Shop Small is a concept that is very important to me yet I still have to go back and re-evaluate it regularly. As a graphic designer with an Etsy shop it is close to my heart but I am constantly updating my understanding of what it means.

There are always going to be some things that have to be mass-produced by large companies such as cars, phones and computers. This is something that was reiterated to me at the Etsy UK Captains Summit in London last year. We can, however, shop around and shop small when it comes to other things.

So, while I’ve often used fonts, brushes, tutorials & templates created by indy designers I hadn’t contemplated using anything but Adobe CS or CC for my main design packages. However, having a subscription had not worked out to be financially viable for me last year and this year it is due yet another price rise so I have been researching alternatives.

I found a couple of blog posts recommending alternative packages but most of these did not cover all the software I use. Then my friend Victoria from Destai Designs shared a post that mentioned Affinity Serif that peaked my interest. Some of her other creative friends also commented that they had used it and liked it. When I spoke to my partner about it he said he had been on the Affinity Photo Beta programme. This peaked my interest further.

Cue my turn to join their latest Beta programme. I downloaded and installed the Affinity Publisher Beta and checked out their forum. This then motivated me to downloaded and install their trial version of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. The former is a vector based graphic design software while the latter, as it sounds – is photo editing software. This completed the trinity.

The trial period gives you the full package to evaluate for 10 days from the date you first boot it. I liked what I saw and as I had signed-up for their mailing list when I joined the Beta programme they sent me details of their spring sale. It was impossible to turn down the sweet ‘20% off discount’ as offers like this don’t come up very often.

Starting again from scratch is definitely something that makes me feel a little uneasy but the QA Tester in me is excited for the challenge. I bought myself a new bullet journal for my notes and decided to combine my journey into learning with the 100 day project. I plan to post regular updates to my social media about my progress so keep a look out for them.

With this in mind I also signed up to Skillshare to learn as much as I can during this time. I will pass on tips about all the features from the Affinity software and the Skillshare tutorials that I find interesting. I’ll also share the names of my favourite tutors.

There are many indy designers and developers out there that need our custom and our support. I hope to start sharing many of them with you during my 100 day project. #the100dayproject

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