I like to write about my experience learning the technical side of design because I thought it was really hard to learn at first. I really had to stretch the brain to memorize everything. I never gave up though. I thought, after time I will eventually not have to think about the program and how to use it, and I could just be creative. I was right, but it has taken me a great number of years to be able to use these tools creatively without thinking about how to do it...
When I first started to learn about webdesign and learning how to read and write code, I was really interested in it. I was fascinated by the way you put in code and it comes out in graphical and text format. The first language I learned was html and to this day I will use my 'OREILLY HTML Definitive Guide' I've had it on my desk ever since I got it about 22 years ago.
I've never been a true coder, I do customizations of the code while using the program to write the code, and I always keep the coding window open while I work so I can edit the code as I go; while using the visual side to view my changes in real time. That is how I taught myself to read and write code. But the program changes, updates happen and operating systems evolve. So I am always trying to keep up with the technology...
...When I started doing graphic design work for other people I was still under age. There was no computer, internet, cell phones and wifi. Drafting and design in those days was much more artistic. Different pencils for different jobs, an assortment of measuring tools and an arsenol of fine tip pens. I had a really abstract creative brain that just wanted to feel the work while I was doing the drawing and painting hands on. You really get carried away with it. Your mind wanders and you think about everything. Your in your own head.
In art I would always practise flow of the wrist, drawing circles, shading and colour. My goal was to be original and stand out in some way that makes my work look special.
I would practise doing my lettering and calligraphy everyday while using the interlined spaced paper (like in early elementary school) and real calligraphy pens. It has really become a lost art in my opinion. Letter writing by hand is also sadly missed. Everything done by hand has been set aside like an obsolete tool.
I think that it would be grand if more people practised these lost skills and started to do them more regularly. Bring back some of the old ways of doing things. Imagine how beautiful the outside world could look if these skills were combined and used in advertising by more people. I think our commercial world might look alot more human and much more inspiring. ~Chriss Sather