Learning Curves

The rain has stopped for a moment and I look out at new green buds frosting the thirsty trees. This wet morning has given brief respite to an otherwise dry spell here in Texas.   Art waits and I do not respond to the call, rather taking on the myriad mundane tasks related to selling and promoting it. Bound to my computer, I long for ink, paper and pencil or brush. Ah, websites. Postcards, prints, printers and photoshop, Adobe Illustrator. Cameras and Jpegs, Pdf’s and Tiffs’.  I slowly acquire a new language while remaining a stranger in a strange land–one who has thus far only learned enough to say “Hi”, “Bye” and “can you do this for me?”  This is not the age of Aquarius, but the age of left-brained computer savvy. Too bad I was born with an inclination for right-brained activities.

The frustration I experience over the simple act of downloading pictures and then saving them for various purposes, be it print, or web pages, has stymied many an attempt on my part to become more savvy in graphic design. And yet, I perservere, willing to adopt the attitude of “Beginners Mind” and carry on in my slow, snail-like fashion.  During a class in web-design and Photoshop taught by Denis Brown at the Calligraphy Conference this Summer, a friend suggested that I go home and take a course for seniors. She was not insulting me, but giving me good advice: simply find a class which will go at a slower speed, one which does not assume that you know anything about computers, photoshop or web-design.

My brand new printer sits in a box beside me. It will be of no use to me until I grasp a few more fundamentals of my computer, of Photoshop and Illustrator.  I continue to muddle through the basics of these programs, marveling at their depth and breadth.  I know that this Macbook Pro I use daily is far more powerful than I am capable of  appreciating, but in baby steps I begin to gain access to more of its wonderful functions.

Soon I will make my own prints with no effort. I will make postcards and business cards, flyers and brochures. I set these intentions, simple and straightforward, and move toward realizing them, slowly and steadily  like the rain outside watering my yard.

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