The October 30th Blue Moon Wicked 10K at Virginia Beach Oceanfront is coming up fast! Runners will converge upon the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in all manner of regalia to participate in the epic fund run and a weekend of revelry. All proceeds from the race go to support homeless children and families in Hampton Roads.
TECHEAD’s Director of Training Sean Cooke will make his victory run in the Wicked 10K. The race marks an important personal achievement on his ongoing path to better health and fitness. By the way, word of his health plan is getting around! Check out this recent article from The Richmond Times-Dispatch for more information on the nuts and bolts of his health regimen.
We’re so proud of Sean. At 10K time, our dear Director will speed down his boardwalk (yes, his boardwalk - Virginia Beach’s beloved seawall dolphin motif was part of Sean’s high school design portfolio) and prove that good, old-fashioned discipline still works.
So, we’d like to tell you about the shoes.
In late July Sean dashed in to TECHEAD and announced that he was going to buy shoes. Not just any shoes, but eat-my-dust Nike running shoes with vicious tread that melts pavement and passersby as you tear down the street at mach 10. Awesome shoes. The Nikes were both a reward and a necessary purchase for weeks of progress working up to a multi-mile run and training for October’s race.
Not that Sean had never personally owned sneakers. “In fact, I did have running shoes to start with,” he snickers. “They were the ones I’d worn in high school. They were full of holes, and under my bed.” With a three mile run every morning, however, they didn’t last long.
Sean initially chose running for many reasons. Past experience with fitness plans at health clubs have done little to motivate him, and even less to trim his waistline. He needed something he could easily integrate into the course of his day that would help make results. “Running is also a cheap solution,” he says. “It’s just you and the road. You have shoes, you run out the door, and that’s it.” To sum up, he assessed the goals for his training, planned accordingly and took strategic action.
Maintaining progress toward his goal requires Sean to have laser focus, perseverance, and the right tools. It was only after these components were put to work together in a plan that they yielded amazing results. In the art world designers might call this overall effect “gestalt,” or an organized whole entity that is more than its individual parts. This perspective on physical training can be applied to creative training, as well.
At TECHEAD, we know training works best when students have a personal plan for their creative development and the drive to make their knowledge work for them long after they leave the classroom. If you’re thinking about taking a class, or want to continue your training in the best way possible, here are a few Sean-inspired tips to help you along your way:
- Set reasonable goals. What do you want to accomplish with your creative software training? Are you a beginner interested in the entire Adobe Suite, or advanced training that will make your portfolio shine?
- Be flexible. It’s going to hurt. Don’t shy away from making necessary changes in practice and lifestyle to produce quantifiable results. You might try keeping a journal, or some way to record your progress, or at the very least, dating your practice projects to mark your increasing aptitudes.
- Practice, Practice, Practice! As Sean has reflected, getting too caught up in your vision of the future can do more to hinder than help your progress. Once you have completed a TECHEAD course, seek out ways to constantly building your practical expertise. Don’t be afraid to bring in a piece of work and ask specific questions in class. Examining good design is a great way to stay inspired. If you get stuck after class, give us a call. We love software!
- Challenge Yourself. Do not plateau! Let’s say six months from now you’ve taken several TECHEAD courses and have built some good design muscle. That’s the time to reassess your progress. Determine what new skills will assist you in producing your best work yet. If you are training for work, consider what products and projects you are likely encounter within the next year, and prepare to meet them ahead of time. Then, charge ahead without fear!
- Get the right tools. Sure, the office may have CS3 or CS4, but earlier this year we celebrated the birth of Adobe CS5. However, the limited time we have in our busy lives and careers to do our best requires that we equip ourselves at the right time. Having your own software may be a step in the right direction that you cannot ignore. We recommend reading up before purchasing, and Of course, we’re here to answer questions along your way.
Most importantly, keep at it! Do not get discouraged, and do not run out of steam. Give yourself time to plan an appropriate attack, and go for it! Chances are that in a few months you will recognize big changes in your design aesthetic, application knowledge and overall work ethic. You’ll feel better about yourself, and your portfolio.
And by the way - good luck! We know you can do it!