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Software Engineer, Michael Peres, battled ADHD to success

A software engineer and successful entrepreneur are defying the struggles of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by doing the things he loves and earning from it.

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Peres, also a mathematician and travel entrepreneur, is looking at ADHD as an asset rather than a liability.

Peres was able to transform his hyperactivity disorder into an energy source that fuels his mind and body to create successful businesses – the Hecto Fox and Hexa Tiger, web hosting and web development companies that are getting popular at present, now reaching over 400 clienteles in just a span of 3 years.

Peres was diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disorders at 9 years old. His mother was so concerned with his condition that she made sure he consistently take his prescribed medication Ritalin, an extended-release stimulant. 

ADHD can be a serious condition that when left untreated, can lead to frustrations and further psychological problems throughout a person’s life.

Although Peres’ complains about the side effects of the drug, the times when Ritalin works made him unstoppable. These are the times when his creative ideas come out, providing him with an avenue to channel the negative energies of ADHD into something worthwhile. 

As a child, Peres suffered the stigma of ADHD. He was always labelled as having learning disabilities. He needed to have a separate learning environment as secular education was difficult for his condition. Socially, he could not also relate with peers so he devised ways in order to accommodate his needs. 

Peres found his passion for computers. Because he could not connect with other peers, he would lock himself in a room, learning about technology. His knowledge about computers also helped him earn at a young age as his high school and the community where he lived would ask for him to solve their computer problems.

Peres, who hails from a Jewish community in Montreal, Quebec Canada, completed his bachelor degree in Computer Science in the same city. 

He had challenges while in college, but with a positive mindset, he engineered solutions to address the difficulty of learning in a regular class by going to the library and educating himself. He would only come to class during exams, which proved effective as he was able to complete courses related to Calculus, Linear Algebra, Physics, and Java Programming. Later, he finished a degree in Mathematics from Yeshiva University in New York City doing the same technique.

According to Peres, it is up to the person with ADHD to learn to deal with the disability and make the challenging situation into a manageable one, engineering solutions to fit one’s dreams or ambition.

Today, Peres made a vow to help other people with a similar condition as his. He created a program called Breaking 9 to 5, Breaking 9 to 5, which introduces a 10 step program designed to help entrepreneurs like him to watch over their businesses while enjoying the benefits of travelling.

Digital Art 101: Everything you need to know

Lately, many artists are diving into the imaginative world of digital art because of the comprehensive opportunities that it holds. Trying to switch to a digital medium is not an easy task. For an aspiring beginner, becoming a digital artist from scratch may seem a like a daunting endeavor. But with some practice and skill, the pen tablet can turn into your wand in no time.

Learning the basics

Even if you’ve been exploring art as early as childhood, you will need to become familiar with the techniques of painting digitally.

Because it is significantly different from traditional art.

Firstly, you need to get an overview of the different tools and brushes that exist and how to go about using them. From personal experience, I would suggest experimenting freely with all of the brushes until you start to understand how things work. And of course, there are millions of tutorials online that can help you get a head start.

Debunking the age-old myth

I hate to break it to you, but no. Drawing digitally is not “easier” than drawing on paper. No matter how convenient it may seem, it does come with a lot of complications, so don’t go into digital art thinking it’s going to be a walk in the park.

You don’t have to stick with Photoshop

When people hear the words “digital art”, they automatically associate it with Photoshop. Many assume that it is the only program available to draw with. While learning Photoshop can be great for you in the long run as an artist, it is not the most user-friendly software for beginners. You can explore a variety of other programs like Clip Studio Paint, Krita, Autodesk Sketchbook (did I mention this is free?), MyPaint (also free), Corel Painter Essentials, etc. All these new programs have truly made digital art a lot more approachable, so try a bunch of them and see which one works for you the best.

Use photo references

Let’s be real, it is unrealistic to expect that you’ll know how to draw everything and anything in this world, and that’s why photo references exist. Using hand drawn sketches or photographs as a photo reference can really ease up your creative process. Additionally, there are plenty of stock websites that solely exist to help you with this, so go on and scour the Internet for whatever you need. But remember, the idea isn’t to completely recreate these images; it is only there to help you start off so you can add your own intricate details to it and eventually be able to draw without the help of references.

Pro tip: When you’re struggling to find the accurate photo reference of a figure, just make your friend pose accordingly and use that instead!

Using layers

I cannot stress how important it is to understand how layers work when it comes to digital painting. It is a magical feature that will make your creative process ten times easier. Knowing how to use layers according to your own advantage will give you a lot of power as a digital artist. Because then, you’ll be able to edit your art without any restrictions. Even though layers might seem confusing at first, it is really is a no-brainer once you start using it.

Investing in a tablet

One of the cardinal tools for digital art is a graphic tablet. Using a mouse will hinder the quality of your work immensely while also making your fingers numb (I kid you not). The number of options out there can make it seem like an impossible task to choose the right tablet. The truth is that there is no one right tablet, and it all comes down to your own requirements and affordability. Some of the most popular manufacturers right now are Wacom, Huion, XP-Pen, Ugee, etc.

The important part is to spend some time researching. Maybe watch some videos on YouTube, and figure out how much you’re willing to invest in this. Some important things that you want to keep in mind are the size, pressure sensitivity, pen, accuracy and of-course, the price. Not all of us can afford the really fancy, expensive tablets, especially beginners, so you can consider going for a modest one to help you get started.

Tip: Wacom Intuos is one of the most recommended graphic tablets of all time at an affordable price and is great for entry-level artists. It also comes with three 3 free drawing software.

Try again and again and again

Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP.  One of the biggest eradicators of creativity is our own self-doubt. But as a creative individual, you have to push through it and start believing in your own work. Keep striving to improve every day and don’t be disheartened by comparing your progress to other artists who have had years of experience. Remember that they also started off somewhere, clueless, just like you.