Today’s a short post because I spent my blog post writing time messing around with GIMP. For those who don’t know, GIMP functions a lot like Photoshop, but it’s free.
I have no regrets.
As an indie author, I’m used to doing a lot of things myself. I don’t have a publisher to do editing, cover design, marketing, etc., so I have to take on those responsibilities or hire someone to do them. For my books, I hired a cover designer, which was definitely the right choice. I’ll be sticking with her because she’s awesome.
That being said, my complete and utter ignorance around cover design and photo manipulation has made it hard for me to articulate what I want and gauge what is possible when it comes to covers. My skills at this point in no way compare to hers. I am an absolute beginner, but I want to get better. This will help me communicate ideas more clearly, and I confess, I have an ulterior motive.
I want to make covers for my short stories. The amount I can charge for a short story, if I charge at all, doesn’t really justify the cost of a professional cover. So, here I am, trying to learn a new skill.
I don’t know if I can create a decent cover for my short stories, but these are lower stakes projects where I can give it a try. I can already tell that cover design and photo manipulation are definitely the kinds of skills where trial and error will guide my learning, so bring on the failure!
The other upside? I can now make much higher quality memes.
So, here’s a picture of me in space. I learned about layers, selection tools, opacity, erasing, brush hardness, and a few other things I’ve already forgotten the name of. The other list, things I need to learn, is much, much longer. Is my first attempt brilliant? No, it’s ridiculous. Do I giggle to myself every time I look at it? Heck yes.
So go try something new. That thing you keep telling yourself is too hard to learn, or will take forever to master? Start now. It may surprise you where you are in a year.