6 Creative Skills We’re Learning This Year

Here at The Everygirl, we’re constantly learning. We never shut up about our college days, and we get so nostalgic when our little brothers and sisters head back to school in January. We also love setting goals and getting into the New Year’s spirit. So, we decided learning a new skill would be the best way to get 2019 started!

Not everyone can dish out the cash for a night class at a local university, and online classes can be just as costly. Not to mention, who has time every Wednesday from 4:15-6:45?! No thank you! When we’re itching to learn something new and can’t quite make it back to a college classroom (too many memories involving too much caffeine, not enough sleep, and those awful Scantron tests!), we turn to Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning platform with classes ranging from personal and career development and creative topics (think graphic design, photoshop, animation, etc.) to business and marketing strategies and more.

We love Skillshare for quick (remember how long a 16-week semester is?), affordable, and totally useful online courses. There’s always a class for the topics we’re interested in learning (Instagram strategy and food photography, for example!), and they’re adding new options constantly.

Skillshare is offering two free months for Everygirl readers!

That’s two months of unlimited access to more than 25,000 classes in design, illustration, photography, writing, and much more. Just click here to redeem your two months.

Keep reading to learn more about the courses our editors took and what they learned!

 

True Grit: Handmade Textures & Halftones for Designers & Illustrators

I have been a loyal Skillshare user for a while — it’s how I learned how to do character animation (it’s basically Pixar up in here) and now I’m addicted to their design courses. It was time to start thinking about our January 2019 (WHAT HOW) tech backgrounds and I knew I wanted to add some texture to one of them this month, just for a fun shakeup.

This class came highly recommend and I truly loved it from beginning to end. Andrew, the instructor, is from Australia so right away there is just some truly excellent accent work going on. He explains everything with breezy aplomb and the sections are broken down into perfect, bite-size chunks of knowledge. You also get to play around with paint and sponges — it’s like second grade art class only ~chicer~. I highly recommend if you’re a designer or anyone who has some Photoshop know-how and wants to get gritty with it.

 

 

Humor Writing (and How to Think Like a Funny Person)

For as long as people have been asking me this question, my ~dream job~ has been to host Weekend Update on SNL — and while I don’t actually have stand-up aspirations, I do aspire to be as funny as possible in my everyday life, and especially in my work. While I do fancy myself as someone who has a pretty good sense of humor, I’m always up for learning — and I’d love to find new techniques to incorporate into my writing. I’m coming for ya, Weekend Update!!

While it’s a near-impossible feat to teach an unfunny person how to be funny, there are certainly a few tangible skills you can learn that will increase your funny factor (alliteration is one, as I learned from this course!). Longtime writer and wordsmith Adrienne teaches that the foundation of a well-liked comedy voice is a passion for and understanding of words — a constant hunger for new reading material, new vocabulary, and new ways to use them all together is an absolute prerequisite for “thinking like a funny person.” Adrienne tells us that “everything is fodder” — and that a constant intake of words and content from writers and creators you admire will take you very far. (I’ve been reading books by famous Chicago columnist Mike Royko lately — while his life was vastly different from mine, reading his voice makes mine better!).

The course is super short and digestible — it made me realize the things I’m already doing correctly, and the things I can work on. It also taught me a SUPER interesting fact about television we find pretty universally funny — I’m not going to spoil what it is, but it was super enlightening. Highly recommend!

 

 

Getting Started with Wine: Buy Smarter, Taste More

Ever since my first sip of alcohol (at 21 obviously), I have been a wine enthusiast without ever actually knowing anything about wine — the extent of my wine knowledge was that white wine went with seafood and red went with dark meat. I’ve always wanted to expand on this in a class, but never had the time. When I found Skillshare’s Getting Started with Wine class I jumped at the opportunity. If you’re a beginner or know as much about wine as I did then this class is a great primer.

In about an hour, this class highlights the basics of wine etiquette. Gary Vaynerchuk, wine expert and best-selling author, covers everything from how to properly serve different kinds of wine to what flavors to look for when trying new ones. The class breaks down wine into three simple categories of sparkling, white, and red. By the end of the course, you should have a basic understanding of wine and it’s terminology. Gary encourages you to keep expanding on your wine journey by trying as many as possible and to just have fun with it! Whether you’re just looking to learn the right kind of wine to serve at your next dinner party or looking to become an expert sommelier, this class is a great place to start. Next stop: Napa!

 

 

Why Trust Matters: Increasing Creativity and Innovation at Work

I’m addicted to career development. It’s the first section of a website I go to, and my “future editor-in-chief” board on Pinterest might just be my most extensive. I’m constantly looking for ways to up my productivity, make my resume better, and find new ways to help my team. (Is it working?! 😉). As I approach graduation in the spring (so close yet so far!), I’m even more obsessed with career development than usual.

I immediately went to the leadership section of Skillshare and found a PLETHORA of options. I ultimately chose Nilofer Merchant’s class on trusting team members and collaborating in the workplace. The class was just over thirty minutes long, making it an easy post-work, pre-dinner way to learn something new. Nilofer spoke in a really conversational way, and her tips and examples allowed me to quickly make connections to my own experiences at work.

The biggest thing I took out of this course was that there is more to leadership than being an expert. While I think I’m a pretty decent writer and I get tasks finished on time, my leadership is based on more than my ability. I definitely took this to heart as an intern! While I might not have a senior position in a company for a while, I can always affect change and improve the company based on my own individual leadership rather than having a title. You’ll catch me stepping into my collaborative dreams all 2019.

 

 

Minimize and Curate Your Ideal Wardrobe | Closet Minimalism

To say I really needed this class is the understatement of the century. After graduating from college six months ago and starting to be a member of the real world, my closet needed a total overhaul — my crop top collection no longer has a place in my life and needed to go into permanent retirement.

This course focuses on closet minimalism — getting rid of the things that no longer make you feel good, and only keeping things that fit with your ideal lifestyle. It helps you get rid of all of the “meh” things in your wardrobe to clear the way for the things that you love. By looking at my closet objectively, like you’re shopping in it, it helped me differentiate between the things I love wearing, and things I just kept because they were somehow sentimental.

The most helpful thing about this course is that it began by having you write down what you wore every day for a week. It helped me get a gauge on the things I’m actually wearing at this point, rather than the things I think I’ll maybe wear eventually. Then, I went through Pinterest to start a mood board of what my dream wardrobe would look like. I wrote down what I already had, and the pieces I would need to make it a reality. As it turns out, I actually had most of the pieces I wanted, they were just hidden behind piles of clothes I never wear. (And don’t fret, they advise you to keep a “probation pile” of clothes you aren’t wearing, but aren’t quite ready to get rid of, which was a huge relief).

Now, when I look in my closet, I see all of the things I love to wear, and it literally feels like I have an entirely new wardrobe — one that’s curated to this new stage of my life.

 

 

The Future of Work: 5 Mindsets to Power Your Career

As a recent college grad trying to #adult in the real world, I’ve been soaking up as much career advice as I can possibly find. For all you girlbosses and boss babes out there, Skillshare has a crazy variety of classes on all things business and career, aka exactly what I’ve been needing to delve into as I get over that post-grad imposter syndrome.

This class, taught by Jacob Morgan, who is a best-selling author and one of the world’s leading authorities on the future of work, was particularly fascinating. It helped me to feel a little bit more confident in my career and rethink the skills we all need to be successful. He teaches that the work world has changed, and the traits that companies need and bosses have looked for have drastically changed overtime.

The five skills he argues are most important in achieving a successful career are perpetual learning, self-awareness, empathy, accountability, and thinking like an entrepreneur — sounds way different than the usual “hardworking” you use in interviews, right? Morgan’s class was so helpful in understanding what’s important to employers, but also in learning how to implement those skills into your career now, for success in the future. Forget imposter syndrome — I’m working on valuable skills that will help me be the best HBIC I can be!

 

 

Feeling inspired? Then head over to Skillshare to redeem their special offer of  2  free months of unlimited access. Just click here to begin and start learning today!

 

 

Other Classes We Can’t Wait to Take This Year Include….

 

Warm Ups: 7 Quick Exercises to Boost Creativity

Be Your Own Boss: Strategies for Launching Your Creative Career

Social Media Stardom: Making the Most of Instagram

How to Edit Photos for Instagram Using Lightroom and Photoshop

Explorative Design: Develop Your Style Rapidly and Sustainably

Going Viral: Write, Film & Make Content People Share

How to Launch Your Creative Career

Make Your Journal Pretty (Even If You’re Not An Artist)

Smartphone Photography for Instagram Success: Capturing Stunning Lifestyle Photos With Your Phone

Fundamentals of Photoshop: Drawing, Layers, Masks, and Selections (Photoshop II)

 

 

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

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