Learning New Tricks The Same Old Way
I’ve started work on my first mobile app recently, and the process has been a familiar one.
Almost 15 years ago I was struggling to find work after making a move across the country back to Los Angeles. I’d been teaching myself web design at night, mostly for fun. I had no idea back then you could make a living doing this stuff.
At the time, my step-mother was looking to bring creative power back within reach at her publishing company. She asked if I would like to work as in-house graphic designer creating magazines and advertising. I jumped at the chance, and without much thought dove into it. I had no background in print design, and was only self-taught on the web and my aging PC. I had some work ahead of me.
This was the start of where I am now. Under deadline, about 45 days if I recall, I had to learn QuarkXPress, print design concepts, layout, and typography. CMYK? What the hell is that? Bleed? Overprinting? Learn it and learn it fast.
The first publication I put out was horrible. I still have 2 copies, and it makes me cringe to see it every time. And yet, it worked. More work came in and with every publication and every advertisement, I learned. My step-mother/boss was an amazing resource and guide. I was a sponge, spitting back out magazines.
Once again I find myself learning a new thing, under deadline, and with a new set of tools. And once again I’m feeling that same rush of excitement and fear. This time in a very different medium, although so many of the concepts I learned so long ago are still important.
I’m an old dog in this industry; I’ll be 46 this March. I don’t worry too much about whether I’m too old for this work though. I just do the work, use what I’ve learned, and keep on learning.