As of right now, I'm a junior in my high school.

I took a photoshop class for a semester in my sophomore year and now I want to increase my skill and creativity in photoshop for many reasons. Such as, doing it for fun, selling some of my art, create things for any future games I might create (since I'm in an programming class in another school), create anything for any websites I might create, etc.

I no longer have that class and they only taught the basics, leaving me feeling empty handed.

When I look at tutorials in photoshop, I see myself wanting to have the skill people have in photoshop and I don't want to copy anyone because I'm not creative or skilled enough to create something on my own. If you have a solution or advice, people tell me, anything will help.

Please and thank you.

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    From a master creative mind, Stephen King, who gets asked daily ' how do i write a best selling novel?' His answer. "Read every day, write every day" And from my high school art teacher ( and Paul Weller) even more direct, "Start!" Everyone has creativity by birth and everyone can 'learn' so you are already well equipped. Like a musical instrument though it takes practice and an investment in your subject - if this is for you as an ability / job, then it will come. For me it was one Summer break as a student, 3 months most days I noodled and I was hooked. 20 years later... Mar 31 '17 at 9:21

I would really encourage you to look into Photoshop Battles. This was started many years ago by me and a few friends but continues to this day on a number of websites. The easiest for you to probably find regular "competition" at would be the Reddit Photoshop Battles area:


It's very different and more open than how it began but is still excellent practice to strengthen your fundamentals and give you an outlet to practice on.


The skills: Increase your Photoshop skills by redoing what the others have done. Learn to master the tricks.

The creativity: Find something that is worth of doing - not, because you think it may be considered good, but because you think it's good.

That was especially easy to write, because it holds no point to start from and no direction.

But the possiblities are infinite. One of them:

  • close Photoshop, take a pen.
  • look around or take a book. Find a thing so simple that you can draw it recognizably
  • draw the thing (no high art, only recognizable)
  • imagine a reason, why this one thing in some situation would receive the honor to be well presented (a special property or remarkable role in something). Lets call your ideas =XXX
  • add XXX to your image, minimize the text, use images,keep it as simple as possible.
  • repeat the process in Photoshop. You can use clipart and effects, but do not add anything flashy if that was not in XXX

Done? Congratulations! you have completed your first piece of art.


  • take 2 normally unrelated things and create a connection between them
  • we take something granted "this way it has been and will allways be" Break it. Imagine a case where it is otherwise and of course it is. Draw it.

I personally like Adobe's library of tutorials.

Check it out!

A lot of them are project based and give you something to do along with the article/video.

When I start using a new product (especially an Adobe product), I always start with what the creators have to offer as getting started guides etc.

In Adobe's case, they provide a vast library of tutorials and articles that are sorted by Photography and Design-based skills.

Take a look here to start.

As for becoming more creative...

I would honestly start by copying others.

Let me explain.

Copy someone's design that you like. As you make it, think about why you like it. What specifically do you like about it? Could it look better?

Play around with the design. Change some colors/fonts/textures. Eventually, you'll end up with an entirely new piece of work.

A lot of the time, great design comes from improving on work that has already been done. (Don't reinvent the wheel)

Here are some books to take a look at.

  1. Don't make me think: Revisited (this one is more about web layouts etc. but it has some great teaching principles in it and I'm personally a big fan)
  2. Steal like an artist
  3. Creativity Inc.
  4. The Creativity Challenge
  5. Creative Workshop (still working my way through this one, but I like it!)

And lastly...

As Brendon Urie said to me two days ago, "Never stop creating. Never stop trying. Because you'll only get better."

If you want to be creative, draw something every day. Write something. Take pictures. The more you do it, the better you'll become.


If you have no objectives you will get nowere.

You provided a long list and that is your problem. You are not focusing.

A focused list would be:

"I want to combine a photo of a person with a background of a cityscape and make it look postapocalyptic."

That way you have steps to follow, cutting a person, choosing a background, retouching a background, merging the images.

So my advice will not solve you a "creativity" crisis, on the contrary, that will come after some time.

1) CHOOSE what you want to do.

2) Look for very specific images that have those components you like. (Like the example I mentioned)

3) Focus on getting at least 3-5 projects with that base.

Hopefully, the creative part will grow for that kind of project so the 6th will be more yours, and the 7th will be more.

If you focus on learning Photoshop, you will loose. If you focus on creating something using Photoshop you will win.

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