©2019 by The School Bell    Get in touch: contact@theschoolbell.net

  • TheSchoolBell Facebook account
  • TheSchoolBell Twitter account
  • TheSchoolBell Linkedin account

Creative Live Review

Online Course provider reviews

  • Slick platform

  • Great teachers 

  • Creative focus

  • Limited progress feedback

  • Limited course types

  • Some courses overpriced

CreativeLive History

In 2009, Chase Jarvis & Craig Swanson were started discussing if they should create online workshops to teach the techniques & tools required to develop creative skills.


CreativeLive was founded a year later in Seattle. The founders loaded up on another famous resident, Starbucks, and set about delivering some creativity to a city more used to Amazon packages.  


They work under a fairly mysterious mission statement “We’re here to champion you, to support what you do, celebrate your voice, and lift up your spirits." 

Don't let that put you off as they focused on building quality courses from top instructors. 

CreativeLive claims have taught over 10 million students so far and be the go-to site for anyone wishing to up their creative game. They have a sizable catalogue of courses with over 1,500 classes available online. These have been created by 650+ industry-leading experts.


Let's start with the basics.

1,500 is not a huge number of courses. CreativeLive has been careful to curate their courses and make sure that all the courses they offer have a high production value and offer real quality to students. 

As you will see later in the review this has not always been the case.


It is also important to note that no CreativeLive courses are accredited. This means they cannot provide any formal education as would be recognised by a company and/ or university application processes. Certificates and accreditations are less important in creative circles but you should always know what you are getting into. Check out our page on Online Certificates if you want to know more. 


In this review, we see if CreativeLive can still hang with the best online course providers.

Who should take a CreativeLive Course

What topics do CreativeLive Courses cover?

Before you go any further with this review, it is worth checking if the types of courses offered by CreativeLive are right for you. 

CreativeLive is one of the more focused and expensive Online Course Providers that we have reviewed. They have stuck closely to their brand of Creative courses. They have an interesting take on "Live" courses that will be covered more below.  


CreativeLive courses & classes focus on the following types of topics:

  •  Photography

  • Design

  • Music

  • Audio

  • Crafts

  • Lifestyle

  • Personal Development


CreativeLive started out with a lot of courses on the more 'amateur' or leisure sides of creativity like photography and art. 

While these courses still make up the core of the catalogue there are now more and more courses appearing on the business and software side of creativity like Adobe Photoshop and Time Management. 

This has almost certainly been driven by a desire for growth as the company realised that it needed to diversify its offerings if it was to reach a large enough audience to stay relevant and competitive in the fast-moving MOOC market. 

How much do CreativeLive Courses cost?

To truly judge the cost of a cost you should look at how much value it provides versus the amount of time and money you have to put into it. 

CreativeLive courses tend to last for a few weeks to a couple of months. The lessons are generally organised into sections that last no longer than a few hours. 

This means that CreativeLive courses are perfect for people who want to learn a new skill in their evenings in a relatively short period of time.

If you are looking to really develop yourself over a longer course of time with a structured programme, and you are willing to pay, then you should check out our edX or Coursera reviews.

There are still a few high-quality free classes available on CreativeLive. 

CreativeLive offer free 'Live' classes every day. If you are not a member you need to be there at the right time but they can offer great rewards for anyone who joins.


This is because it offers students a very generous 30-day refund. If a course is not right for you they will refund your money with very few questions asked.


There are two ways to pay for a CreativeLive course


Pay As You Go - simply pay for each class you want to take. Prices range from $19-$499


Creators Pass - you pay a monthly flat rate of $39 to access all classes and get a curated learning path.


What are CreativeLive classes like?

CreativeLive classes are expensive but go in depth on their subjects. 

As mentioned above the classes are generally taught by skilled professionals. There is generally a high productino value for each class. 

Be sure to check the previews and ratings of each class as sometimes a class is more style than substance. However, if you are a big fan of someone and their work it is a good chance to hear their thoughts in an in-depth TED talk style format. 

The classes are fairly similar to each other is style and structure. They all rely heavily on the video and project format. 

CreativeLive does not have the same range of course types offered by the likes of Coursera or TreeHouse but they do have a very useful "Learning Paths" feature that groups courses together for you. 

The Learning Paths feature is only really useful if you have the monthly subscription otherwise it can get expensive, fast. 

We try and be as accurate as possible but CreativeLive is constantly being updated and expanded so you will have to check it out for yourself.​ Please let us know if you find anything we should change or add to our review.

Going to class with CreativeLive

CreativeLive courses come in such a wide variety that it would be difficult, and an incredibly long read, to provide a complete overview of each one here. 

Below you will find out about the general nature of CreativeLive courses. 

  • How easy are the classes to follow?

  • How much student interaction is there?

  • Are there tests and exams to help you gauge your learnings?

  • Will you get any help or feedback from the tutors?

  • What is the course quality like?

We will also dive into one course so you can get a feel for the all-important Course Overview page.​

As you would expect from an online course provider CreativeLive knows a thing or two about building and designing websites. The Course Overview pages are clear, user-friendly and provide as the information you could want to know when trying to decide if you want to put your hand in your pocket. 

As CreativeLive is a creatively focused MOOC it has some very slick page designs and course layouts. 

That does not mean that is it all style and no substance. The Course categories and subtypes are all laid out very clearly in the top menu.

The Course Categories pages themselves are a different story. 

The pages are the unfortunate victims of what is known in the biz as 'scope creep'.


There is a HUGE arty banner at the top and then some courses displayed at the top of the page.


I recommend you scroll down and don't get swayed past all the other options and arty banners. Your final destination will be a bunch of boxes with the SubCategories. E.G. Music > Sound Mixing. 

This is where the full course lists live.

On these pages, you will get the:

  • Course Title

  • Price

  • Rating (0-5)

That is a good place to start exploring all the different course pages.

One note of caution that we have is that almost all the classes are provided by amateur teachers. While there is no issue with this as such it does mean that the courses can vary a lot in quality. Make sure to check the course rating and reviews, the more the better as one or two reviews can be faked.


One final note is that CreativeLive often runs sales on courses so if you find one you like but it is full price don't be afraid to wait for a week to see if you get lucky.

How useful are the CreativeLive Course Overview pages

Below is an example of a Course Overview page for those who are looking to improve their photography skills

The Course Overview page is made up of the 5 sections that can be found at the top of the page.

  • Classes

  • Description

  • Lessons

  • Reviews

  • Student Work


As you can see this is a very detailed page. CreativeLive has done a great job in providing you with all the information you could want before signing up to course or class.


The key points that we always look for here at The School Bell is how easy is it to understand:

  • What you will learn

  • How you will test your knowledge

  • How long it will take

  • How much it will cost


Always make sure you read the reviews and check that the Course Syllabus matches what you want to learn before committing to a class.


Once you have made your final checks it is time to take the plunge and sign up to a course. 


Please let us know how you got on and what you learnt.

The School Bell final tips for taking a CreativeLive Course 

Thanks for reading!

Check out our other reviews