Starting to get into design

I’m currently in grade 12 only 17 years of age. My plans for after high school is design education and job but I need to get a portfolio started soon.

I’m currently getting a Macbook Pro so I’ll be able to run any program for computer since Mac’s can double boot Vista and OS X. So far I’m thinking of investing in Adobe CS4 Design but I’m still unsure because I don’t know what else is out there. I’ve done some research but haven’t really found anything relevant.

Also my grandma offered to invest in a Cintiq 21UX for me. Is it worth it?

Thanks,
Fruit+

Well a free 21ux would always be nice, but I think putting the money (two grand) in a short term CD and allowing it to reinvest for a few cycles is a better plain. In the short term I would say pick up an Intuos 3 (used, but in good shape). I would definitely get CS4 at the student rate, you only need the really expensive pack if you are going to do a lot with movies. So you probably do not need that, just get the one that is packaged for designers. I would not run vista on a MacBookPro, and I am using vista right now. I would get xp, and then upgrade to 7 when it drops. Other then that, don’t grow an ego for your foundations classes in college, sign up for the Autodesk student community and get all that free software. Also start drawing and sketching quality sketches . It might be slow at first but you will get faster as you work at it.

The best bit of kit you can buy is:

Pen, few markers and lots of paper.

Dont go wasting money on a cintique now, its purely that wasting money.

Learn now at how to get competant at sketching before you get distracted and laden with other requirments at uni. It aint easy, if it was everyone would be doing it.

You’ll learn CAD and other programs at university they’re not that difficult to pick up once your taught the basics.

Likewise with software, yeah photoshop is probably worth getting hold of as is illustrator but exactly do you intend to use them for. If its for laying out your folio i would recommend indesign or illustrator.