To kick off our new “Get to know the Author” series, we invited popular Infinite Skills training video author Andy Anderson to get personal with us. Andy is the author of a number of our Adobe courses, including Photoshop, Lightroom, and Dreamweaver. He’s also taught specialized courses for photographers, such as Photography for the Web, Photo Restoration with Photoshop, and Learning HDR Photography. Click here to view all of Andy’s Infinite Skills training courses. Now, let’s get to know Andy!
Infinite Skills (IS): How did you get started in your field of teaching?
Andy Anderson (AA): You might ask that same question to anyone: how did you become an airline pilot? Or how did you wind up being a lorry driver? I love teaching, but I’m not sure exactly how that came about. I teach photography, graphic art, and design; I even teach cooking classes. When I started at university (many years ago), I taught programming languages (RPG, COBOL, BASIC). It would seem that I’ve spent my life in the pursuit of teaching, or what I like to call: the art of communication.
IS: What’s been your favourite course to teach for Infinite Skills thus far?
AA: That’s a difficult question because I think I’ve enjoyed every course I’ve taught for Infinite Skills. But, if pressed, I would have to say that the courses I’ve taught on Adobe Photoshop were probably my favourites. I’ve been using Photoshop since it was picked up by Adobe, and that was over 20 years ago. Yet, even though I use it almost every day in my work, I am still finding new ways to use it. When you think about it, that’s pretty amazing for an application that you’ve been using for twenty-plus years. Amazing indeed.
IS: What do you think about the advancement of technology, as it applies to your area of expertise?
AA: I’m glad you asked that question, because it’s something that has been on my mind for a bit of time now.
My first computer was an IBM PC XT. It did not have a hard drive (they hadn’t been invented yet), and it had a whopping 8k of memory, plus a screen that displayed an amazing 256 colours. Programs were loaded via 2 5.25 floppy disks, and it took forever. and the even more amazing thing was that old computer that you wouldn’t use for a boat anchor today cost over $5000 USD…FIVE THOUSAND BUCKS!!! And the cheek of it all is that for all that money, there were no applications available that would allow me to work with or manipulate photos and/or video.
Today, of course, systems are over one million times more efficient than that first system I bought, and we can expect more amazing things from Apple and Microsoft as times moves forward. I had the opportunity to try out a new system that knocked my socks off. It’s a system that allows you to work with your hands, literally in the air. For example, if I’m reading a book and I want to move to the next page, all I have to do is swipe my hand in front of the monitor, from left to right, and it moves to the next page. As time goes on, I see us becoming more and more a part of the computer…that’s scary and exciting at the same time!
IS: What are you doing when you’re not teaching a course for us? (Now it gets personal!)
AA: Well, that depends on if it’s work or play. As a writer, I’ve written around 17 books for major publishers, on subjects like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. About 10 years ago I wrote a book titled 1001 Tips on Adobe Photoshop, and it still stands today as the largest book ever written on that subject. It weighed in at over 1200 pages.
A few years ago I began looking into self-publishing, and I wrote a science-fiction novel, The Phoenix Project, and a cookbook, Cooking with a Plan, and placed them on iTunes, Nook, and Kindle. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to get a book published nowadays, but if you have the will to write you can get it published.
If I’m not writing or having a putter in the garden (I enjoy gardening), you just might find me in the kitchen. In a former life I was a trained chef, and worked in two restaurants in Naples, Italy, and two in Chicago, IL, USA. Today, I manage a small catering and private chef business that doesn’t really get much business, but I like it that way, and I teach an occasional cooking class.
I’m currently working on another cookbook of Autumn recipes, and a book on Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud. And even though work and hobbies keep me pretty much occupied, you can still find me, on a nice Summer’s Eve, sitting out by the pond staring at the fish.
Finally, Andy’s been kind enough to share some of his personal photos with us! Take a look at some photos from Andy’s past, as well as his present:
Andy’s first car:
Andy’s first camera:
Andy in his studio (where all the magic happens):
Andy in his garden:
Andy as a chef: