10 Free and Paid Online Resources for Learning Creative Skills

Whether you’re working as an advertising/marketing professional, freelancing in graphic design, or a hobbyist photographer, there's always something new you can learn in order to enhance your creative skill set.

So instead of wasting time on social media or cat videos (my favorite), why not check out these recommended online resources that can help you learn new, creative skills? And sometimes, flexing your muscles in unfamiliar territory may be just the spark you need to give a little 'Oomph!' to your daily problem solving and creativity.

Online Resources for Learning New Creative Skills

Free resources

1. edX: It was tough deciding which of the three to include on this list: edX,  Coursera, or Khan Academy. edX won out because of its wider range of courses on Design, Art & Culture, and even Music Production. Courses are totally free, however they are not on-demand. Like a brick-and-mortar school, they have start and end dates and must be accomplished within the allotted time.

2. FutureLearn: Owned by The Open University, FutureLearn offers free courses in everything from business and law to literature, history, health, science, language, and of course, a lot of creative arts & media (e.g. storytelling, songwriting, fiction writing). Again, courses are not on-demand; they have set start and end dates.

3. Tuts+ Free Tutorials: In a sub-section of the larger Tuts+ website, they offers free (and short) tutorials on specific creative tasks under categories, such as coding, web design, photo/video, music/audio, motion graphics, and business.

4. Instructables: Ever wanted to make your own geeky Halloween costume or build a security camera from a 3-D printed body and a Raspberry Pi CPU? Instructables is where you'll find the detailed, photographed instructions to accomplish your unique do-it-yourself projects. Comes with a built-in quirky creative community to support your every project!

5. Smashing Magazine: A well-known online magazine for web developers and designers focusing on coding, design, mobile, graphics, UX, and Wordpress. Aside from niche articles tackling everything from web standards to gorgeous wallpapers, there is also an abundance of tutorials to help you accomplish step-by-step tasks.

Paid resources

6. Udemy: Despite this being more of a general online learning resource, don't discount Udemy's huge bank of design, photography, and music courses. Every so often they even have site-wide promos that discount all courses to around $10. A good starting point for any education.

7. Lynda.com: A true holdover from before Web 2.0, Lynda is possibly the most well-known online tutorial website. Partly because it covers such a wide breadth of topics, from web development to design, from animation and video, to music and audio. They even have courses in business and education. You'll need to be a member to gain access, and membership starts at about $20/month.

8. CreativeLive: Dozens of creative classes segmented by interest: audio, crafts, art/design, photo/video, money/life. The beautiful thing about this site is that on-air classes can be enjoyed for FREE. But on-demand access to it will cost you anywhere from $20-$99, depending on course length and complexity.

9. Curious: Their name explains a lot. This is a site created so you can indulge your curiosity and learn a thing or two on a wide variety of topics. Under their free plan you can take a new free lesson everyday — choose from hundreds of courses broadcast over 10 channels that include crafts, music, photos, and more. But with a monthly or annual subscription, you get the whole shebang, including mobile access and an ad-free experience.

10. Treehouse: This resource is specifically for those who want to learn web design and web development, with courses centered around programming languages like PHP, Ruby, HTML, CSS, Wordpress, and even mobile app platforms. Basic plans begin at $29/month.

What will you learn this month?

Keep learning new skills and encourage the rest of your teammates to join you on the journey. It's a great way to add to your skill set as well as bring more expertise to your organization.

For actionable strategies on growing your internal creative team into a world-class agency, please download our free ebook, available now.

Free Ebook: In-depth Guide to Building a World-Class Creative Team

 

Photo Credit: iVincent by JD Hancock on Flickr. Some rights reserved, changes made

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