The Lecture

If there is one thing in life I can not resist it is experiencing things I haven’t experienced. So when I was asked to do a 1 1/2 hour lecture in Illustrator I couldn’t say no. While I have taught several summer art workshops in the past and made speeches in front of many people, a lecture is different. You have a projector, a microphone, a laptop – plus I have to say everything in English aside from making sure my brain, my mouth, my hand, laptop software and library hardware are coordinated.

Credits for slide artworks, vector graphics and definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics , http://www.vector.net/2010/differences-between-photoshop-and-illustrator/ , http://dryicons.com/

I was a nervous wreck especially when on my initial practice I realized this was harder/complicated than it looked. But eventually I got the hang of it. What made it so much better was the dimmed lights in the auditorium and the projector. The audience’s eyes weren’t focused on me but in the wide screen in front of them.

Sharing with you the the introduction I prepared beforehand and some of the slides:

“Hi everybody my name is_____, you can call me Geri. I am a graphic artist. If you are a regular_____ Library Patron you probably have seen me here at the ____ during the summer teaching. I have been in the graphic arts field for 20 years now, although I was a fine arts student in college I worked part-time at a small design studio back in the Philippines in the early 90’s.

At that time we didn’t have any of the Adobe programs or computer graphic programs for that matter. To make a poster would take us days and would involve a lot of people. We would ask the secretary to type out the words in her computer and print it out for us, the we would take it to the copier to enlarge it to different sizes, then we would cut and tape it to another piece of paper, cleaning out the edges and black spots from the photocopier with white outs, indicate where the photo will be lay-outed, then write on another piece of paper instructions to the printer regarding colors etc., giving them the negatives of the photos etc. And the scariest part of it all we really have no clue what the finished product would look like until proofing, after a couple of days and not after we have committed to print 50 or more pieces of that poster. Computers graphic programs like the Illustrator sure has made making posters a lot easier, cheaper, faster and more fun nowadays. It’s just me and my laptop and not the whole community.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Adobe programs would ask what is Illustrator? How is it different from Photoshop? Which is better Illustrator or Photoshop? There are two kinds of graphic programs, vector graphic which is composed of path and raster or bitmap graphic which is composed of pixels. Illustrator is a vector graphic program. Photoshop is a raster graphic (show sample). With both programs you can create graphic prints like posters, flyers, website graphics, calling cards etc. but which program to use depends on the image you want to put into your work. Graphics best suited for the vector format are page layout, type, line art or illustrations. Bitmaps are best used for photographs and images with subtle shading. (see website sample)”

Lecture and demo followed…

My husband, trying to be encouraging, just told me to have fun and I did. I was also happy to note that all of the audience stayed for the 1 hour lecture and only one left for the 30 minute  Q&A. I am now hoping for the library to ask me to give me more talks =)

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