Social Media has become the primary platform for many people raising awareness for the epilepsy community. From educational graphics to lighthearted memes, it seems everyone is jumping on the epilepsy awareness bandwagon, not only to educate others but to also heal themselves and move closer to accepting their diagnosis.
It’s not only inspiring to see people within the epilepsy community speaking out, but it’s exciting to see the number of people increasing as discussing topics like chronic illness becoming more mainstream. But, if you’re new to the world of digital art, how can you join in and post your epilepsy awareness graphics? I’m here to tell you it’s easier than you think and to show you how!
Download an App
With so many applications and programs available, you can easily download your favorite graphic design app onto your phone to create eye-catching graphics from your home or while on-the-go.
Some apps have free and/or paid subscriptions, so be sure to find the app that best fits your financial, as well as graphic design needs. If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of graphic design, start small. Find a free app that is easy-to-use and begin making simple graphics that are easy to understand and read.
One of my favorite apps for graphic design is Adobe Spark, which made #4 on MakeUseOf.com’s list of The 9 Best Apps to Create Fast Graphic Designs earlier this year. While not all images in the Adobe Spark app are free, the app offers a variety of styles, layouts, fonts, and custom color choices to really make designs uniquely yours.
The beauty of inspiration is that it can come from anywhere! Maybe you are the mother or father of a child with epilepsy and your child inspires you to advocate for the epilepsy community. Perhaps you have epilepsy and want to help raise awareness for yourself and others like you. Whatever your reason, let it inspire you.
I love finding inspiration in nature. It’s a time for me to slow down, so my mind is less populated with my to-do list, which allows space for new ideas to emerge. Find what helps you to feel calm or at ease, because when we feel that sense of calm, it’s the perfect time for inspiration to strike. As ironic as it may seem, we sometimes need to disconnect in order to reconnect to our creativity.
Pick a Theme or Message
What inspires you to educate others about epilepsy? Let’s begin with a few basic questions to get your creative juices flowing.
- Are you passionate about ending stigmas related to epilepsy or educating others about epilepsy? Then an easy place for you to start is by sharing general epilepsy facts.
- Do you have a child or loved one with epilepsy and you want to advocate on their behalf? You could start by sharing some of the challenges you’ve seen them face to help others understand the reality of living with epilepsy.
- Is there an epilepsy-related topic you feel isn’t getting enough coverage or time in the spotlight? Maybe you want to make that topic your focus, in order to bring more awareness to others.
We may advocate for different reasons, but the goal is the same – education and social change. No matter your reason, it’s essential to always double-check your information to ensure you are sharing facts. There are plenty of websites that offer epilepsy information for you to check out, such as the Epilepsy Foundation, Center for Disease Control, Epilepsy Action, Epilepsy Society, American Epilepsy Association, or the International League Against Epilepsy.
If you are focusing on sharing your opinions, be sure to let your audience know that you are doing so from your personal experience. After all, each of us is a unique individual, our bodies are all different, and so is our experience with epilepsy.
Find an Image
Finding images that aren’t copyrighted can be tricky if you are new to the world of graphic design. You shouldn’t post anything that you didn’t create, without crediting the original creator of the image or graphic.
An easy way to get around this is by using a photo you’ve taken. Since you are the owner, be sure to include some type of watermark, such as your social media handle or website. This can be tricky if you do not have a nice camera on your phone, aren’t able to get out and about, or don’t have an eye for photography. Don’t worry, there’s an easy solution – stock images!
Most people have heard of websites like Shutterstock, even if you don’t work in the design world, but do you know there are other websites that offer free, high-quality stock images? It’s true! Here’s a list of image websites from Snappa Blog to get you started. (My personal favorite is Unsplash, due to the image style.)
Create Your Graphic
Now you’re ready to put the pieces together! Whether your sharing facts, personal experience, or social justice, using the app of your choice, follow the steps below to create your epilepsy graphic.
- Focus On Your Message. Don’t get distracted by all of the shiny images and ideas in the app. You came here for a reason. Focus!
- Decide On a Platform. Where do you want to share your message? Some advocates choose to focus on one platform, such as Instagram, while others choose to share across various platforms.
- Select Your Layout. Your layout style may be dependent upon where you share your graphic. For example, and Instagram story graphic will be a portrait-shaped graphic while posts images are square.
- Choose Your Image. Now that you have decided upon your message, you can easily choose an image that corresponds and add it to your digital canvas.
- Choose Your Colors. Have you ever looked at a social media account and thought, “That looks great! It’s so cohesive!” I certainly have. One easy way to create a cohesive look is by using a color scheme. Pick five or fewer colors to use across all of your posts, and stick with them.
- Choose Your Fonts. Just like having a color scheme can help create a cohesive feel throughout your feed, so can fonts. Choose two to three fonts you want to use and apply them to your graphics to create a branded feel.
- Put It All Together. Now, it’s time to combine your graphic design elements to complete your image. Don’t forget to add your watermark! (It’s important to note that depending upon your app of choice, these steps may shuffle slightly in order.)
- Add Accents. If you’ve completed your image but feel it’s missing something, try adding graphic accents, such as clip art, color blocks, or photo overlays and textures.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
Now that you’re a graphics pro, be sure to share your hard work via your social media, blog, or newsletter to spread your message of epilepsy advocacy!
Remember, some people have more experience working with graphics, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch on at first. As will anything else, practice makes perfect.
If you’re still feeling stuck after a while, try choosing a different app or search your chosen app name online for tutorials, so your search engine input for Adobe Spark would look like
Adobe Spark + tutorials
This type of search will bring up a ton of written or video tutorials for you to review and study. Take your time and find your groove. It’s important that your graphics represent your message and not what’s trending. Authenticity will not only help you to build your community but also build trust with your audience.
Good luck, creating your graphics. Be sure to tag me on social media to share your epilepsy graphics with my audience to help spread more epilepsy awareness!