Nowadays there are some excellent online courses to learn everything from basic mathematics to complex programming, but creative fields are often left in the dust. That’s where Domestika steps in with an incredible range of high-quality courses on creative topics like Adobe Illustrator, watercolor techniques, and even macramé knots.
So what is Domestika and is it worth your time? I’ve detailed my experience with the platform below, with some recommendations for the best free and paid courses to try.
Ready to see what it’s all about? Click the button below to create a free account today!
October 2020 update: This guide has been updated with new details about the service and its competitors.
Affiliate disclaimer: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.
What is Domestika?
Domestika is an online learning platform for creatives, with paid courses on software, crafts, illustration, and more. It was first started more than a decade ago with a completely different focus in Spain, but has since moved its headquarters to San Francisco.
What makes Domestika unique is its unwavering focus on creatives. Sure, there are a few courses on Python and web programming like you’d find on Udemy or Coursera, but the majority of the courses are on creative topics and tasks.
Another major feature of Domestika is the quality of the courses. While the quality of courses on other platforms can vary wildly, all of the courses on Domestika are well produced and high-quality.
Each course is taught by a professional in that industry, and the filming and production is handled by in-house professionals at Domestika. The fantastic camerawork, auxiliary materials, and a bustling forum community make it a great experience. Without a doubt, they’re the closest you can get to hands-on classes from the comfort of your home.
That said, most courses on the platform at the moment are in Spanish, with auto-generated subtitles in English, Portuguese, and German. This can be a major disadvantage for some, but since many Domestika courses are all about showing rather than telling, you can easily get by with subtitles.
Plus, you can get exposed to new artists from around the world that you wouldn’t have otherwise heard of!
Domestika’s social media origins
Before we get into more details about Domestika courses, you should know that Domestika started its run about 15 years ago as a social media platform.
Today the social media aspects are still strong, allowing you to turn your profile into a portfolio of sorts. You can also follow other users and check out their latest projects.
This makes Domestika a great way to find collaborators, and the service has leaned into this even harder by creating a jobs board. Employers from around the world can list positions for creatives on the platform to check out.
Granted, most of these are based in Spain, but there are quite a few remote positions, as well. You can also list yourself as available for freelance work in your profile.
Are Domestika courses available in English?
Since the company originated in Spain, the majority of Domestika’s catalog of courses is in Spanish. However, the company has recently started publishing more courses in English.
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a way to filter search results on the web by audio language, so you might have to do some digging if you really want Domestika courses in English. It’s easier to find English-language courses in the app, but it has its own problems as I’ll get to shortly.
To give you a sneak preview of which English courses to take on Domestika, check out the short list below. You can also see a full list of Domestika English courses and descriptions at the link below.
Best English Domestika courses: Quick picks
- Taught by creative director of Instagram and Facebook Ji Lee
- Helps creatives step out of their comfort zone
- 15 lessons (2h 25m)
- Taught by professional artist Alex Hillkurtz
- Learn how to create buildings that leap off the page
- 20 lessons (3h 31m)
How does Domestika work?
Once you’ve created a free Domestika account, all you have to do is search for a course and buy it to enjoy unlimited access forever.
There is no time limit or expiration date on courses, and you do not need to pay a subscription fee or any extra fees once you’ve purchased a course. This makes it a great choice for busy people who need a creative outlet in their limited spare time.
You can access these courses on the web or on the Android and iOS app.
How much do Domestika courses cost?
Domestika courses typically cost between $10-40, with frequent bundles and discounts to bring prices down. A single course can run anywhere from a few hours to 10 hours or more, broken down into easy-to-digest segments.
There is also typically a final project to bring everything you’ve learned together. You can then share these projects with other students and create a portfolio of your work to share with potential employers.
You can also get an additional 20% off all courses with an annual Domestika Pro subscription (more on this shortly).
What are Domestika Basics?
Domestika Basics is a fairly new program on the platform that teaches you everything you need to know about a piece of software from scratch. You do not need any prior knowledge to take the course, and they ramp up in difficulty as you progress.
There are currently more than three dozen Domestika Basics courses, although nearly all have Spanish audio with English subtitles. They cover topics like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Unity, Ableton Live, Procreate, and others.
The best part about Domestika Basics is that they bundle a number of separate courses together for a hugely discounted price. Particularly in-depth series can run for well over 10 hours, and seem to be permanently discounted to about $10.
How do Domestika Course Bundles work?
Domestika Course Bundles are products that group together several similar courses for a hefty discount, typically 30% or 40% off sale prices. This means you can pick up, for example, three related courses about illustration for about $25.
You also have the option to create your own bundle by selecting any 3 (or 6) courses from the platform to purchase at once. This is a great way for dedicated learners to save money if they know which courses they want to try out.
Who teaches Domestika courses?
Domestika courses are taught by professionals in creative fields, but produced by experts from Domestika itself. This keeps the quality and production values of every course extremely high.
For a teacher to create a course, they have to pitch the idea to Domestika and have it approved. If it goes through, Domestika covers the full cost of production, and teachers get a cut of sales.
Want to teach your own class on Domestika? Click the button below to apply.
What is Domestika Pro? How much does it cost?
Domestika Pro is a yearly subscription with a ton of great benefits. These range from free monthly courses to extra discounts on purchases.
From the moment you sign up you have 14 days to ask for a refund if you should change your mind. Here’s the full list of Domestika Pro perks:
- 20% off all courses: Courses can be further discounted with coupon codes and special offers.
- Open courses: Gain full access to a list of courses that changes every month for no extra charge. Typically there are 2-5 open courses per month.
- Completion certificates: Downloadable certificates for courses that you have successfully completed.
- Pro badge: A small Pro badge will be featured next to your profile image.
- Unlimited messaging: Domestika is also a social media platform for creatives, so messaging is a great way to search for jobs or collaborations.
- Direct support: A direct helpline with Domestika consultants for questions or troubleshooting.
- News: Receive updates directly from Domestika with the latest happenings on the platform.
Domestika certificates might not have as much value as a university degree or high school diploma, but they do show potential employers that you’ve taken the initiative to learn new skills. Plus, they’re a way to cap off your learning after finishing the final project!
Domestika Pro typically costs $59 per year (or €59 per year), but at time of writing there’s a special offer that reduces that cost to just $19.90 per year (or €19.90 per year). This is a spectacular value for people who want to try out many different courses and start networking with other creatives. Click the button below to learn more.
How to try Domestika for free
If you’re on the fence about shelling out your hard earned cash, you’re in luck. There’s a way to try out Domestika course completely for free, without even creating an account.
As part of the #StayAtHome movement, Domestika released a handful of courses to the public. There are currently 5 courses ranging from photography to illustration, ready to start at the click of a button.
You will have access to all course materials, but forums and completion certificates are (understandably) reserved for paying course members. There’s no telling how much longer these courses will be available, so check out what’s on offer by clicking the button below.
Another way to get a taste of Domestika’s couses for free is by watching Domestika Live on Facebook. These are hour-long tutorials hosted by teachers who have full courses on the platform.
They aren’t as in-depth as their paid counterparts, but these short sessions can be streamed free of charge. Audio can be in Spanish, English, or Portuguese, but there are so subtitles so make sure you pick one you can understand.
“Crafty Tuesdays” are one of my personal favorites, and you can watch the full back catalog at the link below. Be aware that this program is also part of the #StayAtHome movement, so they may not last forever!
Tiny Workshops Domestika mini review
So at this point everything looks great, but you might be wondering: Is Domestika worth it?
I’ve been using the platform for a while now, so here’s my Domestika mini review.
Consistently high quality content
I’ve checked out several courses on the platform in both English and Spanish, and what really stands out is the high production values on every piece of content.
As someone used to finding simple tutorials on YouTube to learn new things, this was a welcome change. It’s perfectly understandable for one person to lack all of the skills required to create a course, which is why Domestika’s in-house production team is such a huge advantage.
Not so user-friendly app
While the courses are consistently great experiences, the same cannot be said about the mobile app. I tried it on both an Android phone and an iPad Mini, and while the iPad version worked fine, the Android version was all over the place.
Looking at the image above, you can see that words and lines are frequently cut off, making it difficult to navigate the app. Even prices weren’t completely visible, which is a huge problem when shopping for courses.
That said, the experience of watching and participating in courses was good. I still prefer taking courses on the web, but it’s nice to have the portability. Plus, you can only download the videos to watch offline via the app.
Small but growing community
One big part of Domestika that I haven’t touched on yet is the social aspect built into every course.
Each course has its own forum for participants to discuss lessons or ask questions, as well as an area to share their final projects. Students can then browse and comment on each other’s work. For those of you who are shy, you can also hide your final project and participation in the course from other users in the settings.
Once you have a student’s work open, there’s also a mini portfolio with some of their other projects. Users can set up their profile page with links to social media or their website and indicate whether they’re open to freelance work. This can be a great way to find collaborators or just follow up-and-coming artists that you like.
In fact, there’s even a job board easily accessible from the top menu of the website. However, the vast majority of the jobs listed (as well as comments on the site) are in Spanish.
My biggest problem with Domestika currently is the lack of English-language courses. Even though I speak Spanish and have lived in Spain for years, it’s always easier to learn in your native language.
For those who don’t speak Spanish, it can be annoying at best and outright confusing at worst to deal with the auto-generated subtitles. I wish that Domestika took as much care with subtitle curation as it does with course production, but hopefully this is something that changes in the future.
On the plus side, there is a growing catalog of English-language courses on the platform. As time goes on and Domestika expands more aggressively abroad the issues related to language barriers should naturally fall away.
Verdict: Is Domestika worth it?
Domestika is absolutely worth trying out for creatives looking to learn a skill. The platform has enormous potential and killer catalog of courses that are worth checking out – even if you have to put up with subtitles.
Courses are cheap at about $10 (when on sale), and if you’re not happy you can always get a refund within 14 days.
The high quality of what’s on offer makes it a great option to learn new skills or crafts, and the social aspect is just icing on the cake. With frequent discounts and no expiration date on courses, it’s easy to get hooked on learning all kinds of new and interesting things.
And that’s a good thing in my book.
What type of courses does Domestika have?
Domestika has such a wide variety of courses available that you should be able to find something that interests you no matter how niche or unusual your tastes are.
First of all, you should know that all Domestika courses are broken down into one of nine categories:
- Marketing & Business
- Photography & Video
- 3D & Animation
- Architecture & Spaces
- Calligraphy and Typography
These topics are purposefully broad, and contain a huge variety of subjects. For example, Photography & Video has tutorials for Adobe software, instructions for screenplay writing, and tips on photographing specific subjects like interiors, shiny objects, dogs, or even newborn babies!
Best Domestika courses
As I said before, there’s a huge variety of courses on the platform, and all of them have qualified instructors and high production quality.
Here’s a short list of some of the best and most popular courses on Domestika to help you get started.
Best Domestika courses: Quick picks
- Taught by textile artist Belen Senra
- Learn to create contemporary macramé projects, big or small
- 15 Lessons (2h 11m)
- Taught by visual artist Carles Marshal
- Learn Adobe Photoshop from scratch (Domestika Basics)
- 50 Lessons (6h 54m)
- Taught by painter and illustrator Ana Victoria Calderon
- Learn basic and advanced watercolor techniques with a modern approach
- 32 Lessons (3h 20m)
- Taught by product photographer Mina Barrio
- Learn how to take and edit great Instagram photos from your phone
- 16 Lessons (1h 57m)
- Taught by textile artist Gimena Romero
- Learn techniques to bring texture and color into your embroidery
- 21 Lessons (3h 10m)
- Taught by illustrator and educator Puño
- Learn basic hand drawing techniques in a fun and engaging way
- 18 Lessons (3h 18m)
Domestika vs the competition
Domestika has managed to carve out a unique niche in the online education industry, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without competition.
Here’s a brief comparison between Domestika and other top online learning platforms.
Domestika vs Coursera
Coursera is one of the largest online learning platforms, offering full bachelor and master’s degrees for certain programs. Unlike Domestika, it’s focused on more practical subjects like engineering, mathematics, programming, and business.
Courses have set enrollment dates, and although you have some flexibility to watch lectures on demand, there are deadlines for coursework and a finishing date.
Some Coursera courses are free, but you will need to pay for a certificate of completion. These can be pricey (thousands of dollars), but they serve as true alternatives to traditional degrees from brick and mortar universities.
Domestika vs Skillshare
Skillshare is probably the closest thing Domestika has to a true competitor. It’s also focused on creative topics and endeavors, with the major differences being in their business models and course creation.
Skillshare has two main types of courses: Originals and teacher uploaded. Teacher uploaded courses can be created by virtually anyone, which has its advantages and disadvantages.
Originals are produced by Skillshare or its partners and are generally high-quality courses. Teacher-uploaded courses vary wildly in quality and structure between teachers, so there’s no standard experience.
However, certain courses can be watched free of charge (ad-supported) with a free Skillshare account. Bumping up to a Premium account removes ads and unlocks all content, but costs $19 a month (or $99 a year).
Right now you can get two weeks of Skillshare Premium for free with this promotional link, which is twice the standard trial period. This is a fantastic way to try out the service before spending a dime of your hard earned money.
Domestika vs Udemy
Like Domestika, Udemy features a variety of course content in different languages, with the majority of students living outside the United States.
Courses are produced and uploaded by teachers, which means quality and production value isn’t always high. Topics are primarily focused on practical skills like programming and business skills, so don’t expect any crafts instructions anywhere on the platform.
That said, the high quality programs that are on Udemy are thorough and informative. Like Domestika, they are available for a one-time purchase that unlocks the content forever. There are also far more English language courses than you will find on Domestika.
However, courses can be significantly more expensive (hundreds of dollars). Popular courses are frequently discounted by 95% or more, which is a much better value for what you get.
Domestika vs Masterclass
Masterclass takes the “expert teacher” mantra from Domestika to a whole new level. Course instructors are all well-known and respected, and most are celebrities in their own right.
Learn how to skateboard from Tony Hawk, cook from Gordon Ramsay, act from Natalie Portman, or make films from Martin Scorsese. Each of these courses is somewhat short but extremely well produced. However, the list of topics covered is fairly limited.
All of this comes at quite a cost, with an annual membership running $200. This unlocks roughly 90 courses in high definition to stream on a wide variety of devices.
Can you download Domestika courses?
You can download any Domestika courses you’ve purchased to a mobile device via the app, but videos cannot be downloaded on a PC or Mac.
Where is Domestika based?
Domestika was formerly based in Spain, but has since moved to San Francisco, California. It still has a significant presence in Spain, however, where most of its staff is based.
How do I get a refund on Domestika purchases?
You have 14 days to request a refund on courses or Domestika Pro. Request a refund on this page.
When will Domestika add more courses in English?
Domestika is actively seeking and creating courses in English right now, but the production process takes time. Be patient!
How often are new courses added to Domestika?
New courses are added nearly every day! Once you sign up you will get notifications on the platform when new courses are added.
Can I create a Domestika course?
Yes! You need to be a professional in your field who is passionate about sharing what you know. Pitch your courses here.
Can I gift courses to friends and family?
Yes! You can both give specific courses or give a Domestika gift card.
Is Domestika legit?
Domestika is absolutely legit. Every course is professionally produced and you will leave it feeling like you actually learned something and enjoyed yourself along the way. For teachers, the production team is a big help and payments are sent on time and in full.
Are Domestika courses good?
Almost invariably yes. Domestika maintains a very high standard for its courses, and if a course starts getting negative reviews it’s typically revisited with new or renewed content.
Is Domestika only in Spanish?
No! There are also courses in Portuguese and English, although the majority are still in Spanish. Check out all Domestika English courses here.
That’s it for this guide to Domestika! How has your experience been with the platform? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments below!