Jan L., Adobe Tech Tutor

Jan is an Adobe Trainer (skilled in Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, among others). She has a background both as a scientist, and as a scientific/technical illustrator. She retired from Clemson University two years ago but stays active by maintaining her digital illustration skills and pursuing interests such as hiking, traveling, gardening, mushroom hunting, and playing Pickleball.

Jan's Bio

Famous Artist. Yes, that was my professional goal when I was a child, which might come as a surprise when you find out that my educational background is in the sciences. 

Although I started my college career as a double-major in science and art, too many long labs in biology and chemistry forced me to focus on the science path. I decided that I would just try to incorporate art into any job I got. Fortunately, I was pretty successful at doing so, starting with convincing my grad school’s Biology Department to hire me as its scientific Illustrator.  And thus began the long and winding road to my becoming a digital illustration specialist.

Fun Fact: Early into my metamorphosis as a digital illustrator, I was given a copy of Adobe Photoshop. After failing to easily create the simplest of drawings, I went back to Corel Draw. A few years later, I realized my mistake — Photoshop was an image editing program! Adobe Illustrator was the app I should have been using to create my drawings. Takeaway: It is really important to know what a software program is DESIGNED to do and making sure that people know that is a key point in all of my training.

After years working in roles such as Research Biologist, Laboratory Manager, and Analytical Chemist, I was eventually hired as a Software Trainer/Support Specialist for Clemson University’s IT department. By 2009 I was also training faculty, staff, and students on how to use the Adobe (and Microsoft) programs. In 2011, I pitched an Adobe class for “non-graphic art majors” to our Curriculum Committee and got it approved, thereby adding “Adobe Instructor” to my job titles. 

After retiring in 2020, I realize that my goal of being an artist AND a scientist have been fulfilled repeatedly. I have had the pleasure of helping teach thousands of people (yup, thousands!). In retirement, I have continued my love of teaching people how to use the Adobe programs with Digital Helpmates. 

It is great when your job is your passion, and your passion is your job!

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(360) 712-0445 (press 5)

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