Tag Archives: ecourse review

New Class, New Hobby, New Art: Drawing

Drawing as Self Discovery. A Skillshare Course Review by Lauren Likes

I have adored Mari Andrew’s drawings for quite a while now. She is one of the few people who’s Instagram I check daily. I have always felt her work was quirky, honest and relatable. I never thought of creating my own because a. I just didn’t think about it, b. I’m not very good at drawing and c. I felt like that would be too much of stealing or direct copying. But! Then the heavens aligned and Mari released a course on Skillshare and started teaching her technique, which is very simple, but more than that she is sharing her inspiration, her how to, her thought behind her art. I cannot finish the class because for every short video lesson I watch, I spend a few hours doodling new pages and have a whole notebook now dedicated to ideas for new drawings.

When I started taking her course it was like a light went off for me. In real life, I’m a pretty humorous person, but writing and making witty quips on the spot in conversations are not the same. But, this art form allows me to sneak in that bit of sarcasm that I love, but also be more personal, vulnerable and create cute art – all at once!

The class is short and easy to digest, but like I said, it sparks so many ideas it’s hard to get back to the lessons until you’ve fully fleshed out the ideas from the current one. Her lessons are delivered in short videos where she shares some of her art, gives you a prompt and then creates a drawing in front of you. She has great advice and is really easy and fun to follow. This course has by far topped my list of favorite and most valuable courses I have taken in a long time. 

You can use this link to get 3 months of Premium membership for .99cents and I get one month free. Win, Win! 

This drawing is not one from a prompt, but just something I started musing on this weekend as Terrell was taking out the food trash and I told him he was my hero because that shiz is Niz-ass-ty. Then I started thinking about all the other nice things he does and how he really is the hero of our house. Instantly I knew I needed to make a little doodle for him to express how much I appreciate all he does. Like I said drawing is not my greatest strength, I would say it is one of the skills where I am lacking most. But with some simple googling (and emoji studying) I was able to simply represent each trait. The beauty of this art form is that simplicity is the key to making it relatable and understandable. 

This drawing is also one that I dreamed up as I was sitting and watching the snow fall and felt like I lived in a snow globe. I thought about a few of my favorite moments ever and they seem to have that effect, where I am standing still, on the outside, and watching the beauty of life happen in front of me, almost in my hand, like the observer of a snow globe. This is certainly the least cute of the drawings, but it represented a really special moment for me and I was able to convey my message with very few words and there was a positive reaction to this on instagram where others were able to relate. Which is the goal of art!

The mental notes were semi from a prompt in the course. I was working through the course, made the mistake of checking my email and got a super annoying request. The thought ‘I wanna stab somebody’ immediately came to mind and I got right to work. After creating this I felt much better. This art form is nothing if not therapeutic and I am now thinking in these drawings…

The Heart Inventory is taking directly from Mari’s class. She gave multiple variations on this one and I feel like I could make a new one every day and I quickly realized that taking an inventory of your heart is not for the faint of heart. Mari explains how she uses art to process her life in the course and I can absolutely agree and understand how powerful these simple exercises are. 

The Resilience prompt is from lesson 1 and my mind exploded with pie chart options! SO. MANY. IDEAS. Who knew pie charts could be such fun art?! 

Clearly, you can see how much I am loving this course and am very excited to keep working through it, creating new drawings, executing more of my ideas and sharing them all! I would love if you joined me and can’t wait to see your drawings! Be sure to tag me on instagram if you join @laurenlikesblog

You can use this link to get 3 months of Premium membership for .99cents and I get one month free. Win, Win! 

Happy doodling! 

Scrapbook in a week

Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 00

A few weeks ago Rachel Denbow came out with a new class through A Beautiful Mess called Scrapbook in a Week. Rachel’s style is my absolute favorite and the class looked fantastic. I do this thing, when I am about to go on a big trip, I procrastinate like crazy by diving into a really HUGE project. Like before we left for Thailand I stayed up all night the night before and caught up on 30 weeks of Project Life. So before we left for Russia, I spent the two weeks before completing my Thailand album. Makes perfect sense right?!

Anyway, I completed the album in less than 2 weeks (only because I didn’t have every night to work on it). The class is amazing! One of my favorites I’ve ever taken. Rachel’s system is so smart and so easy. It works in a layering system and I loved this. The hardest parts for me are choosing/editing/printing the photos and then making all the decisions about how to pull a layout together. This class eliminated those worries. I sat down and printed all the photos at once and then followed Rachel’s steps. By doing things one layer at a time took away my overwhelm of having to have a page completely finished before I can do another one.  It made decision making easier as I had a plan and all my papers, embellishments, color scheme, etc pre chosen. It also gave me endurance because I see the whole picture at one time as I could see the whole book, start to end, from day one.

Rachel has great pages and thinks outside the box. Her pages are simple and graphic and have so many great personal touches that it really makes you feel like you can complete an album that looks like you. I loved mixing the pocket pages with the full pages and I really loved sewing my own page configurations.  I will be using this technique when building future albums for sure.

You can see the whole album in the video walk through (sorry it is a little dark, iMovie exported the wrong movie and I am boarding a train to ride across Russia in a few hours, so redoing it is not a priority at the moment) and then below are a few close up of some of my favorite pages.

Products used: Messy Box, flair I designed for Scrapbook and More, free card from my newsletter, Studio Calico cards + embellishments, lots of random bits I have collected/hoarded over time.

PS. The girls at A Beautiful Mess reached out and featured a few of my photos on their blog plus some of my review. Lets all fan girl out right now together, ok?! See it here. 


Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 01 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 02 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 03 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 04 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 05 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 06 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 07 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 08 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 10 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 11 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 12 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 13 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 14 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes09Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 15 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 16 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 17 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 18 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 19 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 20 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 21 Thailand Scrapbook by Lauren Likes 22

Ecourse Reviews

I’m kind of an ecourse junkie. I love them. But, I’m also kind of a slacker. So I tend to get really excited about something and then lose interest in about .002 seconds. So I’ve had to learn to be really careful about making impulse decisions especially when there is money involved. So when a blogger I like or a shiny object gets my attention about ‘the most awesome and helpful and necessary ecourse you’ll ever take in your life’ comes along I need to truly evaluate before I spend money on it.  I have signed up for tons of free classes or worksheets or ‘inspiration in your inbox’ and I mostly ignored them or did 5 minutes worth of it and quit. So for me, most of the time, I have to feel the commitment of paying for it or I’m just going to be wasting my time and the hard work that the person who wrote it spent. So, with that said these are the classes that I spent money on and what I thought about them!

Art journal All Year by Elsie & Rachel of A Beautiful Mess: This is a blog format class with 52 journal prompts. It has lots of photos and ideas and is in true A Beautiful Mess style. I haven’t done all the prompts and don’t do it frequently. But I have lifetime access and its a great reference for when I need some inspiration

Iphone Photography class by Big Picture Classes: I LOVED this class. Unfortunately it is no longer available. But if it ever gets offered again I would 100 percent recommend it! Everyday for 30 days a different teacher would post a prompt, some tips, some additional resources and app reviews. The challenges were really fun, I learned a ton about new apps and found some great new blogs to follow. The thing that made the difference in this class was that I participated. Everyday I would attempt to complete the challenge. It made all the difference and was worth the money spent. **Check in with Big Picture Classes if you like ecourses because they always have a ton going on!  

Ichoose by Elise Blaha Cripe: I wrote a big review about this class here. But in short, loved it. It’s really inexpensive and I did the whole thing in less than an hour. But it is highly motivating and gave me tons of ideas for documenting my goals!

Art & Science of Scrapbooking by big Picture Classes. My mom and I actually won free seats in this class. Thanks! But again, this was another case of the unparticipants. I just didn’t have time to sit down and do the layouts presented and honestly wasn’t a huge fan. A lot of this class were challenges to do random scrapbook pages that didn’t fit into any type of category or book I was working on and that’s not how I roll. I may go back and try to complete some of the challenges in my art journal. But for the type of scrapbooking I prefer, this was not a good fit.

Lifted from Studion Calico: I am currently in the middle of this class and it doesn’t look like you can enroll anymore. Bummer. Because for $12 this is jam-packed with inspiration. It’s all about the idea of finding some type of layout or visual art you love and creating a scrapbook page around it. Everyday there is a new sketch and idea presented. Sadly, I haven’t been able to participate as this was my for real this time totally serious goal because, well my life has imploded with the crazy busies. But, I will be printing all the sketches to make a little book and will be going back to this on my next scrapbooking day and pulling tons of ideas!

First steps of Hand Lettering via Skillshare: I wrote about the beginning of this class here. This is the first class I’ve taken from Skillshare and I have been blown away. The format is so simple and has an interactive check list (swoon). The project is broken down into small chunks and the teacher is phenomenal and its jam packed with videos, tutorials, resources, links, etc. I believe these classes are open for enrollment at any time and I highly recommend this class or any from Skillshare. **Ps if you click my link you will receive $10 off your first skillshare class!

Ecourses on my wishlist:

Blog Design Love by Elsie and Elise: Description is in the title. And if you haven’t noticed a trend I would like to take all the Classes by Elsie and Elise…

Get Quilty by Elise Blaha: Lots of fun Quilty projects

Hello Story by Ali Edwards: All about increasing and improving your journaling in your scrapbook layouts

One Little Word by Ali Edwards: choose 1 word to guide your through your year and then a years worth of projects for it.

Photo 101 Rock Your Camera by Bella Pop Photography: Teaches you how to use your camera in Manual mode.

What classes have you taken or want to take? Lets take them together. Seriously, I’m obsessed.

NaBloPoMo November 2013This post is a part of the National Blog Posting Month Challenge. You can see a list of more blogs participating in this challenge here and see a full list of my posts here.