There was a time when you had to go to school and spend thousands of dollars in order to learn graphic design. But those days are gone! Now, thanks to the internet, you can uncover everything you need to know about graphic design from the comfort of your own home. In this article, we want to show you the best ways to learn about the world of graphic design and how to develop the skills needed to get the job done. So whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for a new way to improve your skills, keep reading for some great tips!
Reasons to Learn Graphic Design
Today I’m actually at the office, but I started my career working from home. And you’re probably reading this article because you want to work from home or maybe you don’t even want to work from home; maybe you want to work the laptop lifestyle. Well, this is the article for that. I wanted to write a comprehensive article to show you how to actually start working from home as a graphic designer – or working from wherever the heck you want to work – and building a career.
Now you may not want to do that long term. This may just be a short-term goal. Maybe you’re working a 9 to 5 somewhere and you’re pulling your hair out and you’re just frustrated. You’re like, “Man, I just want to be at home and I want to work from home.” A lot of people had to do that during the pandemic. And it’s time to implement this on a whole new level for the creative industry. I think that a lot of people deserve their creative freedom. They deserve freedom, in general, to live and work and be wherever they want to be, whether that’s amongst people in a coffee shop or at home behind their computer, or sitting on their couch. It doesn’t matter where you are.
So today, I’m going to write this article and we’re going to go into detail about how you can become a graphic designer from your home. All right, so you’ve got creative gifts and you want to use them before they use you. Wait, what? I’m just kidding. So what I want to talk to you guys today about, like I said, is becoming a graphic designer from home.
Three Steps to Learn Graphic Design at Home
The first piece of advice you need to understand if you’re going to use graphic design programs is how to use them. If you’re brand new to graphic design, or if you’re using Canva and you’re ready to step up your game, here are some tips and tricks that will help you start learning these programs from home. It’ll just take a little time.
Step 1: Pick What Design Program You Want To Learn
So the first step is to pick your program and learn it for yourself. I started in high school using Adobe Premiere, which is a video editing software. I got really familiar with that program and really loved it. It’s evolved significantly over time.
Then, once I really learned that and was really comfortable with it, I jumped over to Photoshop thanks to my little brother. He said, “Hey, have you heard about Photoshop?” I said “Nope,” and that was the first graphic design program that I used. That really started my career and built me to where I am today.
Now you want to make sure you master one before you move on to the next one. After I mastered that, I started doing sign work. Sign work is very vector-based; there’s a lot of vinyl stickers and vinyl graphics, so you have to have these cut lines. Cut lines can’t be done with pixels – you need vectors so I had to learn Adobe Illustrator and even CorelDRAW back in the day. But I went from Premiere to Photoshop to Illustrator.
Youtube Channels To Learn From
Now I want to give you three YouTube channels specifically because this is an opportunity for you to learn for free, besides my channel. We’ll list my channel as one of them. Obviously, you’re here and you know about this channel. I teach a lot of stuff about Photoshop and Illustrator, and I haven’t done as much on Premiere.
I probably will because I know the program so well, but I don’t do a lot of video editing these days. That’s something that Ian does so he works in After Effects and Adobe Premiere. But you want to pick your program, regardless. If you’re going to use Canva – you’re going to be limited in a lot of ways. And I just don’t think that that’s really the professional design software I really want to encourage you to use. Professional design software that has a lot of flexibility and a lot of amazing tools, which is going to be Adobe.
Now, the first channel I want to give you is one of the first channels I started watching back in the day – this guy is amazing and you can learn everything I’m talking about here to get started. That is Terry White, whom I’ve mentioned on our channel in the past. Check out his YouTube – he is an Adobe evangelist. Terry White makes how-to videos on getting started with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and Dreamweaver – literally every program!
This guy is a master of all the programs and his tutorials are very in-depth. He has hundreds of them, probably thousands by now, and his content is phenomenal. He’s easy to follow and it’s pretty long-winded; I mean, some of these training videos that he does are like 50 minutes to an hour in length. So you can really learn a lot from him, you want to take notes. You want to take it seriously, even though it’s free. That’s one of the problems with free content. When you don’t pay, you don’t pay attention. But this content is worth thousands of dollars to you so this is a really good place to start.
The second one and this one specifically around Photoshop is a guy called Piximperfect and he’s pretty funny. Photoshop is a great tool for creating amazing graphics and he’s really good at it. In fact, I’ve learned some good tricks from him myself.
I follow my competitors. He’s kind of a competitor of mine, but I don’t really look at competition the same way most people do. I’m learning from him, I’m sure he’s probably seen some of my videos and learned some things from me, and been inspired. My goal is to continue to evolve myself and continue to be a student.
So, the third channel is a direct competitor to Adrian Agency. Satori Graphics is probably my biggest competitor, but we are very different. We have different backgrounds, different styles, different interests, and different tastes. We have different stories. You’re following me because of the relationship that I’m building, and you’re following him because of the relationship that he’s building.
They’re very different – we offer different things, and we want to come from our own unique angles. I am more of a digital marketing agency owner and a creative; he’s more of a creative and graphic designer. So you can learn a lot from him. He has really good tutorials, and he publishes videos three times a week – so check out Satori Graphics!
Who Is Your Favorite Person To Learn Design From?
So I’m wondering now that I’ve shared those three channels with you, are you guys already following them? And if so, let me know who is your favorite. If you haven’t watched my tutorials, and you love them, let me know what you think. I’m just trying to get you guys to engage. I want to hear from you guys, I want to know you guys, and I want to get involved in your lives. I want to support you and that’s why I write these articles.
Step 2: Find 3 designers that inspire you to learn graphic design
So the next step for this is really, really important: are you listening? Are you sure? Okay! I want you to find three graphic designers who inspire you really, really inspire you. If you don’t have three people that are graphic designers or web designers or motion designers right now that you are religiously following everything they post, then you need to find three people who inspire you.
When I first started, there was a gentleman by the name of Andy. This guy was a local graphic designer doing club flyers. I can’t tell you how much I learned from him; it was unbelievable the number of skills and techniques he had. He didn’t even talk to me – I didn’t reach out to him, he didn’t reach out to me. I just followed his work and saw what he was doing artistically in his stuff, and I loved his style. So I emulated his style, I didn’t copy his style; I emulated his style and ended up developing my own style.
So, I want to encourage you to go to Instagram, Dribbble, and Behance to find three artists that you really love. I have videos on some other artists that you could follow: Jacob Cass, and Bryan Ferry, and there are so many that you could follow if you don’t know where to start. But go find some artists on Instagram; it’s probably my favorite place. There are some really neat ones. Burnt Toast is one of the most inspiring artists that I’ve seen out there in the last few years. Find three artists that you can follow and you can implement their work or their styles into your style, and develop your own unique angle.
Step 3: You Need To Learn To Be Consistent
The third piece to this is probably the most important. All three of these are really important, but without this, you’re never going to reach the level that I’ve reached. That is the consistency. You have to stay consistent. The truth is we make time for the things that are important to us. If you want to put the time in, you set aside the time. If you catch yourself saying, “Oh, I didn’t have time.” No, it’s not that you didn’t have time. You didn’t make time.
3 Things You Need To Do To Learn Graphic Design
If you want to learn design, there are three things you need to start doing every single week to hone your craft and hone your skills. The first is you need to start digging into the core principles of graphic design until you really, thoroughly understand them. The second thing you need to do is start practicing your craft. The more experience you have, the better you’ll become at design. Finally, you need to make sure that you’re staying up-to-date by surrounding yourself with other designers. Let’s explore these practices in more detail.
Learn Graphic Design Principles
The first skill you need to have is learning the design principles. They’re always changing, evolving, and growing – design isn’t staying the same. You need to constantly be learning these design principles, whether it’s anti-design or minimalist design. There’s so much for you to learn if you want to be a great designer – you need to continue to sharpen your ax!
The second piece is about consistency: you need to take some time for your clients, obviously, to do their designs; but you need to take some time for yourself, as well – just to practice and have fun. If you’re not doing this, you’re really hurting yourself and you need to make sure that you keep your cup filled up. This is a really good way to do that.
Surround Yourself with Other Designers
My last point cannot be stressed enough: this is not like the second point, but it’s very similar. You need to surround yourself with other designers on a daily basis to see their work and see what they’re sharing. But I’m not talking about designers that inspire you; I’m talking about community, talking about friendships, talking about relationships, talking about collaborations.
This is exactly why I believe in the “iron sharpens iron” model and why I created the Instagraphics Pro Network. You’re going to have designers who are way more skilled than you and you’re going to have designers who are not as skilled as you. If you want to become a graphic designer from home, being consistent and surrounding yourself with people that inspire you is key.
Learning these programs is the way that you’re going to do it, but you want to make sure that you have accountability. Putting really great people in your life who are also hungry, passionate, and coachable, is going to inspire, motivate, and move you to do the things that you need to do to move your career in the direction that you want to go. And community is the way that you do that.
Education is one of the most important tools that I have in my life. It has changed my life and changed all the lives of the people around me. That’s why I’m inviting you to join my community, called Instagraphics Pro Network, on Facebook. We have almost 600 strong members, and I’ve rejected more than half of the requests to join because they didn’t fill out all the information.
If you don’t fill out all the information and let me know who you are and why you want to be in the community, I won’t let you in. So make sure you do that – follow all the steps, don’t take shortcuts. Do it the right way and I’ll see you guys in there. Thank you so much for reading. I hope this was super helpful and I’ll see you guys on the next one. I’m Adrian Boysel and as always, keep looking up!