Design, Video & Audio, Web Design

Top 10 New Creative Skills to Master in April 2020

Make the most of your time at home by learning a new creative skill, or brushing up on an old one.

Portrait for Andrew Blackman By Andrew Blackman
Posted 07 Apr 2020
10 Creative Skills to Master

If you're stuck at home right now, why not make the most of the time by learning a valuable new skill? From live streaming to drawing to finally mastering WordPress, there are plenty of options here to give you some inspiration in these difficult times.

Many of these resources are free, and others are included in a subscription to Envato Elements. So there's nothing stopping you from picking up a valuable new skill this month. Let's get started...

Moving a WordPress site from one hosting provider to another can be tricky. In this useful tutorial, you'll learn exactly how to do it correctly, so that all your data gets safely transferred and the site appears in all its glory in the new location.

Siteground migrator

This detailed 2.5-hour course takes you through everything you need to know to master Adobe XD. Join Adi Purdila and learn about artboards, components, responsive design, and much more.

Adobe XD

Creating a live stream is a great way to get over the feeling of isolation that can come with enforced self-isolation. It's also a good way to connect with fans, customers, colleagues, collaborators, and anyone else. See how it works in this tutorial by Melody Nieves.

Woman working at her desk

WordPress is the world's most popular blogging platform, and it's now used for much more than blogs—a quarter of the sites on the web are powered by WordPress. If you're feeling left behind, watch this 2.3-hour YouTube video that covers absolutely everything you need to know, starting from zero and finishing with a professional-looking WordPress site.

Once you've covered the WordPress essentials, there are still plenty of individual little tips and techniques to master. For example, how do you get your website to start with "https" instead of "http"? Security is very important these days, and even if you don't handle customer data, an SSL certificate is a good thing to have because search engines and web browsers increasingly expect it and reward sites that have it. See how to get and install an SSL certificate in this post.

If you're stuck at home, what better thing to do than learn a creative skill like drawing? This beautiful and easy-to-follow tutorial teaches you how to draw a rose, step by step.

If you want to be a better designer or illustrator, you'll love this course. Adobe Illustrator is such a powerful design and illustration software package, and this course takes you through the essentials of the program and how to use it. Start watching and learning today!

If you want to take your WordPress work to the next level and start customizing sites and building your own themes and plugins, you'll need to master PHP, the WordPress programming language. In this completely free course, you'll get to do exactly that, with detailed, practical video instruction.

php

We made this After Effects slideshow tutorial to celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March, but you could use the techniques at any time of the year to create a professional-looking video slideshow with slick transitions and effects. See how it's done!

If that tutorial whetted your appetite and you want to add even more After Effects skills to your repertoire, try this excellent course, in which you'll learn to create modern, clean, and simple slideshow transitions for your video presentations.

After effects course

If these new courses and tutorials aren't enough for you, check out the full Envato Tuts+ library of more than 1,250 courses and 28,000 free tutorials. There's sure to be something there for you. Have a look at these recommendations from previous months to get some more inspiration. Jump to the sections below to find a topic that interests you.

Visit Envato Tuts+ to find a tutorial or course to suit your needs.

Photoshop Tutorials

This free three-hour course will help you learn Photoshop from the ground up. Daniel Scott teaches you all the important features and tools you need to know to get the most out of this complex but powerful software. From the basics of layer styles and text through to expert retouching and working with smart objects, this course has it all.

Learn Photoshop from scratch

When you've mastered the skills of photo manipulation, the sky's the limit. You can create completely imaginary scenes by stitching together several different photos and applying the right techniques to make them all blend together convincingly. Learn how to do it in this new course.

Photo manipulation

Resizing a single image in Photoshop is straighforward. But what if you have dozens of images to resize, or even hundreds? Save yourself a lot of time by reading this tutorial or watching the video below. You'll discover how to create your own simple Photoshop action to resize multiple images with a single click.

Check out this YouTube video, which takes you through the process of designing your own brush font in that iconic Japanese text style. It's proven popular with the YouTube audience, and there's also a written version of the tutorial if you prefer to follow along that way.

Back in the days of film photography, a light leak was a dreaded mistake. Now it's a much sought-after digital effect to give your images a warm, nostalgic, retro look. Learn how to create it in this tutorial, or simply watch the video below.

With the techniques you'll learn in this tutorial, you'll be able to add a magical sparkle to any photo. You'll see the steps involved in producing the effect in the image below in Photoshop, and then you'll see how to use a simple Photoshop action to apply the effect to any image of your choosing. Read the tutorial.

Sparkle effect in Photoshop

Why wait for a post-apocalyptic dystopia when you can create it today? This wonderful little course shows you how to create a complex, believable scene in just 38 minutes of video instruction. You'll see how to take disparate images and blend them together to create a cohesive, convincing scene. Take the course now.

Learn Creative Compositing in Photoshop

Envato recently launched a new partnership with Placeit, which makes it easy to create photo-realistic mockups with no design skills at all. But if you want to create a mockup the old-school way, with smart objects and smart filters in Photoshop, then read this tutorial for the full lowdown on how to do it.

smartphone mockup

I included this course not just for its pun potential, but also because it's a really useful guide to getting the most out of Photoshop brushes. If you do any kind of art, design or other creative work in Photoshop, you need to watch this video. Oh, did I mention it's a free course? That's another good reason to watch it.

Double exposure effects, where multiple images are blended together, can be very visually powerful. But there's more to creating them than simply slapping one photo on top of another. This course takes you through three separate examples to give you a comprehensive understanding of the dos and don'ts of double exposures. Take the course to discover how it's done.

Double exposure effect in Photoshop

A shatter effect is a powerful visual metaphor that you can use in a range of designs to illustrate progress, change, or breaking through boundaries. This tutorial shows you how to create the effect easily in Photoshop, starting with a stock image and creating a special "shatter brush" to let you apply the effect, before making all the necessary adjustments so that it looks realistic. Get the full instructions here.

Shatter effect in Photoshop

Some designs are so striking that you just think, "Wow, I could never create that." Well, I do, anyway. But this tutorial breaks the whole process down into easily manageable steps. If you've got a copy of Photoshop and some time available, you can work your way through this and create a stunning photo manipulation with a stitching effect. Get the full set of instructions.

Surreal portrait in Photoshop

The great thing about photo manipulation is that if, like me, you can't draw to save your life, you can still create some amazing scenes like the one below, just by merging photos together and applying some effects. There's a bit more to it than that, of course, but this tutorial breaks it all down into easy steps. So why not learn photo manipulation today?

Photo manipulation of Egyptian goddess

Print Design Tutorials

People have been saying print is dead for decades now, and it's still not true. A huge amount of the work you do as a designer will be in the realm of print: magazines, brochures, flyers, books, stationery, and so much more. This course teaches you all the essentials, from using typography creating impact in your designs right through to the nuts and bolts of getting your files ready to print. Get started today!

Print design course

This incredibly comprehensive introduction to Adobe InDesign was first published back in April and has been hugely popular, with 450,000 views and counting. If you want to learn InDesign from the ground up, this is the only video you need to watch. Get started now.

We often feature fun or inspiring designs here, but real-life graphic design work can sometimes be about creating something much more functional. This tutorial shows you how to create a simple but elegant take-out menu using Adobe InDesign. Learn how it’s done.

Takeout menu design

Too many magazine layouts end up looking the same. This course teaches you to break some of the “rules” and create attention-grabbing magazine layouts with a fresh, creative look. Take the course.

Creative magazine layout

Whether you're a restaurateur looking to design your own menu or a graphic designer who's been hired to create one, this tutorial has you covered. It takes you through the full process of creating not just a professional-looking menu, but an InDesign menu template that you can adapt to use again and again. Find out how it's done.

Restaurant menu template

When you're putting together a proposal, the design really matters. Your prospective client will probably have dozens of other proposals to look through, and grabbing their attention with a clean, elegant design will give you a crucial advantage. This course teaches you how to stand out from the crowd by putting together a great proposal in InDesign.

Project Proposal

One of our most popular design courses is now free to watch! Learn how to design a business card in Photoshop in this free 45-minute course. You'll see how to make three stunning designs inspired by minimalist, photographic, and artistic concepts.

Business card design

People used to dream of having their book published one day. Now, with services like Amazon and CreateSpace, it's easy to skip the dreaming and go straight to the publishing. But as you'll see if you browse any online bookstore, getting the cover right is easier said than done. So take this book cover design course to learn how to create a professional-looking book cover that will entice new readers to buy and read your book.

Book cover course

Other Design & Illustration Tutorials

The isometric style is perennially popular, so why not master it in this free course? You'll learn how to create this amazing 3D text effect in Adobe Illustrator, and you'll pick up some valuable Illustrator skills along the way.

3D text effect

The design world has its own language, and it's essential to master it if you want to be a successful designer. Even if you have the visual sense and software skills, you need to know how to explain your designs to clients—and how to understand what clients want from you. So here are 60 design terms you should know.

Essential design terms

This course is a comprehensive guide for complete beginners to Adobe Illustrator. It starts with zero assumed knowledge and in over three hours of video lessons, it takes you up to the point where you can create finished illustrations using the Pen Tool, the Curvature Tool, brushes, and more. Take the course to go from zero to competent illustrator in a few hours!

The isometric style is perfect for making small, compact icons that are instantly recognisable. Learn how to use it to make these three cute food icons in Adobe Illustrator. Read the step-by-step instructions.

Isometric food icons

Adobe Illustrator is a great vector design package, but it's not the only game in town. In recent years, new competitors have emerged that have a lot to offer. So why not explore some of the other options out there by watching the video above.

Adobe Illustrator is a great vector design package, but it's not the only game in town. In recent years, new competitors have emerged that have a lot to offer. So why not explore some of the other options out there by watching the video above.

Here's another comprehensive YouTube course for you. This one is 2 hours 45 minutes long, and it takes you through using the Affinity Designer app in all the detail you could possibly need. If you want to get started with this popular alternative to Adobe Illustrator, all you need to do is watch this video.

Choosing the right typeface can make or break a design. But how do you know which one to pick? Many new designers just rely on gut instinct, but there's a better way. Take this course to get clear on the different types of typefaces, the pros and cons of each, and when to use (or not use) each type.

Choosing a typeface

This tutorial teaches you how to create your very own color font using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator and the powerful Fontself extension. So why not learn this important new design skill?

Color font example

Any designer will tell you that typography is crucial to good design. From company brands to newspaper headlines to advertisements to websites, you can see the power of typography in action everywhere. But, like any specialised field, typography has its own vocabulary, which can be confusing for beginners. Watch this 60-second typography video to learn how to tell your counters from your spines and your stems from your shoulders.

Typography terms

Have you ever had one of those annoying clients who demands double the work in half the time? Of course you have. Here's a trick for icon designers: have a few flexible logo kits ready to customise so that you can meet even the tightest deadline. Take this short course to learn how to create the three building blocks of a successful logo kit.

Have you tried the latest hot drawing and painting app? Adobe Fresco made a big splash when it was launched recently, but how does it compare with the more established Procreate app? Discover the answer by watching this free video comparison.

Can you believe that this stunning portrait was created on an iPad? And can you imagine creating it yourself in the Procreate app, with step-by-step instructions? That's exactly what you'll get in this tutorial. So view the instructions and start using your iPad for something other than Netflix!

Punk portrait on Procreate

If you want to get more Instagram followers, you'll want to read this post, which summarises some of the key lessons from the newly launched School of Instagram. Find out how to write better captions, how to use the new Create Mode, and much more.

Instagram caption tips

Adobe Photoshop has ruled the roost for so long now that "photoshopping" has entered the language as a verb. But many people are switching to Affinity Photo, a viable competitor with some impressive features. Watch this video to discover eight features of Affinity Photo that might convince you to switch over from Photoshop.

Do you like bold colours and playful design elements? Then you'll love the Memphis Style, created in the 1980s and now back in vogue. From three of our recent tutorials, you can learn what the Memphis Style is, and then make a text effect and a poster in Memphis Style.

Memphis Style

If we're putting something out into the world these days, it really should be accessible to everyone. What I like about this tutorial is that it explains in lots of scientific detail what colour blindness is and how things look to people with different kinds of colour blindness, and then it goes on to give tips on what you can do to make your designs easier for everyone to view. Read the tutorial to learn how to tell protanopia from deuteranomaly and cater for people with either of them.

Designing for color-blind people

Did you know that the average human head has about 100,000 individual hairs? What that means is that if you want to draw someone's hair, you can't draw separate lines for each strand—you need to learn some tricks to create the illusion of 100,000 hairs while using far fewer lines. Take this drawing tutorial to see how it's done.

How to draw hair

Whether you love them or hate them, animated GIFs are all over the web. This tutorial shows you an easy method of putting together an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop. The example is of a wolf's glowing eyes, but feel free to use the same techniques for laughing dogs, weird celebrity mashups, or whatever your heart desires. Start animating your GIFs here.

Animated GIF made in Photoshop

WordPress Tutorials

WordPress has become so ubiquitous that many online tutorials and courses assume some prior knowledge. This one doesn't. It's a course for complete WordPress beginners—or for those who want to go back to basics and get a comprehensive refresher. If you want to get the most out of WordPress, take this course to learn everything you need to know.

A whole course on using a WordPress plugin? Well, yes. This particular plugin is packed with so many features that you should watch this course to make sure you're getting the most out of it. By the end, you'll be ready to create a wide range of stunning sliders on your site.

Slider Revolution plugin at work

Showcasing your work online doesn't have to involve lots of work or expense. This free YouTube course shows you how to get a WordPress portfolio site up and running in just an hour. To make your work look beautiful without a lot of hassle, watch the course now.

If you're a small business owner or freelancer who wants to set up a professional-looking website quickly and easily, this short course is perfect. You get to see the full process of creating a site using a premium WordPress theme. You'll install and activate the theme, configure the options, and then create the home page, menu and hours page, contact page, and so on. Take the course to get started.

Responsive WordPress theme

The new WordPress Gutenberg editor wasn’t universally popular when it was launched last year, but it does offer some huge potential for WordPress developers. Learn how to code your own custom blocks to offer your users new functionality in this newly updated course. Start here.

If you have a site with complex navigation, a simple one-line menu just isn't enough. Enter the "mega menu", a useful solution that lets your visitors find their way around all your categories and sub-categories quickly and easily. You can buy mega menu plugins, but this free mega menu tutorial shows you how to do it yourself. Or this one helps you do it with a free WordPress plugin.

WordPress mega menu

We've all seen them, haven't we? Those "pay walls" that appear to section off particularly valuable content on a website and make you pay to access it. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a paid section in your own site, using a free WordPress membership plugin. Find out how.

Paid section in WordPress

Let's get back to WordPress basics again with the simple tutorial that teaches you how to make a contact form using a free WordPress plugin. You'll see how to set up the options you need and then display your form on your site. And you'll also get recommendations for more advanced plugins if you need something specialised. Read the free tutorial.

WordPress contact form example

Some things sound so simple, don't they? What could possibly go wrong when moving a WordPress site from a local development machine to a live server? Plenty, actually. Take this course to let Rachel McCollin guide you around the pitfalls and follow the right process.

Migrate a WordPress site

WordPress has its own default media player these days, so why bother with a music player plugin? What do they give you that the standard WordPress option doesn't? And what about directly embedding audio players from other sites? This article runs you through all the options, clearly explaining the pros and cons of each. Find out more.

WordPress music player

WordPress has so much flexibility built in, but many people never use it. For example, most people stick with the default post type, but you can create your own custom post types to include data that's useful for your own website, saving you a lot of time. See how to use WordPress custom post types.

Often, the best way to learn something new is by rolling up your sleeves and doing it. And if you have the right guide, you can even get the practical experience without having to waste time on missteps. That's what this course offers: you get to create a series of practical call-to-action WordPress plugins, with expert guidance to help you through the whole process from start to finish. Take the course to get started right away.

For me, the attraction of WordPress is that it lets you build sophisticated websites without having to understand PHP, the underlying programming language it's built with. You can bolt together themes and plugins, tinker around with a few settings, and you're good to go! But, of course, if you want to go to a deeper level of customization or become a WordPress developer, you will need to learn PHP eventually. This course is a great introduction, letting you take your first steps with PHP in the familiar environment of WordPress. No more flaking out and using the Customizer—go ahead and take the red pill to see what's really happening under the hood.

If, like me, you run a WordPress site, you probably alternate between feeling good about the number of websites that use your chosen platform (currently 28% of the web and rising) and feeling worried about the constant security threats. Take this short course to learn the key steps you should take to make your WordPress site much more secure.

If you've been working with WordPress for any length of time, you've probably heard about the Loop. But do you really understand what it is and how to use it? This short, ten-minute Coffee Break Course will get you fully up to speed. Start learning about the WordPress Loop.

Business Tutorials

Lots of people have business ideas, but sadly, many of those ideas come to nothing. Often, that's because although people have talent and ambition, they focus more on what they'd like to do instead of getting clear on the business model, i.e. exactly how they're going to make money. Read this tutorial for a guide to choosing a business model and a look at 15 different models to pick from.

Business model illustration

If you're a small business owner or freelancer who wants to create professional branding materials quickly and efficiently, this quick ten-minute course is for you. You'll learn how to select appropriate templates from Envato Elements and bring them together to form a cohesive brand identity that instantly builds customer trust. Take the course now.

Small business branding package

If you want to make a solid first impression and spread your professional network, business cards are a great way to do that. And sure, you could use a template or get someone to design them for you, but why not get creative and make your own, from scratch. Watch this free video for full instructions on making your business cards in Adobe Photoshop.

If you've built a product or service and want to find customers, you'll need a marketing plan. This course shows you the nuts and bolts of putting together a professional marketing plan in PowerPoint. Market info, demographics, SWOT analysis—it's all here. Take the course!

PowerPoint marketing plan

Maybe you're pitching an idea for a creative project, or maybe you're after something more corporate. In either case, this half-hour course is just the ticket. You'll come away from it knowing how to create a PowerPoint pitch deck that will convince more or less anyone to do more or less anything. Use this knowledge wisely.

PowerPoint pitch deck

We all know that a presentation looks smarter and more coherent when we use a well-designed template, don't we? But getting the most out of a PowerPoint template is another story. This in-depth video course shows you how to create a polished presentation from start to finish, using the popular X Note template as an example. So take the course and move your presentations to the next level.

Do you know how to use the power of the "Magic Move" feature in Apple's Keynote presentation software? It's a great way to give your presentations a distinctive, professional look by incorporating some slick animated transitions. Learn how it works in this quick video tutorial.

Keynote presentations

If you need to update your resume to propel you towards that dream job, this short course is for you. Building on a professional template from Envato Elements, you'll learn how to create a resume that is clean, targeted, and highlights your skills and abilities. Take the course to give your career a boost this month.

Professional resume

I've been a freelancer for over a decade now, so I know the importance of getting paid on time. Even if you do all the creative stuff well, you still need to handle the invoicing properly so that your clients pay you before your bills are due. This quick, ten-minute course will help you create a professional invoice in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. Watch the course now.

Making an invoice

No matter what kind of work you do, I'm willing to bet that you send emails, and that you want people to open them. This tutorial shows you 10 simple steps you can take to improve your email open rates. Who knew that the way you capitalise your subject line can make more people open the email? I didn't, but the data suggests it's true. Read the tutorial to discover all 10 email tips.

Email open rates illustration

While we may love to be able to draw, paint, create apps or become a YouTube star, I think a lot of us would settle for an empty email inbox. This tutorial will teach you how to reach the “You have no messages” promised land. You can also grab a free eBook for more detailed email mastery tips.

Hit Inbox Zero book

There’s More...

This post has just skimmed the surface of what Tuts+ has published recently, and in the full archives going back ten years, there’s even more. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for in this post, you can search the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,250 courses and 28,000 tutorials to find exactly what you need.