the papercraft lab

I am going to Photoshop All The Things!

TechAnandiRCComment

A few weeks ago I was clicking around on CreativeLive, looking at their upcoming class schedule. I found a list of classes that were filming soon in Seattle and looking for live audience members.

I've always wondered how the audience got selected for the classes I've watched. Mystery solved, I applied for an upcoming class on Photoshop. I didn't know anything about the instructor, but the title "Practical Photoshop Basics" sounded pretty appealing.

Image from CreativeLive

Image from CreativeLive

I consider myself very tech-savvy, but Photoshop is scary. There are so many buttons, menus, panels, and options. There's a whole new language that goes along with this tool - words like mask, clipping, heal, and dodge that have mysterious meanings in Photoshop-land.

I learn complex topics best through a structured class with an instructor who walks through terminology and examples. From the beginning.

I can also learn pretty well from a book, but I'm the type who needs to read through it in order. With something as huge and ever-changing like Photoshop, I'd never finish the book!

So I was beyond excited when I got the email saying I had been chosen for the live audience. I made childcare arrangements (a thousand thanks to my parents and hubby!) and headed down to the Creative Live Studios in Seattle, spitting distance from the Space Needle.

In short, the experience was AMAZING. It was really neat to get a behind-the-scenes peek on how these classes are created.  (I've watched a lot of them!)

This audience had four women all from Seattle and they were fun to chat with. The folks working at Creative Live are very professional and it's clear they know what they're doing. The food was incredible (and healthy!) - they had elaborate breakfasts and lunches, and fed us at every break as well. I knew I was in Seattle when every meal had gluten-free and vegan options and some Paleo ones as well. If only I could get the Creative Live "food fairies" to show up at my house!

Check out my mad new Photoshop skillz!

Check out my mad new Photoshop skillz!

This class was shot in four 90 minute segments on each of two days. It was a TON of content, but instructor Khara Plicanic has that rare gift of being extremely engaging while also being very precise and knowledgeable. She is like a walking Photoshop encyclopedia. Her cheerful, energetic presentation style kept us awake during LONG sessions of clicking through the software. Many other instructors would have had us sleeping on those comfy couches.

We weren't allowed to "follow along" on our laptops, because that makes the class less interactive, so I ended up taking about 13 double-sided pages of notes. I was even brave enough to ask questions on camera, so if you watch the broadcast or buy the class you'll see me :)

I am so glad I did this - it was one of those "I wish I could" moments that came true because I actually took steps to make it happen.

Note to self: do that more often!

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