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10 Steps to Improve Your Photoshop Skill 1. Follow Tutorials Try to get in the habit of picking one or two per week to attempt on your own. For most of us, learning is much easier when we're actually doing something ourselves, so working through the tutorials is essential rather than just browsing through them. If you use Google Reader you can star the tutorials that interest you the most so you'll be able to easily find them when you have some spare time. 2. Experiment When working with experimentation, find something that works best for you in terms of learning new things. I like to work with large images by experimenting with wallpaper design because the large canvas size opens up all kinds of opportunities and you can take it in just about any direction that you want. 3. Start with the Fundamentals There's so much to learn with Photoshop and so many possibilities that it is essential to get a firm grasp of the basics and fundamentals before attempting to move too far along. Like anything else, the foundation of your Photoshop knowledge is critical to the end result. If you're new, rather than trying to follow along with advanced tutorials, take some time to get familiar with the basics before anything else. 4. Participate in Groups and Get Feedback After you've learned by following tutorials and you've done some experimentation on your own, it can be helpful to get feedback and constructive criticism from other designers. There are groups of graphic designers all over the place that can be excellent sources of feedback. 5. Blog about Photoshop or Design If you're attempting to improve your abilities with Photoshop, blogging on the subject will help you to stay active in your pursuits and it will force you to keep learning. Working on the content for your blog will be an excellent educational experience. Not all blogs are run by experts on the subject, in fact most probably are not. Many blog readers enjoy following a blogger who is truly developing along the way, and many of your readers will be going through similar situations in their own learning. 6. Subscribe to Online Galleries Online galleries that display exceptional work by various artists are an excellent source of design inspiration. This inspiration will come in handy when you're looking to experiment on your own and create impressive results. Galleries are great because you can quickly browse through a large amount of items, plus you can subscribe to get constant updates and you'll never lack inspiration. 7. Find an Expert to Follow PSDTUTS frequently publishes informative interviews with accomplished designers. These interviews provide insight into their lives and their careers that may help you some way in your own work. If you already have someone in particular that you admire, subscribe to their blog if they have one, find them on social networking sites, keep and eye on their portfolio, and just generally keep tabs on their career. 8. Read Design Magazine In addition to the inspirational aspect, articles in design magazines will often be a little bit different than the type of content you'll typically find on blogs. If you want a well-rounded educational experience, find a few design magazines and see what appeals to you. Of course, each magazine will have a slightly different focus or approach, so look around a little bit to find a good match for your interests. 9. Try to Replicate the Work of Others One proven way to learn is to attempt to replicate the work of other designers. I'm not suggesting that you rip off other designers by selling this work or taking credit for it as your own (which unfortunately is all too common, especially online). What I am suggesting is that in your own experimental work that is meant just for learning purposes, take an exemplary piece from another designer and do your best to duplicate it. If it's just used for your own educational purposes and not sold or re-distributed it is perfectly acceptable. Also, unless you change and personalize this design dramatically, do avoid placing it in your portfolio. 10.Participate in Design Competition Once you've become pretty comfortable with your own progress in learning Photoshop, you may want to challenge yourself and have some fun at the same time by entering a design competition. In most cases there will be some potential prizes and you'll be motivated to push yourself towards your true potential. Plus, you'll often be able to see the work of other designers in the competition, which can provide you with some inspiration, and can give you a way to gauge your own skills and progress.
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