Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be good in art to be successful in this class?

Quick answer? No. I’ve had students in the past who’ve struggled with art…but they ended up getting A’s in my class because they did what I asked them to do, they demonstrated that they learned in class, and they worked hard. Likewise, I’ve had very talented art students in my class who ended up failing my course simply because they didn’t do their work. I’d much rather have the former type of student in my course.

Is there a difference between Mac or PC for this software?

No. Just a matter of knowing what the keystrokes are. You’ll mostly see my video demonstrations using a Mac…so just be aware of what the differences are:

  • Mac Command = PC CTRL
  • Mac Option = PC Alt

Just to give you a frame of reference…for the 1st 10 years of my career as a graphic designer I worked exclusively on the PC. So it’s perfectly normal to do well on both platforms. In fact, it’ll be to your advantage as a graphic designer to know both.

Do I need to purchase software for this course?

I’d highly recommend it if you can get it (1) because as a student you get a good discount and (2) you’ll have a much easier time working with my schedule as I go along the demos each week.

Otherwise, I typically ask my 112 students to use the 30-day demos of each program as we encounter them. This way we can learn the programs without you committing hundreds of dollars for this software. The problem with this situation for our online course is that you don’t have the luxury of practicing the programs in a normal class situation. At least not until I tell you when is a good time to install each program….so you’ll be stuck waiting an extra week or so to start on your projects.

Bottom line: get if if you can.

Here’s a tip: I’ve had students tell me their are good software discounts for these programs at the Apple store if you demonstrate your student ID. “better than the UH store” I’m told. Also, Adobe has a subscription based license where you can just pay monthly to use the software. That’s another opportunity you have to use the full software at home and then when our course ends, you can simply cancel your subscription. That’ll be cheaper than buying the whole thing.

Does it matter if I have older versions of the software?

Current version of the Adobe products we’re using is CS5 and CS5.5. If you use a lower version you may be able to get away with most of these projects provided your software is no further back than CS4 or CS3.  Even then, you may not be able to take advantage of some of the new features we’ll discuss in the course.

Are you adding extra students to this course?

No. Once the class is full that’s it. If you’re trying to get into the class, the best thing to do is wait and see. It’s typical the 1st week of class some students enrolled in the course will change schedules or decide to drop the course. There might be a chance to jump in then.

Why is there a lady’s voice in some of your videos?

No, I don’t have a split personality. Another instructor who is teaching another section of Art 112 this semester, Diana Jeon, will be sharing some of her videos with me this semester. Likewise she’s using some of my videos for her class. This is to your advantage since you get the best of both worlds. Diana is a fantastic instructor as well…she may know more than I do when it involves color settings for some of these programs. So you get ’em all. Bear with us if you see content repeated between our videos.  You may notice a difference in styles.


Continue building your sites this week (Week 12). Remember to always test your site along the way and constantly validate your code.

Please make appointments to see/talk to me if you need help.