3 Online Courses That Can Change Your Life

Next time CreativeLive has any questions about their ideal customer, they need to call me up, because I’m it.

You’re probably already familiar with CreativeLive, but just in case you’re new to its wonders, here’s the quick rundown; this amazing site offers hundreds of courses on a variety of subjects ranging from nature photography and public speaking to hand lettering and graphic design. The cost of each course varies, but they’re typically between $30-$120. But the cool part is, they broadcast several courses for free every day, so you can watch large portions of any course before you buy it. (Besides being the cool part, this is also the devious part. Once you see a course and like it, it’s pretty much impossible to prevent yourself from buying it. At least it’s impossible for online-learning-addicts like me.)

The other awesome part about CreativeLive is the sales. If you’re scared by the price tag of a certain course, don’t worry, just keep it on your radar and check on it every now and then. Recently they had a sale in which every single course in their Craft & Maker category was only $29. Sometimes they have 50% off sales. And every course being broadcasted each day is on sale. Really, go check out this site. I mean it.

And while you’re there, here are three courses you absolutely have to take a look at:

1. Building Infographics in Illustrator

I bought this course almost two years ago knowing pretty much nothing about Illustrator. I’d played with it, I’d fiddled with the tools, I’d become hopelessly confused. 99% of the software’s workings were a complete mystery to me. Normally, flying by the seat of my pants works for me (it’s still flying, after all), but not in the case of Illustrator.

But here’s what happened: after watching this course, I not only had a solid basic Illustrator education, I had my first graphic design job. That’s literally how much this course teaches you, if you can go from absolute beginner to someone able to sell their work in a matter of a few months.

One heads-up: this course does not teach you how to use the pen tool. If you need help with that one, there is a separate mini-course devoted to the pen tool (by the same instructor). This is not an advanced course and doesn’t delve into many of the more advanced techniques of Illustrator, but if you want a great jumping-off point, this is it.

2. Build a Successful Creative Blog

Here’s a little food for thought; if I hadn’t been a little bored one day last spring, I might not have checked the CreativeLive site to see which courses were on air. I wouldn’t have seen this course, I wouldn’t have spent the entire afternoon hanging on every word the instructor said, and I most certainly wouldn’t have purchased the course two days later.

And you would not be reading this blog, because it would not exist.

This course has everything, including an extremely helpful printable workbook and an instructor who knows the blogging business inside and out (Hi, April!). It’s inspiring, it’s chock-full of information, and it’s fun. Having trouble brainstorming titles for your posts? Need help with your social media strategy? Struggling with your blog visuals? Everything will be explained, my friend.

3. Design Surface Patterns From Scratch 

This is another course I just happened to stumble onto, and it’s a good thing I did… although I have to admit this one hasn’t exactly changed my life yet, there’s always the possibility, right? And this course has been praised by many for being a truly complete guide to breaking in to the surface pattern business.

Aside from learning the how-tos of creating repeating patterns and such, I’m excited about this course because it’s really a great companion course to Building Infographics in Illustrator. Both courses teach Illustrator, but they teach different tools and techniques, so you don’t feel like you’re just getting the same material hashed over again. And you get to look at adorable patterns the whole time! How can there be anything wrong with that?

Which online courses have changed your life? Tell me in the comments! (I’m always on the lookout for more!)

P.S. Despite the way it seems sometimes, CreativeLive does not know me. I am receiving no compensation for this post. I’m completely unaffiliated in any way beyond being a devoted customer. Because their stuff is just so darn good.



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Mary Schannen

April Bolin’s course on Creative Live seems to be changing my life right now! Thanks!!!