Evgeniya and Dominic Righini-Brand are a creative duo focused on graphic design and photography. Despite starting out with a more traditionally freelance career path, they’ve shifted focus from working with individual clients towards more personal projects and teaching on Skillshare, allowing for more freedom to visually experiment in their work. We caught up with them to see what role Skillshare has played in the transition.
Tell us a bit about yourselves!
Evgeniya: We met in 2007 during our final year at university and soon after graduation moved to Moscow, got married and started our little studio. After spending years in an insanely busy capital city, for the past 3 years we have been enjoying quiet life in a small town in England. We work from home, and after buying our first house last year, we spend most of our spare time re-decorating, gardening, and riding our bicycles exploring new places.
Walk us through your career progression. What role does Skillshare play in your career?
Dominic: I studied photography at college and worked as a photojournalist before getting into graphic design and teaching art & design subjects at the British Higher School of Art & Design. After moving back to the UK and starting to teach on Skillshare, we have set up our studio around class production. Every class is an ultimate creative project which allows us to utilize a range of creative and technical skills, and we really enjoy this control over all aspects of what we do, which was never possible when working on client projects. Apart from working on personal projects and producing Skillshare classes, I also teach photography at a high school a couple of days a week.
“Now working on personal projects and producing Skillshare classes based on them is my full-time job, and I love every bit of it!”
Congratulations! You recently reached a huge milestone – $100K+ in earnings on Skillshare! What advice would you give to a Teacher looking to make Skillshare a significant part of their income?
Evgeniya: I believe that producing relevant and useful content and staying on top of creative trends and new technical possibilities definitely helps with getting more exposure and more engagement. Apart from that what makes the difference is being original, finding a unique angle, teaching something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about, and dedicating a considerable amount of time to planning and production.
“Teach what you know, and focus on quality, not quantity! Don’t worry if you do not have a huge following online, people enjoy finding and watching passionate teachers who produce original content.”
How have your Skillshare earnings impacted your life?
Dominic: Teaching on Skillshare has made a huge difference to our lives! When we returned to the United Kingdom in 2015 we were a little worried because we did not want to live in a big city, but there are not a lot of opportunities for creatives out in the countryside. Skillshare changed this and we now realize that we can live anywhere we want! We don’t have to do client work anymore and now have a successful creative studio focused on producing visual art and Skillshare classes. Last year we were able to buy our first house. We can also travel more often, because we don’t have strict office hours.
How did you get started teaching on Skillshare? What tips would you offer someone thinking about teaching on Skillshare?
Evgeniya: After quitting teaching at a local university and moving, I was thinking about how to get back into teaching without a need to be physically present in a classroom on a day-to-day basis. So when I learned about teaching on Skillshare, I decided to give it a go. I read every bit of the Teacher Handbook, watched all official Skillshare videos for creating and marketing classes, and joined the Teach Challenge. My main advice to anyone who wants to start teaching on Skillshare is to do the research and follow the best practices.
What’s next for you both?
Evgeniya: We have tons of ideas for new projects and classes, so our plan is to carry on experimenting and producing Skillshare classes! We’ve got a couple of classes in the works at the moment, and a few more planned for the foreseeable future. Online teaching has been our main focus for the past two years, and we want it to continue this way, but we also want to spend time building our social media presence, updating our print-on-demand shops, and launching a shop with digital design resources.