by Tory Butterworth
Okay, I'll confess. I'm in love. And it's not with someone rich, or famous, or good-looking. It's not even a someone. I've fallen in love with computer graphics.
That's not to say I'm very good it. At least not yet. I'm sure there's many out there who are far, far better than me. I have to learned to play around with background, layout, clip art, and a tiny bit of animation. I haven't even touched sound and video.
This fall I'm preparing the 25 or so new trainings I will be presenting in 2008. So, I started by creating slides. And then, of course, I had to play around with background color and layout. And then I realized what a difference it makes if I add clip art or figures to the presentations.
Last year at the Pennwriters' May Conference, one of the critiquers in my "read and critique" section suggested I use the "Mind Mapping" technique before writing my book proposal on compulsive overating. Some people describe this technique as, "Making outlines with colors and pictures."
That's similar to the way I use the computer graphics, where I think about not just what I'm saying in the lecture, but how color and image create a certain mood in the presentation. I try to include a piece of clip art on most of my slides. Somehow, including these visual images frees me up to be much more creative than just by putting down words.
And it's fun!
I think about it like setting in fiction. A setting creates an emotional tone for the work. I noticed this when I put together a slide show for a co-worker doing a presentation titled, "From Arrest to Treatment," explaining the process by which people who are arrested can be diverted to the mental health system. As a background for the slides, I chose a picture of bars on a jail cell.
Usually, those sorts of pictures are a monochrome grey, and extremely depressing. I chose one that had many subtle colors in it. I'm hoping it won't be so stark, but will still bring training participants back to the bottom line: these are the options the mentally ill have so they won't end up in jail.
What's next? I think I'll use my new-found computer graphic skills with my compulsive eating book. I'm going to create a workbook!
Have you experienced the joys of computer graphics?