I tell all my students to take art classes, as many as possible. Any designer can get good with the programs, it takes an understanding of design to really set yourself apart from the rest. Learn the elements and principles of design/art and the rule of thirds, understand color theory. Look them up online. I heard paint.net is decent if you cant get your hand on Adobe's creative suite. Doing research is also key. Look at what has been done in the past. Example:if your designing a CD cover look at 35 cd covers to see what has been done before you and steal ideas and adapt them to your needs. Dont copy someone's ideas, use them/modify them etc. Keep a sketchbook & jot down designs & ideas that interest you, you'll always have a place that you can turn to when you need to generate ideas. Work up more than 1 idea for a design & look for feedback from your peers or those who have more experience & skill. Soon you will be sought out for your advice. Practice, practice, practice. Cheers-
Hello, I saw your reply about creating signatures and was about to start studying some graphic design. I was wondering if you had any good advice or tips to help a beginner out. I currently have Paint.Net and my tablet should be arriving next week. Thanks in advance.