree or PhD at this point in my life. Which means that I need to think about what the next half of my career is going to be about. And I really can't imagine a more fun form of WORK than creating things that are artistic and new for myself and others. Not to mention that this is a great field for freelancers, and I'm all about the freelancing movement.

Anyway, I'm saying all of this in part to draw your attention to something NEW on my blog, something you haven't seen before. Something that I managed to create with my own mouse-clicking hands, after a brief software tutorial the night before from Super Man, the graphic design guru of my world.

Don't know what it is?

Oh, come on - sure you do! Look closely....

Got it?

My new TITLE LOGO!! Yes, friends, your old pal Super Woman made that. And I was SO proud of it after I managed to MAKE it and then figured out how to size it to get it to FIT in my header!

I started with a photo that I took of one of the mammoth sunflowers in my garden, Photoshopped it a bit to brighten it up, increase the contrast, and then do some more artistic stuff to it, and then I created the text and situated that in the picture the way I wanted it, and PRESTO - I was done.

I'm not kidding you, I was LITERALLY bursting with pride over this. I couldn't wait to show Super Man that I had actually learned something during his teaching session with me the night before.

So, when Super Man came home and I giddily dragged him by the hand over to my laptop to show him, his response was NOT what I expected.

He said that the picture looked great... BUT - I could sense the BUT coming even before he spoke it.

BUT you should never stretch a font ("Average").

BUT you should never use more than two fonts (I used four).

BUT you shouldn't constrain everything to a rectangular shape. (Self-explanatory.)

BUT you should've blocked out the red windowsill and other colors in the background on the lower left of the picture because they compete with the main image too much and draw the eye away. (Oh, shut up.)

My elation vanished. I wanted to stick my tongue out at Super Man. (Okay, fine, I actually did stick my tongue out at him.) I told him he was mean.

His signature brows shot up as he said, "Honey, if you want to become a good graphic designer, you're going to have to accept 'constructive' criticism! I'm SUPER proud of you for even attempting to do this, much less doing it - I just want to teach you the proper ways to design graphics, that's all."

My response?

"Well, for your information, I INTENTIONALLY used four different fonts, because I wanted the logo to reflect the eclectic, quirky nature of my blog and what I write about. And I personally LIKE the background colors in the picture - I think they add something to the photo. And I WANTED the logo to be a long rectangle, to fit nicely in the space of that yellow petal of the sunflower. And I LOVE the way 'Average' looks stretched. So leave me alone. Meany."

He hugged me and said, "But I still think you should try again, and just follow my suggestions and see what you come up with."

I said, "Fine. But not right now. I like this the way it is for now, I really do. Maybe next month."

"But why?" he asked, clearly not thrilled with my choice.

"Because it took me two and a half hours to do THIS, dude. Now get off my back."

So, here's to my little graphic design experiment. Whether you love it or hate it, I love it. And I made it all by myself. Good, bad or otherwise. :)

Maybe my October attempt will be more successful...? Then again, maybe not!

Peace out,
SW

1 comment:

  1. Amy,
    I can completely relate to what you went through making this picture. I too am back in school to enhance my education. I was "forced" to take a film class to satisfy an art credit. I was thrown into a world of photoshop and a whole all sorts of technology that I had no idea even existed. I even learned how to make a short film! I think it looks great for the first attempt. You should be very proud!

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