Thursday, May 26, 2011

Continuing the learning curve

Taken with my new sparkler light, the crystals sparkle nicely don't you think?



I'm always looking to improve....my beadwork, illustrations, photography, workflow, beading....so with this in mind I decided to change from Corel Draw to Adobe Illustrator. My theory being that as I prepare to create the illustrations for two upcoming books, that I would find more available help with Adobe Illustrator.

Given that change I decided to move to a MAC platform for the first time as well. And while I'm at it I might as well use In Design for layout. Oh and if I'm going to put photos in my documents, I might as well get some new lights, and so it goes.

The only thing making this remotely possible is the friends who have gone before me and can provide advice and knowledge and the amazing amount of internet resources available to me.

At the recommendation of two who have gone before me I signed up for Lynda.com, a software tutorial site. I have found it to be well organized with targeted bits of digestible information. I try to watch 2 or 3 a day and digest what I have learned. I'm going in order at the moment, checking off each video I've watched, but you can also search on particulars and watch as you need it. There is a whole section on digital photography as well which I want to add to the viewing schedule.

Back to the lights however, while looking for a source of the black acrylic that was recommended to me by yet another friend, thanks Teresa (I love having accomplished friends willing to share) I found this site for Table Top photography. Admittedly they are in the business of selling product, and their site layout will link you to products that they recommend, however it is well done and there is a lot of very good information. I decided that a sparkler light would really help to photograph the often crystal studded jewelry I create. I ordered one along with some black acrylic. Since the company is in California and they shipped the day I ordered it, I had my light the very next day! And I do like instant gratification.

5 comments:

Ellen Stoune said...

Very pretty!

twobloomsdesignstudio said...

I found the karenarts through Jenora Soaps blog and she has a recent post mentioning you.

Your photo is stunning and it sparkles beautifully.
I've been thinking of signing up at Lynda.com and I have a free trial to try it out first. I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it and I think I will join up as well.

Lesliebeads/Florida said...

Hi Marcia-

So good to see you at Crystal Creations the other day! I have been following your switch to Mac -I too made the switch last year and have been struggling - especially with AI - would like to make my own designs and have not been able to figure out how it works! Thanks also for the link to Table Top - another challenge I have ... thank you for being so inspiring and willing to share.

Marcia DeCoster said...

Hi Leslie,

There is a reasonably steep learning curve. I am fortunate in that I already had Corel experience and that has helped, but there is a lot to learn.

If you can draw a bead, gradiate the fill, repeat it and rotate it and create a circle of beads then you're getting there. Oh and then draw a thread path and copy it and dash it and send it to the front....

I think lynda.com may be useful for the learning curve or a class. Good luck!

lesliebeads/Florida said...

Thanks for the encouragement - I think I may use this long weekend to practice again.

Have a great show at B&B!
Leslie