Adobe Creative Cloud: Levelling Up

Adobe Creative Cloud is about levelling up! I decided to increase my membership level and subscribe to the entire Creative Cloud suite. It’s really exciting to get access to all those fabulous, industry-standard apps!

My go-to apps are Open Source. The philosophical stance (free, collaborative software) fits my DIY ethos. Way back in the 1980’s, when I was but a little punk rock chick, DIY culture was the the order of the day! We used to make mix tapes, photocopy zines, sew our own clothes and cut our own hair. There was a real vibe about doing it yourself.

When I first got into Internet, DIY culture was still going strong. In fact, the early net was all DIY. I remember my first IT jobs – there was practically nobody with Computer Science degrees! We were all self-taught and therefore, hackers. We hacked around in the back end until we made it work, and that was that.

Obviously, this method is not scaleable. In order for the Internet to grow, there had to be order, consistency and method.

Linux went from being DIY to distributions. WordPress, while still free, uses plenty of paid plugins. And OpenSource design software like Gimp and Inkscape works fine…but doesn’t have the polish of Photoshop or Illustrator. The pattern fills in Inkscape are shockingly simple. I am sure that I could find some user generated patterns, but that would mean digging around the Internet, and a time investment. At the end of the day, I don’t have time for that, and choose to pay for the professional option, rather than pay with my time.

So, by subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud, I am levelling up! As I was about to publish, I realised that I ought to have created a graphic for this post, so I saved this as a draft and came back to it later.

I logged onto Creative Cloud and installed both Photoshop and Illustrator. (Adobe Acrobat DC was installed this morning, in order to edit a PDF for Hacienda, the Spanish taxman…but that’s another story!) Lickety-split, I made this combined graphic from the wordsoup from yesterday’s post, a photo from a session last summer, and a lovely iridescent fill provided in the app. If the workflow is this good, then the money investment is definitely offset by the time saving.

Rachel Rose meditating, with a concentric circle of words.

(Editing before posting, I realise that I need to make a background for the text so it stands out. Tomorrow. Right now, time to go to the beach and get the best sunshine of the day. Peace out, RR)

Personal Branding – UX Design Course Extra Study

I decided to do some extra study about Personal Branding for my UX Design Course. Personal Branding for UX and design is essential these days. You have to stand out! Part One of the Google/Coursera Foundations of UX Design Course included an in-depth discussion of personal branding. As aspiring UX Designers, we shall be called upon to present ourselves to the world, and sell ourselves as professionals. Although I finished the Module easily, I decided to study the element of personal branding in greater depth, dedicating a significant amount of time to it in the past three weeks.

How do others see me?

A screenshot of my Facebook post for my personal branding for UX course
Ask Facebook…

Personal Branding for UX Design is about establishing your online presence as a UX Designer. For newbies, this essential step both prepares us to present a portfolio to potential clients or employers, and solidifies our self-impression of ourselves as UX Designer.

It was particularly intriguing to compare what I think of myself to how others see me. I set the barrier very high for myself and think that healthy self-criticism is essential for both knowing oneself now, and growing in the future. My tendency is to be very direct and I know that this can sometimes be hard to take.

So, I asked on Facebook. Hey, it’s 2021, what else am I going to do? I am so grateful to all the friends who took some time to help me. I ended up with 200 words to work with for personal branding. The ones that showed up time and again where hardworking, perseverant, high expectations, friendly, creative, offbeat/original, intelligent, direct and “todo terreno”, which in Spanish means “all terrain”. Well, those fit pretty much with my own idea of myself, so the experiment was a success!

Comparing other UX Designers’ Personal Branding, I noticed a lot of originality, breadth and creativity. This emboldens me to present myself pretty much as I am. This may sound obvious, but as a rather zany character, I often felt compelled to “hide” parts of my character rather than shout it loud and proud!


What I did add, and which no one else flagged up, was the word “Autodidact“. As you will see from my about section, I am good at a lot of different things. I have a relentlessly curious mind, verge on the restless and honestly do not know what it means to be bored. There is always something to learn! “Thank goodness I do yoga and meditate” say I, only half-jokingly. My need to learn is constant. When I face a problem, or encounter something unknown, I study it. I make notes. I create a mental map of it, integrate it, and make it fit with the rest of the encyclopaedia I carry around in my head.

autodidact definition

My resume now lists the winning words. I created the graphic below with Inkscape. All the words, both in Spanish and in English, are arranged. I chose the circle because it suggests both an eye (seeing myself) and a spiral into the centre.

a wordsoup graphic for my personal branding survey

Now that I have finished this exercise with gusto I will jump back into the course, on Part Two. I can’t wait! check back for more reflections and musings. I really must get an email list going…

Take care,