Yasmina Creates: Gaining Financial Stability as an Artist

This guest post was written by Illustration Artist and Skillshare Teacher Yasmina Creates. 

I remember how daunting making my first class seemed. I joined Skillshare’s monthly teach challenge and followed along with the simple steps they offered, but oh boy was learning how to plan, record, do audio, and edit video a steep learning curve. I almost gave up halfway through, but looking back I’m so happy I pushed through. Putting classes together became easier with time and the process is still so rewarding! Since publishing my first class, it’s been ten months and I have posted 14 classes and have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Three Reasons I Teach on Skillshare

How do I stay so inspired and what do I get from teaching? The inspiration part is easy, I love what I do! The benefits? A LOT! There are too many to list, so here are my top three reasons why I continue to teach on Skillshare:

  1. Teaching on Skillshare has given me the financial stability I need as an artist. This foundational income also gave me the free time to work on my passions--stress free. Even if you don’t earn enough for teaching to be your full income, it’s still passive income that can really help support your passion projects. Just remember: the more classes you publish, the more you’ll make overtime!

  2. YOU will learn a lot by teaching! I know it sounds crazy, but I can attest this is 100% true! I can see a huge improvement in my own art from when I first started teaching. I think it has a lot  to do with explaining your process to other people. When you share your own practice, you’re able to get a more holistic understanding of your own craft.

  3. You will inspire others. There’s no better feeling than seeing a happy student write an amazing class review or post a gorgeous project inspired by your class. It’s so rewarding to see how you can reach a worldwide audience and impart some of what you know onto them, and in the process, inspire them to create!

My Top Three Teacher Tips

If you do decide to dive into teaching, I’ve got a few tips I wish a seasoned teacher told me.  Here are three tricks that I’ve picked up on my teaching adventure to help you streamline and simplify your process:

  1. Master your editing software. Whether you use Quicktime or Adobe Premiere, like I do, be sure you know how to use it. There’s nothing worse than fumbling around in the editing stage of the class. It can be a huge time killer. Nowadays, editing is the easiest and fastest thing for me to do, because I’ve been able to learn the ins and outs of my program. It’s a great investment into your skillset as well and will significantly streamline your class creation process!  

  2. Keep your class simple & get to the point! I try to keep my classes as practical as they can be and I only use simple words and examples. My method is to compress a lot of information into short classes, but even then, I always get to the point in every lesson.  Don’t try to impress the students, they’re not here for that. Just make the information you’re providing as approachable and accessible as you can. This doesn’t mean you can’t explain complex concepts, but you should do so in simple terms. Remember that a lot of your students are from different countries and they can be any age. Try to make your classes an easy fit for everyone and always keep it straightforward and concise.

  3. To continue creating better content, you need to keep pushing yourself to learn and grow. Teaching will greatly help with this, but don’t be afraid to learn from other teachers,  read books, or practice your craft every day. I usually get ideas for my next class while illustrating for a side project. My goal is to never be stagnant. That way, I always have an overflowing pool of ideas and inspiration for future classes. That’s really the fun in teaching - the creativity never stops!

I hope my story and the lessons I’ve learned inspire you to start teaching or continue it It’s really one of the most rewarding things you can do, and once you start, it’s hard to stop! Follow your passion, and grow it by teaching. One of my favorite quotes summarizes teaching perfectly:

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” - Buddha