For over a year now i’ve been a flickr pro member and have tried to upload as many images as i can. It’s not easy. I’m not a photographer and my brain isn’t programmed to think like one so i usually only end up taking photos when i’m on holidays…
That said, i have gotten in to the habit of designing daily in photoshop. Alongside every blog post, i create a 750px x 250px custom designed image. Now when i say ‘custom designed’ i don’t mean i create every pixel myself… i’ll often just crop my own photos or add effects in to them and that’s my ‘custom’ design. Or i’ll grab some free images from stock photography sites, screenshots or icons online and use them in my ‘custom’ designs.
It started off as a way for me to ‘get better’ with design and ‘get better’ working with photoshop. Up until last year i hated photoshop and never took the time to go through it feature by feature and learn how it works and what i can do. Although i find it easy to use now, i used to find it very frustrating to use… things didn’t move when i wanted them to. I couldn’t select stuff when i wanted to…
Now, several HUNDRED designs later, i am of course pretty handy with photoshop; there’d be something wrong if i wasn’t – i’ve used it daily for about 9 months… I now know straight away what looks good and what doesn’t. Most of the time i won’t be happy with designs but i’ll publish them anyway because of time constraints (quite often i’ll find myself needing to come up with something in 15 minutes).work
So admittedly, most of my designs are weak at best, but i don’t really care… it was never my aim to become a graphic designer, i just wanted to beef up my design skills. If you were to constantly criticize my designs i’d still keep designing daily – i do it for me, not for anyone else 🙂
Having people like some of my designs is really just a bonus. Like i said, i’d design anyway regardless of how many people see them or whether people like them or not. By default, anything i upload to flickr is given a creative commons licence. That means people can use all my stuff provided they link to it. In reality i don’t care how people use my work. I just like seeing where my stuff is, but if you were to copy / paste an image of mine and use it to explain or enhance something, fine by me.
Anyway, here’s just a few examples of where my designs have ended up;
Incredibly really… and the list goes on and on too. All of that has come about because of one thing – work rate. You might wonder why i bother doing this stuff day after day when i could be doing something more important or relaxing… i do it because the only way you can ‘prove’ you have a good work rate is to show that you have a good work rate.
So when someone asks me can i design? I can say yes, here’s the proof – and link to a bout 3,000 images on flickr plus direct them to this blog post which shows where my stuff has been used online. I *think* that might just answer their question better than a bit of carefully worded waffle on a CV.
To be honest i’d completely forgotten i’d even taken / owned some of those photos and designs and as i was browsing through some, i was actually asking myself “is that actually mine?!” This one for example was taken from my bedroom window one morning just to test out my old (new at the time) camera 3 years ago. I don’t even remember putting it up online but that’s what happens when you churn out stuff day after day for years on end…. you may forget about it but years later someone can come along and use it.