Develop your creative skillset. Learn from experts. The CreativeLive review.
CreativeLive is a popular online learning platform specializing in teaching creative and professional skills such as photography, design, music, crafts or business and alike. It provides various types of classes, workshops, learning paths and downloadable learning materials. In this post, I share my CreativeLive review and discuss highlights, pros and cons.
What is CreativeLive?
Mission – CreativeLive was established in 2010 in Seattle and contains over 1,500 classes taught by over 700+ teachers, followed by about millions of students. Its mission is to help individuals develop and upgrade their creative skills enabling them to work in the media industry, as a professional freelancer or to further advance an ambitious hobby. You can browse our curated list of the best CreativeLive classes to get a quick idea.
Main Topics – The classes on this platform are divided into five categories: photography and video, art and design, music and audio, craft and maker and money and life. Additionally, you can access their TV streaming service for free to watch classes on different topics.
Sub Topics – Each of these main groups is subdivided into specialized fields, making it easier to choose what you need. For example, the art and design group is further divided into Adobe Photoshop, branding, drawing and illustration and graphic design. All these fields are very precise and focused, making things clearer for interested individuals.
Pricing – Course prices can vary and depend on the type and length of the class or if promotions are available. Most of them range between $20 to $79 but some cost more than $100. However, while you can always purchase a class individually you will burn money quickly if you want to enroll in learning paths or more than one course. Not ideal.
Creator Pass – There is an annual subscription plan, the Creator Pass, that with a few exceptions, gives access to all classes for $13/month if paid annually which is $149. CreativeLive obviously wants you to sign-up annually, and the Pass definitely offers better value over paying individually. Alternatively, you can sign up monthly for $39 if you just want to learn with them short-term.
Refund policy – CreativeLive offers a refund on purchased classes within a period of 30 days, in case you are not satisfied with it. However, this does not include the CreatorPass and does not apply to content downloaded for offline use. Furthermore, you may likely end up with a credit rather than a refund back to your method of payment.
Courses: 1,500+ | Teachers: 700+
Pricing: Creator Pass $39/month. $149/year.
Apps: iOs, Android, Apple TV
CreativeLive Review Rating: ★★★★★ | 4.7
CreativeLive – General Overview
As previously mentioned the platform consists of five categories. Each one of them has its focus and aims to train individuals interested in the area in question. All categories are further divided into subcategories and deal with specialized parts of the area in question.
Learning levels – There are beginner, intermediate and advanced classes in all categories, so you can start from zero or simply upgrade your skills. This can be very convenient because you can begin or resume from where you want, no need to go back when you already know something or force yourself into something beyond your skills.
Browsing – Classes are also labeled as ‘trending’, ‘most popular’ or ‘staff favorite’ making it easier to find suitable ones. In addition, pricing options will be displayed below a listing so you can see if there are any discounts available if you want to purchase classes individually.
Length – Lessons also vary in length and while some may take several hours to complete you can extract a smart technique or key insight from just one single lesson or within 30 minutes. I recommend looking at their concept of learning paths to create your own path consisting of in-depth tutorials (main skill) mixed with short and quick classes that focus on accompanying skills.
Overview page – To do so, keep an eye on the curriculum to better assess decision criteria such as learning outcome or time investment needed. The brief video intro offers good info here too. Each overview page also contains a description of the content, structure, goals, materials, student’s work and reviews.
Accessibility – Access CreativeLive on your PC, laptop or download the CreativeLive app on your Android and iOS devices. You can learn from home at your desk, but also on the go or from the comfort of your sofa. Additionally, you can access the platform via Apple TV although not all classes and features will be available.
User Accounts – In this CreativeLive review, we won’t describe how you can create a user account as many other reviews do. We want to focus on the type of skills you can learn. However, it is easy and free. Use either email or social media credentials to open an account. There are free classes available to give CreativeLive a try without any obligations.
CreativeLive Review – The 5 Main Categories
1. Photography and Video
Photography has always been a very popular learning topic. Hence it is only natural to see photography skills being covered extensively with a good grade of specialization for various niches and skills. CreativeLive allows you to learn and dive into various photography styles such as portrait, landscape and nature photography and skills needed to get involved in commercial work or produce artwork and work as a freelance photographer.
Of course, there is a large section on post-production, film and video production as well. This is actually a whole category on its own and also covers storyboarding and film creation. You will find content suitable for beginners, intermediates and professionals.
2. Art and Design
Considering that the world is becoming more digitalized with each passing day, it is a matter of time that art itself goes digital too. In fact, artists have been among the first to explore the opportunities digital technology offers to create contemporary art made of bits and bytes.
Hence, CreativeLive has an abundance of art and design classes to offer and they follow the structure of the Photography and video section. While this is a broad niche, expect anything from graphic design to drawing, branding, illustration and post-processing.
3. Music and Audio
Music is something that requires talent, whether it is singing or playing an instrument or creating music digitally, you have to have a very sharp pitch. CreativeLive, in this area, as well as in the other ones, is well-structured and offers a wide range of skills to learn or content to expand on industry-specific knowledge as well.
That being said, I would still like to point out that while classes are easy to follow even beginner classes require some previous skills. This stands in contrast to the art and design and photography and video sections, where it is possible to just dive in. Nonetheless, it is worth the browse around, but we recommend double-checking on the requirements and learning outcomes to avoid wrong expectations.
4. Craft Maker
This is a particularly interesting section as it contains classes teaching the skills needed to make something manually or digitally. Although many videos and tutorials teach you to make all kinds of things, this category is worth a closer look for those who wish to learn how to market themselves and sell what they make.
The Craft Maker category will teach you skills you can use to build your own business or to simply advance the skill to follow your hobby. This is one of the CreativeLive categories to look at if you want to sell your work on Etsy and other market places.
5. Money and Life
CreativeLive’s Money and Life category aims to help turn a hobby into a profession. It covers many different areas of interest, and chances are that you will identify yourself in one of them. The topics range from business basics, entrepreneurship, and (self)-marketing to motivation, management, leadership, and productivity.
There is of course a section on money and finance to help you build passive income streams, to build sustainable investment strategies, or to step into crowdfunding. Some of the most valuable topics certainly include how to change your mindset, negotiate better or communicate with people and partners.
CreativeLive Review – Important Features
I definitely appreciate the way CreativeLive allows me to browse the platform. It is fun to discover new content, and crucial information is easy to access, skim or scan. Categories and subcategories are neatly organized, so research should be easy and encouraging. In the section below, I’d like to discuss a few more core features CreativeLive has to offer.
Filters, Collections – ‘Filters’ and ‘Collections’ are two additional categories that contain bestseller and top-rated courses, discounted content or upcoming projects. Furthermore, you can browse for interviews, conferences, and, most importantly learning paths. I found this to be very helpful as it helps to find content that matches my personal learning criteria.
Dashboard – The account dashboard is user-friendly and provides the main access points to your classes. I just want to highlight the ‘My interests’ and ‘My library’ sections here that contain videos, classes and articles you have saved for consumption and learning.
Not all shiny though – If something is missing in terms of features here, it is the lack or inconsistency of downloadable learning materials, making the learning process less efficient. It would be more effective to focus on the lecture and read summarized notes afterward, rather than dividing the attention between listening and note-taking.
A must-have of any good online learning platform is to offer some type of learning paths. What is that? A learning path is basically a track that contains multiple classes lined up in a certain to teach a skill and to gradually increase the learner’s expertise. It’s what we call curriculum at the regular schools.
CreativeLive offers learning paths, which is probably its strongest feature, as it is extremely useful to have courses lined up for you and adapted to your skill level. CreativeLive currently curates over twelve learning paths containing suitable classes and learning materials.
I personally think online learners should also be able to create their very own curriculums. While you can certainly save content for your studying, CreativeLive does not yet offer the feature to create your customized path.
CreativeLive Fast Class
I found this to be a very interesting concept. Some classes are lengthy and complex and require a more sophisticated schedule to not get distracted on the way. A Fast Class offers a roughly 60-minute long fast track to the core principles taught in the original course.
This is ideal for getting an overview before diving in or moving on to the next skill. If you like book summary services like Blinkist, 12min or getAbstract you will love this feature. However, it is only available to subscribers of the Creator Pass.
What is free when you join the community is CreativeLive TV. It s a constant stream of scheduled events, interviews and chats with experts or knowledgeable people from all life paths and professions. There is a calendar to browse for interesting programs and you can just tune in whenever you like.
I’m personally not sure whether CreativeLive TV offers any extra value to study systematically or remains the distraction that TV usually is. However, I value the effort here to make learning more accessible using different types of media.
CreativeLive promises to provide its students with the skills and knowledge equal to those they would acquire by formal education if available in the required field. It strives to make learning easier and more accessible in terms of time, effort and finances.
However, it strangely offers no certificates or any other document that can be used as a credential that you have completed a particular training process, and that can be a serious obstacle to get a project you are perfectly qualified for. Something to be worked on, for sure.
CreativeLive Teachers and Instructors
The tutors at CreativeLive are composed of experts and professionals in their industry There are no amateurs or whatsoever teaching you random skills. This is a significant difference to platforms such as Udemy or Skillshare where everyone can be a teacher.
Furthermore, the classes are filmed by professional studios, which gives CreativeLive some extra credibility, given that instructors and managers invest time and resources into the quality of their content. Also, they film some of the classes in front of an audience.
The pricing scheme varies significantly and a class can cost anything from $20 to $100. The price depends on the complexity and length of the content and also who is teaching. Naturally, the more in-depth classes cost more and the more superficial ones cost less. You may also consider purchasing 1:1 classes. All classes are free while they are streaming – CreativeLive TV – a freemium model.
There is also the option to subscribe monthly for $39 and an even cheaper annual subscription that enables students to access all the classes they want, except for the ones that have been made inaccessible by previous agreement with the instructor.
CreativeLive Review – Pros and Cons
- Remote learning saving time and energy on commuting
- Level- adjusted courses
- Categorized and subcategorized fields of interest
- Large selection of classes
- Learning paths
- Professional instructors
- High investment in the classes
- Streaming offers and CreativeLive TV
- No certificates
- High priced individual classes
- High price of the classes in general
- Lack of downloadable course materials
- Lesson length
Alternatives: There are many other providers out there but 1:1 comparison can be tricky as each of those platforms has a different approach and focus. Considering this CreativeLive review, we think Skillshare, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning but also Coursera or edX are able to provide similar content in regards to quality and quantity.
CreativeLive Review 2021 – The Verdict
CreativeLive has a lot to offer, and what is even more important they really care for the quality of the lessons and their visual effect. The variety of courses is great and the features, the learning paths being one of the best. However, you shouldn’t ignore the lack of certificates if you need verification.
Is CreativeLive worth it? All things considered, I believe CreativeLive is worth it, given its promises, its solid and price worthy lessons and content. However, I also think CreativeLive requires a structured plan. While some platforms allow you to learn for free, it is not the case here.
I recommend creating a learning plan for your desired skillset and then see if CreativeLive can help you here. If so, it is worth doing the math and then compare the individual costs over the ones of the CreatorPass be it for a few months only or a whole year.
Do you like this CreativeLive review? Why not share with friends and family? If you have any questions you can use the comments below.