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Xena Had it Easy. She never put a course online.

Isolating and Workin’ My Tail Off!

***OCTOBER 18, 2020 **** Please note that the FREE Drawing 101 program is no longer available.


Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder in my life, since the news about COVID 19 forced us all inside. Me? I already work in isolation as an artist and someone with a suppressed immune system, so it’s not new to “physically isolate” or “socially isolate”. I rarely get out anyhow, other than to teach a great sold-out drawing class at Banff Centre a couple times a month. (now cancelled)

You Don't Want Me to Lose It
Xena Had it Easy. She never put a course online.

Now that my only social outlet is kiboshed, I’m bursting at the seams wanting to share what I know about the joy of drawing to anyone who will listen.

Commence the hard work.

“Oh…I’ll just host an online Facebook class”….she says.

“It will be easy as pie”….she says.


After a huge-mongous-gargantuan-epic-inbox-breaking response to a video I posted a few days ago, I’ve been rushing around managing email lists, shoving muffins in my mouth and calling it all part of Canada’s “NEW” Foodguide – answering a thousand Mommys across the world who want their kids to sign up and drinking from the firehose 18 hours a day trying to figure out how to do it all.

Well crap.

I’m just going to share my journey and some of the resources with you about what I’ve learned so far in trying to put a Beginners Drawing Class up online:

  1. This cannot be accomplished in a week, never mind a month. If I was a guy right now, my beard would be Movemberish and the beer cans would be crushed and strewn across the living room.
  2. I am only one person and catching up with all the newfangled tech terms in a short period of time is not within my aging brains’ capacity. I literally joked with my bestie that the earwax I had coming out of my ear was because my brain was exploding from the inside out every night. (Yah, gross…I know. Did I just write that?) I can’t even figure out how to google my name and apocalypse costume without this blog coming up in the search. (WAHHHT?)
  3. It takes awhile to figure out what the best online delivery platform is. I attended a three day summit with Teachable. I’m convinced they’re my platform, but the learning curve is HUUUUUGE and calm and convincing “Jess” has my number.
  4. My Mailchimp list is neglected and out of date. (getting on it)
  5. My Blog mailing list is neglected and out of date. (getting on it…maybe)
  6. My Feedblitz mailing list is neglected and out of date. (getting on it..sort of)
  7. I am feeling neglected and out of date. (too late…the train has left the station.)
  8. ConvertKit is pretty awesome but a tad expensive if your email list is growing. That’s why I mentioned them here. Apparently I’m supposed to get an additional 100 subscribers allowed without paying $29 USD a month aka $5,689,321.00 CAD.
  9. Asana is a great, not only organize your brand spankin’ new “Drawing For Beginners” online course BUT, more importantly…. your HOMELIFE becomes a “project” and you enlist your kids and husband as your new “COVID 19 HOME TEAM” to get the chores (aka housework) done….and it’s free! YAY. I LOVE FREE!!!
  10. I’m setting up a Patreon account. Expect to get hit up for a wee donation to help me stay alive. (Launching later…in the meantime check out that link for some great tips for creatives in these lean, mean times.)
  11. Some email marketers trying to teach you….don’t know as much as you already do. Find one that is your ‘style’ and your ‘type’ and filter out the noisy, trashy ones. (There’s a lot of them all shouting at me to do this and do that….I found one I like. Her name is Melyssa Griffin and I like her style. If you’re an artist and looking to build your email list, I’d suggest her online courses. They’re good and aren’t boring me to death….actually…better than that. Melyssa…if you’re reading this, I love you. Will you marry me?
  12. ZOOM is pretty cool. I even taught my 86 year old Mom how to use it over FaceTime so she could join in with some friends who are isolated in their own homes…and I and joined a local Grief-Share program myself with it. I really miss my Dad. :’-( This is gonna take some time.
  13. Heritage Harvest Seeds can deliver some pretty awesome products…when governments are struggling to pacify and serve. (Go grow something in dirt. It’s immensely satisfying!)
  14. Apple can be convinced, (only in pandemic times)…that when AppleCare still applies to that burnt-out-fire-hazard-of-a-computer-charger almost burns your house down, that they DON’T need to charge your credit card first for a new one….before you return the fried one to them. Push them. They need to understand what it means to be a creative, dependent on tech in times like this and what customer service really is. (By the way…thanks Apple. You got it to me in two days and didn’t charge me. I’m not gonna link to you, because…well…..because.)
  15. EXCELLENT artist mentors and service providers like Alyson Stanfield continue to dance and provide some awesome support and real information when you need it! (I’m so excited about attending THIS online course tomorrow!)
  16. Service Alberta is not doing enough to get emergency funding to those who need it. (Super frustrating for everyone!) Who are they kidding – their site hasn’t been functional for seven days now. GRRRRRR.
  17. I can make a pack of spaghetti and sauce into about eight different dishes in the InstantPot and not have to go to the grocery store! (Thanks Salty Marshmallow and sister-in-law Kim!)
  18. Netflix can’t possibly keep up with my appetite for binge-watching. That crazy Tiger guy is insane. You can’t make that stuff up.
  19. Am I stressed out? You betcha.
  20. Am I putting one step in front of the other? You betcha. (In my jammies and sucking my thumb all the way.)
  21. Am I going to get this course online?……… Um….stay tuned.
'Decision' ©2013 Janice Tanton. Red Clay, fired and glazed.
‘Decision’ ©2013 Janice Tanton. Red Clay, fired and glazed.

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