Two years ago, I became a subscriber to Skillshare, a community of learners and creators. The creative director of a project I’ve been working for sent me an invite. Since then, I’ve been a loyal follower. Why? Because “the future belongs to the curious.”
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Skillshare for Explorers
When I was a little boy, I hoped that someday when I grew up, I’d become an astronaut. Explore new life and civilizations. Boldly go where no one has been before.
A few years later, I would’ve modestly accepted the opportunity to fly planes, especially jet fighters. Of course, passenger jets would also suffice. However, because someone told me that eyeglasses and jet fighters don’t play well, I’ve decided that becoming a vigilante would also be a good career choice.
Well, I ended up being a lawyer. However, I have an issue with charging money for justice. So, I had to diversify.
I’ve always been a computer guy. A self-taught one. I tried Linux distributions, built an automatic food dispenser with Arduino (and, in the process, lost my connection with my cat definitively :( ), configured firewalls and more. Never thought that there is also a creative side. That was until the day I first launched InDesign.
I was a pro bono volunteer for an NGO defending human rights. We were short on time, resources and funding. We had to draft some posters for an ongoing campaign. A few tutorials later, I was drafting flyers and designing posters. Obviously, not pixel perfect, but I was determined to embrace new opportunities and challenges.
- a person or thing that explores.
- a person who investigates unknown regions.
Anyway, it’s never too late to explore, learn new things and acquire new skills. More details here.
Exploring Your Inner Creator with Skillshare
With a portfolio of more than 17,000 online courses covering topics such as design, business, technology, photography, writing and other topics, Skillshare is the platform for the next generation of creatives. Each course is unique. You won’t find anything similar anywhere. Each course gets you in touch with like-minded individuals looking to share their success story with anyone ready to watch, learn and… refine.
Ready to join us? Here is a two-month premium subscription and have a look at some of my favorite courses.
From Inspiration to Illustration
You could start exploring with Roman Muradov’s amazing Expressive Illustration: From Ideas to Education course. Roman shares his methods for creating narrative and conceptual illustrations that impress. His 75-minute class will help you generate creative ideas, expand your visual vocabulary, and create exquisite works.
Roman will walk you from generating ideas, to converting them to sketches and finally to bringing them to life with color. This class is amazing. Just have a look at this impressive collection of paintings. It’s a must attend class for both illustrators and designer looking for a spark of creativity.
It’s captivating and exhilarating. And you’ll also need to stock up on tips for your digital tablet stylus.
Next, have a look at trashand’s Street Photography: Capture the Life of Your City course on photography. Rediscover the streets of your city with an inspiring trip on the essentials of street photography. Learn to use various techniques to convey feelings, find compelling angles for that one of a kind “look-up” shots, and try these techniques at night to uncover the mysteries of your city. Who knows, a vigilante may be somewhere in the shadows.
It’s just what I needed to put my old DSLR to work.
Mastering Lettering Systems
Designing Hand Lettering Systems: From Single Motif to Cohesive Project is a course where you’ll learn to tell your story using hierarchy, color and style to add personality to your designs. Lettering artist and illustrator Mary Kate McDevitt will share her experience in a two-hour class on creating lettering systems.
The class is a step-by-step demonstration on sketching elements such as an ex libris page, a title page, and a back cover page. She refines her sketches until she achieves a status quo uniting both the concept and the aesthetics. It’s a great reference on building your distinctive framework. So, if you are an illustrator or a designer looking to build something unique, this is the place to start.
This class was an amazing discovery. Nothing compares to the tedious yet edifying feeling of building something unique.
Creating User Interfaces for Real Users
Intro to UX: Conducting Smart User Research by Janelle Estes is a first class ticket to learning the art of understanding users. The lessons focus on helping UX designers in understanding behaviors, attitudes and perceptions. You’ll learn about defining your research goals and the best methods for capturing and sharing data. Janelle class is a must watch for product managers, designers, or entrepreneurs looking to make smarter decisions about the future of their business.
UI/UX is not for the faint of heart. I’ve learned this the hard way. Thanks to Janelle however, I am on the right track.
Storytelling with Data
Data is useless without interpretation. Decision-makers must understand both the raw content of data and the fine details hidden between the lines. Bill Shander’s Data Storytelling: Deliver Insights via Compelling Stories is here to put some sense into data analytics. The class will teach you how to find narratives and visuals in raw feed, and deliver them to your audience.
And while data is exact, narratives are open to interpretation. Bill will allow anyone working with data to perform analysis, understand complex variables and convey them in a concise yet impactful way.
The class has three main focus points: basic communications challenges, transforming content into narratives and data analysis and data visualization. It’s an accessible class, focused on providing practical tips that will allow anyone to learn from their practical experiences. You can finish the lectures in about two hours, however, when you switch to the exercise, the fun just begins.
My frequent readers know that I am obsessed with BIG DATA. And, since I am enrolled in a master’s degree in the field, this class is just what I needed.
Generate Art with Code
This is the most amazing class. Programming Graphics I: Introduction to Generative Art by Joshua Davis, one of the masterminds behind IBM’s Watson, is here to teach you the art of generating art with code. It’s an introduction to HYPE Framework – a collection of classes that perform heavy lifting tasks but without the daunting task of writing complex code and processing – the programming language, development environment and online community.
You’ll use the tools to create artwork that is algorithmically defined and created, and refine them in Photoshop or Illustrator for the final touch.
This course was the beginning of a new hobby for me. It’s highly contagious, but well worth it.
Why is Skillshare Great?
Skillshare is, first of all, a community of creatives looking to share the experience. Unlike other e-learning platforms, Skillshare breaks the barriers between teachers and students and creates an immersive experience for creators, by creators. I’ve spent hours wandering around wonderful showcases of creativity.
On Skillshare, courses are not a teacher’s skill showcase. Instead, students get the opportunity to polish their skills, challenge their limits and discover new opportunities.
Each course comes with a playground where students can showcase their work, get feedback and share inspiration.
Handpicked Mentors and Courses
Each course is carefully selected to meet rigorous quality criteria. That’s why you’ll find top-quality content and talented mentors ready to share their skills and experience acquired in various top-notch projects. The variety of classes and courses impresses. From WordPress to Python, from drawing to generating arts, cooking or lifehacks, Skillshare is perfect for both apprentices and masters.
Skillshare is designed to be easy to use. The onboarding wizard will help you find recommended courses. Join a class and start working on your project. In a hurry? Save any course for later. Use the search bar to find specific courses and, if you are in a mood to explore, use the browse menu and start learning.
The video player is great. You can change the speed of the video, enable a transcript and add notes. You can also conveniently rewind 15 seconds for those moments when, for example, your cat distracted you. Or your boss…
Learn On the Go
If curiosity is your second nature, join Skillshare and enjoy a world of exploration. Our readers can also enjoy two months of premium which uncovers more courses and offline content.
Your membership will reward your mentors and, in the same time, will make the world a better place. Why? Well, Skillshare provides scholarships for students in need. Isn’t that great?
P.S. Become a Teacher on Skillshare
Anyone can be a teacher on Skillshare. If you want to share your skills with your peers, don’t hesitate! Get in touch with the team at Skillshare, draft your course, create your first class and start sharing your knowledge. It’s a rewarding experience, especially since you get to see your students building upon your course. You’ll also earn some additional revenue. Top-teachers earn up to $40,000 a year, so, if you feel up to the challenge, try it out.