Working from home is a unique setup for a lot of young professionals. All that time indoors can feel a little disorienting. For people who need to work remotely or are adjusting to life under enforced community quarantine: A good pick me up is to learn fresh skills or have a creative outlet. It can feel a little intimidating, especially when all you have are online tutorials. But most of the time, the internet has all the resources you’ll need.
Where do you start? What platforms can you check out for reference? How do you know if the online review on the equipment can be trusted? We hear you—which is why we’ve compiled a wide range of available resources that have made creative pursuits all the more accessible to beginners.
Inspiration/reference boards: Steal like an artist (not an asshole)
Try to figure out your visual needs and cover your bases. Yes, everyone and their crafty aunt has a Pinterest board, but the real hack here is finding out which site is a better fit for your needs. Here are some resources you can check out from the comfort of your work-from-home station. The best part? They’re all free for public use.
Color palettes: Lost on color theory? Then finding the perfect color palette online has never been easier. There are even sites like Adobe Color that allow you to peg the color harmony you want.
Composition: Tutorials and guides aside, sometimes you just need inspirational images to get you motivated. Try heading over to 500px for a vast collection of photography perfect for referencing framing and blocking.
Rendered visual pegs: One thing you and your aunt will now have in common? A Pinterest board. And for good reason, since the site is efficient at tracking similar images—perfect for days when keywords fail to make any sense on the search bar (Fluffy ’90s kitsch? Undersaturated popsicle melt?)
Price your equipment: Fight the urge to overspend
It can be tempting to save up to buy the best gear available. Especially when you watch reviews on how much easier working with high grade equipment seems. But believe me, control yourself. Sometimes mid-range price points last longer than the expensive stuff, other times the specs justify the price. Here are some important things to consider before you go to sign up for PayPal and make that online purchase.
Figure out what it’s for: Most people get small, mirrorless cameras for hassle-free vlogging. But some might opt for heavy-duty DSLRs in making short films instead. So figure out what you want to create, and get equipment that can make your art but ot break your bank.
Read all the reviews you can: Don’t just rely on one source singing all the praises or another trashing the entire release. Make sure to read up on several sources and preferably check out demos and tutorials while you’re at it.
Compare prices after everything else: Once you’ve identified what you need and subsequently checked out the equipment available, only then should you compare price points. Sometimes things are expensive for a reason, sometimes they aren’t. Choose wisely.
Use what you have: If you’re a beginner, it can feel tempting to buy that camera or that easel but you can also give the skill a try with the items you have at home. Try using your phone to shoot videos or films. Maybe explore watercolor painting with the basic set your sibling has for school. Besides, if you have the proper storage and post-processing equipment the results can be just the same. Which brings us to…
Storage and post: Take care of your art (see also: your children)
Aside from equipment and references, you’ll need options for storage or post processing. If you want to edit home videos, you’ll need a machine that can take on the required specs.
External Storage: Make sure you have your archive system in place. This will save you a lot of time when you’ve started your creative grind. Choosing good, trusty hard drives and SD cards from the get-go will be a sure investment for years to come. Going cloud based is also becoming a good choice with tech giants Apple and Google offering storage that can easily archive and share your files.
Laptop: It’s important to have a PC that can give you everything you need so you can go ahead and create anything you want. You would need an i7 processor giving you the legroom to dump mats and download the necessary software. Plus, a machine that can store all your creative side hustles. We recommend the HP Pavilion, which has all that plus a thin and sleek design that allows it to be switched from laptop, tent or tablet. Literal flex.
There you go kids, time to get inspired and get started. Sound off in the comments if you have other useful resources to recommend to other artists (and us, thanks in advance).
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