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)

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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

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

Same Price For Big Dreams

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Hey guys! Happy Monday and welcome to a new month! A month with 30 new days too work hard, smart and with passion.

Here is your Monday Motivation: If you dream big it won’t cost you any more than if you dream small so you might as well go big!

I like that statement because its true, dreaming costs us nothing yet we always limit our thoughts. We think we can never accomplish that or we are crazy for even think that, but guys we have to dream big! Dreaming big is the only way we are going to get anywhere in life.

Since this is a new month, it’s the perfect time for you to set your goals for the week/month. I invite you to set your goals and to increase your dream size. Get at it, dream it, set it and work at it!

I hope you all have a blessed day. Now let’s go out there and get creative!

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

 

How Do I Design – Thursday’s Designer Tip

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Hey guy!

Here is Thursday’s designer tip 🙂

When I create graphics my main design program is Adobe Illustrator. I use Illustrator because it creates vector files (a digital graphic file that its made up of many lines and curves or better known as paths). With a vector file you can stretch out your design as big or small as you want without losing resolution quality.

When I edit photos, I use Photoshop because PS creates a raster image (an image composed of pixels).

You can design in either programs, I just prefer Illustrator for designs and Photoshop for photos.

When I open up a new Illustrator file, I create the document using the final size of the project including the bleed when required.

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Creating new doc sized at: 3.75″ X 2.25″

For example, a business card is 3.5” x 2” if it does not require a bleed I make my doc size 3.5” x 2”. If my card requires a bleed my doc size will be 3.75” x 2.25” giving me a .25” bleed for trimming. Inside the card I will also keep an inner safety border of .25” all around.

2

Example of doc with colored safety frame.

I work with layer so my first one is my safety border, you can use the guides in AI or I prefer to make a colored frame sized at .25” so its easier on my eyes. I will align the frame to the edges of the document. Next, I make sure to lock my guide layer so nothing is moved.

3

Layer 1: Guides (Locked) Layer 2: Artwork

My 2nd layer is my artwork layer, this one I will keep under my 1st layer. Once my design is complete, I group everything in the artwork layer and delete layer 1 (guides). I will select my artwork layer and outline all of my text and save the file as a PDF or EPS making sure to keep the original (not outlined) text file for future changes.

**It is important to outline your text because if you send your file to someone and they don’t have that fonts you used in your design installed the program will substitute the missing fonts with other font causing your design to look different.**

**Outlining the text makes the font an object and it will no longer be editable as far as characteristics for future use so make sure you keep the original file.**

I hope this helps you in some way. If it does let me know 🙂

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

 

Be Deaf when Someone Says You Can’t

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Hey guys!

Today I want to share with you a great poem I read in a book. I hope you enjoy it.

Be Deaf when Someone Says You Can’t

Grant Cardone

Be deaf when someone says you cannot do it!

Be deaf when someone says it is impossible!

Be deaf when anyone tries to put limits on you!

For these people who make efforts to limit you and suggest that

you cannot fulfill your dreams are dangerous people.

These people have given up on their dreams

and seek to convince you to do the same.

And do not be confused by them when they suggest

that they are only trying to help you!

Help is not what they offer.

What they really seek to do is have you join the ranks of slaves,

the apathetic, and the hopeless.

Be deaf to all of them.

I really enjoyed this one and it opened my eyes to the fact that it is true! People at all stages of your life will try to discourage you or stop you from achieving your goals. They fear your success because they have given up on theirs. They want to keep you at the same level as them so you don’t advance. Don’t let them, especially if you believe deeply in the goals and dreams you are chasing.

Be deaf to the critics!

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

 

You need targets, a reason and goals.

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If you are not expanding you are contracting. You need targets, a reason and goals.

Wise words right there. I agree that we all need a reason to make our life worthwhile.

We need a reason to wake up every morning and make some kind of impact on this world and those around us even if it’s a small contribution.

Targets are very important. This year I’ve been very disciplined on writing down my longer term goals twice a day. But it’s not just about writing them down, its about taking action towards achieving them that makes all the difference.

On Sunday nights, I will write down the goals I have for the week, I also review the goals I had for the previous week. I will write down goals completed and goals failed on the same sheet and right under that I will write next week’s goals Monday – Sunday. I also have daily goals that I write down and start checking them off as I complete them.

You should have different targets and goals for all areas of your life, right now my 2 main categories are health and fitness and career advancements.

You can’t always achieve everything you write down, but its way better to over commit and deliver than it is to under commit and waste your time.

I suggest you buy a notebook and start writing down what is important to you, and take action towards expanding your current situation.

Have a blessed day guys and lets go out there and get creative.

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

 

Life is about choices

Busy is a choice

Stress is a choice

Joy is a choice

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Life is about choices.

We make choices from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep.

You have the choice of waking up grouchy or happy in the morning.

You have the choice of eating breakfast or not.

You have the choice of leaving to work on time or not.

You have the choice of putting in your best effort at work or not.

You have the choice to make an impact on others or not.

As you can see your day will be packed with many choices and each choice you make will determine the kind of day you will have.

I try to live each day as best as I possibly can by making the following choices:

#1 – I wake up early and I give thanks for another day of life.

#2 – I make a healthy breakfast (oatmeal) every morning and work on my freelance projects.

#3 – I leave to work on time so I can arrive 15-10 mins early.

#4 – I try to keep a positive attitude at work even when difficult & stressful tasks arrive.

#5 – I workout 6X a week to improve my health.

#6 – I try and have patients for myself and others around me.

This one is important because not everyone around you is trying to make the same positive choices as you. I am not perfect and I don’t expect others to be perfect, so patients is key.

So try and remember that positivity always wins and I guarantee you that you will start making better choices and your day will be filled with many blessings.

The choice is yours! Have a blessed day guys!

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

 

Treasure your life

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Mondays words of wisdom:

Treasure your life and health. Live it to the max and don’t worry about what others think or say.

Its true guys, we need to really live our lives to the max because we are only here for a short moment.

We never know how long we will be here. We can be here now, but gone the next.

So live your life without fear. If you want to do, start or say something, now is the best time because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

If your worried about what others might say, who cares it’s your life not theirs!

Don’t live in fear of what others will think of you, if it makes you happy and it aligns with your personal morals GO FOR IT!

Don’t waste your life waiting for permission from others, your probably not going to get it anyways.

So live your best life, make the best of it and spread love and positivity.

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

 

 

2018: Another year of challenges

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I want to try something new.

This year I have committed to writing down my goals daily in the AM and PM.

I have also written down all my general goals for 2018 in the areas of personal, health and finance.

I have committed to starting a vision board and to continuously update it.

I have written down how I want 2018 to look and feel, as well as my top priority for this year.

It’s seriously time to move!

It’s time to go out and change!

It’s time to go out and hustle!

I hope you all have a productive and successful new year.

Below is a list of a few questions I took the time to answer for myself. These might help you or someone else.

Fill them out today (copy & paste to a word doc).

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How do you want 2018 to look and feel?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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Who do you want to be in this upcoming year?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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What do you want your days to look like?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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What do you want to accomplish?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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What is my top priority for 2018?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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What do you need more of in your life / less of?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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What are you not available for? (Negative peeps)

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What is one thing that holds you back that you are willing to let go of?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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What is 1 new habit that you will introduce to make yourself better?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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Let me know your thoughts.

For further information please feel free to contact me!

 LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez

 

Motivation

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Everyone has moments in life where you just feel like giving up or not wanting to move forward. When we get in that funk, it is very important to do everything possible to quickly get out of it. Why? Because life is too short and beautiful to take for granted.

I will admit I’ve had my fair share of low moments, but I will quickly block the negative by thinking of all the positive in my life. I am healthy and alive; there are many people who are sick or have some physical limitations. That gets me thinking “Alondra, you have no illness, you have all of your limbs, you have a wonderful family, a place to sleep and a career you love.”

We live in a world that give the focus and spotlight to negativity, don’t believe me, just watch the news or go on social media. We see this daily 24/7 so we think it is OK to think negative about everything and everyone. We as a culture need to change, and start promoting positive actions and by doing so we will change the way we think and act. That in turn will help change your life.

When I cross paths with someone I smile and say hello, because you never know when that free yet simple smile will help brighten up someone’s day. Smiling also makes you feel happier. Another thing I do is I listen to motivation podcasts, because sometimes you have to hear it from someone that you are valuable and are capable of achieving anything. Books are another one of my favorite sources of staying inspired and motivated. There is so much information out there to learn from! So many different topics, so I encourage you to pick up a book and read 5 minutes or a few pages per day and you will see a difference, plus you will develop a positive habit (reading). Hobby’s are another great way to get creative and they are a wonderful way to relive some stress. Go hike, spend some time surround by nature.

Those are just a few ways that help me stay inspired. You might have other forms, but just remember that the best way to stay inspired, motivated and happy is to live life to the fullest in the most positive direction you can.

For further information please feel free to contact me!

LinkedIn

Best Regards,

Alondra Lopez