How Changed My Life

OK, the title may be a bit dra­matic, but at least I got your atten­tion. After being laid off sev­eral years ago, I knew I had to get myself back on track. My age and the econ­omy were work­ing against me and unem­ploy­ment insur­ance was about to run out. I needed to upgrade my skills and actu­ally, pick up totally new skills to make it as a free­lance graphic designer.
I had an exten­sive back­ground in com­puter, net­work, hard­ware and soft­ware sup­port but wanted to get back into my first love, com­puter assisted graphic design. A lot had changed in the field since my early desk­top pub­lish­ing days using a Mac IIci, an Apple Laser­writer, Quark Express and Illus­tra­tor 9. With the last of my sav­ings, I pur­chased a new PC and a large mon­i­tor along with the Adobe Cre­ative Suite soft­ware and read every­thing I could get my hands on to learn what I could about HTML, CSS, Web Design, Flash Devel­op­ment and the lat­est design trends. Unfor­tu­nately, this only took me so far and out­side train­ing was way too expen­sive. That’s when I dis­cov­ered I’ve been an avid user of this on-line train­ing site ever since.
With I’ve not only become pro­fi­cient in all of the soft­ware I needed to learn, I’ve relied on it over and over as a trusted men­tor and com­pan­ion to get me to where I am today.
I have picked up an amaz­ing amount of knowl­edge in Pho­to­shop, Illus­tra­tor, inDe­sign, Dreamweaver, Flash as well as in Pho­tog­ra­phy, HTML and CSS from world class train­ers who are some of the most knowl­edge­able folks in the indus­try. I would have needed thou­sands of dol­lars to obtain this train­ing in a class­room and I doubt that even then I could have found instruc­tors of this cal­iber. The most amaz­ing thing is that all of this cost me only $25 per month, actu­ally $39 for the first six months because I need to use the exer­cise files to help get me through the early stages of my edu­ca­tion. This is a price I gladly pay for the ongo­ing knowl­edge and inspi­ra­tion I still rely on almost every day.
Now, thanks to this won­der­ful ser­vice, I have been able to start my own busi­ness and have lately been spe­cial­iz­ing in ebook cover design and con­ver­sion which is a rapidly grow­ing and very reward­ing area.
I lit­er­ally don’t know where I would be today with­out the afford­able assis­tance of Thanks Lynda, Anne-Marie Con­cep­cion, Deke McClel­land, James Fritz, David Blat­ner, Mort Hen­drik­sen, Jan Kabili, Chris Orwig, Ben Long and count­less oth­ers for all you have given me.

About Andy Brown

Graphic designer and ebook publisher.
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