We have a wide range of courses we offer and continue to add more every semester. We’ve broken them down into three main categories: Growth & Productivity, Client Relations, and Back End. If you have questions about what courses might be best for you, shoot us a message and we’ll help you curate a curriculum that’s perfect for your specific needs.
Growth & productivity
Living a life where you pursue your passion is a dream that I'm sure we're all familiar with. After this class you'll come away with a better understanding about what it takes to make a successful business out of your passion through steps I've learned over years of trial and error and hard work. We'll talk about how to find your passion, the "four letter word" (day job) (gasp!), how to leverage it to your advantage, how real the hustle needs to be, what to expect, and when is the right time (if any) to quit the day job to fully pursue your passion.
Learning how to prioritize, eliminate, stay on task and delegate is life changing - it certainly was for me. Going from working 80+ hours a week to working 36 or less and taking the month of December off gave me the energy and drive I needed to build my business and stay sane. In this course, we'll get into the nitty gritty of necessity, learn how to prioritize our time and tasks, and get more done in a shorter period of time.
Jenny Sanders will be joining Victoria for an in-depth conversation about products and when (or if) to carry them. We'll go through the questions you should be asking yourself when considering carrying product, what your answers should be and whether carrying products is the right move for your business.
This course will cover both the basics of Instagram as a social media branding platform, including concepts such as showing your style, making choices with intention, and using hashtags, as well as tips on the actual creation of well-photographed content. For styling and photography, we'll go over the basics of how to light your photos, choose props, and style and edit your image
Presenting your client with accurate and attainable product details when discussing their design will set you as the expert in your field, establishing credibility and trust. Knowing the full range of available product will also help further define your specific aesthetic as a designer and better meet client needs. We'll also briefly discuss pricing for different product and how to up-sell your client.
Many of us have experienced this to one degree or another, but for those who have really struggled with this idea, this will hit very close to home. This semester's course in Eliciting Support will walk you though the struggle of being in a relationship or having friends and family who don't support you or struggle to do so in your pursuit of a creative career. We'll be looking at communication cues and practices and the laws of reciprocity when working on getting your significant other or family on board with your creative business.
In any market, branding is king. Simply put, branding is the promise of what a client can expect from your experiences and services. It sets you apart from your competition.
You can't be all the things to all the people. So what is your brand? You can the high cost, high quality brand... You could be the lower cost with high value... You could be a brand that's straightforward and quick... But you can't be all the things!
We'll look at how to go about branding your own company, how to define your brand style, define your market and how to brand for it, and how to design for yourself (we're our hardest clients!).
A consistent workflow and well-established process helps us manage our clients, set client expectations correctly, correct our time management problems, elevate our client's experience, and ultimately be more profitable. It puts YOU in the driver's seat, helping you and the client to be more efficient and effective, and ultimately creating a more satisfying experience for everyone involved.
Learning how to say NO to potential business, clients, family, friends and even yourself will help you build a stronger and more successful creative business. Saying no to potential work and clients seems like a backwards way to grow your business, we know! But in this course we'll get into how valuable it truly is and how to use it in your favor to better target your ideal clients, create more time in your work day, only get the work you want, and stay sane through all of it. We will also explore the delicate and necessary art of "spin" aka the best ways to say no.
You might be thinking, OF COURSE there are bad clients, I've just had what feels like a whole slew of them! Friend, you are not alone! We have absolutely ALL been there.
This class is all about the idea of "bad clients" -- what defines a client? How can you make sure you never get those "nightmare" clients again? How did you get them in the first place?? If you've ever been in a situation where working with your client has made you just want to throw your pen (or brush... keyboard... mouse...) down and rage quit, this is probably the course for you.
Commercial printing, whether you outsource or print in-house, is never as easy as just hitting Ctrl+P. Learn the ins and outs, save yourself time, money and sanity as we walk you through choosing the correct design + paper + printing method for yourself and your clients from the start. If you've ever struggled to finish a project on time due to printing snafus, last minute design changes based on printing methods, or struggled to reconcile your client's vision with your printing capabilities, this is the course for you!
In addition to the nitty gritty of actual printing, we'll also be looking at helping your clients make their paper/printing decisions correctly through education, correct presentation and bringing in some "spin" that we'll learn in the Art of Saying No.
Design boards are a great detail that can be added to your creative process to help narrow down a client's needs and wants.
Design boards can be used to hone in on and communicate design scopes to clients. Further narrowing your creative process allows for less time doing the back and forth with clients as well as reducing the amount of time spent with too many ideas flying around. Design boards help both you as the creative, as well as your client, keep the end design goals in mind, stay focused, and work more efficiently.
As a stationer, I can't overstate how much sketching has helped me communicate more effectively and efficiently with clients. This is a perfect course for those creatives in stationery related businesses looking to hone their paper process with their clients, but it's also a great course for all creatives looking to smooth out their customer experience.
We'll look at specific pricing examples in two industry categories: custom calligraphy projects, and building a pricing sheet as a paper pusher (i.e. stationer).
Pricing for custom calligraphy projects will include large scale quotes, wedding vows, family crests, large menus, large seating charts, etc. We'll talk about how to price your time as well as the cost of product for these situations, in addition to building your pricing as a calligrapher and the different pricing structures that are available.
In this class, we'll touch on all the metaphorical balls you'll need to juggle as you evaluate your creative business. How do you evaluate your market? Find your ideal clients? Establish your base prices? How can you make sure that those base prices are guiding you to price for your sanity and keeping you from falling into a scarcity mentality? How do you establish the value in your product and communicate this to your ideal clients before they even approach you?
We'll talk about all these questions and more in this course to give you a conceptual foundation in pricing for creative businesses!
Have you ever printed something straight from Illustrator or Photoshop and it looks nothing like your digital file? The colors are all wrong, they're muted and muddy, reds are browns, blushes are orange and dark greens are black. Know that frustration? This course will walk you through making color adjustments specifically for printing in house and will walk you through adding adjustment layers, running test prints, identifying issues and correcting them.
This course will cover the nitty gritty details of how to make your design decisions as you implement all the information you've gathered from your client into their dream invitation suite. How will you lay out your artwork? Where will you put the visual weight? What kind of printing are you doing, and how will that affect your artwork? We'll work through the design of an example suite in the course from digitized artwork to the final print-ready files.
We love the way a digital proof helps to elevate your client experience to the next level. A well-done proof clearly communicates the various features of your project from the main invitation to the custom wax seals, helps your client better imagine the full suite and final product as a whole, and allows you to share a visually pleasing, branded representation of the whole project altogether! We'll be using Adobe InDesign extensively in this course and taking advantage of how the Creative Suite products play nicely together. No previous InDesign knowledge is required
Taught by Jenny Sanders, who has a background in not only being a creative in the wedding industry, but also as a bookkeeper and accountant, this course will help you get yourself set up right. Learn the proper way to set up your accounts, business licenses, credit cards and banks and the basics of balancing, determining your profits, and preparing your books for a tax accountant or CPA.
For this course, we worked with the lovely and talented Paige Hulse of Paige Hulse Law, who is an attorney for creative entrepreneurs and online small business owners. After working as a contract litigator by day and running a calligraphy business by night, in 2017 she took the leap of starting her own practice, bridging the gap between the creative and legal worlds. She now works one on one with creatives at Paige Hulse Law, and recently opened the Creative Law Shop, where she sells contract templates and resources for entrepreneurs.
Digitizing your work is the first step in translating your beautiful artwork from paper to pixel. We'll be starting at the beginning and walking you through scanning, editing and using calligraphy and artwork in your layouts and designs. This will be a beginner to intermediate course.
Although instruction will be using specific examples and methods in the Adobe Creative Suite (specifically, Photoshop), we do not require you to purchase Photoshop in order to take the course.