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

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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.

1

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

 

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