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Branching Out: Creating Graphics

One of the most common questions I get through emails and on my blog is: “How do you create your product covers/backgrounds/images etc.?”

I am always surprised when I get this question because I have never thought of myself as a particularly artistic person. However, I have always enjoyed playing with graphics on the computer. Since starting to sell my products on TeacherPayTeachers, I have poured myself into learning about graphic design and my creative side has certainly emerged. I have loved every minute of it and learnt so much!

I thought I would share a few of my favourite programs and websites:

GIMP

Gimp is an opensource image manipulation program – similar to Photoshop but FREE! You can do almost anything with Gimp which you can do with photoshop: layer images; create overlays and re-color pictures; add text; alter images; etc. It does take some getting used to, but with a lot of practice and patience, it is an amazing tool. Plus there are hundreds of YouTube tutorials to guide you though the process.

POWERPOINT

Microsoft’s PowerPoint is a slide show presentation program so who know that it was also great at doing graphics? The wonderful thing about PowerPoint is that it is simple to use and anyone who is familiar with Word (or any of Microsoft’s software) can easily learn to use it. The amazing thing about PowerPoint is that there are so many great features which most people never touch on: you can change an image background to transparent; you can re-cover a picture; you can align images; you can alter the transparency of an image to create an overlay; and so much more.

OPENCLIPART

When creating products, one has to be SO careful that you don’t infringe on copyrights. It is all too easy to Google an image and then copy and paste. But that is stealing. I cannot state that strong enough. Copyright laws are a minefield and so I try to stay well away from the grey areas. Thats why this site is so fantastic – all the clipart is royalty free. Plus they have some great stuff!

DEVIANTART

There are just so many amazingly creative people out there! I spend many hours browsing through the art work on Deviantart and am always amazed! It is a community of artists who share their work for download.

* However, please note: You must read the details and terms of use! Most of the artwork is not allowed to be used for commercial projects, or at least, not without permission or attribution. Please check wisely and obey!

 

Finally, I have branched out into creating my own original graphics for sale too! Check out this product below and let me know what you think!

RetroPapers

 

 

 

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