Do you have a hobby, a secret talent or a side hustle? Do you ever want to learn something new, just for fun? For the last few years, the Cup of Jo team has belonged to Skillshare, the amazing online resource for learning about everything from how to draw landscapes to how to shuck oysters (and so much more). Here are some of the classes we’ve loved lately, plus a special offer from Skillshare…
How to Take Pro Photos on an iPhone
Smartphone cameras are so sophisticated, it’s now possible to take professional level photos using only your phone. But how? This class, taught by trained photographer and social media star Dale McManus, teaches everything you need to take pro photos on a smartphone — without additional apps, lenses or other gear. From travel photos to still life to portraits, Dale covers everything. We were impressed by how comprehensive this class was, and couldn’t help but feel inspired by Dale’s infectious enthusiasm (and his amazing arms).
Creative Writing: How to Write a Personal Essay
Putting your hopes, fears and dreams down on paper can be so therapeutic. That’s just one reason we love this class, on how to write a personal essay, with Roxane Gay. One more time: This class is taught by ROXANE GAY. Who better to explain the ins and outs of writing about your life than the bestselling author and essayist? “The hardest part of writing a personal essay is the belief that your story matters,” says Roxane. “But you are someone with something to share, and that’s really all that matters.” Yes!
Learn to Paint with Gouache
You’ve likely seen illustrator Leah Goren’s work on book covers, ceramics, tote bags, clothing and in the world at large. If you’ve ever wanted to cultivate the artist within, her new class is perfect for beginning painters. Leah shares why she loves gouache, her favorite paint, beloved for its color and versatility. You’ll learn to paint different kinds of fruit (“which you can eat when you’re done!” Leah laughs) and the skills she demonstrates can eventually be applied to painting whatever your heart desires.
Draw Your Day: Creating a Daily Practice
How lovely would it be to have a physical record of your thoughts and memories? Samantha Dion Baker is an illustrator and designer who loves to record everyday moments. “The tiniest thing becomes beautiful once it’s on the page,” she explains. In this class, Samantha shares her process of sketch journaling (half sketchbook, half journal). She walks you through some of her own gorgeous sketchbooks, then offers plenty of ideas, inspiration and techniques. Together, you create three different compositions, and by the end, you feel ready and inspired to continue a daily sketch practice.
Skillshare’s entire catalog includes thousands of courses on cooking, knitting, running a business and much more. If you’re interested in these or any other classes, you can browse them all here.
Bonus for all readers: Skillshare is offering Cup of Jo readers two months free! You’ll get a premium membership, which will give you access to their entire catalog of 25,000 classes free of charge by signing up here. Please note: A credit card is required to sign up, but you won’t be charged until the two-month trial period is up, and you can cancel at any time. Thank you so much, Skillshare!
Do you have a hobby? Do you take any classes in your spare time? We’d love to hear.
(Top photo by Ana Gambuto for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Skillshare, a company we use and love. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)