SCANNING, PHOTOSHOP, ILLUSTRATOR, OH MY.
Digitizing. One of the secret sauce ingredients of the hand-lettering business community. Some of the very best callgiraphers I know happen to be trained graphic designers as well. It's an incredibly useful combination of skills, and some days, I wish I could go back in time and change my educational path. I am one of the many people out there not currently "using my degree." I was a sociology and women's studies major, so yeah. Not totally applicable to the world of calligraphy. (Totally interesting and formative, but I digress). Read on to learn more about Becoming an Online Artist, the two-part digital course I've designed with the immense expertise of my friends Abagail and Emylee over at Think Creative Collective.
If you are like me, you are someone who has a passion for hand lettering who lacks a history of graphic design training. I was remarking to someone yesterday that when I started my business, it was totally feet-first. I wasn't even aware of all the things I didn't know how to do. It's not as if I was arrogant (at least I hope I wasn't!), it's just that I was comfortable with where I was. Lettering was a passion and I was just so thrilled with any small opportunity to use it. I didn't have a concept of how good or bad I was. In time, the more that I immersed myself in the hand-lettering world, the more self-conscious I became. I compared my lackluster skills to the skills of the talented artists who had come before me. I realized that my missing link was my inability to digitize, so I began a crusade to learn digitizing tools. At the same time, I received more and more requests for wedding invitation projects and custom designs that I just couldn't do on my own. My caring brother-in-law made all of the greeting card designs that I sold in my shop for over a year, and every time I needed something to be modified for a project that required digitization, I had to reach out for his support (Thanks, Jasen!).
MY LEARNING STORY
I took course after course; I am a big believer in investing in development, carryover from my days as an adult educator. In one class, I learned a Photoshop introduction from an impressive local designer. However, the project was to take a stock photo of a family in the snow and photoshop it into a greeting card. I used editing tools to create a snowy mountain with editing and sat the happy anonymous family atop it. In no way am I critiquing the methods or the instructor. It was a perfect exercise in understanding the vastness of the digital sphere. Though the skills I learned in that course were relevant and necessary for someone, they left me no more capable of manipulating my own hand-lettered designs than when I entered the course.
There are also tons and tons of online courses geared towards digitizing text, and I have probably taken them all. In composite, they were helpful. However, since the focus wasn't specific enough (usually too broad or too fast-paced), I struggled through them, too.
Eventually, through trial and error, I got better and better. I now spend about 50% of my working computer hours in the Creative Cloud. Truthfully, it felt like one day, everything clicked together through the additional screen time hours I got when I took on my business full time. And simultaneously, I've gotten to know many more beginning letterers through my role as a workshop teacher. Digitizing is always the big hurdle that people ask about when they feel like they're almost ready to start a business--or when they feel like they're ready to take their business to the next level. And I can always sense the same fear and trepidation about digital tools that I had when I was starting out.
THE BIRTH OF BECOMING AN ONLINE ARTIST
In early January, the bright and bubbly twosome at Think Creative Collective contacted me about collaborating, and since I knew that Abagail and Emylee were design and branding pros, I knew that their talents could be invaluable for those of us who have lived the 'trial and error' lifestyle. It has been just lovely working with them. I have already learned so much through our collaboration, and graphic designer Abagail has shared so many tricks with me that have already made my practice faster and more seamless.
Our course is geared to be a straight-to-the-point resource for digitizing projects you can apply the same day you learn the content. Read below and click the links to find out if the course is right for you!
THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF:
You want to learn how to transfer your art from paper to the digital realm.
You want to learn how to make simple, colorful social media graphics and other design projects for marketing use
- You want to be able to reproduce your hand-lettered or hand-painted art for resale so you can work smarter, not harder
- You're contemplating starting a small business related to hand-lettering or painting and you want to equip yourself with the tools to get started
- You are an artist and want to be able to work on projects with increased complexity, such as wedding invitations, e-books, and more
- You want to make your own greeting cards, notepads, prints, and other printed goods for your own personal use
HOW IT WORKS
- Register for the course between now and Friday at 8pm. Our 50 spots are filling quickly!
- You'll get a welcome email with your password to the portal.
- You'll get immediate access to the Think Creative Collective online community and our THREE bonuses (printing resource guide, digitizing tools supply list, and ready-to-use social media templates).
- You'll get access to our two LIVE webinars: one on Feb 16 at noon CST and the other on Feb 23 at noon CST.
- You'll receive a supply list. The supply costs are virtually free if you sign up for the 30-day Photoshop trial and use materials you have at home.
- You'll get fun "homework" after Workshop 1 so that you can show off your skills. We will give you quick feedback at your request if you post your goods online!
If you want to check out a free resource we put together with my ten favorite basic lettering tools, click here!
ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY AND REGISTER!
We hope to see you in the course!
LET'S HEAR FROM YOU
What questions do you have about digitizing? What questions do you have about the course?