How to get good at Photoshop quickly


If you wish to become a good designer, skills in Adobe Photoshop are essential. Here are this designer of many years tips for how to learn Photoshop quickly. You don’t become a successful designer by Photoshop alone, but you need to be on very good terms with this tool.

If I were to go back and start again, how would I go about gaining those Photoshop skills?

There is no cheat way, there is no easy way, it’s an enormous piece of software that can do an awful lot of things, but you can do your best to not waste time along the way.

There are two specific things I would consider doing every day. One is through learning, the other through practice. The first is to do a tutorial on Photoshop on Youtube every day, and the one for practicing your skills as you learn is to post something you make with Photoshop on social media several times per week.

Learn Photoshop through tutorials on Youtube

I would start with looking for something you want to learn. A specific thing you want to know about, based on a piece of design you have seen, or something you wish to express yourself with, and search for it on YouTube.

This roughly splits into two types of video. By tool, or by specific effect. For example, ‘How to use the pen tool in Photoshop’, ‘How to use the patch tool in Photoshop’ or by style ‘How to make a pop art portrait’? ‘How to make a soviet style poster in Photoshop’? etc. This will build up over time to give you a very broad understanding of Photoshop, and in getting used to using Youtube to solve problems as you meet them.

A social media platform for your art to get you fast and comfortable

For social media, consider starting an Instagram or Facebook page on a subject you are passionate about. Niche works well on social media. A football team, a sport or athlete, a band, a film franchise, an author, a game, a celeb, or maybe reimagine film posters. Something you love, something you have a good knowledge of, or wish to know more about. Ideally something unique, but doesn’t have to be.

What the social media page does for you is get you in the habit of publishing your work regularly and quickly. When working on a design job for a client, or student project, we as designers can get very precious. With our own output, we can speed up the process, experiment, and gain valuable experience quickly. You can always delete something you don’t like later. It can be #workinprogress or #justlearning.

You will pick up another skill, a clear understanding of managing a social media business page. Always something to add to a CV, an extra bonus for a potential employer.

This will get you fast in setting up a document. Not being too precious, and saving your work for the web. It becomes second nature.

Find yourself some inspiration to follow on Instagram. www.creativebloq.com/photography/graphic-designers-follow-instagram, www.delightfull.eu/graphic-designers-to-follow-on-instagram.

I think these to actions together will help you to learn Photoshop quickly. It won’t be easy, but will build up over time. As the ancient Chinese proverb says ‘To become at one with Photoshop, one must at first have worked your ass off’.

Here is my article on whether Graphic design is worth studying. www.iaincameron.dk/is-graphic-design-worth-studying.

Iain Cameron is a freelance graphic designer and web designer based in Copenhagen. Here is my portfolio. www.iaincameron.dk/design-portfolio.