After spending the first 15 years of my life drawing and painting analog, I first dabbled in computer-generated graphics in the mid-1980s on a Sinclair ZX81, followed by an Amstrad CPC664. “Drawing” with these machines meant entering strings of binary code to manipulate ASCII codes into something vaguely resembling images.
Around that time, a Ph.D. student named Thomas Knoll started working on a revolutionary program for making images. Photoshop, as it was eventually named, turns 25 this year, and has been so successful that it has made the rare transition from brand name to verb.
To celebrate the birthday of this invention, and to coincide with the magazine’s special Innovations Issue, I teamed up with Jon Huang, a multimedia editor here, to create a Web-based app that we call “You Made That,” which brings the magic of drawing and painting back to its simpler and messier origin.
I can still recall using Photoshop for the first time. The tool that delighted me the most was not the pen or the brush, but the paint bucket. I had wasted a remarkable chunk of my adolescence with failed attempts to create flat colors in my art, being frustrated by parched felt-tip pens and crumbling crayons and investing my allowance on fancy (and equally useless) designer markers. I have enjoyed the power of producing a smooth monochrome shape for more than 20 years now, but the scars of my youth are still palpable.
Read the whole piece here.