Building a Visual Database with Miro | Janet Hild | Skillshare

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Building a Visual Database with Miro

teacher avatar Janet Hild, Artist, Textile & Surface Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Build a Visual Database Introduction

    • 2. Start an Inspiration Board

    • 3. Upload Images

    • 4. Finding Sources

    • 5. Finding Your Way Around

    • 6. Using the Tools

    • 7. Using Frames

    • 8. Sharing Your Work

    • 9. Start Your Inspiration Board

    • 10. Concluding thoughts

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About This Class

The whiteboard app, Miro creates an ideal vast space in which to upload, organize and share artwork and design assets. Join me for an overview of how I use the program to gather my thoughts and my images in one great big space.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Janet Hild

Artist, Textile & Surface Designer


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I am a watercolor artist, living in the Pennsylvania burbs.  I have a Masters in Textile Design and have been a freelance designer of all things pattern for many years.

Head over to my Instagram page to see the botanical art I am creating,

I’m fairly new to watercolor, but I am in love with watercolor paint and brush pens. My favorite way to work is to paint freely with drips and splotches and then take the work into Procreate to perfect it. I love to make patterns and illustrations that bring smiles and joy all around. Check out my new prints on Etsy and favorite to see new things when they arrive.

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1. Build a Visual Database Introduction: Hi, I'm Janet Hill. I'm a surface pattern designer. I worked on designs for commercial and residential interiors, children's fashion and women's active where? And I teach textiles and sustainability in college. As any designer, artist, or photographer knows, we have a ton of files in different locations. Dropbox, hard drive, photos, the web. It can be a challenge to gather different resources together. I've discovered a whiteboard app called morale. It was created for teens to collaborate together on projects. But I'm using it as a visual database for my work. It's an amazing resource. It's easy to gather everything in one place. I've created this class to show you what you can do with morale, uploading your work, sharing with clients. For photographers or artists, course creators, anyone who needs a visual database. And if you'd like to print out your work to put in journals like this. It's really simple to do that to how do you organize your work. This is one way I've been using for years, but now morose given me a different way to organize my images. It's really easy to use. I'll show you how it works. Click on the link provided all you need is an email address to log in. 2. Start an Inspiration Board: When you first open Miro, you'll see a window, something like this. Initially your work given three free boards to work in, I am now paying for a plan which gives me unlimited boards and other features. I have a board for abstract painting work, one for a meditation project I'm working on. I have a single collection in a board, as well as a board that contains a lot of my work. I'm working on trend boards and I'm starting a vision board for next year. I also have a section for classes I'm working on. And client boards. To start a new board. Click in the new board window and give it a name. I'll call this one Inspiration. And click create. Right away. This window will open a virtually unlimited offering of templates for various projects. I don't currently use any of these, so I'm just going to click away. And what I'm given is a large blank space in which to upload my images. 3. Upload Images: There are quite a lot of ways to upload work into the board. I'm going to start with this arrow upload. And when I click on that, I'm given a list of options. I can upload from my hard drive. Saved files refers to file saved within the Miro program. Currently I only have my logo there. I can upload from Google Drive, from Dropbox, from the Adobe Creative Cloud folder that sits on my hard-drive. There's also OneDrive and box. I don't use those, so I don't have those installed. And then the three dots at the bottom of this toolbar gives you other options. Webpage Capture and Google Image Search are very useful and I'm going to click on Google Image Search first. And I'll type in, since this is an inspiration board, I'll start with looking up Pantone colors. I always like to start with a palette. And I'm given a large amount of images to choose from, I'm going to select a few things and I don't need to hold any keys down on my keyboard to get multiple images selected. Just gonna pick a few things to look at. And then I'll hit Select. And I'm scrolling with my mouse. To back out. It looks like it didn't get all of them. But I'll keep what it what is here. And then go back in and try a different search. I know Sherwin Williams recently came out with their colors of the year. So it will look up those. I like to work in home decor. So I like to keep it a track of what's happening. Now, I'll pick a few of these. I'll try to get a range of things that might be useful for me. You can always come back and reselect. So I have a colors, some neutrals to work with. So that's good. I can also upload using Webpage Capture. I'll just put my website in here. It's loading. You'll see that it's uploaded the first page of my website as one single image, which is pretty useful to see. It's also useful when you have a big image like this to crop out anything you might not want. So maybe I just want to have this image for my board. And I can change the size of this by clicking in the corner. Also note that it's just masked the page. It hasn't actually gotten rid of anything. I can also upload from Dropbox.I'll bring in this image. I can upload directly from my hard drive. Or I can drag and drop from my files or my camera roll. Here's some photos that I've taken and just drag them over and drop them on to the window. And then if I scroll on my mouse, I can see where everything is. And if I hold down shift, I can draw a box around whatever I want and select and move it around. You can see I'm trying, I'm starting to go with a tropical kind of theme for my inspiration board. I do generally have a plan or a theme that I'm working toward when I start a board. Next, I would like to talk to you about what makes this program such a great resource when gathering images. 4. Finding Sources: If you are like me, you may have dozens of screenshots and images on your hard drive. When you go to look at those files, you may have no recollection of exactly where you got them. In a board like this. I'm looking at color, so any image is fine. But when I get to the drawing stage of the process, I need to know if my inspiration images are open source or copyright protected. Most of the time I won't know. In this program, Miro has included a useful feature. The Source button. Any image uploaded from Google Image Search or Web Capture. Has this button. I can highlight the image, click the Source button, and arrive at the original post. Each of the images that I downloaded from Google Image Search has this button. And from Web Capture. My website also has this button. With the Dropbox or Google Drive images. Clicking on the source file button will take me directly back to the source of the file, right into my Dropbox. And that can be really useful also because sometimes I forget where I am holding an image. But the, the program lets me know where it is and also what I've named it. With photos and files from my hard drive. The Source button is missing from the image toolbar. That is an easy indication that these images came from my hard drive and not from the internet and not from Dropbox or Google Drive. That's also very good information when I'm working on an inspiration board or a trend board. Because I always want to know if I have the right to use an image. Let's stop to review all the different ways to upload images I've uploaded from my hard drive. I can open files or drag-and-drop files and photos right onto the board. I can use Dropbox, Google Drive, and other resources. I can upload from Google Image Search and Webpage Capture. I can check source files. And if there isn't a source file, I know that image came from my hard drive. Image files can be JPEG, PNG files, PDF files, even Photoshop files. As long as they're under 30 mb. 5. Finding Your Way Around: I've taken some time to add to my inspiration board. I have three main ideas started. But before I do anything else, I want to go over some of the basic functions of this program. Let's first take a look at the map window in the bottom right corner of your screen. Right now my window was closed, but if I hover over it, it will open. And if I click on the pin map icon, it will open and show me a map of everything that's in my window. I can see from this that I have one image off the screen. So I can go and grab that and move that into view. And now you can see my map window has re-centered. When I click on the double arrow, the program will fit everything into the main screen. I can zoom out and zoom in incrementally. And if I click on the number in the far right corner, it will zoom me all the way in to full size on all the images. As I scroll with my mouse in and out of the program, you can see how much visual space I have to work in. To me, this is an amazing concept to have virtually unlimited space in which to lay out my images. 6. Using the Tools: I haven't used all the tools available in this program. Tools I've found useful are on this vertical toolbar. The top icon is the direct selection tool. And you can also access this by hitting the V on your keyboard. With this selected. You can select an image, change the size, and move it around. And you also get the image toolbar. It has the name, the crop tool, the Source button, if that's available. And under the three dots, some more options. You can add the image to the saved files that are held within the Miro program. And you can copy or duplicate. You can also select command or control C to copy on your keyboard, or command or control D to duplicate on your keyboard. And you can hit delete here or you can just hit Delete on your keyboard. Also on the image toolbar is the download button. When I click on this. The image is automatically downloaded. When I open it, it comes in full size. Even if I have changed the size of the image on my board. When you click down on the window in the background, you get the hand icon, and that allows you to move everything in the window. The second icon is the template selection icon, and that brings up this window again. And then after that is T for text, also available by hitting T on your keyboard. I label my inspiration boards. And this toolbar comes with all the ways to manage text that most programs have. Just click on each icon and other options come up. Right now it's set at a very low font size, so I'm going to bring that up. And then I'll just give my board a name. Just to kind of keep it in mind. The purpose for this inspiration board. It helps. Next on the toolbar, I like to use sticky notes to make short notes to myself. I'll put one right here. And then I'm going to just type in little note to myself that I want to create a pattern with those whales. And the other tool on the toolbar that I like to make use of our cards.Put one down. And cards are different from sticky notes because they give you a large amount of space in which to give yourself a note. And so I write in some notes to myself. And then I have that to look back to. The last tool on the toolbar that I like to make use of are Frames. And that's here. But to show you this, I'm going to go to a different board I have. I'm going to take you to my categories board. 7. Using Frames: In a class I took recently, the teacher asked us to look at our work to see where we have an abundance of work and where we might be overlooking an area. With this program, I could create categories easily. Now, I don't want to spend a lot of time showing you all of my design work. If you want to see my work, please visit my website at Janet Hild However, this was a really useful task and showed me where I was maybe a little light in some areas and where I have more of an abundance. It also gave me a bird's-eye view of my style and how consistent I am within categories. This is also a really useful way to create printouts of my designs. Frames offer a way to collect images together. To create a frame. Go to the frames icon, click it and pick an aspect ratio. I will pick letter. It seems a little random to me where the frame enters the window. But here it is. It comes in highlighted. And when it's highlighted, you can move it wherever you'd like it to be. If you click away and the highlight goes away, just click on the shadowed edge and the highlight returns. Here you can change the aspect ratio and also you can name the frame. A nice feature of frames is that you can download everything within the frame as an image. I will change this aspect ratio to letter, go to the three dots and export as an image. I'm given the option of a small, medium or large JPEG or PDF. I'll hit Export. The file comes in my Downloads. I like to cut out samples of my designs to put into a journal. So this is a useful way for me to do that. But another useful aspect of this process is to create jpegs that I can e-mail to clients, like this one. I've entered my logo and my contact information and a little description of my designs. And I can print this out. Or I can save this as a Jpeg and email it to a client. I can also make use of frames in a client meeting by heading down to the bottom corner and clicking on this arrow to open the tool bar, and then clicking on the first icon, Frames. Now I'm given a list of all the frames in my window. When I click on one, I'm taken directly to that frame and can move around my board that way. In the next video, I want to show you how I use Miro to connect with clients. To do that. I'm going to go to a different board. Since I started working on this class, I've added a board of flower photos from my photos app. I was looking for images to use as cover images for the class sections. And I realized having a board of flower photos would be really handy. Photos can be like Instagram for me. Where I go in looking for one thing and end up scrolling and getting lost. And when I want to paint, I can come here to look for photos. Since I've taken these. I don't really need to know the date when I took them or even mostly where they came from. Although I did label these came from Greece. But it's a nice way to get a look quickly. And I've loaded quite a lot of them already and haven't even spent much time on this yet. Back to where we were going, which was to my collection. 8. Sharing Your Work: Morale has a great sharing feature that you'll find in the top right corner of your screen. Click on the share icon. And here you can enter your client or team member emails. If you sign up as part of a team, then everyone can access the sharing feature here, or you can provide access by sharing a link. So I'm going to set the shared link to anyone can edit. I can set a password if I want to. I'm going to copy this board link and share it with a colleague. And then I'll be back. I've shared my board with a colleague. And now I'm going to click here to show their cursor on my board. When you work with a client, most likely they will enter their name. And so it won't say gassed, but it will say your client's name and on their board, your cursor shows with your name. And so I've asked my colleague to create many collections with my larger collection shown here, just to demonstrate to you how this might work. And I've actually had three team members working out once on a board. It's a lot of fun to see them moving their cursor around and watching the way they think about the designs. So we're just kind of watching this associate work to just move the patterns around, just to demonstrate how things might be done together as a team. And when they're done with their project or you're done with your sharing project. Then you can go in, click back on share, and change, can edit to no access. And then your client has the access removed. They no longer have access to your board and the link that you shared with them is no longer active. In my work. I've had only small groups working together on one board. But I have seen a classroom board with about 30 students in the same board moving their work around. And it can be a really dynamic feature that can be a lot of fun and a great way for a teacher to gather work together that's visual. Now I let my associate go, but if they were still here, I might go to the bottom left corner to this toolbar. And here I can start a video chat. Here we are high. Rather than opening zoom, we can just have a video chat right here. And then using frames, I can group my designs to move them and then use them as a presentation. 9. Start Your Inspiration Board: Here I am back at my inspiration board. I still have a lot of work to do in this board. Before I would begin to draw for this collection, I will continue to add images and notes to myself and also will include early sketches. Before I start to paint and move on to Procreate. We have covered some of the tools available. Text options, ways to create notes and label your work. Using frames for gathering work together, and options for printing and sharing your work. I encourage you to start an inspiration board for your next project or collection. I'm sure this community will find more ways to make use of this amazing resource. The program is available as an app for your desktop and has a mobile app as well. Although I haven't tried that yet. I've included a link to Miro in the class resources. It is an affiliate link. So I would appreciate it if you would click on that to sign in to the program. My website link is also listed. Please join me there to sign up for my newsletter. 10. Concluding thoughts: I hope you've enjoyed this class. I think Miro is an amazing resource for any visual artist. But as a surface pattern designer, it's been incredibly helpful for me to organize my ideas and my finished work. I hope you enjoy working on the program as much as I do. Post a screenshot of your first board in the class comments. I'm looking forward to seeing those.