Teaching as a way to learn.

One of my favorite ways to learn anything I find myself not doing as much as I should.

Teach someone who wants to learn what you know.

Every time I give someone Photoshop lessons I find myself constantly reminding and remembering tricks, tips, even basic fundamentals that I often overlook. The ability to take what is in your head and put it in a way someone else can understand, is one of the best ways that I can think of for ingraining information.

I will use my Photoshop example.

When I am working by myself on a project you sometimes enter this autopilot mode...where you just go through the motions, plugging away at keys and clicking the mouse till something resembling progress shows up your screen. When people have watched me work some describe it as almost robotic. Knowing what each key does, the fastest way to do things, running scripts etc etc.

While all of these things are good, I often find myself getting ahead of myself. Skipping steps or moving things around or even adding things that shouldn't even be there in the first place.

Breaking something down as complicated as Photoshop into small understandable bits helps me constantly ingrain better habits. A couple things that I am always relearning each time I give lessons.

  • Do not just rush into the program with an idea to begin with, start with paper and create lots of ideas.
  • Be organized! Label your layers, put them in proper groups and order so you know exactly what each layer is for.
  • They give you an awesome grid for a reason. Use it to balance designs. (I find myself taking for granted my eye instead of using grids) Which ends up taking less time and is often better balanced anyway.
  • Use more shortcut keys, learn them all.
  • Ctr+S saves lives, tap it more.
  • Make a back up.
  • Make a back up to the back up.
  • No not on a thumb drive.
  • Rulers are your friends
  • Keep originals of photography and of large edits.
  • Learn the pen tool, practice and master it.

These are only a small list of the things that constantly go through my mind. This is just the technical stuff too. This doesn't even touch on the the basic and fundamental design Gestalt theory.

Whether you are learning a sport, a program, a new skill anything at all. Trying and teach whatever you have learned to someone else. It will only make you stronger at that skill.