How Teaching on Skillshare Launched Jake Bartlett’s Freelance Career

Motion Graphic Artist / Animator Jake Bartlett always dreamed of quitting his day job and focusing full-time on his freelance career, but it wasn’t until he started teaching on Skillshare that this dream became reality. Today, with 75% of his income coming from teaching on Skillshare, Jake has the financial stability and freedom to spend his time working on the things he loves most.

In 2013, a hand-lettering class and a MacBook Air changed Jake Bartlett’s life. At the time, Jake was working full-time for a production company as a motion graphics artist. He had dreams of launching his own freelance career, but he was stuck between a rock and a hard place: his schedule with a full-time job didn’t allow enough time to dedicate to freelance projects, nor did quitting his job seem financially viable. Enter the lettering class and the laptop.

Jake’s wife Jamie, also a graphic designer, discovered Skillshare when she enrolled in one of Mary Kate McDevitt’s classes on hand-lettering. She noticed that many of the top teachers on the platform were everyday creative professionals just like Jake. She started to look more into teaching and found that Skillshare was hosting a challenge for new teachers: that month, the first-time teacher to publish the best class would be awarded a MacBook Air. She told Jake right away.

Jake was thrilled about this opportunity and immediately went to work on his first class, The Ultimate Guide to Kinetic Type in After Effects. That class not only won him the laptop, but the attention of thousands of Skillshare students as well.

Two years, eight classes, and 10,000 students later, Jake’s life has changed completely. Jake is not only one of Skillshare’s top teachers, but he was able to quit his day job, and attributes over 75% of his monthly income to his Skillshare classes alone.

“These days, the majority of my income come from teaching on Skillshare. This gives me the freedom and opportunity to support my family by doing something that I love," Jake tells us -- and he's only just getting started. His following is growing every day, and he plans to publish at least one new class every month for the foreseeable future. "I've found that posting a new class each month is the quickest way to build a large following," he explains. "It's a snowball effect, and it only gets bigger the more often you're creating new content!" He's absolutely right; continually teaching on the platform is the best way to maximize your success as a Skillshare teacher. 

Check out Jake Bartlett’s classes, and stay tuned for more to come!

You can also follow in his footsteps by signing up for our August Teach Challenge. This month we’ll be giving away an Apple Watch to the teacher with the best new class, so there’s no better time to start teaching.