Today's topic is "furthered education". What's funny is that I planned out the topics for this series back in February, and this particular post is falling right after Taylor and I announced Rise. Talk about timely! It's also the last post in the series... for now ;) So don't be sad! It's very possible that I could end up continuing Blogging Basics down the road. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Our world is constantly growing and changing. Technology has really sped up the process of everything, and I know for creatives, it's like our whole world is turned around every few years. There's so many options and updates out there, and it's good to stay in the loop, and to keep learning. With any interest you have, it's so beneficial to stay interested. Keep learning, keep searching for new perspectives. It's a great way to stay inspired and challenged. What's really cool about furthering your knowledge on a topic typically means that you do this by joining a group or community - so you're furthering your network as well :) There's a few ways you can do this...
If you get a chance to attend a conference of any kind, I promise that you will not regret it. There's such a vast array of conferences these days, and they'll knock your socks off! If you're looking for motivation and a chance to meet a large group of pro's (and awesome not-yet-pro's), this is the way to do it. There's round table discussions, parties to attend, panels to listen to - most are like summer camps for creatives! Conferences are also a great place to learn more about business and work/life "balance". Since the price tag is bigger, the speakers are typically pretty big as well, and you can learn a LOT. Conferences are also an awesome way to build a network and meet people. Prepare ahead of time, bring some business cards or little treats, and fight the urge to stuff chocolate in your face instead of saying hello. It will be well worth your effort! You never know, you might end up shaking the hand of your next best friend or creative partner :)
You knew I was going to go here, right? ;) Workshops are a more affordable and more casual alternative to conferences - typically only lasting a weekend, a day, or even a few hours, workshops can be an awesome way to learn a skill. Conferences - better for overall business/life/motivation. Workshops - better for skills. But also life, business, and motivation, just on a different level. What I really love about workshops is that you are getting more individual attention. You're getting to raise your hand and ask questions - a lot of them - and you can try something new without fear. Everyone else is there to learn this skill, too, so no need to be shy! I've heard awesome things about so many photography workshops around Texas, and I attended Blogshop's video class in January of 2013. It rocked. I don't consider myself a videographer in any way, but it was fun to get to see Photoshop in a new light, stretch my creative legs a bit, and get to meet so many amazing women. PS, if you're looking for something fun to do this summer, I have a couple of ideas...!
I <3 Skillshare (yes, I went there). Skillshare is a site where you can sign up for video classes taught by the greats on a hugely vast variety of topics. The prices are super affordable (and sometimes they have sales!), you get to keep the videos forever, watch and learn at your own pace, and even submit your projects to the class to be given constructive feedback. Taylor has taken Molly Jacque's course and she told me it was the greatest thing EVER. I'm currently taking Jessica Hische's drop cap class and it's really fun. Skillshare. Check it out. Look around. Try something new!
Of course, all of these have various price tags. Conferences especially can be a little pricey and, for some, tickets will go fast. With all of these, plan what you want to go to in advance and save your pennies. Tell friends and family that in lieu of a birthday or Christmas gift, you'd love a couple of dollars towards the conference/workshop/class you have in mind. Depending on where you work, you might even be able to ask them to pay for your ticket (or part of it) if the skills you're learning there will benefit them! Having trouble deciding what to go to? Make a list of all of the ones your interested in, and then make a list of what you'll get out of each one. Read blog posts from past attendees. Talk to others about it. With Skillshare in particular, it might be worth considering setting aside a "class allowance" for yourself each month. Then if anything catches your interest, you have the change set aside already to be bold and do it. Again, talk to others about options, and see what's out there. You never know what you could learn until you try!
So... want to know my reco's? I have an ongoing list of things I'd love to learn and attend. These are all creative and/or business-focused. If you want my reco's for Christian conferences, feel free to give me a shout! However, Influence is listed below, and is Christian-based though it's focus is creative business. If you know of a great workshop or conference that I haven't listed, give a shout-out! I'd love to add it. I did write this list late last night, so... there's probably a few I'll think of today and come back to add. Real world, y'all.
The "Yes Please" List
The Glow Workshop (heard great things - so hope they do it again!)
I'm personally saving to attend The Influcence Conference this year, so if it's something you're interested in, we could go together or meet up there! I know going to a big event like that in a different state can be kind of scary, but we could do it together :) Think on it; pray on it; give me a shout! Love y'all!
Image via That's Pretty Ace, painting by Jenny Prinn