Back to school season can be divisive. For some, getting back into a routine can feel like a grind. Others love the chance to shift gears, finding it energizing and fun. 

Whether you need a mood-booster or somewhere to put your extra energy, this collection of August’s best Skillshare classes has something perfect for you. After all, when it comes to back to school season, everyone agrees on one thing: it’s a great time to learn. 

Productivity Class

Notion Masterclass: Maximise Your Productivity & Organisation

A screenshot of the "getting started" page of Notion. Skillshare teacher Ali Abdaal can be seen in a round bubble in the bottom right of the photo.
Notion’s productivity tools allow teacher Ali Abdaal to get the most out of his busy schedule.

Ali Abdaal is a busy man. In addition to being a Skillshare Top Teacher, he’s a doctor, an entrepreneur, a YouTuber and a podcaster. That’s a lot of hats to wear! 

How does he manage it? One ace up his sleeve is Notion, a free app designed to help you be your most productive self. Download this game changer, then join the class to go from a Notion beginner to an expert. You’ll be amazed to see how much more organized you are on the other side.

Animation Class

Expressions: Working Smarter in Adobe After Effects

A frozen frame of an animation against a yellow background. Various parts of a sushi dinner – chopsticks, maki rolls, nigiri, and a little bowl of soy sauce – float over a wooden sushi tray.
Teacher Jake Bartlett uses expressions to create stunning animations in After Effects.

If you use Adobe After Effects, you already know what a powerful program it is for creating stunning digital animations. But when you’re using software capable of so much, it’s tricky to find the most efficient way to do things. That’s where expressions come into play.

Motion designer and Skillshare Teacher Jake Bartlett shares his decades of design knowledge to help you zip through complicated commands. Get ready to work smarter, not harder, as Jake expertly guides you through a multi-frame animation using provided project files. 

Creative Writing Class

Travel Journaling: Capture Memories On the Go

Several of teacher Peggy Dean’s journals lay open on a white backdrop. One features a two-page illustration of a town from a distance. The other includes Polaroid photos and journaling.
With the help of artist Peggy Dean, you can preserve your vacation memories for years to come.

Still dreaming of your summer vacation? The season may be winding down, but illustrator and Skillshare Top Teacher Peggy Dean can show you how to capture the magic of your most recent trip with a unique, personalized travel journal. 

In this class, you’ll use journaling, photography, and illustration to pin precious vacation memories between the pages of a sketchbook. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a little piece of summer you can revisit even on the coldest winter night. 

Film and Video Class 

Reels, Shorts, and TikToks: How to Tell Engaging Stories with Your Smartphone

On the right side of the frame, instructor Max holds up his smartphone, obviously filming the New York City Street he’s standing on. On the right side of the frame, an inset shows the view of the street he has from his camera.
Instructor Max of NYClive captures the magic and movement of New York City.

When it comes to social media, one question dominates the conversation: “How do you make something go viral?” If you want more eyes on your content, NYClive’s Max and Lena can help you build the skills to get there. 

You’ll cover lighting, scripting, composition, and even the best settings for your smartphone. Most of all, Max and Lena will teach you the secret to enduring, sharable content: skillful storytelling. 

Painting Classes

100 Days of Watercolour Paradise: Build Your Painting Habit in Style

Two hands holding up tubes of watercolor paints and a painting. Additional watercolor paintings can be seen on the desk in the background.
Geethu Chandramohan will help you build a new skill (and a breathtaking portfolio!) in this beginner-friendly watercolor class. 

You’ve heard of a New Year’s Resolution—how about a Rest Of The Year’s Resolution? With a little more than 100 days left of 2022, right now is  the perfect time to explore a new hobby.

Even if you’ve never picked up a paint brush before, artist Geethu Chandramohan will teach you all the basics of watercolor. Soon, you’ll have all the skills you need to build a daily painting habit from scratch. If you get started now, then someday you’ll be saying, “2022—that’s the year I learned to paint!” 

Sunsets and Silhouettes – A 30 Day Watercolor Challenge for Beginners

Teacher Nabeel’s hands rest on a mostly-completed painting of a lighthouse against the edge of the sea. Also visible in frame are a few paintbrushes, a paint palette, a cup of brush water, and another painting drying on an easel.
Artist Zaneena Nabeel will show you how to build a collection of sunset paintings in just one month!

If you have 20 minutes a day, you have time to build a collection of watercolor paintings for your portfolio. All you need is a little bit of guidance.

Artist and Skillshare Top Teacher Zaneena Nabeel has always loved sunsets, and she’s ready to show you how to paint 30 of them. You’ll learn new artistic skills, develop your talent, and walk away with a set of gorgeous sunsets. 

Small Business Class

The Business of Graphic Design: Protect & Perfect Your Passion

A split screen feating Designer Aaron Draplin on the left. He is wearing a black shirt and an orange hat, sits at his desk. On the righ side of the screen is an example of a client invoice from Draplin Design Company.
Graphic designer Aaron Draplin knows how to balance business with creativity.

No one knows design like Aaron Draplin. As the founder of Draplin Design Company, he has decades of experience in the industry, and has helped hundreds of thousands of students learn graphic design. 

But what happens around or behind the design? What about, as Aaron puts it, “the business-y things?” Discover Aaron’s tips for creating templates, file structures, email communications, invoicing, and client relations. With his help, you can keep the business side of things running smoothly while you focus on what really matters: the design.

Note: While Aaron focuses on a graphic design business, the principles and advice he offers can be applied to just about any small business. 

Illustration Classes 

Personal Logo Design: Make Your Mark with Hand-Lettered Art

A man stands in front of a large brick wall, where he has just painted a logo featuring a cursive "C" with a pencil coming out of one side. The man is dressed in all black and has several visible tattoos.
Mister Cartoon will show you how to create a piece of personal branding that captures who you are.

Your style, personality, and passion should all come through in your branding. But getting all of that into a concise personal icon is easier said than done.

Luckily, artist Mr. Cartoon knows just how to help. He’ll walk you through designing, practicing your script writing, and digital inking—everything you need to make your logo pop. You’ll even learn how to capture it in spray paint, ensuring that you’ll always be able to make your mark. 

Hand Lettering in Procreate: Tricks & Tips to Improve Your Lettering

Two hands next to a tablet—one hand holds a stylus. The tablet features a portion of artful handlettering and includes  the phrase "...SO MUCH I'd suffer through early morning chitchat even before my coffee."
Improve your hand lettering with illustrator Gia Graham’s essential tips and tricks.

Building a new hobby takes three things: time, energy, and support. If you’re ready to supply those first two things, Skillshare Top Teacher Gia Graham is here to offer you the third. Whether you’re looking to improve your hand-lettering skills, boost your confidence, or add polish to your work, Gia’s class will guide you towards success. 

Self Care Class 

Win Back Your Creative Confidence: Part of The Inner Critic Series

Two versions of Lucy Lambriex sit next to each other. The Lambriex on the right is a redheaded woman in a blue dress. The Lambriex on the left, meant to represent her inner critic, is wearing a curly gray wig and a charcoal blazer, and appears to be mocking her companion.
Instructor Lucy Lambriex knows how to communicate with her inner critic.

Say you were to turn the tables on your inner critic, and offer your thoughts their work. What would you say? If words like harsh, overbearing, distracting, or stifling come to mind, you’ve come to the right class. 

Using humor, experience, and creativity as her guide, teacher Lucy Lambriex will show you how to face your inner critic. By the time the class is over, you’ll know your inner critic well enough that they won’t be your enemy anymore. You may even find you learn something from them. 

School Yourself

Whatever you’re looking to learn, there’s no better moment than right now. All that stands between you and a new hobby or skill is a bit of time, a sprinkling of energy, and a few quick clicks. This back to school season, treat yourself to a little knowledge—you deserve it. 

Written by:

Dylan Morrison