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February 21, 2010

Preparing To Eat An Elephant

As I learned long ago, there is but one way to eat an Elephant. One bite at a time. 
In my quest to learn to draw and paint on the computer, my friend Bea suggested that I invest in The Adobe Illustrator WOW! book (appropriate to my version of Illustrator - CS3) Inside are beautiful computer generated pieces, each done by an experienced artist who has broken it all down into each step taken in the work's creation. I imagined a more simple cook book sort of thing (with lots of pictures and/or maybe simple diagrams). 
What came, inside this attractive cover, at first glance looks closer to a manual for learning to fly a 747. I am trying to be only slightly daunted as I go where many friends and colleagues, like dear Bea, have gone before!  I hope to share the more interesting results. The accompanying tears, blood and sweat might work as a sort of sauce .  Wish me luck! 


  1. Adobe's software is agonizingly non-intuitive! I took a PhotoShop class at our community college a few years ago. We used Adobe's "Classroom in a Book" as our text. The book presents progressively more complex lessons, step by step, keystroke by keystroke. We completed a lesson every week and by the end of the semester, we completed about 75% of the book.

    Now years later, I still reference this book because I can just look at the photos of each lesson and see which features were covered - I don't have to know the name of the feature (can't look it up in the index if you don't know the name of a feature). I then look at the sequence of keystrokes in the chapter to jog my memory of how to do a trick.

    They have one for Illustrator, you can pick up a used one for under $20:

    Good luck! I have no doubt that you'll get your wings in no time!

  2. Dear DB, I've found (and my friend Bea agrees) the best way to learn Adobe programs is to decide on something you want to make. To learn Photoshop, I set out to do a business card. So I knew the things I had to do to do this "by hand" so I searched around the menus and drop downs etc til I found something that worked. Maybe not the fastest or best way to learn, but it was fairly fast learning what I needed to know. After that, I learn something new each time I work with Photoshop. Hoping the same approach will work here. Fingers crossed.