a date with daunting

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Oliver / snowy tree with crow / golden clematis leaves / making dog cookies / grey blue palette / co-worker

One painful duty fulfilled 
makes the next plainer and easier.
Helen Keller

I had a big ol' real first date with Daunting today. I began the 2 day job of completely cleaning out my office (I'm more than half way there - tomorrow will be a piece of cake (even fun). I've gone through everything - supplies, books, magazines, re-arranging furniture + doing a lot o' filing (the old fashioned kind in a large 4 drawer filing cabinet). Filing work projects & my etsy inventory, instead of having things piled, albeit neatly, in my closet storage space. I've filled one leaf & lawn clear bag with recyclables so far and two other smaller throw away/give away bags. It feels so good ! I'm really readying myself and my space for some wild & crazy painting along with some mind numbing technical learning (teaching myself to illustrate & create patterns digitally) all beginning Monday.

Daunting and I met up with each other Friday afternoon and that initial meeting did not go so well. About 3pm I emailed one of my illustration (& typography) heros - Nate Williams. Someone I know to be both stunningly creative and also very generous of spirit. He loves helping other illustrators as can be seen in this fantastic article - I knew he would email me back and he did within 30 mins. Thank you Nate ! In as concise an email as I could write to him I sent him an example of this work and explained that I currently create it completely by hand and asked his advice about making the transition from knowing-practically-nothing to becoming fluent digitally (Photoshop & Illustrator). In his lengthy reply email (so sweet) he told me that Photoshop is the program that I need to know & inside + out (he said that Illustrator is good to know also) but Photoshop is the crucial creative tool of today's illustrators. Oh boy ! I thought and headed quickly over to Lynda's place, to sign up & to begin the 10.2 hour CS6 Photoshop Essentials tutorial he recommended. And that's when I ran smack into Daunting.

It's a long and sad story but basically by bedtime I had sunk to a very low place. You know how I'm always mentioning when anyone asks me about my photography I tell them that I am sooo not a technical person. Well it's true I'm not - at all. Technical things make my brain go fuzzy & my attention span goes AWOL. I realize I need to stop telling myself that, sing a new tune that goes something like - Hey ! me and technical things - we're tight ! Starting from zero and learning this incredibly vast & complex program is going to be one of the most challenging tasks I've ever set for myself and Friday when Daunting & Photoshop and I ran into each other I was completely intimidated, almost instantly defeated and within an hour of beginning the first few video tutorials the tall, dark & churning tsunami of gloom and doom and imminent failure had swamped me & my spirit. My evening basically sucked as I tried to climb back up  emotionally out of the deep hole of Oh No ! I-can't-do-this that I'd let myself fall into.

By tackling another daunting task today - the total cleaning of my office studio space - it's helped me have a little attitude adjustment where me & Daunting are concerned. It's not going to be easy learning Photoshop, I know that but I have lots of friends & peers willing to help out when I get stuck and I will get stuck.

I have to learn it. What I want to do with my creative life depends on it. Period.

Take that Daunting ! Kapow !

oh my, please watch Flora Bowley paint a 4 min. time lapse video of a painting from start to finish
I begin her Bloom True painting e-course Monday - so excited !


  1. Amen to Kapow! Might it help if you could think of Photoshop as a puzzle to solve? If it's like most technical computer applications, you use 10% of the commands 90% of the time, so maybe the puzzle is smaller than it seems now. I hope it works out.

    Figures if there is a 3 inch wide beam of sunlight in the room, Oliver would find it. Solarizer.

  2. Hi Susan, kick daunting where it hurts most. His/her constant nagging at you, punch 'em in the kisser and he/she won't be able to talk :) Just kidding, no violence but you get the idea, stare 'em down.
    Since it is on-line and in indexed chapters, can you do repeats of the chapters so that it sinks in? Maybe one or two forward and then return to listen/watch again for key parts? Just like when you see a really good movie the second time, so much more is revealed.
    It seems daunting, but daunting is just a schoolyard bully right?
    Kitty, USA

  3. Baby steps. Just take one tiny baby step at a time and manage your expectations. Allow yourself to go s-l-o-w.

  4. And this from the woman who runs a fabulous blog? On line!! Can you see what I'm getting at here???

  5. You have inspired me, Susan. I am going to go and clean out something!

  6. Kapow ! it is friends.

    More former Daunting radical cleaning, organizing & de-cluttering of les office space, etc... was accomplished today - Sunday

    I will think of Photoshop as a puzzle to figure out slowly & deliberately John - thank you for your ongoing support of Kapows !! multiplied ;-)

    & yes Kitty at Lynda.com things are set up to be very used friendly and the 10.2 hours of Photoshop Essentials is broken down into little bites that can be chewed on indefinitely and until it sinks into this rather "thickish" tete of mine.

    MLou & Norman have already called & emailed their 1-800 Photoshop support, in fact MLou is going to do a refresher course along with me -Hooray !

    & Veg Artist it doesn't seem as if you have a blog, honestly blogs (especially Blogger blogs) are so simple & easy both to set up and maintain - which is why I have a "fabulous" blog. It's really very basic stuff compared to what I'm potentially up against. That said I do have quite a famous predilection for making big tall mountains out of mole hills. Merci ! for your vote of confidence.

    & Judy I have been a cleanin' machine this weekend & oh my it feels so good !! I am so pleased with myself. Formerly I would say without hesitation that I am "not" good at this type of purge cleaning. Maybe my former self is really former ;-) xo Susan

  7. OK. Before I forget to ask -- is your bedspread of provincial flowers ? Coz I love it !

    About the Photoshop. Hmmmm. Stop over-thinking things. You are so smart but nobody picks it all up right away. The key is not to sit in silence thinking everyone else is getting it coz they aren't asking questions. People are so scared to "look stupid" and don't ask questions when they should. They sit there in silence and fall farther behind. If I'm not getting it then I think the teacher isn't teaching it in "my" way and needs to explain it again or another way. Enjoy it ! It's gonna be fun. You are so up to the task.

    Don't make me come over there ...

  8. Dear Sybil, telling me to not over think something is like telling bears to not ... you know what I'm gonna say

    the bedspread duvet cover is one I LOVE and I bought it at our local fabulous second hand/vintage shop Monty's - I paid maybe 5.00 (and it cam with a lovely, thick fantastic duvet too ! It can be provincial flowers if you'd like it to be.

  9. Just looked at that site lynda.com...Wow.
    Thanks to you and Nate too!
    {I'm going to do the PS Elements course...}

  10. Wonderful images and post dear Susan. I know all about 'daunting', you are my hero, I know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, just look at this blog, your life, your art,your photography, you are amazing my dear!
    Big hugs!
    xoxoxo ♡

  11. Hi Susan, I took a photoshop course a couple of years ago and I was totally lost. But, please believe, it does all fall into place after you use it (a lot!)

  12. Susan - i did the Photoshop tutorials at work; was able to mostly follow the run-through. But apply the knowledge? no way. I suffer from negative self-talk as well - a difficult thing to overcome.
    Flora vidoe was amazing, thanks for sharing.


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.