I use both Photoshop and Flash (and after effects/premier too for cut-scene videos).
Flash is still my animation/graphics software of choice, and has been for nearly 15 years. It gained a lot of haters with the apple iPhone revolution, but thankfully Adobe stuck with it, as they also know its strengths lie far away from just web development.
For 2D animation there's not much that beats it on a similar budget, apart from maybe toon-boom studio, but to be fair the vector nature of flash (export to any size) and the wealth of tutorials and community support gives it the edge in my opinion.
Photoshop is still very useful and on my other game I use it for adding a final layer of detail to all of my flash artwork, including textures and lighting effects. I am tending to use it less tho as flash is getting better and better at doing those things, and I'm always learning new tricks
If you're a student (or teacher) you can get a great discount on Adobe creative cloud (which is a bundle of all of their software), or even pay monthly to have access to just one or two that you need. For what you get its great value and can't recommend it enough. they have hundreds of free video tutorials too.
Flash is really easy to get to grips with, and there's tutorials everywhere for you to learn from. I might record some myself later in the year, specific to creating graphics for visionaire, as for a lot of home enthusiasts that's half the struggle.