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Skillshare Review – Takeaways from a Real Subscriber

Emily Cosnotti
ByEmily CosnottiApr 8, 2020 | 3 comments

Skillshare Review - Takeaways from a Real Subscriber

My Skillshare Review

Your Questions Answered and My Class Picks

I’ve been a Skillshare Premium member for about two years now and I love it. It has entertained me on airplanes (remember when we used to worry about what we were gonna watch on airplanes?) and taught me how to be a better maker, designer, and creative-type. Skillshare offers classes in a variety of creative fields like animation, film & video, and illustration, as well as business classes on entrepreneurship and marketing.

I like classes in web design and illustration the most, as well as classes specific to helping me learn to draw on my iPad with software like Procreate. I’ve also dabbled in their productivity classes and have my eye on their lifestyle options (like everyday minimalism) too!

COUPON: Get 2 FREE Weeks of Unlimited Classes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

by Emily Cosnotti, MSA Reviewer, Creative Dabbler
September 2, 2020| 3 comments

How much is Skillshare?

You can use Skillshare for free or subscribe to Skillshare Premium for $15.00 per month for month-to-month memberships. The annual plan is $99.00 per year which breaks down to $8.25 per month.

New members can get their first two months of Skillshare Premium for free.

Skillshare Free vs Skillshare Premium

Skillshare Free Membership Features:

  • Access to all free classes
  • Create projects and participate in discussions for classes

Skillshare Premium Features:

  • Unlimited access to all classes
  • Offline viewing

What is Skillshare?

Skillshare offers video classes in just about every subject taught by real people who are really good at that subject. Some of my favorite designers have classes and even our own MSA UI/UX designer, Alexa, teaches a class on Building Your Own Portfolio Site from Scratch. With a Skillshare Premium membership, you’ll get unlimited access to billions (ok it’s more like 1000s) of classes, and you can download those classes for offline access on the Skillshare app from the App Store or Google Play. 

Each class starts with a quick intro that will give you an idea of what you’ll be learning from the class. You can also read reviews for classes so you know how other students liked them, and leave your own review for classes you’ve taken. This is an easy way to find out if a class will be right for you and if you’ll be learning the thing (or things) you want to! After the Class Intro, classes are broken up into lessons – usually videos less than 10 minutes long that cover a specific step along the subject learning journey. You’ll also be able to message with the instructor, and show off your projects with your classmates.

What are Skillshare Workshops?

While most Skillshare classes are self-guided (you choose when to start and finish the class on your own timeline), they also offer workshops. Workshops are a curated set of classes hosted by Skillshare staff that you complete on a set calendar with prompts to keep you on track. Students in workshops also exchange feedback to help everyone improve.

Upcoming workshops for April and May include:

Why not just use YouTube?

I prefer Skillshare to YouTube because I like the curated experience. Skillshare is really good at recommending classes I’ll like based on what classes I’ve taken, and I like being able to follow instructors and artists I like. Reading reviews from students who’ve actually taken the classes I’m interested in helps me make choices much better than the comment section on YouTube.

Classes I’ve Taken


Skillshare Class Screenshot - Intro to Procreate Illustrating on the iPad<

Intro to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad by Brook Claser, Illustrator and Children’s Designer

This class helped me get more comfortable with and faster at using Procreate on my iPad. There are tons of features and gestures I didn’t know about that I picked up quickly in this course, like how to use the color pickers and make palettes, how to use advanced layer settings, and how to recolor my art.


Skillshare Class Screenshot - Logotype

Logotype Masterclass with Jessica Hische by Jessica Hische, Letterer and Illustrator

If you’ve ever been curious about how logos come to be or what makes a good logo, I recommend watching this class. Hearing how Jessica Hische diagnoses problems with existing logos was really enlightening to me and made me look at logos out in the world more closely. In this class, she talks through how she made subtle tweaks to the Jeni’s Ice Cream logo to improve it while keeping it recognizable.


Skillshare Class Screenshot - Animation for Illustration

Animation for Illustration: Adding Movement with Procreate & Photoshop by Libby VanderPloeg, Aritst and Illustrator

I’d been a fan of Libby’s since seeing her work on Instagram and Pinterest and was really excited to learn how she makes her illustrated GIFs. There’s something really special to seeing someone do exactly the thing you want to do and to find out how they do it. I walked away from this class having made my first illustrated, animated GIF and also knowing more about how to draw people.

Skillshare Class Screenshot Odd Bodies

ODD BODIES: Illustrating Expressive, Stylized People by Tom Froese, Illustrator and Designer

This is a class about drawing expressive people – and you can use this class without Photoshop or an iPad, just good ol’ pencil and paper. This presentation helped me break out of the way I usually draw people and think in a completely different way. My favorite exercise started with drawing an unconventional shape and then drawing a body within that shape – it helped me use my brain in a different way and stretched the way I think about drawing people.

Skillshare Class Screenshot - Presentation Design for Smart People

Presentation Design for Smart People by MJ Truong, Meyer Innovation Factory Lead

I’ve used Skillshare for things that aren’t so artsy, too! When I was preparing to speak at the Subscription Box Summit, I wanted to brush up on my presentation-making skills. This class helped me understand the flow of a presentation, how to plan out my talking script, and how to design a well-formatted slide deck. I’ve used what I’ve learned in this class for every new Google Slides presentation I make.

Classes I want to try next

Skillshare is releasing new classes all the time so my wishlist of classes keeps growing. Here are the classes I’m most excited to jump into next:

Skillshare Fun With Faces Class Screeshot

Fun with Faces: Create a Stylized Digital Portrait by Charly Clements, Greeting Card Designer and Illustrator

I still have a lot to learn and try when it comes to drawing people. Faces are tough! Looking at the class projects for this course makes me very confident that I’ll come out of the class with a Pinterest-worthy illustration.

Skillshare Class Screenshot - Keeping a Sketchbook

Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook by Leah Goren, Illustrator

Skillshare isn’t all about digital things! I want to take this class to give my eyes a rest from screens and feel real-life art materials again. I used to keep a sketchbook growing up as an aspiring artist, but fell out of practice as I got older – this class seems like the perfect way to jumpstart a new soothing hobby.

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Fun With Spaces: Create a Stylised Scene in Procreate + Animation by Charly Clements, Greeting Card Designer and Illustrator

I’m so excited about this class because it blends my love of digital illustration, animation, and interiors all in one class! The class’s reviews are very positive with people saying it is a beautiful class and that Charly is an engaging teacher who makes a complex process simple.

Verdict

I have really enjoyed my Skillshare Premium membership as both a way to hone my design and art skills, but also to discover new creative outlets. And even if I don’t feel like picking up my iPad or a sketchbook to start drawing, it’s really soothing for me to watch other people draw and create art while talking me through their process. I recommend checking out some of their free classes or signing up for the free Premium trial if you’re unsure and want to get a sense of the classes. Before writing this post, I had forgotten how many small bits of knowledge I’d accumulated from these classes that I use in daily life. My Skillshare membership has definitely been worth it for me.

COUPON: Get 2 FREE Weeks of Unlimited Classes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. On Skillshare, millions of members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative jou... read more.
Emily Cosnotti
Emily Cosnotti
Emily is a design enthusiast who loves beautiful objects. She's really into vegan snacks, corgis, home goods, and minimalist makeup. She is currently fostering a healthy subscription addiction.

Emily Cosnotti
Emily Cosnotti
Emily is a design enthusiast who loves beautiful objects. She's really into vegan snacks, corgis, home goods, and minimalist makeup. She is currently fostering a healthy subscription addiction.
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3 comments

Joy

This is awesome! I’ve vaguely heard of Skillshare before but never really looked into it. I love design and branding. I am pretty proficient at Illustrator but I’m 100% self-taught (I learned how to use it when I made my wedding invites and save the dates!).

I’ve been on the hunt for good design tutorials that will help me develop more advanced skills. This seems like a good option for me. I’m def going to look into this. Thank you for the great review!!

Emily Cosnotti

Thank you, Joy! I am totally self-taught in all things Photoshop and Illustrator too! It’s so helpful to watch other people use the software, I always learn something new or a more efficient way to do things. I’m so glad I could help you find out more about Skillshare!

Laura

First of all, congrats on your first review!! Secondly, this sounds awesome. My teens are looking over it right now. Thanks so much, I would have never known about it.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.