CONTROL+APPLE+HAPPY: My crash course in Photoshop
By Ellen Teitelbaum, a freelance copywriter living in Mile End, Montreal.
What a brilliant idea. One person knows a lot about something. Another person has a desire to know as much as possible about that same thing. They meet at a coffee shop. Pleasantries are exchanged. Coffees are purchased. And then…BOOM…the learning begins.
When I first heard about e-180 I couldn’t believe how simple the concept was. I could dream up anything in the world to learn or teach. How to ride a unicorn, mastering my easy-bake oven, an introduction to French braiding. But girlhood dreams aside, I posted a profile (effortless) and sent out a request to learn something that might actually come in handy. You see, I’ve been working in advertising for a while and have watched many talented designers tinkering around like magicians in Photoshop. I was jealous. I wanted to be able to do simple page mock-ups on my own. Or better yet, I wanted to be able to smooth out that pesky pimple on an otherwise passable photo of myself.
E-180 is all about the short-term learning exchange. I wasn’t looking to recreate the Sistine Chapel. A few tips and tricks would do. Enter Youssef Shoufan. My new Photoshop guru.
Since Youssef and I are both freelancers, using the e-180 portal, we made plans to meet one morning at Café Falco in the Mile End. From the moment we shook hands I could feel Youssef’s enthusiasm for the task at hand. He is a teacher at heart, and a strong believer in the e-180 concept. He reminded me that e-180 is not a learning exchange. It’s about sharing a skill or passion without asking anything in return. I thought to myself, not only will I be learning the basics of Photoshop, I already have a renewed faith in humanity. Not too shabby for a weekday morning.
He started off by asking me about my goal for this session (how professional!), whether or not I had a specific project in mind (nope!), and then cracked open the Macbook for a swift one-hour crash course in Photoshop basics. Control-Apple-this. Control-Apple-that. Layer one. Layer two. Layer seventeen. He even threw in a few unrelated computer tricks, on the house. Our hour seemed to fly by. So much information. Head exploding. Happy Ellen.
I ended my first e-180 meet-up with a heartfelt thank-you.
As I mentioned at the beginning, it is THAT EASY. And for my first foray into Photoshop, it was way more fun than watching a tutorial online. A week later Youssef followed up with a link for a trial version of the latest software. Classy. I’ll be sure to send him my next Photoshop masterpiece as a token of my appreciation. It may or may not contain a unicorn. With French braids.