After a long day of 7th grade, my friend Marvin and I walk over to my house to do our usual evening routine of eating, jumping on the trampoline, and exploring the internet. We're jumping on the trampoline and I ask Marvin with little to no breath "Do you know how people customize their profiles on Myspace?" He stops jumping "I know how to make a background for your profile on photoshop." With a very confused look, I ask "What's Photoshop?"
We immediately jump off the trampoline and run to the basement to get on the computer. By this time, I had finally convinced my parents to have DSL instead of dial-up internet. Marvin instantly looks up how to download photoshop onto my computer so he could show me what exactly it is. Photoshop CS2 downloads and opens, "this is how you could make a background for your profile," he says.
Till this day, I'm not quite sure how Marvin knew about Photoshop, nor do I remember how exactly he downloaded a pirated version of Photoshop onto my computer, I just remember seeing the opportunity to have a cool profile on Myspace. In the next coming weeks, I would learn some very simple image manipulation, how to export that file, upload it to my Photobucket account and get a URL so I could then add that to an HTML template I had found online. I would repeat this process about 2-3 times a week in hopes that I could get to my profile to a place that I wanted it to be at. My friends started to take notice and would ask if I could create a background for them.
A few months of learning Photoshop just about every day and a couple of different background creations for friends under my belt, I log onto Myspace and I have a few pilled up notifications. I look to see my new Friend Request and there was one of a guy who I had seen around in peoples comments. I accept and he instantly messages me and asks, "how much do you charge to create a background for profiles?" I couldn't believe what I had just read. Someone is willing to pay me to have fun creating something for them?
At the time, I solely wanted to learn this tool to create cool things for my profile. I did not think that I should learn how to "design" to make money. The gig paid $20 and just like that, I was hooked on the idea that using Photoshop and tools like it, could be something I pursue to do with my life.