When I graduated in 2013 I thought that my days of learning were going to slow significantly. I figured that I’d learned most of what I needed to know for my craft while in school and it was just time to implement it. I was completely and utterly wrong.
The first thing I learned about after graduating was website building. This is something that I’m still working on but was a huge learning curve at first. I’d never thought I’d need graphic design (big mistake there) or understanding on websites (facepalm) and so everything about designing a webpage and the organization was fairly new. After a month of plodding along I was able to come up with a decent site, that is until I switched hosting sites and had to relearn everything again.
I also never thought I’d be working much with digital mediums until I graduated and spent months learning about brush types and their uses, about filters and layer options, until I discovered uses for tools in Photoshop that I’d never used before. As I practiced, I found that I had a lot to learn about about digital painting. I’ve grown a great deal in this medium and am happy with my progress. Despite this, I still find myself learning something new each time I open up Photoshop and take out my tablet.
My first job out of college was as a secretary/graphic designer/errand runner/customer service provider (that last one was the hardest part for me). That job was intense. When the company was sold to new owners I had to quickly learn InDesign, Illustrator, and a bit of Blender within a little over 2 months. These crash course lessons were CRAZY but also ultimately amazing. In addition to the crash courses, I found that you could do more with Adobe Acrobat than just viewing PDFs, I sharpened my PowerPoint skills, and really expanded my artistic and office talents at once. This job also was where the beginnings of my business knowledge started. Many times over the course of working there I’d be asked about contracts for commissions, how I marketed myself as an artist, and about how I worked with taxes. Those questions and responses from my bosses were invaluable to me as I was starting off my career as an artist. THAT was a job that I never stopped learning in.
Working freelance I’ve had the opportunity to be submerged in learning about marketing, networking, time management skills (I thought those were sold before but I was mistaken), a smidge of accounting, legal document writing, and more. With the comic I’ve started learning more about how other people create comics and have started dabbling in 3d rendering (the outcome you’ll be able to see in about 2 weeks).
I’m finding that life is full of learning experiences and I’m loving it. I love that life never gets old and that I’m always being pushed to do my best.