Gratis Academy // No. 1

In this series, I feature resources to fully educate myself on how to be a graphic designer, web designer, business owner, blogger, photographer, freelancer… whatever suits my fancy… all rolled into pretty little posts of  fantastic *free-ness*.

I recently read some fantastic advice, “MY ADVICE TO YOU: Go to school but don’t get too caught up in learning the software. Focus on typography and design concepts. Work hard and be nice. Make real and lasting connections. Be patient and trust your instincts.”Read more from &Kathleen here.

Lately, whilst dreading to do homework (it’s all too much!), I’ve thought about *free* education quite often. There is just so much to learn on the internet, especially since I am a (budding) graphic and web designer! School seems like a bit of a waste at this point. I know I can teach myself everything I need to know to be successful through the internet.

I’m almost to the finish line of earning my AAS in Digital Design. My studies have mostly been general education, along with classes on the programs (think Adobe Creative Suite). I don’t think I’ve actually taken one art class (besides the Intro to Art class I took a few years ago, which I loved, but does not count towards my degree).

This quote got me to thinking… I may have wasted copious amounts of my precious free time doing tedious projects that ignited no creativity and actually taught me little about the programs I was studying. Yes, there were lessons in the classes, but I don’t feel like I know Photoshop any better than I did before I took the class. It was almost a waste of time. I might have learned more reading about the actual principles of design or even by doing a few tutorials on Photoshop where the end project was one I was actually interested in creating.

To sum up, I plan to be done with traditional schooling after this semester. I will officially be a college graduate (an AAS counts, right?!). I fully intended on continuing on to study at Arizona State University in the fall, but I think I am done for awhile. I plan to create my own education. One that involves studying what I love and creating whatever I like… And I fully intend on sharing what I find in this series.

But I digress…

Today, as I realize it’s Monday and I know there will be a new post on Nubby Twiglet (she is so diligent about posting M-F, such a Virgo), I hop on over to find a fantastic article featuring Jan V. White. You can view and read most of his books for free. Pretty amazing stuff. I plan to devour them as soon as I can.

View Graphic Design for the Electronic Age below and enjoy :)


What resources do you use in your design career?

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Hello world!

desk accents

Lovely Desk Details! Click for full house tour, it’s gorgeous!


Well, here we are again. The start of yet another website.

And of course, this time I think this is it. But then again, I say that every time. What’s the return policy on domain names again? I’ve officially become somewhat addicted to “naming my business”.

Anyway, as I’ve said a million times before, I think this is it ya’ll. “Pretty Code” it is, right here on prettycode.co. Now, if only I could get my hands on the .com!

So, this is where I plan to take note of my journey as I become a full-fledged graphic + web designer. Check back often!

To-Do List for Pretty Code:

  • Make header image responsive. Easy! Just had to upload logo@2x.png to FTP
  • Create custom page layouts. It was already an option on the pages!
  • Add all sidebar widgets
  • Add contact form
  • Add portfolio gallery (no more fwding to Cargo Collective)
  • Add suggested themes under theme shop until I make one (ones I like from other designers)
  • Add services (research pricing, process, packages) - Kind of done… need to re-do!
  • Find shopping cart solution for downloads + actual items -Society6!
  • Resources page (for myself and my readers, with different sections) + Tutorials (as I learn them+use!)
  • Freebies section (computer backgrounds, iphone backgrounds, ect.)
  • Shop (other items, iphone covers, tote bags, tshirts, ect.) Partner with another site? -Societyy6!
  • Get all social media in order (Pinterest and Twitter=done) + Add buttons like on So Chic
  • Setup email address on Gmail
  • Add support page, with support ticket area if there are questions w/ themes (future)
  • Add FAQ page, life story, camera, services… ect.
  • Advertising (Passionfruit Ads)
  • Terms of Use and/or Client Contract
  • OR have one SHOP with Logos, themes, accessories, fonts (make own font!), + printables sections
  • Organize Categories, so when I post it is EASY!
  • Think of a couple different regular blog posts to do every week. About 3 a week. (link love, tutorial, featured designer, personal)
  • Look at putting up themes on github for version control.

Phew! I have a LOT to do! And pretty much all within a week before school starts back up again! Wish me luck! Okay, off to bed for me, it is WAY past my bed time!