Okay I’ll be realistic, practice may not make you perfect but it certainly will make a dramatic improvement to whichever skill you intended to improve.
Many schools are implementing a method of learning which is sometimes referred to as ‘blended learning’. The idea is that, in addition to the time spent in the classroom engaging with an interactive tutor, the students are also required to spend 1-2 hours a day practicing their academic skills online. This is the primary reason the majority of schools have created a virtual learning area online, this is simply a website designed for the purpose of students being able to practice their academic skills.
Some of you may say ‘Wait, hold on a minute! This is nothing new, students have had to do homework for years’. This is true, but the different between doing your ‘homework’ online rather than by traditional means is that the student is able to receive instant feedback & immediately alter any incorrect habits. This would not be possible by traditional methods as they are slow & sluggish in comparison.
This blend between e-Learning & classroom based learning has achieved vast improvements in the students results.
It is common for people to learn a new skill but as a direct consequence of a lack of use & practice they ‘forget’ them just as quickly.
So, using the above logic it is clear to see the importance in practicing ones skills. I have found that a great way for graphic design & web design students to practice & hone their skills is to complete some of the numerous tutorials which can be found online. This is not only an excellent way to practice your newly learned skills & prevent them from becoming rusty but you will also find that it is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. As an added bonus you will gather a healthy collection of free resources (brush sets, stock images, fonts, etc.) which you will be able to use for your own projects.
I have completed both the Adobe Photoshop CS5 Introduction & Adobe Photoshop CS5: Next Step course at Futuretrend. However for years I only seemed to use Photoshop to resize, lighten or darken images. Nothing more, the majority of the skills I had learned were not being utilized, instead they were being dumped into the recycle bin of my mind.
I decided to follow the instructions in a cool tutorial I found & I managed to create these:
I will admit it wasn’t all smooth sailing, some things in the tutorial didn’t seem to work as they were supposed to so I had to use my problem solving skills & find another way around it. That’s one thing you do learn about expansive software such as Adobe Photoshop there is usual at least 2 or 3 ways to do the same thing. Anyway I digress, once I completed the tutorial & achieved a similar result to it’s creator I had an extremely satisfying sense of achievement & that feeling reignited my creative spark.
So Don’t Let Your Skills Die! Get Creating! Get Practicing!