Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Every year, we use the first week of May to thank those who have taught us so much. At Skillshare, that means an incredible community of creative instructors who have helped us unlock the best of our creative selves, challenged us to go further, and given us the tools to approach our craft in new and exciting ways.

Every day this week, we’ll be highlighting a teacher from our community. Today, meet Audrey Ra. Her creative journey started with a bullet journal, which has led her to watercoloring, calligraphy, and now with over a dozen Skillshare classes to her name, a Skillshare Top Teacher.

Learn with Audrey Ra

Discover Audrey’s classes in watercolor, calligraphy, and more.

Meet Audrey Ra

Hi there! My name is Audrey Ra, and I’m a teaching artist specializing in watercolor and modern calligraphy. I’m self-taught and enjoy teaching others through the lessons I’ve learned. The painting style I have developed the most is the loose style where there’s little sketching and lots of room for spontaneity.

How did you start working on your craft?

I started learning watercolor and calligraphy in late 2016 to honor my grandmother who passed away earlier that year. She was a watercolor artist (mostly for herself), and enjoyed painting florals. I think she’d be proud of where I am now with my love for watercolor and florals.

Where do you go for inspiration?

One of my favorite places is the Chicago Botanic Garden. I take dozens of photos for inspiration and use them as reference when I’m painting. I also enjoy books about gardening, floral arrangements, houseplants, etc. Books already have high quality photos that are easy to use for reference. Gardening (indoors and outdoors) has become quite a hobby for me in the past several years, so I love that I can find inspiration within my home, too.

Finish the sentence: I feel most creative when _______.

I allow myself to make mistakes.

“I love being a learner as much as I love being a teacher.”

What’s your favorite part of teaching?

I’ve been teaching on Skillshare since September 2017. My favorite part of teaching is how much I’m teaching myself along the way. Even though I may have practiced the class content, I still learn something new as I’m recording myself. Basically, I love being a learner as much as I love being a teacher.

Can you tell us about an influential teacher in your life, and what you have taken with you from them?

My graduate program’s professors were highly influential. They help shift my perspective about learning, and I was able to break free from fear of failure and other people’s expectations. So I try to do the same for my students. Instead of marking them down for mistakes, I want to turn them into learning opportunities. When students are not afraid to take risks, there is untapped creative potential.

Watercolors by Audrey Ra

Anything you’d like to plug?

I’m working on a big loose florals class that will help you with building confidence in your brushstrokes, deconstruct flower anatomy, master color theory, and paint any flower in a loose style. It’s going to be like a master class, and I hope you’ll enjoy it and use it to take your watercolor skills to the next level.

Learn with Audrey Ra

Discover Audrey’s classes in watercolor, calligraphy, and more.