The importance of practice

Happy Saturday everyone,

Today I want to talk about the importance of daily practice.

In my current job position I am not only the company graphic designer, but their product photographer.

For the past 11 professional years designing and photography have been my daily tasks. I have consistently practiced in these two areas from Monday – Friday 8am-5pm . My job has provided me with many hours of practice resulting in better editing skills.

When I was in high school, my graphics arts teacher Mr. Dahms told the class that as a designer if you can only get good at one thing, get good at the pen tool! form there I started practicing with the pen tool as much as I could. The pen tool is great for digital drawings and for removing the background from an image like the one below.

(Taken and edited 8/16/19)

LED

When I look back at some of my past work, I can really see the difference in photography and editing techniques. Along my creative journey, I’ve had to remind myself to continue to learn and study others and their techniques. You can’t get caught up with the same routine for years because our industry is always evolving.

Every designer and photographer has their own workflow. Study others and then decide if there are things they do that you can start implementing in your projects.

Sadly for the past year I have been dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist and slightly in my left. This has drastically impacted my practice, workflow, job and ultimately my career. This is only a temporary set back and I have faith that things will get better soon.

Now that I have to rest my wrist a majority of the week, I only have two full days at work to practice. Everyone knows that when you don’t practice daily you being to get rusty and slow. You might even forget how to do things, and thats just one of the downsides of not practicing and why it’s so important.

One of the things I have been relying on to keep me from forgetting is to study. I know that visual training is not as beneficial as hands on training, but it beats not doing anything at all.

I enjoy attending photography workshops. In these classes I learn not just from the instructor, but from the students. Everyone has their own unique talents and knowledge from their years of experience. I like to ask questions on how I can better set up my photoshoots to avoid so much post editing.

At work I don’t have a studio with strobe lighting, a backdrop or a nice 2.8 lens. My environment is low lit which makes my images dark and forces me to do more editing. (I shoot RAW) Thanks to this workshop and the tips from my teacher and peers I’ve been able to pull off  decent product photography. The more tips and techniques I learn the better my photography gets even if I don’t do it on a daily.

So my advice to all creatives is that if you can practice daily do it! If you can’t, then use the time to learn better ways at perfecting your craft. Rely on your education and years of experience to get you through your difficult times, but be open to learning new tricks from others.

Have a blessed day and let’s go out there and get creative!

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

#AL_Designs

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The Creative Hour

As designers our craft requires daily practice, but if you can’t do it physically at the moment you can always find alternatives to stay relevant.

These alternatives can be time invested in learning or studying a subject or person in the field. Use this time to find your weak points and ways on how you can improve them.

Take the time to brainstorm any creative projects you want to do in the future. Go back to the basics of paper and pen and write out your ideas.

Your mind is a muscle that needs to be exercised. We can get caught up in the same daily routine and the same way of designing, photographing, editing and filming that we forget to observe the changes happening in our industries and therefore we become outdated.

As designers, we need time to recharge and refresh our knowledge.

I have committed myself to schedule in 1 hour of creativity per day. This is the hour that I take to study other designers, photographers and videographers. YouTube is one of the best ways to gain inspiration on new trends, software tutorials and a day in the life of a designer.

So, the point of this post is to encourage you to use your current setbacks if any (for me my hands) as a motivation to find way around the physical limitations (the creative hour). This will help you implement positive habits and in return make you better in other areas.

I know that by overcome my personal setbacks, I will be better physically and mentally for my current employer and myself. When you have strength in both areas you can attack your career with new knowledge and creativity.

Have a blessed day and let’s go out there and get creative!

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

#AL_Designs