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Instructional Designer Trades in Watercolors for Pixels

Years ago, J.P. Kabala put down her paintbrush and picked up a mouse, trading in watercolors for pixels.

Kabala, an instructional designer and artist who lives in Florida, has been using Jasc® Paint Shop™ Pro® for both fun and profit since Version 4 and is actively participating in the Beta testing of Paint Shop Pro 8. And while Kabala still finds time to watercolor the old-fashioned way with brushes and an easel, she said she spends more of her time working digitally.

It was after taking one online class in digital painting, that Kabala decided this was a medium she wanted and needed to master. Dozens of classes, many books, and innumerable hours of study later, she said she's still learning something new every day. But it was that first class that changed the way she looked at digital art.

"I learned a new way to look at images," she said. "It changed the way I do things forever. That's when I stopped watercoloring and started painting with pixels."

“Once I made that conceptual leap, I began to really appreciate the power and versatility of Paint Shop Pro.”

J.P. Kabala
Instructional Designer

Kabala said the transition wasn't too difficult because of the similarity between the mediums. "Watercolor and pixels are both ways of painting with light," she said. "Once I made that conceptual leap, I began to really appreciate the power and versatility of Paint Shop Pro."

"I love Paint Shop Pro because of the vectors," she said. "I build the bones of my work in vector and layer the raster in. When I tried other products, I used to have to sketch in one product and then paint in another. But now I can do it all in Paint Shop Pro."

But Kabala doesn't just use Paint Shop Pro in her art, she also uses it to make a living. She runs her own instructional design firm, Kabala Portfolio Design.

"I get paid to do instructional design—educational CD ROMS, Web sites and class materials," she said, "Visuals become an important part of my work."

The challenge she faces is teaching complex technical information to non-technical people, she said. "My job is to position information so people can understand it, put it into context, retain it, and use it."

“With Paint Shop Pro I can communicate in a visual way. That's why I keep buying it.”

J.P. Kabala
Instructional Designer

Kabala also freelances as a graphic designer and Web designer with clients that range from attorneys to publishing companies. Paint Shop Pro provides the foundation for this aspect of her career.

"It was tedious," she said. "Something that would have taken three hours takes three minutes with Paint Shop Pro."

"Whenever I make a logo, I give it to my client as a Picture Tube™, a custom shape, and a brush," Kabala said. "With Paint Shop Pro I can communicate in a visual way. That's why I keep buying it. I have tried all the other products out there, but if I need to do something fast, smart, and painlessly, I boot up Paint Shop Pro every time."

Even with her freelance jobs and design firm, she's still found time to beta test Paint Shop Pro 8 and is excited about all the new features that streamline the effort necessary to produce professional results.

"I love the Warp tools," Kabala said. "I love the Balls and Bubbles special effects. The full-screen previews and the selections really help. What Paint Shop Pro can do with the selections and the background eraser are amazing!"

Kabala said she told everyone she knew to download the public beta the minute it came out because of the precision Background Eraser alone.

"And people are going to love the one button photo fix, it resolves multiple photo correction issues in one stop" she said. "It's the killer approach. People just want to get things done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Paint Shop Pro 8 helps you be more productive and achieve professional results faster."