Learn. Create. Evolve.

Learn. Create. Evolve. Those words carry a lot of weight in my world. They're heavy. I trip over them on certain days and glide over them on others. But they remind me of the journey forward. It's the cycle of creativity. Always in motion. Learning. Creating. Evolving. You can't create until you learn. You can't evolve until you've created.  See? And then we start all over again. Always learning. Always creating. Therefore, always evolving. If you think you've reached the pinnacle of your craft at any point, you haven't. And if you think you have, well, you're kidding yourself. There's no such thing as reaching the end. It will always be out of reach. And that, my friends, is a beautiful, elegant truth that I would have no other way. It's a wonderful thing. It's a never-ending quest to be better. Not to be perfect. Just better.

There are times when I hear the words 'you're just gifted' or 'it comes to you naturally.' And I'll be honest for a second, it feels like a slap in the face. I know people mean that honestly, in that, I'm just lucky that way, but I disagree. I've worked very hard to get where I am today. I had to earn my wings in that regard. For example, when I was a kid, I wanted to be good at drawing. My Mom and Dad bought me comic books and I would stare at the art in those pages and wonder if I could ever be that good. I kept pushing myself to be better. I would get up early, listen to my Empire Strikes Back record on my Fisher Price record player and draw comics. When my parents would attend my parent/teacher conferences in school, they would send them home with comments like, 'if he focused on his schoolwork as much as he does drawing, he'd be an A student.' That always made me smile. It wasn't uncommon to find me perched at my drafting table at 3am trying to work out a flying pose of Spider-man. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep with Stan Lee's "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" book on top of my face a few times. I took every art class in school I possibly could. By the time I was a second semester senior, I had run fresh out of art classes and had to take pottery. I figured it was better than having a study hall class. My point is, is that to get good at it, I had to practice at it. I had to earn it. You don't watch the Olympics and say, those folks are gifted. If they heard you say that, they would stare you down and burn a hole right through you with their eyesight. They earned it because they lived it, breathed it, and worked at it. Every. Single. Day. If anything, I would call my unwillingness to give up a gift. My stubbornness came as hereditarial gift from my parents. That, I came by honestly.

As a result, I treated photography the same way. Ten years ago, I knew nothing about taking photos. I knew about Photoshop and post-editing but not photography. But I learned. And guess what? I'm still learning. But I feel like I've gotten to a point to where I should share the knowledge I've gained from it and to help those who want to learn for themselves, so they can evolve too. I've been using Photoshop since it was version 3.0 on a Mac using System 7. Yes, this was even before they called them "Operating Systems" or "OS's." I've bounced back and forth between Windows and Apple more than a few times, but the use of Photoshop and Illustrator remained the constant. Having said all that, I came up with idea to do Sessions.  


I'm so happy to finally be able to share this with you all. JR Design Sessions has been a concept rolling around in my head for months, or heck, even years at this point. I wanted to be able to just share with you the tricks I've learned over the years in a manner that enabled you, the viewer to watch at your convenience, and learn wonderful new ways to make or take better images.

Session 2 is coming soon, hopefully within the next week and will discuss removing unwanted objects, and adding more to your scene to create a final, better image.  

Just some fun facts...I started creating the above logo in February of 2016, a full year before the first session was published. I finalized it in July, a few months later. The software I use to record the on screen portion of my videos is called Ice Cream. Seriously. I'm not making that up. The guitar music you hear in the 'Learn, Create, Evolve' intro, is me playing. It's a just tiny piece I wrote and later recorded using Garageband on my iPad.

That's all for today folks!  Stay tuned for Session 2 and I hope you have a great weekend!