Digital painting for beginners

Hey artist!

Painting and art, in general, is all about bringing your creativity out (in this case, on a picture). Although people are born with the natural talent of drawing & painting, I believe everyone can learn to draw, paint and make art. If you are one of both, I’m here to give you a startup on digital painting.

Since you have decided to go digital, there are few things that differ from traditional painting in a digital painting.

digital art
Illustrations by hopeasfro

Notice it’s digital ‘painting’. This is a branch of digital art. In this post, however, I’ll refer to it as digital art. Note, I mean digital painting – as digital art can also refer to image editing which we aren’t talking about here.

When I started digital art, I had no idea what to do with the instruments I was given on the digital art app. I didn’t really know how to use layers or the brushes; changing brush shapes, maintaining art quality, e.t.c. nothing and that affected my work in the beginning.

In this post, I will be discussing on the colour scheme, canvas size, brushes, layers, art quality.

Colour scheme: This is referred to the different shades of a colour. This can be divided into colour terms such as tint, hue, tone and shade.

Colour Scheme

Now, some artists tend to use just any colours on their artwork. There are colours together which are not always to be so. There’s a very informative post I think you should view on the colour scheme. see here.

However, you are the artist, be free. It’s your art.

Now ‘choosing colours’ has been settled, we move to the digital in full.

Canvases: Most, if not all digital painting apps allow you to choose the size of the canvas and also a background colour for your artwork (I.e canvas colour). These are two major things to note on your canvas.

– canvas size: Some people tend to use too small or too big canvas sizes. You should choose your canvas size depending on your audience. How would they view it?

For example, my audience can be my Instagram followers. If I choose screen size as the size of my canvas when it’s time to post it, it’s going to be cropped or if I try to edit it to show in full, there would be white spaces as Instagram photo size is 1080px – 1080px. The canvas size was too big (the height was longer than 1080px).

Also, if my canvas size is too small, it will not only be hard for me to zoom in and add more detail while drawing, uploading it, the picture will expand and that won’t be good quality. It will be blurry.

– Background colour: Just as a warm colour tends to look cool when put between cool colours, it is the same for colours on a light or dark background.

With a light background, you tend to see bright colours too bright and vice versa, thus might not use them and pick something darker instead.

Sometimes it’s best to use a neutral colour like grey as a background colour. Some people are good in choosing colours no matter what background anyway.

It’s up to you.
Brushes: This is something for a different post. It is too bulky, so here’s a link to something useful Brush sets and uses. Yes, it shows brushes accustomed to Autodesk but, you pretty see similar brushes in other painting apps.

Basic mistakes in digital painting

Layers: As a digital artist, it’s best you learn to start sketching in layers. For example, drawing a landscape, with grasses and trees and a house close by. The lawn and trees can be on one layer and the house on another.

art hopeasfro
The houses were on one layer and the trees on another layer.

This helps the artist to be able to work on the background which is the lawn and not affect the house. Also in case of a mistake or change of mind, the artist can erase, draw, change on a layer without affecting the sketch on another layer. Altogether, the layer combines to make a picture with trees and a house close by.

– know your way around: Now, say making another layer (layer 2), if you sketch on layer 2, and decide to go back to sketch on layer 1, your sketch won’t be seen where the sketch of layer 2 lays.

The layer with the pale blue is on the first layer and the sketch using brown is on the second layer. You see, the blue isn’t visible where the sketch on the second layer is.

Here’s a link to more on the use of layers in digital art.

Art quality: I think maintaining art quality is what you learn over time. Apart from making sure the canvas is the right size so it doesn’t get blurry, I found out that using the smudge tool over and over an area doesn’t bring out a sharp blending.

Also getting the right image format is important. By saving your digital art in png or tiff, you are able to resave, share and edit without your picture losing some of its quality. If saved as Jpg, editing and saving your work again, your digital art will lose some of its quality. However, some drawing apps automatically so you need not worry.

Thirdly, I have learnt to use tools that give me the effect I want and not over manipulate to try to get it using a wrong brush. In conclusion, master your brushes, pencils and tools (multiply, overlay and the rest) in general.

Do you have questions?

I will love to answer,

Leave a comment!

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Book Review: After they left

This book opened my eyes to things I did not know was going on. I knew lots of terrible things happened in IDP camps like rape, hunger and neglect by people and the government. But, organized child trafficking?

Here’s the back story, the novel by Edify Yakusak tells the story of two kids, Kim and Jugu. Both happily lived with their parents, well for Kim not so much. There is a kind of restricted relationship with Kim and her stepfather due to her will to hate him, one reason is that she just couldn’t call him dad, not after she did with her first one. Perhaps, his nature was too good to be true and the normal thing is to make him earn a good place in her life complex with loopholes and daggers flying around — I mean, you can’t just give him the benefit of calling you ‘child’ just like that?  However, all these pre-teen rantata comes to a halt when their lives turn around, their little town situated in Jos is attacked by religious fanatics.

Mother, father, children are separated. Kim has to fend for her 2-year-old brother Jugu while hiding away from attackers. Mafeng the mother finds herself in the hospital but will not be allowed to get out easily, while Kim and Jugu find themselves in an internally Displaced Camp, nothing else could go wrong… wrong they thought.
They soon find out that the camp is just a front for illegal and obscure activities.

Some of my favourite scenes in this novel are Mafeng and her husband, Samuel, also Kim and Juju’s escape. The imagery is so concrete and you could imagine the scenery, maybe it helps that I have visited Jos Town, the setting of this novel.

Overall, the book highlights some of the critical issues in society, religious crisis, security issues,  government neglect of responsibilities, corrupt government officials, it highlighted overlooked crimes on Internally Displaced Persons, human greed and Child trafficking.

The book gets light-hearted once in a while but still keeps you on your toes. Nice read from Edify Yakusak and a debut. I will rate it a 7/10.

Sneaky questions | Faith talks

I have just read the journey of the Israelites to the promised land, Canaan, from Exodus to Joshua. It was quite surprising to learn the Israelites, that just came out from Egypt decided to turn to idol-worshipping when they hadn’t heard anything from Moses since he went up the mountain. They saw the water part ways for them to pass during the chase from Egypt, they saw manna from heaven, not to mention the wonders performed by God through Moses in Egypt.

It was quite surprising to learn the Israelites, that just came out from Egypt decided to turn to idol-worshipping when they hadn’t heard anything from Moses since he went up the mountain.

It quite the same today. Sometimes we tend to forget, to forget that moment you saw or heard someone get healed by the name of Jesus. You might forget when the Holy Spirit revealed something awesome to you or warned you about something that, eventually played out and you were safe because you heeded His voice. Sometimes those sneaky questions come up in your head and even though you could have an answer to it—with all your experiences, you loose words. These things make the culture you left behind more compelling. It might have been the culture you grew up with or the one you found growing up before, you came into Christ.

Not only yours but other people’s testimonies of what God has done. What that person and name Jesus, did for them.

I think this is a major reason to have a gratitude journal or book, or a category on your phone’s notepad for testimonies. Not only yours but other people’s testimonies of what God has done. What that person and name Jesus, did for them.
Also praying to get closer and be more aware and conscious of the Holy Spirit because He answers those questions but, you might not be listening. Because, perhaps, you’re panicking like ‘why does this keep popping up in my head😩?’

So remember all the things, perhaps, keep a journal!

All the loves and hugs🤗
A sister in Christ💕

15 annoying things people who wear glasses can relate to

I have been wearing medicated eyeglasses for a few years now and these are annoying questions people ask me and things I need to put up with, and I know other eyeglass wearers can relate.

1. You can be asked why you can’t see the details of a tree miles away (which is already humanly impossible) while wearing glasses. First of all honey, these are medicated spectacles not a pair of binoculars.


2. That blurriness on your glasses when it has been scratched countless times and it needs to be replaced. Like ugh, glasses are meant to make it clearer but it does the opposite.

These are medicated spectacles not a pair of binoculars.


3. While drinking hot drinks, the steam settles on the lens of your glasses. Just take them off, take them off.


4. When people start questioning why you aren’t wearing your glasses 24/7. Well, I can still see my way and objects not so far off. We are all not the same anyway, there are different people in this eyeglass wearers community.


5. That annoying moment when you forgot your glasses on your face and you looked everywhere for it already.


6. You were so excited about your new coloured frame but now it doesn’t fit your style or match your clothes.


7. People constantly asking you if your glasses are medicated.


8. When it starts raining and the lenses are all covered up with water. Now you can’t see.


9. That moment your eyeglasses crash on the floor, lens first. My chwest!


10. Dressing for a day out and the question comes up “to wear glasses or not?” because both give different looks😩


11. That moment you find a smudge on your glasses so you use the corner of your shirt (’cause you forgot to wash your glass cleaner) but you end up rubbing the smudge all over.


12. On your phone, while laying in bed, then you turn to the side. The struggle when the pillow starts pushing the frame into your skin🙄


13. When your new glasses that you tested and it fit properly at the store, gets tight around your ears. The sore painnn😬


14. When you remove your glasses after a long day and it’s taking ages for your eyes to reset. Makes me wonder if glasses do make eye problems worse🤔


15. Ah and the last, That moment your friends ask you how many fingers you see. Like will you get those chopsticks out of here!

That’s 15 annoying things people who wear glasses can relate to

20 things you probably didn’t know about me, it’s my birthday!

April 5th is my birthday and I celebrated it in a giveaway to my followers. I didn’t go anywhere due to the lockdown but that didn’t stop me from stepping outside to breathe in fresh air under the shade of a tree.

I will like for you all to know me more so, here are 20 facts about me. While your here, I also have a giveaway for my subscribers and you here!

20 facts about me

1. I wouldn’t call myself a clean freak but I’m very careful on what I touch. I hate germs.

2. Following the first, I don’t open public doors with my bare hands. People sometimes look at me weird, but you never know🤷🏽‍♀️.

3. I wasn’t really a fan for brushing my teeth when I was younger. Don’t judge me!

4. I started art almost 3 years ago and I’m loving it.

5. I love chocolates (bounty, kit-kat, milo to be exact).



6. I published a novel The sand mile in 2018. I did not mention it a lot though. It’s on Okadabooks.

7. I really like cooking (cooking things I like) my YouTube playlist is filled with cooking videos. Specifically baking chocolate cakes and making Nigerian cuisines.

8. I turned a year older.

9. I love children (nice ones 👀) They ask pretty interesting and out of this world questions. You can learn a lot from them.

10. I still watch some kids’ shows. Child at heart!

11. I hate it when people chew gum and make bubbles then bust it in their mouth. It makes a sharp loud sound and done repeatedly, it makes me cringe.

12. I love cotton slip dresses.



13. I love mangoes and red grapes.

14. I used to love toasting my bread, my grandmother used to call me Miss T. T for toast.

15. Sandals are one of my favourite footwears.

16. I blog about pleasant lifestyle (includes my thoughts on a topic, product reviews and things I do every day).

17. I teach art (specifically digital art) on the blog. So, if you want to go into art, I got you 😉.

18. I’m quite a private person so sharing this with a lot of people is quite new to me.

19. I will really like it if you join the tribe of readers by subscribing to the blog 🤗

20 I love you all so much, thanks for your support.

That’s it!

While you are here, please subscribe to hopeasfro blog newsletter 👇🏾

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Fundamental stuff in visual art I wish I knew

Hi! You want to go into art and you hear words described as ‘art language’ but can’t seem to get your head around it, well, I’m here to help.

Now that you have been inspired to take part in visual arts for instance painting, you have scrolled through lovely art on social media, followed your fave artists,or maybe not. There is still a bunch of things you need to be familiar with. Keeping them in mind can be of help as you grow to the level of a pro.

This is a bunch of visual art fundamentals I wish I knew as a young beginner artist. It would have left me with lesser mistakes — that I ended up making in earlier artworks.

There are a lot of materials out there by the PROS on visual art for every topic, so, I will be introducing these terms and topics. If I have a another post that discusses it extensively I will link to that post. If there are other websites that discusses a topic at length, as well, I will drop their links. It’s about learning and I want to provide you with the materials to get it.

Color theory

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Color wheel showing warm and cool colours
  • saturation: Refers to how intense or rich a colour is. When you mix a colour with another, it tends to be less saturated than before. Look at the colour wheel.
  • value : refers to how dark or white a thing is. You see this mostly in shading. Value goes hand in hand with shadow and tint. We tend to darken a colour (that’s apart from changing the hue a little bit) when we are shading, the value of that colour is darker than before. When a colour gets lighter, it seems like it is fading away.
  • Hue: basically the colours on the color wheel
    — Warm and cool colours – reference color wheel. In art, both warm and cool colours are used in artwork to achieve contrast, it makes the artwork more appealing or it can serve as a way to attract the viewer’s eye to an object. For instance, use a picture.

Tip
Don’t pay excess attention to this. I’ve found out that when I pay too much attention to sticking with ‘the rules of colour theory’, it sometimes comes out too rigid, no exploration of different shades because I’m trying to stick to what I perceive would be accepted, and it just takes out the fun off of colouring. To an extent pick whatever colours you want to. However when the  colours seem to be off together, then you know your choice of colours, their values or how saturated they are is what is wrong.

Perspective

Perspective comes to play when you try to draw a three dimensional object (the object has a height, width/breadth and depth) on to a two-dimensional surface, for example, a canvas.

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Perspective in a photograph. Canva photos

You are trying to create an illusion of depth. Two-way perspective was a bit complex to me — sometimes, it didn’t look realistic and that made me feel bad😔. However, with a couple of practices, I got better. I found out that if you weren’t getting it right, it was best to use perspective lines.


Artist network wrote a good article on how to draw in perspective. There’s also this quite interesting article on When to use different perspectives
Angles.

Tools

I really underestimated the need for variety of tools, not a lot, just the essential. I had a very limited set of brushes and that didn’t work well. I thought brushes were brushes, no matter the type (I’m self taught, don’t go hard on me 😩) For a traditional artist (that’s one that applies paint on a canvas, their tools can be held, the paint can be felt) we know his tools will be:

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • A sketchbook
  • Canvas
  • Paint brushes
  • An Easel

Tools for example, different sets  and types of paint brrushes help you achieve your desired shapes and when adding texture. We know that for you to paint a tree, a fan brush is recommended. Same thing with digital art. When painting digitally, there are different brushes to use at your disposal and they all give a different look. It’s really good to change your brush while painting so you wouldn’t make repetitive brush strokes.
That’s why I really like autodesk sketchbook (this is not an ad). There are a lot of free brushes to try out if you decide to do digital art. Also, some cool artists make their brush designs available for purchase. So, there, tools!

Characters (anatomy)

Characters are the main conveyors of the message in an artwork. They may take a human or animal form.

anatomy--fundamental-stuff-in-visual-art-i-wish-i-knew--hopeasfro.blog
Teach me how to play art by Idoroenyen

Starting out my character drawings were a bit messy because I didn’t bother to master anatomy. If you are going to be drawing characters close up you will need to learn anatomy to make it as realistic as possible. Even those who draw figures in an abstract way need to know the basics.

Effects

In photoshop and most digital art programmes, you will find things like overlay, lighten, screen, multiply, darken, glow. These are photoshopping effects that digital artists use to add life into their artwork. It’s not a must to use it, it just make things pop… That’s If you properly use it. There are tons of tutorials out there for you to watch. Some of these give similar outcomes like overlay and screen for example. They both lighten the colour underneath. However, screen leaves it lighter, like a higher tint.

In this illustration on top, we can see how these effects work. It’s in the shading of trees and where the sunlight hits surface of things. This is part of a wallpaper collection I’m working on. Some of them will be used for giveaways on my Instagram page, so stick around 🙂.

In the mean time subscribe to the newsletter for early bird updates and news.

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Reasons why drawing from your imagination is complex and how to beat that.

Taking a picture from your imagination or head and replicating it on a canvas or paper is quite different from drawing from reference or observation.

Drawing from observation is basically studying things like your surroundings or an object and replicating what you see on a flat surface. What you observe is the object(s) structure, lighting —where the shadows fall, colours involved, angles. An artist drawing from reference is basically copying what he or she sees. We’ll, drawing from your imagination is also copying from what you see, but it’s more of what you think you see. Although it takes a level of skill to be able to replicate what you see in an object, the reference picture is more concrete.

hopeasfro.blog why drawing from your imagination is complex
Drawing from observation is basically studying things like your surroundings or an object and replicating what you see on a flat surface.

That’s where it gets complex. You imagine this beautiful scenery in la la la land—so beautiful you want to immediately put it in paper so you can show the world! However, it’s not coming out right. This is not what you imagined, and why can’t you draw what you imagined? I mean, you can draw! But, that is not the case.

Here are

Reasons why drawing from your imagination is more complex

1. Product Your imagination is fuzzy

Truth be told, your imagination is not 100% clear. A real life object sitting in front of you is more concrete, even though what’s in your head feels so alive. Some parts are blurred out and the main object in your imagination seems to be the somehow clear part, the rest of the other objects just seem to be in the background. This makes replicating what is in your imagination a lot harder, ’cause you’d have to fill in a whoke drawing surface! Also, the colours. The colours need to be got right for what you are drawing on paper or canvas to resemble what you imagined.

2. Your imagination is in motion

What you are be imagining might be in motion. For example, a moving bus with kids sticking their heads out of the window, screaming for joy as they make it to their camp spot. This is what is going on in your head. Now the question is how can you pause what is playing in your head and replicate it on a surface? Sometimes applying life and motion to your artwork can be quite complex and what happens when motion characterises what you have imagined. If you aren’t able to put life into the artwork, then it’s likely not to resemble what you imagined.

hopeasfro.blog

3. Applying what you have in your imagination on a flat surface

When you were imagining a nice waterfall in the heart of the jungle, you weren’t thinking of it on 12×14 inch board. Your imagination spanned a large surface with more and more trees behind each other, you could take a 360° hop around and still see the land and its waterfall. However, you just need to put a section on it, on paper. Angles are necessary, precision is much necessary.

Reasons why drawing from your imagination is complex and how to beat that!

4. Old-fashioned texture needs to be applied

Texture, texture, texture! Texture is what brings a drawing to life and most times, objects imagined have texture but it’s not paid attention. Instead what is paid attention is the surreality of what you imagined. I am just like “wow!” We tend to forget a lot of things make u p what we see everyday and what we imagine are objects we see everyday but in a different reality. Objects we see have texture.

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5. Need more practice

Drawing from your imagination requires a lot of practice to get it right. Try taking part in exercises that will help you recall what you have observed, you might be able to recognise an object but not able to draw it. That’s because there is something called passive memory. Passive memory is what helps you recognise day to day objects like a tennis ball. It helps you subconsciously remember a thing that you have seen once or a lot of times. Active memory on the other hand, helps you recall something you consciously put in memory, like the name of a town you once visited. Because you recognise some thing doesn’t mean you really know it (its different parts, real colour and feel). For instance, you can recognise a friend as soon as you see them but if you decide to draw them when they aren’t present, you will find out you have no idea what the shape of their eyebrow really is.

However if they come to you with newly groomed eyebrows, you will immediately recognise something just doesn’t fit — even though you might not immediately point out the groomed eyebrows. That is passive memory. Active memory is what artists use. Start by memorising an object and keep recalling it. Try to see if you can draw it on your own later.

When I started digital art, I skipped drawing by observation and straight up started to draw from my imagination but still drew from observation sometimes. Over the years, this has helped me a lot.

Bonus tip: When drawing from your imagination, take time to step back a bit, observe your artwork in process and check if you are on track.

How to draw from your imagination

Another bonus tip

Try as possible to observe your own imagination. Assess what you understand about the objects you imagined. Make a rough sketch to see if it fits proper.

Ways to make extra cash | LIFE ON CAMPUS Ep 4

On the last episode of the Life ON CAMPUS series, I talked about managing your expenses and how to cut down on costs as a student. Now with this post I will be touching on Ways to make extra cash living on Campus.

It is best to have a little income coming in from the side and not rely so much on student loans or sponsorships. Thus, I’ve put together a list of ideas to try out- as they can fetch you some money.

1.Hair dressing

The hair industry is booming now more with the way people are transitioning back to being natural. If you’re able to braid, make different styles with coily and other textures of hair without over manipulating it, then you might want to try this. Not many naturals would like their hair blown out or flat ironed before it can be made, and this is what some street salons now require. So, you are solving a problem.

2. Sale

Buy something cheaper and in bulk, then sell them off when demand is high and supply is low. This is one of the popular ways to make money and you can join in too. Find a problem or shortage, and bring in the solution. I have a post on Tips for self branding. It is going to be helpful if you want to take this path.

3. Use your blog

Think about monetizing your blog. For instance, help ‘trusted’ brands advertise their products on your website — be it on the homepage or in any related post.

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Make sure you trust these brands, assess how their products are like. You don’t want to be advertising something fake, it will reduce your credibility before your viewers, and it is just not nice.

3. Birthday planner

Events are good ways to make some extra cash. Try branding yourself as an event planner or to niche it down, a birthday planner.

That’s if you have some fun ideas for a birthday in your head waiting to be shown out to the world! Of course this job requires you to be well organised, give great attention to detail, able to negotiate prices and able to adapt to change of plans. Try starting small as well, you don’t want to be planning over the top events whilst facing school work— but hey, if you can, OK.

4. Graphic designer

Due to a high need for visual presentation(the brain tends to process visual content faster) graphic designers have been on high demand for the purpose of advertising, even Web designing and for magazines.

5. Illustrator

Just like graphic designers, demand for illustrators have been on the rise too!

An illustrator simply makes clear a literary work. An illustration helps the reader comprehend and fully grasp what has been written, through pictures. So if you are able to draw or put pictures together, you can be an illustrator for magazines, books and so on. I am a travel illustrator, and pleasant lifestyle-magazine illustrator as well. You can check out what I do on my Instagram or on the website’s gallery.

6. Research assistant

hopeasfro.blog ways to make money - life-on-campus

While this might not fetch you money, it helps with your portfolio later on. You are also adding more value to yourself by what you learn in the course of research as well as being indirectly mentored by who you are assisting in the research.

7. Work part-time

Work in places like restaurants, sales (check out counter), supermarket, cleaning stadium (services basically), virtual assistant: I see virtual assistants more like a personal assistant to someone from the comfort of your room.

That’s it!

These are some of the few legit ways to make extra cash, because, woahh things do take up some of your money. I have a post on Living expenses on Campus, it includes ways to manage your funds better.

Big sis advice…

Take it easy on your school life. Always try to celebrate the small wins and find a good and loving community like your community church. Remember, God loves you and you can always begin to speak to HIM.

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Living expenses | LIFE ON CAMPUS

You’d be surprised what you spend your money on living on Campus. However, in this post, I’ll be showing briefly, ways you can cut down on these costs and spend your money on things better.

There are few things that large amounts of your money go into. One is accommodation; the second, living basically. This includes, feeding, transportation, Internet. Third is entertainment, shopping — secondary things basically. These are what I’ll be touching on in this post.

1.Looking for Uni accommodation

If you’re out looking for where to stay, go for cheaper accommodation, a uni accommodation close by saves transport money but rent can be expensive. Weigh your options, if rent of accommodation closer > accommodation’ rent farther + transportation cost, then you might want to choose accommodation farther off— that’s if both rent and cost are less that accommodation closer to uni. I say this because accomodations closer to uni can be pricy for such quality they give, they can be small and cramped.

Tip: when you move into your accommodation write down things available in your flat – including the state they were in (Like is it in good state, in bad state? ). Show it to your landlord and both of you should agree or if possible, get it signed. That way, you reduce the chances of paying for things that were never there or had spoilt before you came.

Tip2: look out for hidden payments, let what you are paying (anytime, for anything) be clearly spelt out!

Reduce how many times you eat out, there is food at home

I think most of us remember disliking this sentence as a child whenever, we asked for a snack in the grocery store. But having food at home instead of eating out, saves a lot. Cook up your meals on Sunday and stuck up your freezer for the week. If you’re not so good in cooking or recipes, YouTube!

If you’re somewhere you can’t cook your food, not a problem, there are other ways to cut down on living expenses.

Note! Please eat properly, try to get nutritious foods. Neglecting yourself isn’t good. On a post, I talked about how I skipped meals and how it affected my body’s health Here.

SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!

Save, find out where your money is going into and try to reduce it, review your bank statement and see why you withdrew money each time you did, I can’t stress this enough. For example, is your money going into data, try to see how you can cut down on spending that much, does your mobile network provider have any plans for students or one you can use that is cheaper for you?

Also, you want to cut down on raves, weekend trips, unnecessarily spending on food and clothing. Check out my tips on saving Here. With saving, you can be able go on better, ‘new experiences’ holidays.

I hope you liked these tips, what other ones do you have, please share in the comments. If you have questions concerning this topic, leave them in the comment box, I’ll be happy yo answer.

How to write a good personal statement | LIFE ON CAMPUS

So you’re looking for internship placements…There are many job/ internship placement opportunities that will require you to submit a personal statement.

There are many job/ internship placement opportunities that will require you to submit a personal statement. Some people are already familiar with what a personal statement is, as some universities require you to have one as a requirement to be accepted– as well as with your certificates.

Not only universities require personal statements of interested applicants, you might need one to get internship placements, industrial training. In fact, it is sometimes recommended to attach a personal statement to your CV (if you are strictly required submit just a CV, you might not want to attach a personal statement as they strictly require a CV).


How to write a good cover letter

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is a short (2 or 3 paragraph essay) summary that describes who you are, your skills, achievements, goals and the reason for your application. You are trying to convince the recruiter that you are a perfect choice.

how to write a good personal statement - life on Campus - hopeasfro.blog
You are trying to convince the recruiter that you are a perfect choice.

While personal statements can vary pertaining to organisation or position (for instance, a personal statement by someone looking to get into university and someone looking for an IT slot), there are few basic things to add into your personal statement and tips on writing a good one.

1. Know about the organisation

First things first, any student looking for IT placements needs to know about the organisation they intend to apply for. What type of organisation is it, is it an accounting firm, a law firm? How does the nature of the institution correlate with your career path? If you would like a paid internship, if possible find out if the organisation pays its interns.

2. How can the organisation be of value to you?

Think about how the organisation can add value to you. That is, in your skills, experience and strengths. This needs to be spelt out, as that will help you write your statement.

3. Plan your essay structure

It’s OK to have few drafts, as long as you get the right one. Your first draft is where you plan your essay structure. Like I said earlier, personal statements are used to tell whoever is reading who you are and everything about you they need to know.

how to write a good personal statement - life on Campus - hopeasfro.blog
It’s OK to have few drafts, as long as you get the right one.

Most importantly, talk about yourself a bit more, do not over define the specific role or subject you studied. For example, if you are studying business and want a placement in an office, do not spend a whole 30 lines paragraph on who a business person is. Instead, write how you can be of help to the company, how you can add value with the skills you have been able to learn after a year in university.

See an example of a personal statement structure —

First paragraph : Start by giving an overview of what you study, your career path, why you chose to study the course, what you intend to do with it, your interests and skills that further propelled you to study that course. Why you want an internship. Make it interesting to read, something captivating!

Remember, the first paragraph is the charm

Second paragraph : Give the reasons why you are interested in getting a placement at that organisation, explain how the organisation can be of help to you (for example ; “ABC firm is a reputable establishment and with a large share in the market, it has become a household name. I would love to serve as an intern as I can surely learn and sharpen my marketing skills” . It’s just a quick example but I hope you get the gist).

In the second paragraph, you also explain a little how you can be of help to the company, again highlighting your skills and strengths. Put in some of your achievements in school or in your community other work experience (you can add why you want this one, how it can be a valuable addition to your other experiences). Show off what you have learnt being in university and be detailed about it. I am guessing you would have spent up to at least four semesters in uni before your uni program asks you to go for industrial training.

Portray how much you’d love to have a placement at that workplace or organisation, in the body of your letter.

Impress the recruiter with your knowledge on the company – that requires extra reading.

Third paragraph : Discuss your hobbies and interests and link them with how it can help you in the workplace. You can also discuss vaguely about your future plans career wise and how interning will help you. You can write down what you expect to learn after your IT program.

You’re probably wondering “well, didn’t I write that in the first paragraph?” it’s best you touch on it a little at the end, sort of reminding the recruiter who you are.

Conclude with a call to action. For example , “I would love to, or I’ll be looking forward to your acceptance”.

4. Tweak Tweak

rewrite your statement, remove unnecessary information and add what’s necessary.

5. Give an expert to go through it

It might be a lecturer friend, someone who has interned before .

6. Reread with fresh eyes.

What to check out for in your personal statement review

1. Don’t copy – be original, don’t copy a personal statement you saw online, you can get caught and it doesn’t say nice things about you. You can learn from personal statement structures or formats online.

2. Make it readable and easy to understand. Do a grammar check, make sure to put punctuation marks where necessary, avoid words or phrases that are cliché. Crosscheck your work, ask if it all makes sense.