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How to learn Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is designed for creative thinkers, like me. You may also describe me as a visual thinker, a day-dreamer, a right-brained person, an artist, a 4-year-old, or just a goofball. The good news is that if you fall into this category, learning Photoshop will be very easy. If you don't, you may never be able to do it.

When I first started teaching Photoshop, back in the 90s, I taught it the way I learned it, and the way that creative people use it. But I found, to my amazement, a certain percentage of my students who had a completely different perspective. After I realized that, I made a lot of efforts to accommodate them, but I was saddened by the thought that they would never "get it". Many would get angry at me, the school, the training session, or Photoshop itself. Yes, I've seen people slam down keyboards in frustration.

If you are in the category that will probably never "get" a graphic program like software, you are probably trying to memorize things. You have a "cheat-sheet" of shortcuts. You have interesting discussions with other students on whether it's command-shift or alt-shift-control. You have a much better memory than me (what day is it?), and you really don't feel that you have learned something until it's all memorized.

Unfortunately, once you realize how incredibly huge and complex Photoshop is, you realize that it can't be memorized. It must be explored.

If you would like to learn Photoshop, or any graphics program for that matter, put away your notes. Set aside the "cheat sheet" of shortcuts. Look at the menus, look at the icons. Experiment. This is what I always call "getting your fingers into the clay" for my students. Many people have been pleasantly surprised that there is still that 4-year-old alive and well inside of them.