Not so long ago I finally figured out the purpose of my blog. It’s not just to talk about my creative journey, but to help other doll artists with their own creative path. When I started out there was lots of information on how to create a doll, but nothing at all about specific marketing strategies, ways on selling your art dolls or how to build a doll lovers community around yourself. After four years in doll making world I think I’ve learned many lessons about that. And I’m ready to share that information with you! This month is kind of special to me – I left my day job and plunged myself into doll making world a year ago . Today I can proudly call myself a doll artist and I want the same for you!
“Doll making series” were a huge success here in my blog, there you could learn the first steps on doll making and prepare for my doll making classes. For that reason I’m starting a new series called “Learn my secrets” where I’m going to talk about marketing, selling, creating info products and getting your artwork noticed.
Recently I’ve launched my first doll making e-course. I’ve had this idea about online doll making classes, which would be accessible for every artistic soul. No matter what’s your artistic background or development level is, whether you work or you’re a student – you’ll find a lot of useful information there and will be able to create on your own pace. At first it looked a little bit crazy. How am I going to fit all the information and make it easy to understand? And most importantly, what can I offer for people who already make art dolls? Step by step I’ve put together content: photos, videos and written instructions. I’ve even created one-of-a-kind doll specially for these classes! Keep reading if you’re curious about online course creating process.
Determine your topic and gather material
Deciding on the topic was pretty easy to me. I knew that my most immense knowledge lies in creating one-of-a-kind dolls. I wanted to show people how they can create an art doll from the very first steps to the finished piece of art.
To give students a feeling like we’re creating a doll together, I decided to make one doll specially for these classes and record every step of the process. Oh boy, I’ve never realised how difficult that would be. Imagine yourself in the situation where you feel inspired the most, creating something extraordinary and then stopping every minute, picking up your camera and recording every little step. It’s like eating delicious food and putting it back to a fridge after every bite. I would say a little bit annoying, ha ha!
But don’t get me wrong – when I’ve finished the doll and saw thousands of pictures with weeks of work in them I was struck with amazement. I’ve never appreciated myself or time and effort I’ve put in that one little creature. Seeing all those pictures helped me understand the true value of my dolls. And I’m not talking just about money. With these classes I wanted not only to teach people how to create the art doll, but also to understand a real magic they put into the artwork.
I’ve had an idea that putting all these lessons into one course could be a little bit overwhelming. Especially for the beginners. So I divided the whole doll making e-course into three parts: sculpting, painting and costume making.
Planing a comprehensive curriculum
To make it easy and fun to read I created many short lectures instead of the couple main ones.
Short lectures don’t make you feel overwhelmed and don’t leave you feeling tired after each session. I think it’s really important to find that balance, especially if you have some beginner students.
I’ve figured that if I want people to stick to my online class till the end, I must make it not only informative, but really fun and easy to study as well.
As you can see in the picture, sculpting class covers every little step from the idea to the finished sculpture. To make it more interesting I added a few bonuses too. For example video instructions on making a stand for your doll and printable blueprint of the dolls figure.
Planning the curriculum for the sculpting class was challenging at first – I didn’t want to miss anything, so I kept editing it throughout the whole writing process.
Creating content for the online classes started with me sculpting the doll specially for this course. And it was the most time consuming process in the whole online course making. In my opinion there’s two stages in building an online class: creating the content and putting it together. I’ve been creating the doll, filming and taking pictures for five weeks total. The writing phase took me just two weeks. Because of that I feel really confident with the content I created. Getting my hands dirty and providing the students not just with theory, but with practical visual content, was my ultimate goal.
I’ve wanted my students to have a feeling like we’re creating together. Taking the same steps and making an art doll. I understood that visual content is really important for my classes. I admit, I went a little bit crazy with that and took almost two thousand pictures of the doll creating process. I edited and reduced them into a thousand though, ha ha. Showing every step of the process really helps to understand how the doll is made and that students can achieve it too.
I’ve chosen to write my classes in step-by-step guide style. I think that short explanatory descriptions go together with photos seamlessly. When teaching creative subjects, it’s really important to give a lot of freedom for the student. You don’t want to make them read long articles, you want to make them feel inspired, but guided at the same time. So short instructions with the comprehensive pictures were the best format for my class. You can see an example here → adelepo.teachable.com/lectures/1111820
Finishing strokes and publishing
For publishing my doll making e-course I chose teachable.com. This platform was perfect to me, because it was so easy to start actually building a class. Because I’ve never done this before, I needed simple to use, but reliable tools.
When I finished writing the classes I spent a few days on writing accurate descriptions, uploading cover photos, introductory videos and so on. I wanted to create an environment where people seeing my works for the first time would get curious and eager to find out more.
Also I’ve created a private Facebook group for my students to share their achievements, ask for help or just to talk about doll making. This is the place for them to reach out to me and ask questions about the classes and get an advice from me. I love to get in touch with other doll-makers and see how they’re doing.
Making my own online classes and to sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over the years is so exciting. Seeing my students progress is exciting even more! Maybe you wanna joint too? Meet me there → adelepo.teachable.com
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