"…and I also teach scrapbooking classes on the Internet."
This is often part of any sentence whenever I'm asked what I do for a living.
For a lot of people, head scratching ensues, but for those of us who have taken online classes, we just nod knowingly.
I have many students who tell me not only are they repeat students of mine, but they're class junkies in general, and specifically online class junkies.
Personally, I have always wanted to get into taking online classes too, but never seem to either a) complete the class once I sign up, or b) find the time to get my money's worth.
But I recently decided to change all that.
Here's my confession: for a person who makes her primary living as a graphic designer, my skills in Adobe Illustrator border on pathetic. Sure, I can change the colors of a logo (pretty much the only thing I really know how to use it for), or maybe I can create some random shapes, but my skill set is on the exreme end of low.
I recently saw an ad for a class at a site called SkillShare. Have you heard of this place? It's on online learning community where you can, for very affordable prices, learn all manner of things. I saw an ad for a class called, Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator, and the description sounded like just the thing I could use for a leg up on this program. At $20, the price made it even more enticing. So I signed up and dove right in.
At first, I was a little surprised. There were no handouts, and the instructor didn't seem to answer my questions as quickly as, well… as quickly as I like to answer my own students' questions. I wasn't even sure I liked his video style at first (lots of ums and buts in his voice overs.)
But then it happened: I started learning things that I never, ever freaking knew about Illustrator. And I'm talking core things that people should know, but I never did.
And I said outloud: Best $20 I ever spent.
Even though the format wasn't as slick and didn't hold my hand for every step, I felt like I was sitting in the office of a much more talented designer who was very casually telling me, "So this is how you do this."
The class project was to copy a poster design, so I copied the same one the instructor used for his example:
Look ma! I made this in Illustrator! Sure, a few things I still need to tweak, but I learned a ton. Then our instructor told us about another site with cool Illustrator tutorials and through that site I made this:
I know. Get out! The cuteness…
And now I feel like I've got the online class bug.
Sometimes it's really challenging to find the time to refine and develop skills, and yet I know this is something I really need to make time for to grow and learn in the business of design.
My question for you today is how many of you are online class takers? or bonafide junkies? What appeals to you? What style of instructor makes you feel like you're getting what you need? What are the things that make you keep signing up?
Leave a comment today. I'd love to hear what you think.
Thanks to Brad Woodard for a truly enlightening class. I feel pretty energized and inspired to take more!