Learning by doing – a not always comfortable but very effective method

Learning by doing – a not always comfortable but very effective method

We’ve all been there. You’re working with a new program, piece of equipment or device, and you’re ready to throw whatever it is out the window. It feels like you can’t possibly get into any sort of workflow since you’re stopping to Google something every five minutes.

When I started my portfolio project I knew that I would inevitably run into moments like these. I was going to be working in several of the Adobe CC programs, a few of which I had very limited to no experience in. I did my best to prepare myself for the one week I had before my project began. But during the actual project, I was reminded of a tried and tested truth – learning by doing isn’t always the most comfortable method, but it is the most effective.

Funny enough, this is one of the main philosophies that backed my decision against college and for Praxis. But I learned it all over again this month in a new light.

One of my goals for my portfolio project was to gain familiarity with the essentials in Adobe InDesign. It’s one of the Adobe programs I’ve never had a chance to work in before, but it is an integral part of my project this month as I am using it to create all of my brand books. In another scenario, if I had more time to prepare, I suppose I could have taken a small course on Udemy, or read through more InDesign guides for beginners. Now that I’ve created two out of three brand books, I don’t think the extra time would be as helpful as I originally thought.

I took an Adobe Illustrator course during module one of Praxis. I learned a lot of great information and gained a new level of familiarity with the program, however, there are still a lot of times I need to refer to the course materials or Google more information. I learned most of InDesign on the go. With my first brand book, the learning curve was much steeper, but after about ten hours in the program, I was able to understand most of the essential tools and flow through my work without any major hiccups.

There were moments where the time limit, the magnitude of the project, and lack of knowledge had me breaking a sweat and leaning into frustration, but a break from the computer screen and a fresh Google search later can solve a lot of woes.

Now that I’m onto my third brand book, I feel pretty confident and capable with my InDesign abilities. Even better, I’ve used these abilities in real projects and work already. The process of getting to this point wasn’t the most comfortable but it was the quickest and most effective for me. Tried and tested once again, learning through hands-on experience and real projects, trumps theory and the classroom.

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