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CreativeLive Review

by Branka Vuleta

In a sea of online education platforms, CreativeLive stands out with its unique features aiming at creatives, entrepreneurs, students, and veterans. An esteemed American photographer, artist, and director Chase Jarvis and entrepreneur Craig Swanson launched it in 2010.  

CreativeLive focuses on high-quality online courses that are available 24/7 and led by more than 650 world-class instructors. The platform counts over two billion minutes of content and more than 10 million students. 

Without further ado, in this pragmatic and thorough CreativeLive review, we’ll analyze one of the world’s largest educational platforms that believes “there’s a creator in all of us.”

Features, Courses, and Materials

Now that you’re ready to rewire your brain for creativity, you can choose among five different categories that CreativeLive platform offers, like Photo & Video, Money & Life, Art & Design, Craft & Maker, and Music & Audio. Each of these categories has subcategories, so you can find topics like drawing, Photoshop, cake decorating, jewelry design, calligraphy, etc. 

CreativeLive courses provide methodical and well-structured lessons. They can be useful for beginners searching for their creative niche and veterans wanting to improve their skills.  

What distinguishes CreativeLive from other similar platforms is the option to join the live classes directly. Students can interact with instructors during the live broadcast by posting questions or comments.

In addition to this unique live feature, students can choose an offline option if they want to learn at their own pace. It essentially means that you can download any course you like and watch it offline via the app compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and iPod touch. Delving deeper into CreativeLive reviews, let’s see what types of courses are available. 

CreativeLive offers three types of courses:

  1. Live broadcast. Free, no limitations for joining, and the opportunity to interact with the teacher and the audience.
  2. Rebroadcast. Rebroadcasting previously released courses to introduce new audiences to older classes. This option is free, but there is no live interaction during the rebroadcast.
  3. Courses from the catalog. You can purchase any class from the list that was previously released. You can download it or watch it online.

CreativeLive studios review shows that photography is still the most significant part. 

Many photography enthusiasts want to discover secrets of the trade and make money as professional photographers. Even the founder of this platform, Chase Jarvis, started as a photographer, so it’s not surprising that photography is still the most significant aspect of CreativeLive studios.

CreativeLive streams free live broadcasts of online classes from its production studios, frequently including a live audience, with an opportunity to interact via comments. Despite many courses and the variety of covered topics, photography is one of the leading classes on the website.

The most popular CreativeLive photography classes among students are:

  • Speedlights 101: Workshop about incorporating flash into your photography.
  • John Greengo’s Fundamentals of Photography: He talks about shutter speed, aperture, image composition, choosing the right gear, and taking advantage of natural light. 
  • Adobe Photoshop Mastery: Retouch and Restore: Learning about photo restoration, advanced color correction, retouching, scratch removal strategies, etc.)
  • Retouching for Interior Architectural Photography: Architectural photographer Mike Kelley shares his wisdom on creating masks, mixing overexposed photos (also known as exposure blending) to get the best combination of the two, removing dark spots, acne, etc., from the skin, using curves to adjust colors, and several other techniques that will help your photos look stunning.

CreativeLive is famous for its annual event called CreativeLive Photoshop Week. It features experts and professionals who provide tutorials for all users, from beginner level classes to expert level.  

2019’s event included 17 freshly-designed workshops and seven expert and renowned instructors working with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. 

There’s a variety of curated paths that are hand-picked to help track the progress and the learning process. They are called learning paths. CreativeLive learning paths review shows us that you can combine classes. 

For example, you can pick a path, Become a Rock/Metal Producer, How to Fix Your Finances, Learn Graphic Design, Learn to Draw, How to Start a Podcast, etc.

The most in-demand classes students are interested in this year are:

  • How to Start a Photography Business by Pye Jirsa: This is a 12-week plan for starting and running a business. 
  • Capturing Story in Portrait Photography by Kelly Brown: Learn Photoshop compositing and in-camera double exposures and how to conceptualize your idea based on the client’s story.
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide by Ben Willmore: Created for Lightroom newbies and self-taught Lightroom users, this class will uncover the hidden features.

We’ll end this CreativeLive photography review by explaining some of the classes. 

How to Start a Photography Business

Pye Jirsa helps you build a photography business in 12 weeks and 87 lessons. Furthermore, he talks about what gear to use and how to build a portfolio. The class is intended for professional photographers whose goal is to start a business.

Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown conducts 49 video lessons that will help you go beyond traditional portraits, taking into account the client’s story and personality and using Photoshop compositing and in-camera double exposures. Lessons are intended for moderately experienced photographers. 

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

In 20 Ben Willmore’s video lessons, you’ll learn how to use Lightroom. On top of that, you’ll receive a workbook (reference guide), Lightroom presets, and keywords.  

CreativeLive Periphery Review

You’ve probably heard of Periphery, an American prog/rock band known for its djent style (palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound). CreativeLive offers you an exclusive class, conducted by Periphery’s bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood and drummer Matt Halpern. There are 40 lessons that every metal drummer must see. 

The lessons include:

  • Learning Drum Tone
  • Drum Head and Shell Selection
  • Matt’s Signature Snare
  • Tuning Toms
  • Drum Feel and Cymbal Selection
  • Snare Miking Techniques

The class includes downloadable live samples and a video of Nolly showing how to mic a guitar cabinet with a special technique he used while recording the album Juggernaut.

CreativeLive vs. MasterClass – the Art of Competition

Much younger than CreativeLive, MasterClass is a new platform that became one of the most popular online educational platforms. David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen founded it in 2014. 

The main feature they take pride in is the quality of the instructors. For example, culinary icon Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking, whimsical fantasist Neil Gaiman teaches writing, Oscar-winning Helen Mirren teaches acting, etc. 

They produce short (3–15 minutes) tutorials, and the emphasis is on the jaw-dropping video and production quality.

CreativeLive classes are more practical and much longer. The platform has more classes and instructors available, a frequent CreativeLive discount, and more promotions. 

MasterClass classes are mostly theoretical. The average class has 24 lessons, with an average duration of 12 minutes per lesson. You can choose one out of 50 classes.  

Both platforms have advantages and disadvantages, and it’s entirely up to make a choice. 

CreativeLive Ease of Use

What’s great about CreativeLive classes is the simplicity of the materials. The courses are divided into straightforward lessons. Recorded in HQ, you’ll learn the basics of the category you choose (photo, video, design, craft). 

It turns out that photography courses are the most popular among students, as they are always in high demand. Students are interested in learning how to start a photography business and use Adobe software (like Photoshop and Illustrator).

Plans and Pricing

Freemium Pricing Strategy and Free CreativeLive Classes

When it comes to fees, CreativeLive has a freemium pricing strategy. What does this mean? Primarily, you can watch all classes for free, but only while they are streaming. Nevertheless, some previously aired classes have free to watch sections, and most courses are low-priced. 

You can view upcoming courses for each day of the week and adjust your timezone or get a reminder when they are live. For students who need more convincing, there’s a CreativeLive free trial available for returning users as well. You can find additional information about it on the customer service page.

Now that we talked about the freemium strategy let’s talk about free classes. They include design, craft, business, music classes, and a popular free class 30 Days of Genius with Chase Jarvis. Here Jarvis interviews business experts, artists, and entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Jared Leto, and Arianna Huffington about their breakthroughs, successes, and failures. 

CreativeLive broadcasts six curated classes daily for free, but you have to watch them in real time, as mentioned before. They often go on repeat for 24 hours.

CreativeLive Affiliate Program Review

Did you know that you can make money if you’re using the affiliate program? For every new purchase, you’ll get a 20% commission rate. If you’re a returning customer, there’s a 10% commission rate for you to collect. This program is free to use (there are no fees). People who live outside the US can also become part of this program if ShareASale is available in their country. 

Creativelive Creator Pass Review - Yes or No?

Creator Pass lets you access over 5,000 lessons across 1,500 classes in photography, video, design, music, crafts, and business. With it, you’ll be able to select offline viewing lessons but only in the iPhone/iPad app. 

Classes purchased individually will still feature offline access for desktop. You should use it if you’re looking for an affordable way to learn creative skills online or struggling to get your creative business off the ground. If you’re already an expert in your field and don’t have time for learning new skills, you can skip getting the CreativeLive Creator Pass.

This service costs $39 per month, and an annual payment is $149 (usually $299), with a refund option within seven days. 

Is Creator Pass an all-access pass? No. According to the official website, some classes are not included in the Creator Pass, and you won’t find instructors like Marc Goodman, Art Wolfe, Ramit Sethi, Julieanne Kost, and Steven Kotler.

Furthermore, numerous classes are excluded from the package. We’ll mention only a few:

  • The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Pitching Clients and Getting Sales with Peter Corbett.
  • Action Sports Photography by Corey Rich (learn about action photography and shooting in extreme environments).
  • The Summer Workshop by Alex Strohl (create amazing outdoor photographs). 
  • 28 Days of Portrait Photography by Sue Bryce (according to Sue Bryce CreativeLive review, this class will teach you how to become the master of portrait photography in less than a month).

So is Creators Pass worth it? Yes. Some individual lessons conducted by Grammy winners, bestselling authors, and world-renowned photographers can be expensive, so having a Creator Pass is a better option. 

It currently costs $39 per month, and you get access to almost every lesson available on the page (including the offline downloadable material). This makes sense since it’s cheaper than dozens of individual lessons.

The Creator Pass will help you:

  • Work on your creative skills
  • Start new business
  • Inspire you and give you a boost to be successful
  • Help you learn new skills

It automatically renews every billing cycle until you cancel it, and the CreativeLive subscription is automatically renewed at the current price of the Creator Pass subscription. 

Creator Pass is a streaming-only subscription service. That means that services will not always be available to users in every location. The alternative is a one-time payment. The price is much higher, but you’ll get lifetime access to that course.

If you’re a desktop user, go to My Account, click on Subscriptions, and choose Manage Auto-Renew Settings to cancel the renewal. As an iOS app user, go to My Account, choose Profile, click on Subscriptions, and you’re done.

Refund Policy

You can ask for a refund within 30 days. CreativeLive issues a refund if you purchase using a browser-based CreativeLive app or a coupon code if you purchase through the mobile app. You can use this code to buy courses on the website. 

If the courses you purchased have technical issues, like bad visibility or blank video, you may get a replacement or a full or partial refund. Please note that you can’t get a refund for the courses you downloaded.

Online Ratings

When it comes to user experience, there are numerous positive reviews on the internet regarding the services. The website is easy to navigate, you can find all the important information about the courses and pricing, and this platform has an A+ rating on BBB. As for negative reviews, users are usually dissatisfied with the prices of individual lessons and course hours.

CreativeLive Pros and Cons

CreativeLive has one of the best teams of world-class instructors that include best-selling authors, Grammy winners, and world-renowned photographers. They are over two billion minutes of content that can satisfy even the most demanding students. 

As we stated in this CreativeLive Review, you can watch and download the courses on various devices, and the Creator Pass doesn’t cost a fortune.

  • Variety of topics
  • Eminent instructors
  • Live interactions with presenters
  • Courses can be watched offline via the app
  • Daily courses are free to watch
  • Creator Pass’s reasonable price 
  • High prices of individual lessons
  • No certificates or accreditation
  • Lesson length

CreativeLive offers various free courses, but you must consider the cost if you decide to focus on only one topic. Some individual lessons may cost hundreds of dollars. 

Another downside of this platform, and maybe the most important one, is the lack of certificates or accreditation. CreativeLive doesn’t provide any. Moreover, many classes last longer than 30 minutes, and for some, this might be hard to digest. It can discourage potential students who may prefer a platform that offers shorter lessons.

Final Verdict

Let’s sum up this CreativeLive review. Creators of this online education platform intended for creatives and entrepreneurs believed in quality education from day one. There is a vast number of classes and top-notch teachers available to students. 

Courses are versatile, and both beginners and skilled students can benefit from them. So if you want to soak up knowledge, improve your creative skills, or are just curious to discover trade secrets, CreativeLive is an excellent starting point.

Frequently Asked Questions About CreativeLive

Who is CreativeLive for?

CreativeLive is an online education platform ideal for individuals eager to learn a specific skill from the masters in their field. The courses will help you stay inspired, involved, and connected through multiple virtual challenges, live events, student community forums, and brand new content added each week. 

CreativeLive focuses on high-quality online courses that are available 24/7 and conducted by more than 650 world-class instructors.

What are the most popular and best CreativeLive classes?

You can choose among dozens of courses from five different categories: Photo & Video, Money & Life, Art & Design, Craft & Maker, and Music & Audio. Every category contains a subcategory where you’ll find classes like drawing, Photoshop, cake decorating, jewelry design, calligraphy, etc. 

The most popular and frequently visited photography courses on CreativeLive are Speedlights 101, Fundamentals of Photography, and Adobe Photoshop Mastery: Retouch and Restore. 

The most sought after classes students are interested in this year are: How to Start a Photography Business, Capturing Story in Portrait Photography, and Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide.

Does CreativeLive offer any free classes?

CreativeLive uses a freemium pricing strategy that allows you to watch all classes for free, but only while streaming on the page. You can view upcoming courses for each day of the week and adjust your timezone or get a reminder when they’re on air. 

30 Days of Genius with Chase Jarvis is the most popular free class. CreativeLive broadcasts six curated classes every day, completely free. Still, keep in mind that you have to watch them in real time.

Is the CreativeLive Creator Pass worth it?

Creator Pass unlocks the extensive library for a reasonable price. It’s quite useful because some individual lessons are quite pricey. You can access over 5,000 lessons across 1,500 classes in photography, video, design, music, crafts, and business. 

The only drawback is that it doesn’t give you an all-access pass, and some instructors and classes are excluded from the offer, as you’ve probably gathered already from this CreativeLive review.

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