The last two months have been spent getting to grips with the two main programs I'll be using for the course: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I had no experience of either and felt a little overwhelmed when opening these programs for the first time: it was a bit like opening a book written in a foreign language.
Although there are many online resources available I had no idea where to start, so I decided to use one of the many books on the subject - 'Teach Yourself Illustrator in 24 Hours'. Even though this seemed the most user-friendly of the books available, learning to use the interface, getting use to the selection tools and creating paths was a challenge. I studied a chapter an evening and by the end of November I had finished the book and felt that I'd at least got to grips with the program.
For Photoshop, I found the book 'How to Do Everything in Photoshop' to be the most helpful for my purposes. Once again I set myself a month to finish the book and familiarise myself with the program. I found Photoshop a much easier program to use - I'm unsure if this is because it is inherently less complex or because I was now familiar with the interface (no doubt a combination of both). Learning Photoshop was much more enjoyable and I was frequently surpised by what this program is capable of. Helpfully, the book also introduced me to Adobe Bridge.
I am now eager to push on with the three postcards and it is a relief to be returning to the 'course proper'. I have set myself the deadline of the 30th January and will be allocating each postcard 10 days work.