Continuing our coverage of summer/end of the year-related posts, this week we’ll be covering a valuable school resource available during the summer. As you probably have guessed by now, thanks to the title, we’re talking about Lynda.com.
Even if this happens to be your first quarter, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Lynda.com from one of your professors. Depending on your major, you might have heard about it from all of them. The quick description you’ll usually hear is that Lynda.com offers tutorials for various software programs like Photoshop, Flash, etc.
While that is definitely a part of it, there’s a lot more to it. Keeping some of these things in mind during the break, and using them, can do nothing but help you in the long run.
We’ve mentioned briefly the software tutorials available on Lynda.com, so for now we’ll leave them be. It’s safe to assume they’re the most familiar aspects of the website to students. Instead, we’ll start with a Lynda resource that is a little more obscure: documentaries.
It’s true, Lynda.com has documentaries available for instant streaming. And this isn’t just one or two of them, we’re talking about 52 documentaries ranging from 15 minutes to 1 hour in length. A large majority of these are closed captioned and they all focus on the art field in some way.
Documentaries on Lynda generally fall into two categories: those that focus on a particular artist or company, and those that focus on a broader subject of the art world. The great thing about both kinds of documentaries, is that they focus on people and subjects that have value to your education.
Take for example the documentary on Italian artist and designer Simone Legno. Creator of the popular tokidoki clothing brand and designs, his documentary focuses on character design in Adobe Illustrator. Not only do you get a glimpse into the artistic process of an established, successful artist, you also get an insight into how that artist uses the same software you are more than likely using in your classes.
This one-two punch of information gives you the advantage of knowing what goes in the mind of a successful artist, while also picking his brain, figuratively of course, for the best techniques to use when developing your own character designs. And all of this in a quick and easily accessible video format. If your summer happens to be particularly busy, this is arguably the most efficient and least time-consuming resource available at Lynda. Try having one on while you work, inspiration may strike you depending on what you watch.
But, let’s say you’re looking to have a more hands-on summer. Maybe you’re looking to work on something new, something different from an art-related program. Well, Lynda is still a valuable source, believe it or not. See, not only does Lynda offer design tutorials, it also offers plenty of business-related ones. Thinking of brushing up on your branding/self-marketing skills? Maybe you’d like to know more about how to work social media to your advantage? Or would you prefer to just go over some Microsoft Word functions to create a better resume? All of these options, and more, are available through Lynda’s “Business” subsection.
Don’t let the word “business” throw you off. There isn’t any stuffy or dry language here. It’s just a collection of tutorials made with a design focus in mind, so the language will be familiar and accessible. And, if you could spend your summer doing even something small to increase your business sense, is that really so bad? Your bank account will thank you in due time.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Lynda without the opportunity to learn more about design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Here, finally, we come to some familiar territory. But don’t rest on your laurels, this section of Lynda is just as important to keep in mind during your summer as the last two sections. Whether you’re searching through a broad subject like “Photography” or looking for help in programs b a specific company like Adobe, Lynda.com remains one of the best resources. Plus, since you’re a student, it’s all free. What better way to learn while saving money from any summer job/regular job/freelancing you might have?
In all likelihood, you’ll have a busy summer. However, part of the beauty of Lynda.com is that the resources available aren’t time consuming. The documentaries are relaxed due to their nature as something you watch and the tutorials are separated into small sections that you can go back to at your will. It’s easy to fit time in your schedule for them, and we recommend it, because knowledge can only help your career.