So my little Q&A last week didn't go exactly as planned, haha. I got a lot more requests for types of posts instead of actual questions. But that's okay! I'm gonna run with it! Most of the open-ended inquiries dealt with sharing more about my gear, workflow, and tips for freelancing. Obviously this is a lot to cover in one entry, so I'll gradually start incorporating these types posts into my monthly lineups. For now, I thought I would start with a highlight of my tools and few details about my work.
Background: I've been designing professionally since age 16 when I created my first client commissioned logo and Myspace layout. Before then, I was playing around with graphic design as early as 12-years-old, customizing my Neopets shop, and later developing websites for my pixel-dolling and Livejournals (yeah, that long ago). Most of my early design work was centered on Myspace layouts, but I also created logos, t-shirt designs, album art, flyers, and other websites. I started successfully freelancing at a really early age, so I've never had a "real" job in my life. Currently, I'm studying for a BA in Graphic Design at San Diego State, and that has sparked my interest in packaging design and branding development.
Process: I start most my projects by brainstorming ideas on sketchpaper and browsing for inspiration (particularly on sites like Dribbble and Designspiration). A lot of my work utilizes hand-drawn organic styles, so I often draw my elements on paper first, scan them in, and redraw them using my tablet in Illustrator. If I'm working on a design that is primarily vector-based, I'll use Illustrator as my main program; for photo- and texture-heavy designs, I use Photoshop; and for text-dominant projects, I work from InDesign.
Background: I also became interested in photography at a really early age. I used my dad's Nikon Coolpix 5700 to take pictures of our dogs, flowers in the yard, and interesting things I'd find on our family trips. I started posting my photos to deviantART in 2004 and that's when I really became interested in pursuing the art and improving my skills. I started out as a self-portrait photographer, constantly coming up with creative ideas to practice with. Later, I worked primarily as a music photographer for about 4 years, taking promotional photos of bands. Now I've recently entered the world of wedding and engagement photography, and I love capturing people in love. :)
Process: For both my personal and commissioned shoots, I start by brainstorming themes and locations. I try not to limit my creative flow with too many ideas, so I'll usually form a general idea of what I'm trying to create then let the rest happen naturally during the shoot. I used to do a lot of strobe work, but now I've come to love natural lighting and don't often shoot with studio lighting anymore. After the shoot, I load all my images into Bridge and start deleting the bad ones and marking the good ones. I do most of my post-processing in Camera Raw for exposure and color adjustments, then bring the image into Photoshop for a more detailed edit (removing blemishes, smoothing skin tones, and a few more color adjustments).-----
Hope this has been somewhat helpful and/or remotely interesting! I'll start doing a few more informational posts like this where I talk more in depth about my processes, my inspirations, and tips I've learned along the way as a freelancer. Feel free to ask if you ever have anything specific you'd like me to cover!