As anyone who has seen Avenue Q knows, having a Special Purpose is important in life. I know cuz the muppets said so. ;-) But what's mine? Well, I realized that the one thing I have that I can share with others on CSW is my love for making wargames. I don't mean designing them (which I'm not terribly good at), I mean making them...creating the physical product, right from one's living room.

That's why I embarked on the whole Ellison die-cutter oddessey almost two years ago. That's why I put together the playtest templates page. I just love making these things, and I want to make it easier for others who have the same passion--or even just think they might have it--but who maybe need a little help along the way. I want to show just how easy it really is once you have the right tools. And all of them are easily obtainable and actually quite affordable!

Probably the biggest obstacle is the time it takes to learn new skills, particularly digital graphic art skills (i.e., "How do I use a program like Illustrator?"). Only quality time at the computer, playing with the software will help there. But I really believe that with practice, anybody can make good stuff with today's technology. The trick is finding an existing artist whose work you like and shamelessly stealing ideas from them.

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Comment by Kai Jensen on March 11, 2008 at 9:45am
I forgot to mention - each topic (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign) contains 2-3 DVDs with approx. 12 chapters per disc. And if I remember correctly, they all contain some sort of bonus material by professionals who use the product.
Comment by Kai Jensen on March 11, 2008 at 9:42am
For the "learning Illustrator" issue, I recommend checking out the Total Training Professional series - includes Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and two discs on digital photography and Photoshop tricks.

After working through each section, they are also great reference material. I can remember that the process is possible, just not the steps to make it happen. Pop open the case, find the topic in the TOC, pop in the disc and refresh my faulty memory.

The set is not cheap, but I found it to be more valuable than just taking classes at our local jr. college. And while I can't call a class instructor at 1:00am when I really want to get some work done, I CAN pull out the disc and refresh. Easy peasy.

(The above contains a slight exaggeration for emphasis: I cannot stay awake past 11:00pm. In reality, I turn into a pumpkin if required to remain awake and alert at that hour.)

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