My Computer Design Workshop for the Online Guild has gotten off to an enthusiastic start. As my friend Ann stated, computers are the one thing all OLG members have in common. Even though we all work in different fiber and textile media, we are all computer users, so everyone who wishes is able to participate.
It hasn't been without problems however. I have learned that one can't simply copy-and-paste some word processor documents into emails. Various formatting features are reinterpreted by both Yahoo and various email programs as weird little characters instead of what they're meant to be, i.e. bold text, italics, etc.
Then there's plain text versus html in emails. A link is a link is a link, right? Wrong! This turned into an exercise of discovering how many different ways one can access a website if the link won't work. Formatting is a problem in the plain text versus html arena too.
The goal of the workshop is to learn to take a selected image like this ......
And transform it into a source of inspiration for textile design. Perhaps something like this.....
The challenge has been trying to communicate this process without pictures or without actually being able to demonstrate it. Combine that with the various computer operating systems members use, plus their various levels of computer experience, not to mention the different photo editing programs, and I wonder what I've gotten myself into!!!
Fortunately, this is an exceptionally friendly, helpful, and encouraging group; both to me, as I struggle to explain things clearly, and to one another, with our various operating systems, questions, and software. One thing I especially admire about them is their eager willingness to learn.
That may sound odd, but in the past I have had membership in groups where one's level of personal knowledge almost seemed to be some sort of status symbol. This in turn, represented placement in an invisible pecking order. Those who deemed themselves somewhere near the top never seemed open to learning new things, especially from someone else deemed lower in the order. Eventually I felt that I didn't fit in and went my own way.
As with most things, I tried to walk away with something useful from that experience. Therefore, my hope for myself is that I may always be in the process of learning; that my sense of self esteem is never be based on how much I know, but on who I am. And that I never base who I am on skills or possessions, because those things can be lost through physical disability or the circumstances of life. Of course all this is easier said than done, but I'm working on it.