This post was originally published on my previous blog, “Sara Cheats in Photoshop” (click here to visit) on June 25, 2014
After the hurricane season of 2005, The American Red Cross began consolidating due to their losses and, by June 2006, my long-time San Jose, California., job was “centralized” to Pamona, California. As I needed a new position, I worked at a part-time temporary job while looking for something permanent. During that period I discovered my mainstream computer skills were rather rusty.
First Encounter: Photoshop 7
By the spring of 2007 I decided to enroll in the self-paced Santa Clara Unified School District Adult Education program called Computer Office Specialist. After completing the entire Microsoft Office Suite (including Access) early, I decided to learn Adobe Photoshop.
I did so well with both the Beginning and Advanced Photoshop 7 courses that the Instructor pulled me aside and told me that Adobe Illustrator 10 was still available on the center’s computers. Although she was unfamiliar with Illustrator, she said I was welcome to run through the lessons in the book. I quickly completed all the lessons and, shortly thereafter, I landed a job at the Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) in November 2007.
I obtained a copy of Illustrator 10 and I also purchased a book on the software by Friends of Ed. (The book has an entire chapter on the Pen Tool with ten lessons. If you are having trouble using this tool, I highly recommend the book.) I thought I might never use Photoshop again, particularly because there was little call for it at my new BCP job.
Second Encounter: CS3
The economic collapse of 2008/2009 caused a steady reduction in my hours at BCP and ultimately resulted in being laid-off in June of 2010. This time, I decided to avail myself of some of state job retraining funding to gain “Second Act” career skills. I enrolled in a formal web design program, which included a course in Photoshop CS3.
Sadly, the economy had not recovered when I completed the Web design program. For 2011 and about half of 2012 I completed freelance Web and graphics design projects as well as holding a series of temporary positions, only some of which utilized my new Web and graphic design skills.
Fortunately, things were about to pick up.
Next: Pixel Perfectionist Part 2