These past 2 years have probably been the most interesting of my life. Iâ€™ve been to so many different places and met so many different people. I had so much fun. Florence is good for that, but like all things, it must come to an end.
Before I got here I knew nothing about graphic design. I never heard about it as being this super cool thing that I could actually study and make a living out of. I decided instead to study sports technology in Puerto Rico. Going into the program I thought that it would be a bit more like sports medicine but it turned out to be more about training than anything else. Towards my third year of college I was feeling really bummed. I was studying something that I didnâ€™t like and I just didnâ€™t know where my life was going to lead with it. I remember feeling frustrated but also feeling like I shouldnâ€™t give up, that I should try to do it well anyway. Somehow I gradated college with a B- and that was that.
A year later Iâ€™m starting to think that I should try to obtain a masters degree in sports training or something. One night itâ€™s just me and my dad at home. Mom had gone to see her parents and was coming back the day after. The subject came up and we started talking. Without thinking much about what his reaction would be I told him: â€œI always wanted to study graphic designâ€. He didnâ€™t say anything. Instead he sat down and started using the computer. He was actually searching for places where they offered graphic design in Orlando, Florida because thatâ€™s where my sister was at the time. The plan was for me to go do my masters in Orlando. After about ten minutes he says to me: â€œdo you remember the school in Italy you were going to go to in â€™00 that you ended up not going to? Well they offer graphic design there.â€ I remember thinking: â€œwow, that would be so cool and by the tone of his voice it sounds like a real possibilityâ€. He brought up the LDM sight and showed me. He asked me what I thought. I was watching t. v. and remember thinking: â€œif I say yes, I might be in Florence in 6 months.
Fast forward 6 months and Iâ€™m in Florence. Everythingâ€™s different and old. I noticed that the ground sucks for skateboarding and get a little sad. I buy a Bianchi bike and get a little happy. On my first day of lessons, my first class is digital techniques fundamentals. I meet Paolo and Miller. By the end of class I noticed that most other students knew a little bit about adobe software and had used Illustrator and Photoshop to some extent. I had no prior experience. The others would get it faster than me. It was really hard for me at first to remember all the little details about where everything was and all the little shortcuts. Itâ€™s so confusing at first. I was frustrated for the whole first month. Then mid-terms came along and I could do some things with the software. All very basic but at least I got over that first bump.
I liked the web classes that I took, but when you learn something and then donâ€™t do it again, what you learned kind of fades away. I mean I havenâ€™t used Fireworks and Dreamweaver since. I used Flash a couple of more times but that was it. Flash intimidates me and thatâ€™s why I want to do my sight using Flash, to get used to it and not fear it. Do a lot of tutorials!! Animation is cool.
I remember in the middle of my second semester, after mid-terms, Paolo told me that he thought I was doing well. That not only made my day, but it made my year. I realized that I wasnâ€™t wasting my time or my dadâ€™s money by coming here. It motivated me to keep going and get better. I always put 100% effort into coming out with something that visually looks cool. I never stop before I create something that I really like. And I look at it and make changes until I get it how I like it. The more I learned in school the more knowledge I was able to put into my designs.
Luckily Paolo was always pretty happy with the work that I did and that always made me feel good. Of course sometimes I did things wrong. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, I didnâ€™t get it. But when I got it (almost all the time) I think I was able to come out with something interesting. I couldnâ€™t wait to learn more and get better. The first year passes and I earn the Study Certificate.
I come back to do my second year of the program and Iâ€™m excited. I canâ€™t wait to make new friends and see new things. Classes go smoothly and everythingâ€™s ok. Iâ€™m learning, progressing and getting better with the software. To aid me I brought back from Puerto Rico 2 books that I ordered through amazon.com: How to do everything Illustrator & How to do everything Photoshop. I finished the Photoshop one first and then I read the Illustrator one. They really helped a lot. I could now do cooler things because I knew, for the most part, were everything was. Things are becoming simpler and Iâ€™m quickly progressing.
Things go well for me throughout the year and Iâ€™m glad. I manage to get some pretty good qualifications on my works and that motivates me even more. Now we are at the end of it all. I am writing this for class and I hope I didnâ€™t embarrass myself. I should get my Professional Study Certificate tomorrow. Yeih!!
I would like to thank all of my teachers: Giovanna, Jonas, Francesco (Miller), Alessandro, Giovanni, Marc, and Paolo, my master. Thank you for your patience.
Daniel Loyola (ZoomerDL)