First micro blog. Like a tweet but not really. I have been over social media for a while. And I have a lot of ideas that don’t need a full blog post for. Going to be trying micro.blog out and see if it sticks. Otherwise it’s back to medium.
I saw a Video creators "what's in my bag" video the other day. (Peter McKinnon) And it inspired me to talk about some of the things that I have in my digital bag of tricks. So here are some of the apps and tools that I use for creative projects.
First one out of the bag is Sketch. My current main open app, most days. It's fast, straight-forward and vector-based. "Fast" as in 48 colored artboards with gradients, photos, and nested symbols. I once had a client ask for a prototype to be done all in Photoshop and I nearly threw my laptop out the window. Sketch is for all my app wireframes, app prototypes, website designs, and icons.
My go-to for photo processing. When I get back after taking 700+ RAW photos, Lightroom helps me sift through them all and find the gems. I can save all my favorite presets which is great to keep my looks separate for my recurring clients. I like classic because (as of right now) Lightroom CC is too stripped down of all the tools I use constantly.
Any of my animations, motion slides, and moving UI designs are always done in After Effects. Great for explainer videos, and it has an awesome community to learn new techniques and plug-ins that make incredible effects and faster workflows. I am the kind of person who enjoys looking at 100 layers with tons of keyframes. (At least until that stray keyframe makes the animation look like a bunch of Mexican jumping bean.)
Vectors are 100% necessary for any work that needs constant variation in design sizes. And Illustrator is my go-to for vector work. There's nothing more painful than stretching a logo for a billboard or poster that is pixelated. Illustrator is my tool of choice for logo design, shirt design, digitizing hand-lettering, and anything that needs shapes created with the pen tool.
This was my gateway drug for design. The idea of layers and masks for a non-destructive workflow changed my life. (I have a rant for people who use the eraser tool, but that's for another time) It has definitely evolved from its initial purpose of being just a photo editor. I use it for creating lifestyle mockups, print materials with a lot of photo imagery, and working with rasterized assets.
I started out editing videos in iMovie for my church youth group. When I graduated to the big time with Premiere things got serious. Premiere is where all of the graphics, animations, audio, music, and footage come together to tell great stories. I use Premiere for all my Short film, Youtube videos, and IG stories.
Bonus: Procreate (iPad App)
All tho it's not a computer app. All of my blog post doodles are done with Procreate and an apple pencil. I also use it to do fun sketch notes during meetings. I use procreate mostly for sketching, quick app wireframes, design mockups, and drawing my toons.
Thanks for checking out what I have in my tool bag. If you have any other question about the tools I use. You can find me on most social media @isaacmdt.
See you later beautiful nerds.
Every new year I shut down all my social media. Normally it's just 21 days to break the cycle of all the habit loops I am stuck in. "The Morning Scroll" as my bother puts it. That nagging FOMO(Fear of Missing Out) as you first open your eyes. Wondering in past 6 hours since you were asleep, (most of my friends were too) did they do sometimes cool or post LIT photo. I’ll be honest the withdraws are real. The phantom notifications can be felt. The creators of the apps know how to get into my head. Thankfully this wasn't my first rodeo so I have learned a few tips and tricks to make it through the social media detox.
Set up a finish line
Set a goal. 2 weeks, 21 days, one month. Write it down, say it out loud. If you got people you talk to on a normal basis then give them a heads up send them your phone info. If you are afraid to give them your phone number maybe they aren’t a real friend. Normally I do 21 days, about 3 weeks. This time I went in for the full month because I had a few friends that were doing a social media fast at the end of the month so I joined them. But I pick an end game. I am visual so I need to see the finish line. So I put on my calendar an END of Detox.
Destroy the drugs
Just delete them all off your phone. ☠️ Block them in your browser. If you want to get extra crazy and bring everyone else in your household into the deep dark and twisties with you. Block them on your router too. MWAHAHA. You don’t need the apps there to tempt you with their siren calls of fake social interaction. If your like me and you run a few other social media accounts fine leave them on. I logged out of all my personal accounts tho. Moved the app icons in a folder on the very last screen all alone in the dark zone. “Bad social media! Mind control is very naughty. You stay in the corner and think about what you did.”
Pick some activities, events that will fill that void, read some books, go to the library, go on an adventure. Read an actual article in a newspaper or magazine. Yes, things still get printed on paper. And if all else fails, try talking to and actually being with real people 😱. No not real people! 😑
If you fail and look or check out it something online it’s ok. But don’t do it again!!! No, but give yourself some grace. I forget every year how much social media creates this shallow need to “feel liked” with hearts, thumbs ups, and smiley faces. You can do it. Find a few close family members and friends to do it too.
It’s over now what?
This is where I am today. Now what. Here’s what I learn every time I do this. I don’t really need social media to live a fulfilling life. No matter what, life still goes on if I miss all the 24-hour self-destructing stories and snaps. I will probably get sucked back into the hole of shallow, highlight reels of envious lives of people I think do cooler things than me. I killed my personal Facebook tho. #win Deleted all my “friends” and set it private since FB holds on to a piece of your soul if you try to delete it. I set some new goals this year. I am reading two books every month and limiting my time on social media to an hour a day. (Rescue Time for my computer and Moment for my phone help me keep track.) I am an early adopter by nature so I'll probably never be rid of this cycle. But at least for today, the phantom buzzes have subsided and I don’t run to my phone for every notification.
TLDR; Taking a break from social media is good. Fill the double tap void with real people and experiences that make your life better.