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4 Skillshare Classes You Need To Check Out

October 16th  •  Posted in Tech

4 Skillshare Classes You Need To Check Out

As I’ve already mentioned in my latest monthly favourites post, I’ve only recently made the switch to Skillshare‘s premium membership, and I’ve been in love with it ever since! Skillshare is just the perfect place to go where I want to learn something new or different. Especially on the desig front, there’re so many creatives and awesome teachers ready teach you a new skill from zero. And I don’t know about you, but to me learning and trying my hands at something new is always so fun! Thanks to a couple of Skillshare classes I’ve found my way into the beautiful world of calligraphy, which is something I’ve always wanted to give a try to.

I’ve tried and tested a few too many classes since purchasing my premium membership, and I thought it could be nice to gather up four of my favourites. You should really check these ones out!

Adam Whitcroft’s Icon Design – This one, I’ve really loved. Adam Whitcroft is an amazing teacher and makes something I’ve always thought to be so difficult, actually look very simple. Icon design is something I’ve always wanted to give a whirl at: designing websites on a daily basic, I often feel the need to have an icon set of my own, something personal and different from any other. This class will guide you through the process of putting together a cohesive icon set using Illustrator and Photoshop, and in the end you’ll be left with a beautiful, handcrafted set ready to appear on the web!

Jamie Bartlett’s Dry-Ink: Smart Texturing In Photoshop – This class is pretty quick but so very smart and useful. I love to learn new Photoshop tricks, and a dry-ink texture, let’s be honest, always comes handy and looks lovely on texts. This class is very intuitive and easy to follow, great for beginners too!

Bryn Chernoff’s Calligraphy I – If you want to try your hands at calligraphy once in your lifetime but can’t really take part of any of those so-aesthetically-pleasing classes with tea and cupcakes served alongside, you should totally give this class a try. You’ll be guide through the whole process of picking your calligraphy tool, start writing for the first time and finally learn how to write small paragraphs and phrases. In less than 2 hours! With worksheets too! You can’t really go better than this.

Belinda Love Lee’s Digitize Your Own Calligraphy – Following her on social media, I was very excited when this class came out. I loved taking a sneak peek at her design process. This class is great for learning how to quickly digitize your own calligraphy and a little bit more about paper and letterpress, which has always sounded so appealing to me.

Any other fans of Skillshare? What about your favourite classes? x

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Pinterest for creative brainstorming

September 14th  •  Posted in Tech

How I Use Pinterest in My Creative Business

As many of you would know, I’ve been running a blog design shop since almost a couple of years, and as I’ve announced a couple of times already, I’m planning and working to expand it and make it look more professional and integrate more of my skills in my work apart from web designing. I don’t even remember when it all started (it has been months that I’m working at the re-launch), but I do remember how I decided to switch things up this time and start with a project in mind everytime I started something new.

The first time I launched my design shop, let’s be honest, I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was an experiment, and even though I wanted it to look put-together and to build a few products before launching it, today I’d say I wasn’t organized at all! But it was right, because it was my first time doing it and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have come to this point and have learnt how to work from home, build a routine, create something from scratch and make it into a final product ready to be sold to others.

Since online businesses are everyday more frequent these days, I thought I’d share some behind the scenes of my work a little bit more often, starting from the creative tools and resources I use, which can totally work for any other creative business of any kind. And the biggest, most essential source of inspiration these days to me is good old Pinterest….

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Online tools for bloggers & business owner

May 20th  •  Posted in Tech

I’ve been blogging since a while now, and also am running a small business at the same time, but only recently I’ve found a great routine to plan, schedule, write, work, publish and create, all of this while also staying organized. Most of it is thanks to some great (and mostly free) online tools, websites and apps that help me schedule, promote and plan ahead, while also staying updated with my website’s analytics. Here I’ve written down a little list of favourite tools that are especially awesome for bloggers and small business owners!

Stay tuned until the end for a free printable weekly planner!

Buffer – As much as I like to publish authentic content on social media too, sometimes scheduled tweets are the only way to go for me. I usually only schedule tweets to promote my blog posts, usually 4/5 times spread during the day. You’ll be able to pre-schedule standard hours for your tweets, so it’s great to look at when your followers are more active on Twitter and strategically plan ahead when to make your tweets go live.

Sunrise Calendar – I usually plan my blog posts a month or so ahead, so it’s great to have a nice calendar app where to plan ahead when those posts are going live on my blog. Sunrise Calendar has a lovely interface, and it allows me to use different colours for different typologies of posts (like food, beauty, style, etc.) to be able to never publish the same type of posts two days in a row.

LikeBtn – See that little hearts/likes counter in the footer of my posts?! I know there’re a tun of plugins to install it for free on WordPress, but it’s not that easy to find an aesthetically pleasing button that works fine on Blogger too, but LikeBtn is doing the trick for me. It’s not always free, but is very inexpensive and a great way to see what your readers actually like.

MailChimp – I’m new to newsletters, but I’m really into building a mailing list to stay connected with people that is really interested in my blog content and business and MailChimp is super easy to use (even without following a guide) and it’s great because there’re plugins for WordPress and Squarespace, and easy form codes to implement anywhere in your template.

Coffitivity – This is so great! If you’re one that likes to work in coffee shops but can’t really be in one everyday, Coffitivity recreates the sounds of a café to make you feel like you’re there whereas you’re actually in your boring office. It’s a boost for inspiration, plus you can pick the sound you most like!

Mapbox – Great for lifestyle and travel bloggers, Mapbox allows you to create maps of your favourite cities to place a mark where your favourite shops, bakeries, restaurants, ect. are located to suggest them to your followers. It’s a lovely idea to add to a page of your lifestyle/travel blog, as you can also add links to your own content in the description of the place to reindex your readers to your reviews or photos.

Twitter Cards – Did you know you can create cards on Twitter to make it super easy for your followers to visit your website or subscribe to your newsletter without even leaving Twitter? You can create lead, website, images or app cards for free, but to me these are extremely lovely for promoting and incrementing my mailing list!

Pinterest for Business – If you’re using Pinterest already, you’ll know its a great one for inspiration. If you’re looking into inspire your following, it must be the place where to promote your products or content. Sign up to Pinterest for Business to see the stats of your Pinterest account and see which pins are more popular and even how people pin from your website. Take a look at this amazing guide if you’re new to promoting your blog/small business on Pinterest.

Google Analytics – You’ll know Google Analytics better than me, but if you’ve not yet signed up, you really need to take the step. The tricky part is setting it up, but once done, you’ll see all the stats of your blog in one place, even the demographic of your readers, which is not only interesting to know, but also important to understand what kind of people is interested in your blog/small business.

Rich Pins – These add extra informations right under your pins, and make it super easy for your followers to see what your recipes, places, products pins are about!

What about your favourite online tools for creatives? Do you already use all of these? x

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