As an artist some issues such as Workflow tend to come across as being stuffy and boring. How many of us just want to get in and start working on creating something really cool? That’s where the real fun is, right?

But running around in circles isn’t much fun either. I’m thinking here of the times we jump right into the image adding color corrections, maybe a few effects etc. And then later decide to do the more boring spotting retouching out the little dust specks and stray hairs etc that are always somewhere in the photo.

The problem is what happens when we decide we need to go back and tweak the color, or change one of the effects. If you’ve done the retouching after those steps odds are you’re going to have to do it all again because changing the image below changes the way your retouching blends in.

I see students and even intermediate level artists do this all the time. And it becomes one of the reasons why they hate the spotting and cleanup work all the more.

This is where the idea of Workflow comes in. If we keep in mind Stephen Covey’s reminder “First Things First” and do the boring retouching/cleanup first we’d avoid that running around in circles and have more fun working on the cool parts of the image.

So my suggestion here is to get down and do the the basic, necessary parts first. This means starting off by doing the spotting and cleanup first then move on to creating clean masks for those parts you’re going to need masks for, (how many times have you had to repair 4 or 5 copies of a bad mask?). And then going on to the fun stuff.

A little work here to start of goes a long way towards making all the work flow much easier. And you’ll find you’re having more fun along the way too.

Hmmmm…. maybe Covey had a pretty good idea, eh?

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