There’s no doubt that Photoshop is an amazing design tool. With it, a person can create almost any kind of visual image – no matter how unlikely or impossible it may be. It can be quite hard to master, though. There are so many design processes and techniques available to use through Photoshop, that learning even the basics can be an intense and lengthy process.
There are ways in which you can improve your Photoshop skills, however. Designer Steven Snell points out that it can be useful to try and replicate another designer’s work. If this technique is employed for personal use only and not for any action that can be deemed as ‘copyright infringement’– it is a perfectly legitimate way to practice your skills. Entering a design competition can be another great way to gain Photoshop skills and experience. There are thousands of online competitions out there and most are very easy to enter.
Satirical websites like Freakingnews.com and Fark.com hold regular Photoshop contests, which allow members to hone and showcase their skills. This type of competition tends not to involve any prizes – the joy of triumphing over your fellow design nerds is more than enough. However, there are lots of web based design competitions that do offer cash prizes to their winner. They can usually be found with a little internet research.
Participating in a design competition is a great way to improve your Photoshop skills, as it allows you to get used to creating a ‘product’ for the specific purpose of being judged by others. This is what graphic design is all about it’s there to be looked at and to be remarked upon by people who perhaps don’t know as much about it as you do. Photoshop’s real power lies in its ability to deceive. You want people to question whether or not an image is real, whether or not it’s been digitally manipulated. Getting involved with Photoshop competitions can help with this. Some of them are judged by other design enthusiasts or professionals, but many are decided by anonymous internet users.
Being able to compare your work to someone else’s is another advantage of entering design competitions. It can often be difficult to know where to turn for ideas when it comes to something like Photoshop design. As already mentioned – there are so many different tools and processes, that choosing what you want to do with them can be tricky. Entering a competition allows you to check out what your peers and fellow design fans are working on, what they’re excited about. Is the album cover the most popular design medium of the moment? Or is it ‘unbelievable reality,’ – a process that involves taking a real photograph and making it look just extraordinary enough to fool amateurs and those unfamiliar with design.
Obviously, entering design competitions will result in useful feedback, says Photoshoproadmap.com. This in itself is a great reason to get involved. It will allow you to judge just how skilled you are compared to others, as well as pinpointing those techniques and processes that you perhaps, need to spend a little more time mastering. Getting involved with design competitions is a great way to hone your Photoshop skills. It introduces you to different design communities and resources, it teaches you new things and it helps you to get comfortable with being a professional, able designer – a designer who is secure enough to take honest feedback from both peers and the uninitiated.
* Author Bio:* Sarah is a freelance web designer and self-taught Photoshop expert. She uses Print My Pixel for high quality business cards, brochures and flyers. She can be found online blogging about different graphic design techniques.