5 Creativity-Boosting Things to Do in Your Alone Time This Summer

Nothing like fresh air and long summer days to inspire you to turn off the TV, get off the sofa, and do something. We made it a team goal in our office to spend less time mindlessly scrolling our phones and instead immerse ourselves into a new creative hobby to fill our extra hours of sunlight.

A few of us had used Skillshare to take online classes before and loved it, so we all found a new creative class to take on that platform. The best part is the variety of class options, in terms of both subject and length. Some courses require more time and dedication, lasting several hours. But a few of the courses we took were less than 20 minutes.

After looking through all of the options, we settled on gardening, hand lettering, photography, mixology, and video editing. It was actually really hard to narrow down because we all wanted to do more than one (fortunately, a monthly membership allows you take as many as you want!).

We encourage all of you to take the challenge as well, and pick up a new creative hobby this summer! What’s on your list of things you’ve wanted to learn?

Skillshare is usually  $10 a month, but for a limited time they’re giving The Everygirl readers two FREE months of unlimited access to stream their more than 15,000 classes. Just click here to start your two free months.

 

ONLINE CLASS: How to Grow Herbs in Containers

Picking up a new hobby for summer in less than 10 minutes that will save me money and make preparing meals (and cocktails) easier? Sign me up.

I’ve never had much of a green thumb. Or more realistically, I’ve never really had the motivation to try. But I moved into a new house this past winter, and now that warmer weather is here, I decided to make the most of our outdoor space and try my hand at gardening. I’ve heard from a ton of fellow city dwellers that herb gardens are very easy and practical. The best part is they can live indoors by a window – or better yet, in a window box outside or on a balcony. Kelly Newbery’s Skillshare course is 10 minutes and explains everything you need to know… like what to do if your planter doesn’t allow for drainage, a tip I definitely needed. The class also includes a guide on how to care for specific herbs, which made it easier to plan which herbs I wanted to plant together. I also loved her advice on buying already sprouted herbs vs. starting with seeds. Definitely worth the investment and a good starting place for newbie gardeners like myself.

Now I start every morning checking on my green food friends – which, I’m not going to lie, is a very pleasant and relaxing way to start the day. I went with rosemary, basil, lavender, and mint (the latter of which grows like a weed and should be planted separately). They all smell incredible, and I’m so excited to cook with these fresh ingredients all summer. – Alaina Kaczmarski, cofounder

 

ONLINE CLASS: Intro to Mixology

There are few things more fun than getting together with friends on a summer afternoon. I love rosé as much as the next girl, but now that I have an outdoor space again, it felt like time to finally learn how to offer my guests a real cocktail when entertaining. Since I don’t know the first thing about mixing cocktails, I decided on Skillshare’s Intro to Mixology: Up Your Cocktail Game in 30 Minutes.

The basics were so easy to learn, and 36 minutes later, I finally feel armed with the skills to properly use my bar tool set – and learned some really great principles I can’t believe I didn’t know until now, like mixing a spirit, citrus, and something sweet. Prior to taking this course, my “cocktail” was a tequila soda with lime. My assignment was to create a sour cocktail, so I mixed a muddled strawberry and basil cocktail. Party on my rooftop this weekend! Who’s in? – Danielle Moss, cofounder

 

ONLINE CLASS: Lifestyle Photography

I decided to take a short 20-minute photography class because I love capturing moments and taking photos, but often get in a rut of doing the same shots or angles each time I pull out my camera. I also heavily depend on good natural light, so if I’m stuck in a dark area, I don’t even try. That’s why I was so excited when at the beginning of my class, photographer Marte Marie Forsberg said we would be focusing on shooting food in a moody/dark setting… something I would NEVER do. Throughout the class, not only did she expand on lighting, angles, and composition – but she also gave tricks to her styling that were really easy to recreate. No matter what camera you have, you can capture a moment using the light that you have, as long as you follow her guidelines.

It was such a quick class (literally less time than what I spend nighty zoning out on my Netflix queue), and afterwards I felt inspired and excited to try out my new skills and tricks. I think there’s a misconception that you have to devote an entire afternoon or shell out a good amount of cash to be able to master a new skill or hobby. If anything, this taught me it only takes a few minutes and some iPhone notes to get inspired and want to learn more. – Allyson Fulcher, managing editor

 

ONLINE CLASS: Introduction to Modern Script Calligraphy

I’ve always been fascinated with calligraphy — the shimmery ink, the loopy letterforms, the romance of inkwells and nibs. Despite this, I’ve never actually written real calligraphy because it feels like a luxury of time — where to even get started? I’d been resigned to those faux calligraphy pens (remember those?! My mom always had about 40 laying about for no reason.) until I saw Bryn Chernoff’s (her portfolio is like porn for creatives) Skillshare class, coming in at just under two hours. A whirlwind intro to crafting lovely letters in less time than it takes to make it through a Bachelorette episode?! Sign me up. Plus, Bryn makes it even easier by providing a link to buy her kit — which includes all the supplies you’ll need in one easy package.

At first, you’ll feel like a total noob (pro-tip, buy an eyedropper because ink is MESSY) and I had that classic moment where I felt like a complete failure for not excelling in the first two minutes. But then you just relax into the smooth flow of ink on paper, with Bryn’s calming, approachable instruction leading you to some actually-not-half-bad results. After two hours, I actually had more than a few little quotes I wouldn’t be ashamed to share on Instagram — along with about a million sheets full of messy letters and loops and scrawls. All in all, it felt like such an accomplishment. I wanted to show everyone afterward — as in, look what I made with just my hands, aren’t I so talented?! Definitely beats an evening spent crashed on the couch crunching through another bag of SmartFood popcorn, am I right? – Kelly Etz, editorial assistant

 

ONLINE CLASS: Learn Video Editing for Premiere Pro CC for Beginners

Maybe it’s the millennial in me, but I love documenting pretty much every significant (okay, also insignificant) moment, whether it’s via an iPhone snap or a bonafide photo shoot. I used to love watching home videos as a kid, and have always wanted to learn how to piece together my iPhone videos in a cinematic way. I’m traveling to Paris and London this year, and my goal is to create a video at the end of the trip that I can look back on for years to come.

I had downloaded Adobe Premiere before, but quickly became overwhelmed with trying to teach myself and gave up almost immediately. This Skillshare class on video editing was a total game-changer for me. I love the way that it broke down all of the parts I really needed to know, from audio mixing to adding text and titles. I’m self-taught with Photoshop, but this made me realize the benefit of learning from a professional, since it offered so many shortcuts and tricks that I wouldn’t have been able to discover on my own. Whether you have background knowledge on Adobe or have never opened Premiere in your life, Jordy (the instructor) makes it completely accessible. Plus, it’s so fun to have a hobby to engage in after work instead of zoning out in front of the TV. – Caitlin Timson, social media manager

 

This post was in partnership with Skillshare, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

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