8 courses to kickstart your Creativity
I read a great quote recently:
Invest in yourself. Read books. Find Mentors. Listen to podcasts. Every day is a school day. - Mark Ormrod
I'm always on the lookout for short courses to improve my photography or just simply to learn a new skill.
Modern Calligraphy, Brush Lettering, Watercolour Painting, Street Photography - these are some of the evening/day classes I've taken over the past year.
I really think short courses are a great way to test the water and see if an idea could lead to a regular hobby.
Calligraphy has become a regular hobby I practice in my own time. I find it really meditative and if I'm feeling stressed or anxious, getting lost in creative lettering is the perfect tonic.
I've put together a list of 8 courses I've done over the past few years - some offline and some online, all have been fun and given me food for thought!
1. Modern Calligraphy & Brush Lettering - two separate classes run by Quill London in Islington. The courses get booked up really fast but if you sign up to their mailing list, you can book a class as soon as they become available. Owner of Quill Lucy Edmonds has just published her first book called Modern Calligraphy - perfect for total beginners and those who want to keep up their practice.
2. I took a Watercolour Painting class one afternoon at West Elm, a pretty amazing homeware shore in central London. Led by illustrator Emma Block and fuelled by cups of tea, we settled into a corner of the store on a Sunday morning with the sun streaming through the high windows and painted the fresh flowers in front of us. A pretty relaxing start to the day!
3. Street Photography - I joined Street Photographer Paul Russell for a brilliant six hours pounding the streets of central London. I wrote about it in a blog post here.
4. On Creative Live I came across a truly inspirational photography workshop by Kirsten Lewis. She's a fantastic US based documentary family photographer. Her class gave me lots to think about with my own photography work and she introduced me to many photographers to research and learn from. You can download the class and watch it in your own time.
5. kikki.K run workshops. Yes, for stationery addicts like myself this is BIG news. If you haven't come across this company, then check it out. They simply do the best planners/diaries/organisers and now have stores in the UK. I signed up to their Goals workshop at the Covent Garden store. Very relaxed and over a glass of fizz, you learn how to use the kikki.K goals planner by setting monthly goals you'd like to achieve. Whether it's booking the holiday you keep contemplating or trying that Pilates class, there's something about writing things down that helps get things done. If you're in London or passing through, book in for one of these evening classes and you won't be disappointed.
6. Click in Moms is a US website aimed at photographers of all levels. I've now completed my fourth class through the site. The classes I have taken have been breakouts, which means you have downloadable content to watch in your own time; but you can also interact with the class teacher and others doing the course over a couple of weeks while the breakout is live. Look out for classes by Kirsten Lewis (mentioned earlier), Maria Manco and Ginger Unzueta. All are brilliant photographers.
7. To Creative Live again and this time a blogging course. I decided a couple of years ago I really wanted to give more thought to my blog. April Bowles Olin's course Build a Successful Creative Blog is fun, really inspiring and with tons of blogging content ideas. Most importantly she'll give you the confidence to just go for it and get writing. Available to download and watch in your own time.
8. Tammy Strobel of www.rowdykittens.com is your go-to guide to getting started with journaling. It's something I wanted to start doing for ages (I wrote about it here). I took Tammy's journaling class. She sent out emails every couple of days for a few weeks with tips, prompts and advice. This class helped give me the confidence to not feel silly about journaling and make it part of my day. Her new book Everyday Adventures can be bought here.
Got any suggestions for courses on or offline that you've done? I'd love to hear in the comments below.