I’m Teaching Maps on Skillshare!

Since the beginning this site has always been about the intersection of travel + design and I’m excited to announce another direction I’m taking this idea. For the past couple months I’ve been talking to Skillshare – an awesome platform for taking online (and sometimes in person) classes. They essentially gave me the guidelines to come up with my dream class, and so that’s what I did.

My class is called Map Design: Learn to Communicate Places Beautifully. I was inspired by my own way of travel where I don’t want to carry around a bulky guidebook, I like to see things on a map (in the past I have walked crazy distances having no clue places were not close at all), and getting advice from local experts. I designed the map of the Canal St. Martin area of Paris as just one of a million possibilities of what you could create in this class. (Computer + design skills NOT required!!).

So here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up! (All Skillshare classes are totally affordable!)
  2. This class is perfect if you want to chart your latest travels, are planning a wedding/event and need a map, host guests in your home a lot, or just love your own neighborhood and want to map it. It’s open to all levels, ages and stages. Enthusiasm + eagerness to learn will get you far!
  3. The class is structured into 3 units:  Hand Drawn Maps + Concepting, Mapping in the Digital Age + Alternative Guides, and Office Hours (Q&A and Google Hangouts with me + your classmates).
  4. Knowing people have really busy lives, I’ve structured it so that both of the lectures come early in the 3 week online class. They’ll be pre-recorded and you can watch them whenever you have a chance. That gives you more time to work on your final project: a travel/map of the place + theme of your choosing.
  5. Both of the main lectures will have mini exercises to help get you thinking about mapping in a new way. They are designed to encourage you to disconnect from your computer, and realize that even great maps can be imperfect. You share your work with your classmates along the way, which is an awesome way to get you thinking about all the different ways you can approach the same design challenge.
  6. Work on your final projects, which can be print or digital. During the lectures I’ll share tons of examples, talk about format, and give you ideas so you can create your own map(s) for however you want it. And if there’s anything you still have questions about, you can just ask. It’s a highly collaborative environment and your classmates are awesome resources too.
  7. All while you’re learning you’re interacting and checking in with the progress of your classmates. You can create “groups” too for people working on projects similar to yours. I’ve taken a couple classes through Skillshare now and have even made some great professional contacts. There some awesome people around you, so make the most of it!
  8. Awards! As part of the incentive to stay on task, the top 10 maps created in class will be shared on Prêt à Voyager! I’m trying to cook up some other awesome rewards, but you’ll just have to sign up to see where that goes.
  9. Even if your life gets kind of hectic during the time of the class, you’ll still have access to the information even after the technical last day of class. The idea too is the skills + resources you pick up in this class will stick with you and you can apply to any future projects or maps.
  10. More info on the class here.

I’ve taken a handful of Skillshare classes now and I find they’re the perfect excuse to actually DO the projects I’ve been thinking about for ages. If you want to to sign up for my class you can do it here. Skillshare has TONS of awesome classes you should check out regardless – anything from logo design to designing web apps to food photography or how to make the perfect meatball, and with some of the coolest teachers around! Check out all the Skillshare classes here! (And they’re constantly adding new ones).

Any questions? Just leave them in the comments below, or tweet me @pretavoyager!

UPDATE: I’ve created a Google map of all the students signed up here. More than 10 countries around the world + counting!

P.S. Look at the map in this post for 10 seconds + tell me what you see :)

29 comments

  • This looks really really interesting. And I absolutely love Skillshare! I’ll see if I can manage to take it with our travel plans in February. And are you sure it’s okay if I have no computer design skills?

    • It’d be awesome to have you in the class, Jillian! Even if you can’t follow along in real-time, if you sign up you’ll have access to everything. And I promise you don’t need computer design skills. Most of the exercises are off-line, hands-on. I’m secretly trying to get computer people to unplug :)

    • Please join the class, Lindsay! It’s going to be great, and even better with all the awesome people like you who sign up :)

  • This is so great! I’ve been wanting to have the skills to make beautiful maps to show where all our farmers market vendors come from, so this is perfect timing!

    • How perfect! I bet you could create something awesome, Ann. I do hope you sign up! Would love to have you in class.

  • As you know I’m obsessed with maps and have recently been working on a project I want to do with maps;-)
    Would love to run it by you sometimes…

    Anyway, I digress, go on humour me, you designed this class with me in mind!!! I’m really excited to have signed up. There was no hesitation, just a click of a button. And the price… please. At this rate Skillshare is my best friend< feeding my scanner mind.

    Parfait!!!!

    • I know! Skillshare is such a steal + just another reminder it’s about what you put into these classes that determine how much you get out of it. There are so many great insider tips tucked away…. And map project!?! I like the sound of this!!

  • I love this idea, but I have zero creative skills! There is a map I wanted to do, maybe I can hire one of the graduates from your class to do it!

    • I hardly believe that, Andy! This class is designed to get people to think differently and show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m foreseeing some awesome pen and paper hand drawn maps just as much as computer driven.

  • Living on the opposite side of the world to all of my family and most of my friends I have some great map ideas in mind. If only I could get them out of my head and onto paper!
    I think I’m going to have to sign up…

  • A Pink Flamingo! This sounds so interesting…. what language will the lectures be in? I’ve never used Skillshare, will that be a problem?

    • Good eye, Sara! I made my map an animated gif…. Lectures will be in English, but if people have questions in French I can help with that too. Most of the class will be visual anyway, so it’s not a big issue. Skillshare is an awesome platform and they have classes for everyone. First time users are welcome with open arms :)