What I learned this week: Many things are not what they seem. I can be a hero. It is easy to forget about what is ‘invisible’. And like the aliens in They Live, digital images and arts are all around me: I just can’t see them.
I love these insights. Talking to people today about media is almost like talking to fish about water. One of my hopes is that by producing and analyzing media, we will grow more conscious of its role in our lives and society. Grow is a key term here, because we are never done. They Live presents that consciousness as a binary – put on the glasses and you will see. The reality is that that awareness has complexity and many layers of depth.
Perfectionism is the enemy. Nothing is ever perfect and everything can always be improved. Our creative activities are done when we stop tinkering and say, Good enough, or, Good enough for now. At some point we need to stop and take stock of what we have learned. Even if we try something and it fails, we can still learn from it. If that happens with an assignment, it doesn’t need to be lost time. We could still write it up, say what we were trying to do, how we tried, where we think it went wrong, what we could have done differently, and evaluate what we learned for our efforts. And then it’s not a failure, but rather an investment of time and effort with a documented payoff. It could very well be worth an A.
The assignments in this course are creative challenges, not tests. Being creative is important, following rules is not. So there’s never anything wrong with taking a novel approach or reinterpreting guidelines, as long as we exercise creativity, challenge ourselves, and show what we learned from it.
Also heard this week:
There was a comment about having to do 4 Daily Creates in 5 days. Since the weeks run Friday to Friday, there are technically 8 Daily Create opportunities each week, although one probably shouldn’t double-dip on Friday. The point of the Daily Create is to make something. Regularly. It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to feel like work. There is no way to get it wrong, other than to not do it.
Several people expressed interest in learning more about Photoshop. I learned a lot through books, and just trying stuff. The UMW Libraries have many ebooks on Photoshop, like these:
Teach yourself visually Photoshop CS6
Or if you don’t have access to Photoshop, there’s the Gimp:
GIMP 2.6 cookbook over 50 recipes to produce amazing graphics with the GIMP
There will be differences in menus and functionality in different versions of Photoshop, but structurally and conceptually it’s pretty consistent. Some of the books are very thorough and extensive. My Photoshop Bible has over 800 pages. It is probably easier just to google for tutorials on whatever you want to do. You will usually have many options and various formats. One of the things people usually get out of this course is more confidence that they can find out how to figure anything out. It’s just matter of taking advantage of the information available.