Resources for the graphically-challenged

Look ma! I'm an artist!

Look ma! I'm an artist!

I have a confession to make. Words are easier for me than pictures. I can type a description of something faster than I could draw it. It's not that I lack any esthetic sense - I know what I like when it comes to picking yarn colors to knit a sweater, or picking out backsplash tiles for our kitchen. But if I have to design something from scratch, I'm stymied. 

As you probably know, being able to create visually-interesting content for social media is important. Graphics, like photos, art, videos, and even memes, attract readers and add interest to your written content, whether on a blog or in a Facebook group. I even recommend changing the banner visual on your Facebook business page or group page on a regular basis to keep things fresh and generate interest.

I have discovered two resources that help me enormously when it comes to creating visuals for social media - Canva and Creative Commons. 

Canva is a free online tool that helps you create all kinds of marketing materials, from Facebook page banners to event fliers to business cards. You start with a template, and select layouts, backgrounds, text, and other elements (such as photos) from the Canva palettes to create your marketing piece. Many of the basic elements are free, and they offer higher-end elements for a small price per piece. You can also upload your own photos and other graphics to use in your creations. The beauty of the social media templates is that they are specifically sized for use on various social media platforms, eliminating all that guesswork. There is also a paid option for Canva, which basically allows you to create and share content with your teams. 

Creative Commons is an American non-profit organization that provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to artists, photographers, musicians, and other makers for a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use their creative work. It's a great way to find stock photos or clip art to use for your content. You can search their website here for material that you can use for free or minimal cost. Each maker sets their conditions for use, so be sure to read the usage conditions carefully. Some photographers want attribution, for example.

Between Canva and Creative Commons, I almost feel like an artist some days!!