When I first started to play around with graphic design I had simple image editing software that allowed me to cut images out, fade edges, change the hue and saturation and adjust the contrast. I forget the name of the program I had at the time but there are free programs out there today such as gimp.org that allow you to do many of these simple graphic design steps. As for me, I would play around with software like that for a few years until I decided I wanted to take another step forward in graphic design (since I was enjoying it so much) so I invested in Corel Draw. To me Corel Draw was a much more affordable option than Adobe Photoshop and much less intimidating.
I used Corel Draw for many years as a new and hired graphic designer. Before taking the plunge and purchasing Photoshop I used their downloadable free trial offer on every available computer in the house, making the free trial last as long as possible. I was finally convinced it was a worthwhile and necessary investment for my future graphic and web design business. At first I was pretty intimated by Photoshop but it didn’t take me long before I fell in love with the program and have never looked back. I am very grateful for my time and experience with Corel Draw, but I absolutely LOVE the freedom, creativity and PLUGINS I can get with Photoshop.
If you’re on a tight budget like I was for many years I would encourage you to start small and take baby steps as well. Learn everything you can about the programs you have available to you until you can get the next program or tool desired and learn something new with that.
On the other side of precaution is taking chances.
There is a healthy side to taking chances, walking out in faith and persevering. Many times people can get so stuck in planning and goal setting that they forget to actually do something with those plans. Here’s a great speech I stumbled on from Denzel Washington about taking chances AND setting goals.
“Fall Forward” by Denzel Washington