Date: August 5, 2022

How to find inspiration for your course

We just got back from a family holiday in Majorca. 🌞

Nothing too adventurous, just lots of pool time and a chance to catch up on some reading.

I also finally started a short online illustration course I’d bought a few months back on Domestika.

Now I’ve never been particularly artistic in a visual way, but I thought it would be fun to get outside my comfort zone.

And since the courses I’m involved with tend to cover concepts and processes rather than physical skills like drawing, I was curious to see the instructor’s approach.

Here’s what I really liked:

  • The course content was very personal to the instructor. His own journey as an illustrator was very much woven into the training. He used his own work as examples. The course and the instructor were inseparable and it felt like he was my personal mentor.
  • There were lots of short, over-the-shoulder clips of him actually drawing. While illustration obviously lends itself to that style, it made me realise that most topics can benefit from a practical demonstration video, even if it’s just “how to fill out the worksheet”.
  • Throughout the course there were regular prompts to jump into the course community and share your progress with other students. It felt motivating to be part of a group with a shared goal, even though everyone was on their own journey.

I also did some actual drawing, which I really enjoyed! It would be cool to find a way to use illustrations in my work somehow.

The point is, if you’re thinking of creating your own course, I strongly recommend taking some time to immerse yourself in other people’s courses.

It needn’t be expensive. My illustration course was less than £10 and you can find free courses on places like Udemy.

The topic almost doesn’t matter. The aim is just to get some inspiration for your own course. And even if you hate a course, that can be instructive in itself.

As you study each course ask yourself:

  • What aspects of the course do you particularly like?
  • What ideas could you apply to your own topic?
  • What’s the production style and quality like? (And how do those factors affect your enjoyment of the content?)

Remember, it’s okay for creators to be inspired by the work of others. Most great writers are voracious readers too.

So if you want to be a confident course creator, become an avid course consumer!

See you soon,

Glen.

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