The internet never lacks resources when it comes to empowering creative skills. While looking for something fun to learn this summer, I came across an interesting platform that is hardly known by many. In today’s Domestika courses review, we’ll be exploring some new learning opportunities for students as well as teachers in the creative space.
What Is Domestika
Founded in 2002 by Julio G. Cotorruelo, Domestika started out as a public forum and gradually developed into a learning platform and community we see today. There are currently over 300 courses with new content being added weekly.
The objective of its mainstream education is to deliver professionally curated online classes on the following subjects;
- Marketing & Business
- Photography & Video
- 3D & Animation
- Architecture & Spaces
- Calligraphy & Typography
The on-demand courses are conducted by experts in their respective fields and are made up of video lessons, downloadable exercises, projects and a community section catered for Q&A between the tutors and the students. Depending on the depth of the topics, some courses run for an hour plus while others could stretch up to seven hours or more.
Upon completing the assigned tasks, you’ll also be awarded a digital certificate signed by the tutors themselves. This certificate, however, shouldn’t be confused with those of professional qualifications that involve passing examinations. It merely indicates that you’ve acquired a new skill from the platform and could, perhaps, take this as a boost to pursue your interest further.
How to Choose What to Learn on Domestika
Anyone can create a free account via FB or using an email. From the main menu, you can then search for courses based on your subject of interest and levels. Watch the short preview first to get to know your tutor and the layout of each course curriculum. In essence, you can expect a combination of theory and practical application towards the end.
(1) Single Course
If you’re just starting out like me, there’s a section called Domestika Basics that list several introductory courses for beginners, especially those who’re keen to pick up artistic software skills like Adobe Illustrator — if you’re into that.
Alternatively, you can also select from the Top Rated or Popular Courses that have garnered more than 95% positive ratings from massive student enrollments. Each individual course comes with unlimited access and costs between $9.99 to $19.99 for a one-time fee.
(2) Bundle Courses
You can also buy courses in bundles if you’re planning to take more than one course. Domestika makes this process easy by grouping the courses according to a theme or a broad subject such as Animation, Illustration, DIY and so forth.
Some let you choose two and some even up to six classes per bundle for better savings. Most bundles cost between $14 to $45 for a one-time fee which is way cheaper than purchasing individual courses.
(3) Free Courses
#StayAtHome Domestika is an initiative triggered by the pandemic to help students with creative skills while many stay at home. It contains a handful of short courses you can access for free, that is only the lesson content, not the forums and resources. The availability of the courses, however, is subject to change depending on the development of the pandemic. If you’re curious about the Domestika learning environment, these free courses can provide some insights before you commit to any paid classes.
(4) Domestika Pro
Domestika Pro is an annual subscription membership that basically benefits in two ways. Firstly, it lets you watch early release open courses for free (before they go on sale), and secondly, you can apply a 20% discount on any future purchases of individual courses.
The annual subscription which costs $59 is most suitable for students who want to build all-rounded creative skills for the long term.
How to Teach on Domestika?
If you’re a creative professional who can produce video-based lessons, you may want to consider generating an additional income stream teaching online on Domestika. A full portfolio is required during the application review, and you’ll also need a PayPal account to receive payments in case you do end up becoming one of their teachers.
As of now, it’s no readily clear as to how much you could make through the platform. Chances are, you’ll be paid according to the number of students enrol in your course, after deducting any platform/administrative fee.
The Pros of Domestika Courses
(1) The main format of the course runs in videos and are usually accompanied by a variety of subtitles: English, Italian, Dutch and so on. This is good news for non-English students so kudos to Domestika for making the effort! The video presentations tend to share the same traits which I’m sure you’ll like. They’re vibrant, clear and engaging.
(2) Just like Pluralsight, a company that specializes in IT learning, all tutors on Domestika seem to have pretty respected profiles. They’ve either produced their own works successfully or collaborated with big companies such as Disney, Facebook and Honda. So you can expect to learn some hard skills from the experts. No wonder there are so many high ratings for the courses.
(3) Domestika seems to be running sales all the time, offering huge discounts for single and bundle courses as well as Pro-subscription. Not sure if it’s a summer sales thing, but it surely makes learning more affordable especially for students. In addition, if the course doesn’t meet your expectation within 14 days of purchase, you can actually request to change to another one — granted they accept your reason for doing so.
(4) Ever felt like gifting a course to someone you think will benefit from this platform? With Domestika, you can do so through their gift card selections. You can buy one or in bundles after which you’ll receive a code to forward to the recipient via email or a printed card. Cool, right?
(5) And it gets even more interesting. If you’re interested in earning some side income while learning, Take a look at the Domestika affiliate program. It lets you make sales commissions for every student you refer to the platform.
This is made possible through specific tracking links assign to you as their affiliate, and you get to cash out monthly through Paypal. Here’s what the payouts look like;
- First-time purchase during 30-day period = 40% commission over the total sale
- Recurring purchase = 20% commission per sale
- New user without any purchase = $2 per referral
Although Domestika allows you to use the links in various mediums, I found blogging to be one of the most rewarding methods because it allows for valuable content sharing and engagement versus social media/email which is often mistaken for spam.
Keep in mind that the trend for online learning has never been more popular especially during this difficult time. I’m sure many people are still not aware of Domestika but would love to know more about it. You can be that intermediate person by sharing what you know or showing them how you improve your creative skills through the courses.
If you’d like to learn more about promoting as an affiliate — what tools you need, how to get started, etc. — please visit my recommended training platform here.
The Cons of Domestika Courses
The biggest downside with the platform is that English isn’t the main teaching language. I mean, with all the promotional videos and content descriptions, one would assume that English is naturally spoken here. So it can be kind of misleading after you’ve signed up and discovered that that isn’t the case.
As it turns out, most of the tutors are of other natives, delivering their courses mostly in Spanish, Portuguese and French. Even some of the resources and community interactions aren’t published in English so if you aren’t bilingual, it can be very frustrating to learn and engage over the long course.
If you don’t mind the English voice-over (sometimes, they’re available) or reading the subtitles (English subs are always available), it shouldn’t be an issue. But if you’re more comfortable learning in an English environment like me, you’ve got to click on every course and read the description before you know it’s the right one to purchase.
Don’t get me wrong here; I don’t despise non-English courses. I think other languages are just as beautiful and Domestika has certainly made efforts to accommodate the use of the language in every aspect of their courses. I just wish there’s a more convenient way to sort between English and non-English spoken courses. It’s something the platform should consider adding to the search-filter system, I think.
Domestika Courses – Summary
Like most online courses nowadays, Domestika serves to provide additional knowledge and skills at affordable pricing. It opens up a whole new opportunity on what you can do and how you can utilize the newfound skills to step up in your career in the creative field.
To those who understand Spanish and Portuguese, this platform is a gem you shouldn’t miss. To those who speak English, there are actually some interesting courses here as well. Here, I’ve listed 14 of them which I think are worth checking out;
- Daily Sketching for Creative Inspiration by Sorie Kim (Illustration)
- Expressive Animal Portraits in Watercolor by Sarah Stokes (Illustration)
- Resin Jewelry Design by Mia Winston-Hert (Craft)
- Sugar Flowers for Cake Designs by Nasima Alam (Craft)
- Instagram Strategy for Business Growth by Dot Lung (Marketing & Business)
- Copywriting for Social Media by Paul Anglin (Marketing & Business)
- Introduction to TikTok for Creatives by That Icelandic Guy (Photography & Video)
- Lifestyle and Travel Photography by Julia Nimke (Photography & Video)
- Texture Design with Chocolate by Kia Utzon-Frank (Design)
- Introduction to UX Design by Ethan Parry (Design)
- Expressive Typography in Motion with After Effects by Mat Voyce (Calligraphy & Typography)
- Shodo: Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy by Rie Takada (Calligraphy & Typography)
I hope this review has given you a glimpse of what Domestika courses are all about. Let me know in the comment below what you think about this platform.