Another Interlude: Bad Photoshop (and Why I Love It)

The way I learned how to use basic Photoshop tools was by using them poorly.

Above all other things, I am a goofball. I like to make people laugh. I like to make people smile. It’s the driving force behind roughly 75% of my actions. The first time I used Photoshop in any capacity was in a Photography class my junior year of high school. It was here I learned how to use the magnetic lasso tool.

In gaining this new skill, I also added another tool to my comedy belt. By badly cutting out and pasting images hastily onto other images, it was suddenly possible to make people chuckle. Laugh. Guffaw. It was my favorite new tool in my arsenal.

But using bad Photoshop has also given me a few other useful skills. Because of Bad Photoshop, I learned how to use more tools. I have a better handle of the Photoshop interface. I know how to scale images, how to change layers, I understand how to collapse toolbars and — more importantly — how to get them back.

Aside from all the technical goodness, the best thing I’ve gotten out of Bad Photoshop is this: it makes me DO the thing. I can be a painfully lazy person. A lot of people say that the blank canvas scares them, and I couldn’t agree more. Not knowing exactly what to create scares me a lot. I get intimidated by the idea of doing something, and so I just won’t do it. I’m working on it.

When I have the opportunity to make people laugh though? That’s when I get the fire under my tushie. Bad Photoshop eliminates the fear I have of starting. The want to make people laugh trumps the anxiety I have about starting.

I haven’t been posting a lot and I haven’t been drawing on my tablet for a week because I’m getting to that place where I’m too afraid to start again. And I need to stop. I need to find a way to make some art that’s going to make you all laugh. I need to, in the words of Shia, “JUST DO IT.”

So I finish this post by just saying, “Thanks, Bad Photoshop.” You remind me that I do love making art and I love making people laugh even more. You are my savior. I love you.


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