If you're in need of professional training for print or web, I am an established graphics teacher serving the East Bay, Marin and San Francisco areas. I am friendly, patient and knowledgeable with over 15 years of teaching experience. Some of my many clients include: Graphic designers, web designers, photographers, artists, art directors, business owners and professionals, bloggers, students, hobbyists or anyone interested in preparing their own art or making websites (beginners ok!).
In addition to teaching, my background includes many years of professional experience. I am an active graphic designer of both print (catalogs, books, magazines, cards, brochures, posters, CDs etc.) and and experienced web developer/designer. In addition to my work as a freelancer, I have also held design and production positions with several companies. Here are the main topics I can help you with:
Training FAQs (please read - click to expand)
Pricing. $400 per 8 hour block (works out to be $50 /hr.)
$100 deposit is required to book our first meeting with the balance due at the end of the first lesson. Besides blocks, lessons are also sold by the hour for $75 /hr. if you haven't purchased a block or $60 /hr. if you have in the past six months. I accept cash, check, credit card or Paypal.
Session minimum. 2-3 hours depending on your location. If you are within 30 minutes of El Cerrito, there is a two hour minimum. Many of my customers are in San Francisco, Marin or areas up to an hour's travel. For those places there is a 3 hour minimum, but no travel fees. I think you'll find this a bargain for quality one-on-one help!
There are many ways you can choose to learn. Classes, workshops, private lessons, books, video training, etc. The best thing about private lessons, is that the training will be customized to your needs and will go at a pace that is comfortable for you. Once we get through the fundamentals, we can even focus on your particular challenges and projects
Private lessons are also a great way to go when time is an issue. They are comparable or less expensive in price to workshops and let you cover a lot more ground in a much shorter time than you could by taking courses at a design school or community college. If you prefer a very predetermined/canned way of learning, workshops can be good. But again, workshops are expensive and aren't tailored to your needs. You also end up having to take many different courses (like Photoshop I, II and III, Dreamweaver I, II and III, etc.). Private lessons are more efficient both because they are tailored to you and your background, but also because we can tie all the programs together and allow overlap. This can end up saving substantial time and money.
But best of all, you will be learning from a teacher with over 15 years of real world experience, not just someone who is good at passing on information they've read somewhere. That is unfortunately a problem with many computer books and sometimes even with teachers at expensive graphic design schools. For example, there are usually several ways to do something, but which way is best? I think you will find the experienced advice and workflow tips you will receive well worth the investment.
Learning how to do graphic design or develop websites is like other professional skills. If you're interested in doing quality work, you'll need to devote enough time to learn the basics in order to have a good grasp. With a good foundation, everything will start to come together. Otherwise, everything is confusing and it's hard to get far.
Many people ask about how much time is needed, so I've come up with a basic breakdown of what I recommend budgeting for each program. This is an estimate for a beginner to intermediate covering the rudiments of each program and assumes that you already have some general computer skills:
- Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator or Fireworks: 8-12+ hours each
- Adobe Lightroom: 3-8 hours
- Dreamweaver: 12-16+ hours including basic HTML/CSS (necessary for working on modern css based designs). Learning Photoshop or Fireworks also recommended
- Html/CSS: 12-16+ hours. Photoshop or Fireworks also recommended
- Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress learning the backend while working with 3rd party templates: 6-8+ hours
- Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress for designers: 10-20+ hours (depending on HTML/CSS and Joomla skills)
- General computer help or specialty stuff like color management: 3+ hours
This is a rough estimate for an introductory course (to get a working knowledge) and could vary up or down depending on your background and pace of learning. You're in no way obligated to commit to any time frame. However, unless you know them already, spending enough time on the basics comes very highly recommended! I've found after teaching many people over the years that neglecting them usually ends up being unsatisfying and sometimes leads to costly mistakes. Plus happy students are a teacher's best reward!
We will work together from the beginning to come up wsith a plan that works for you. The first step is to have a conversation on the phone (preferably) or by email to assess your needs. From there, we will determine a basic lesson plan.
Depending on your experience, it is highly recommend to focus on the basics for at least the first 8-10 hours of our classes. After that, you're free to choose between something structured where we cover topics more in depth, or it can be causal with particular help in certain areas. I also recommend spending some time together working on practice projects.
Sometimes, if you are interested in first learning some basics or already have a good working knowledge. I've helped many people through their graphic design or website hurdles*. I can be with you every step of the way, or just provide fill-in help. However, when you're budgeting money and time, please keep in mind that learning how to do something at the same time as getting it done, always takes longer than hiring someone to just do it. This can be a good thing of course, because you will learn how to do it for the next time.
*I'm available to help you through the technical aspects and setting up your files and preparing the artwork. I do not offer to work together on the actual design. For this you can either hire me as a designer, or handle the design aspects yourself. Good design is best not rushed. It requires a lot of time and consideration, and not something that's always on call. However, I'm happy to give you design advice and offer some touches here and there.
This is a request that I get at least a couple of times per week. It's nothing unusual for website owners to be unhappy when it comes to depending on a web developer to make the changes and updates they need. This short article describes how I can set you up on a content management system or teach you how to use your existing one. You'll also see why (unless you are interested in a career in web development) I recommend going with a CMS rather than attempting to learn tools like Dreamweaver and html.
We can meet at your home or office if you are in Marin, Sonoma County, San Francisco or the Berkeley area.
I have found that holding training in cafes or other public places can be distracting and isn't always welcome by the host (especially for longer sessions). Also at the moment, training is not offered online or over the phone.
Important events and emergencies come up for everyone, but please provide as much notice as possible if you need to make a change. As a private teacher, rescheduling/canceling (especially at the last minute) make it difficult to keep a full schedule so I ask that you make a firm commitment when scheduling. If something important comes up and you must cancel/reschedule within 5 days of our appointment, you will be billed a 50% late change fee. Personal (real) emergencies granted on a case by case basis. Any and all changes made with 24 hours of our appointment are subject to full charge (this superceeds anything mentioned previously). Maximum change/cancelation fee for each individual lesson: $150.
Time blocks purchased in advance must be fully utilized within 6 months of the date of purchase, or any time remaining will be void (exceptions made for emergencies on a case by case basis).
If you need to reschedule or cancel, please contact me as soon ahead of time as possible. If you are changing an appointment within 48 hours of our meeting, I may not recieve an email in time. Please contact me by phone.
I appreciate your understanding.