Instead of including a standard bio or “about me" page, I thought it might be more entertaining if I was to include an interview that (hopefully) answers all of your questions about me (Dave Cross) and this site. Unfortunately I couldn't find anyone to interview me, so I decided to do it myself…so here we go:
Q: Tell us about yourself
My name is Dave Cross and for the last 25+ years I've made my living teaching Photoshop (and related programs). I'm an Adobe Certified Instructor and Certified Technical Trainer, and wrote the ACE recertification exam for Photoshop CC. I've taught in every state in the United States, throughout Canada and a few additional countries – I'm always happy to travel to other countries (hint, hint). Along with this new online training addition to my web site, I have taught at many industry events, seminar tours, and conferences, and have written books, articles and e-books, and authored DVDs. My life is basically consumed with helping people get better at Photoshop.
Q: Have you really made a living teaching Photoshop, since version 1?
Yes, I was working for an Apple Dealer teaching PageMaker and Illustrator and taught my first Photoshop class about 2 weeks after it was introduced in 1990.
Q: What makes you different from other Photoshop instructors?
I may not be the only person teaching Photoshop that has a degree in Education, but then again, I haven't met many. And I really think that teaching the program for so long has been a huge advantage for me: I've taught many thousands of people and heard first-hand their struggles with the program. That has been a huge influence on how and what I teach.
This is my full-time job. I'm not a photographer that also teaches some Photoshop: I'm a Photoshop Educator who also enjoys being a photographer.
Q: Do you work for Adobe?
No…. well, yes...some times. Over the years Adobe has paid me to teach for them at industry events such as Imaging USA and to speak at photography association meetings etc.
Q: Does that mean that Adobe tells you what to say?
Ha! No! My friends at Adobe know full well that I'm not shy about pointing out the tools that don't work the way they should, or to poke fun at some of the decisions made by Adobe. But they also know that I'm dead serious about teaching people how to be more productive and creative with Photoshop.
Q: Can your friends at Adobe get me a free Creative Cloud subscription?
Q: What's the story behind this online training site?
Before this I had a few classes on udemy and a bunch of tutorials on my web site – but there was no central place to find it all. This online training site gives me the opportunity to pull together into one place my existing videos and to create tons of new content. Every week I add new content to the site and have a list of tutorials and class ideas ready to go.
Q: Can we see that list?
It's in an every-changing draft mode, so no. But I do encourage every subscriber to send me their wish list of topics they'd like to see me cover.
Q: How do I send you feedback or suggestions for new tutorials?
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - please include "tutorial suggestion" or something like that in the subject.
Q: Will you still teach elsewhere?
Yes, much as I can. I love teaching in person and through live broadcasts on CreativeLive, so I'll still do that as much as I can. And I will teach classes, speak at industry events and spread the Photoshop love wherever I can. But this site gives me the chance to reach lots of other people that I can't get to in person. And just a reminder, if you'd like me to come to teach at your event in (insert interesting country here), I'm happy to chat!
Q: Why should I pay for this site when I get can free training on YouTube?
Ah, the old “pay versus free on YouTube" question. Well, I would answer it this way: although you can find some decent tutorials on YouTube, it's a bit of a crap shoot. I've watched (or at least started to watch and then given up on) YouTube tutorials that were scattered, included unnecessary steps,or in some case just had straight up incorrect instructions. By paying to be a member on this site, you know you are getting instructional videos from a veteran, professional instructor with a proven track record.
Also, I encourage subscribers to request topics and ask questions that I can address in new tutorials. As of now, many of the tutorials were made as a direct result of questions I received from subscribers.
Q: So how are your videos different?
Maybe it's just me, but I don't really enjoy listening to a faceless voice talking to me, particularly when it is accompanied by long periods of a static screen in Photoshop. My videos are recorded in my studio with cameras that allow me to “speak to" my students throughout the lesson. I think that's a real advantage for the learner and is a much closer simulation of what it's like to learn in person.
Q. You offer both the option to purchase individual videos and a subscription – why?
Although the subscription price is a much better deal, I thought that some folks might want to try out a class or tutorial before signing up. That's why there are both options. But the subscription deal is definitely the way to go.
Q: Okay, so why offer both short tutorials and full-length courses?
I've always believed in the benefits of both types of learning: short, focused tutorials and longer, in-depth courses. The tutorials cover a very specific technique (usually with lots of ideas of how to use the technique) while in the courses I'm able to delve deeper into a subject and provide even more detail. That's why I create both types of training.
Q: Can students expect anything else as members?
Glad you, err, I asked. Along with my promise to create lots of educational content, members will occasionally be able to download other goodies such as brushes, actions and presets, and (where possible) exercise files. As I mentioned, member subscribers will always have the ability to send me their ideas for new tutorials and courses. And, twice a month members get exclsuive access to the live Q&A sessions known as Office Hours.
Q: Isn't $15 a month too low for all this value?
Sounds like a loaded question, but thanks for asking. I hope people will find that they get tons of value for their $15 a month. (And considering that purchasing just one course on udemy costs $49, I think $15 a month for total access is a great deal)
Q: What else do we need to know about Dave Cross?
Well I'm a pretty modest, polite Canadian so it is hard for me to talk about myself. I am happy to say that when I asked Bryan O'Neill Hughes, Senior Product Manager - Photoshop for a testimonial he said “If you're fortunate to learn Adobe's applications from Dave Cross, you'll find that he has an abundance of useful, applicable knowledge and a very approachable style. Dave isn't just a great instructor and speaker, he's a genuinely good guy too". I'm very proud of that, and the fact that I was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2009. And I love teaching people about Photoshop!