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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
Interview With Franklin McMahon Of Media Artist Secrets
by Jennifer Apple
There's a lot of podcasting going on right now. Our audience is hyper-focused on Photoshop. Does your podcast 'Media Artist Secrets' address Photoshop directly?
Actually I have multiple thousands of listeners who use Photoshop! Mainly because it's probably the most creative and expressive program out there, and the one that media artists go to the most.
The podcast I do, Media Artist Secrets, is tightly focused on creative artists advancing their careers, the whole show is about taking your creative career to the next level. Photoshop is a big part of that, because almost anywhere you go, Photoshop skills come in amazingly handy.
The podcast does not go over Photoshop specifically as far as tips, however a lot of the techniques addressed in the show (design, promotion, marketing, etc.) all obviously tie in to Photoshop and the CS2 suite. As for Photoshop techniques, I feel that they are best seen in video, so that is why the blog for the podcast has a lot of video tutorials covering a wide range of Photoshop lessons. We even recently launched a message board, where creative artists from all over the world can interact, discuss Photoshop and other programs, as well as get career advice.
What inspired you to share so many of your top pro secrets?
Well my background is in broadcast television, the web and independent film. I took all my visual storytelling skills and began to work in photography several years back. Since then photography is my main source of income and it's a field that I am passion about and enjoy. Plus I get to use Photoshop on a daily basis, so nothing wrong with that!
Along the way, in all of these careers, I have met many, many creative media artists. A common thread was that even though a lot of them are very talented, many were not as schooled in the business of being creative, promoting their skills and attracting the kinds of clients they really wanted. For years I have given a lot of people guidance, helped them along and provided suggestions on advancing their careers and making it big!
When I discovered podcasting, I was pondering what type of show I wanted to do, and it clicked: What if I did a show about helping fellow artists advance their careers? I have been so passionate about helping others for years, what if I could do a program that could go global and I could contribute and helps others all over the world?
I started off with a $5 microphone and just did it for fun to see what would happen. Adam Curry ended up mentioning me on his Sirius Satellite show and played my promo on his podcast. More and more people started hearing about Media Artist Secrets. More recently Apple has featured me for several weeks on the front page of their iTunes podcast page, I have won a Podcast Award for Best Business Show 2005, been #1 in Business on Podcast Alley for months and Computer Arts Magazine, the world's best-selling creative arts publication, has begun featuring the show in each issue, with new episodes on the magazine's CD every month. The audience has been doubling and tripling and its been great that an idea I had, and a no-budget show with a $5 mic, has connected with so many media artists around the world. Oh, I got a better microphone by the way!
Can you give us a little background on Creative Cow and Media Artists Secrets, and how they are connected?
I have been doing video tutorials for them for quite a while, on a lot of different topics, so it was a natural progression to incorporate the tutorials, especially the Photoshop videos, into the Media Artist website.
Will you be publishing books or DVDs with your tips and tutorials?
I have an agent now thanks to the podcast, and we have several projects in the works. I'll hopefully have some announcements soon. Some of the things we are working on is a book based on Media Artist Secrets and a Photoshop book based around fashion photography. I also have a book of my photography planned as well as some CD/DVDs that focus on media artist career development.
What is your favorite all-time Photoshop feature?
Good question. I would have to say the airbrushing and clones tools have come a long way. I love the web gallery, I have used that for countless clients and it is amazingly handy. My favorite new feature is Bridge, it is excellent that a really robust image browser is now included.
For someone starting out in design and learning Photoshop, what quick advice would you give them?
Learn design, then Photoshop. A lot of people reverse this. Once you have mastered the basics of design (color schemes, invisible grids, typography, alignment, etc.) your Photoshop work will then go from good to amazing. And then also really learn Photoshop. Many noodle around and figure it out, but there are hundreds of features in Photoshop and many will take your work to really excellent levels if you put in the time to learn them. Books, or classes, or even my videos, whatever it takes, don't just know the tool... focus on mastering it.
Are there any big projects you are working on in the near future you'd like to share?
Another podcast is in the works, and I will announce it and launch it soon. It will be much more focused on media arts and specifically cover desktop programs such as Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Flash and other creative software.
Will you continue to offer your great Photoshop video tutorials, and what do you have lined up?
Oh yes there will be more! Lately I have centered more on design tips, because its important to make stuff look really good and professional. I'd like to do more videos on the new CS2 features, there are so many! But yes, stay tuned for more Photoshop videos!
That's it for now. Thanks Franklin!
- Media Artist Secrets
- Franklin McMahon video tutorials (on our Photoshop CS9 page)
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