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Domestika review: Great creative courses (with a catch)

Domestika review featured

Domestika isn’t too well known outside of the Spanish-speaking world, which is truly a shame. The platform takes a unique approach online courses that makes it one of the best learning platforms in 2021.

In-house production assistance means every course is a winner, and the purchasing model removes the need for ongoing subscriptions and unexpected fees.

I’ve been using Domestika for a while now and wanted to provide some guidance for those considering the platform with this full Domestika review. If you’re looking for more basic details, check out the article below.

Read also: What is Domestika? Pricing, best courses, and more

You can sign up for free at the link below, and I’ll list a few Domestika course reviews later in the article to give you some idea of where to start. Let’s get to it!

February 2021 update: This review has been updated with new details about additional English-language courses added to the platform.

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

Overview

Domestika review - logo

Pros:

  • Great course quality
  • Courses purchased individually ($10-40)
  • Wide variety of creative courses
  • Strong social elements and jobs board

Cons:

  • Most courses in Spanish with subtitles
  • Finicky mobile app

Before I dive deeper into my thoughts on Domestika, I wanted to provide a quick tl;dr section for those of you in a hurry.

While it can’t compete with the quantity of courses on Skillshare or Udemy, Domestika has the highest quality creative courses on the market. All of the courses I tried were top notch, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of them.

Domestika maintains this standard by using an in-house production team on each and every course. They’re still taught by professionals in the field, but they are aided by a professional film crew and course curriculum specialists.

Even better, they’re available for a relatively small one-time purchase. You can gain unlimited access to a 3-10 hour course for about $10 if you pick it up on sale.

And there are always tons of sales.

The only major downside is that currently most courses are in Spanish with English subtitles. There’s a growing list of English-language Domestika courses, but you should expect to do some reading.

Keep reading for more details.

How Domestika works

How Domestika works

Domestika works just like any other online learning platform: Create an account, browse and purchase courses, then watch them at your own convenience.

The best place to watch the courses is the web portal. It’s super easy to browse courses, read additional materials, and share finished projects. You can also see the full transcript and report translation errors.

The mobile app, however, is a bit all over the place. Sometimes text is jumbled or invisible, and other times courses failed to load at all. When I tried to open any Domestika Pro course (more on this shortly), it just came up with a blank screen.

One nice thing about the mobile app is that you can download courses to watch offline. It also supports casting, so you can watch them on your TV if you have a Chromecast device.

Domestika also features a strong social component to connect with and follow other creatives. There’s even a jobs board, although it isn’t quite as active as you might hope.

Still, you can open your own profile up to freelance work, which might (strong emphasis on might) lead to work for enterprising artists.

Domestika course reviews

Domestika courses review

I’ve participated in around 15 Domestika courses at time of review, and I must say that the quality across the board was excellent.

They all start the same with a short introduction of the teacher and their experience and history. Every teacher is extremely knowledgeable about their subject, which is a nice change of pace when compared to some teachers on Skillshare or Udemy.

Read also: 15 best Domestika courses in English (plus 5 in Spanish)

From there, courses are broken down into easy to digest segments, ranging from 3 minutes to 15 minutes. There are also prompts and additional learning materials sprinkled in to keep you engaged throughout the process. Total length can be anywhere from 2 hours to 12+ hours for in-depth courses.

The courses themselves fall into the following nine categories:

  • Illustration
  • Marketing & Business
  • Photography & Video
  • Design
  • 3D & Animation
  • Craft
  • Architecture & Spaces
  • Technology
  • Calligraphy & Typography

Illustration makes up the bulk of the course catalog, but there are plenty of courses for just about any topic. There are hyper-specific courses like how to photography babies and all-encompassing tutorials for software like Photoshop or SketchUp.

Be warned, however, that the vast majority of these courses are in Spanish. There are auto-generated subtitles in English, Portuguese, and German, but they can be hit or miss at times.

Still, it wasn’t too distracting, and most courses are about showing rather than explaining, so not much is lost. As time goes on more English (and Portuguese) courses will be added. You can check out all of the current English-language courses below.

Read also: Domestika English courses: All English-language classes and recommendations

To give you an idea what the courses are like, here are a few brief Domestika course reviews. You can also try out a few free courses at the link below, but be warned that they aren’t exactly the best the platform has to offer and should be treated as a sampler more than anything.

Drawing for Beginners Level -1

Domestika course review - Drawing for beginners

The Domestika course review I’ll start with is the very first Domestika course I ever took. My wife and I both wanted to rekindle our love of sketching and doodling to spend time with our young daughter (as soon as she’s old enough to hold a pencil!), and this course looked like just the thing we needed.

This is one of the most popular courses on Domestika, and for good reason. Just about anyone can get something out of it, whether it’s a few simple techniques or a renewed interest in drawing.

Puño is an excellent teacher, and he introduces a lot of personality and fun into a well-tread topic. He has several other beginner drawing courses that are equally well-received.

This particular course focuses on games and fun, but some of his others touch on drawing with children, using a tablet, and more. As you might imagine, they’re all in Spanish with English subtitles.

Creative Copywriting for Entrepreneurs

Domestika course review: Copywriting for Entrepreneurs

Next up is a course that I wouldn’t have purchased on my own, but was included in Domestika Pro. When it came up for free for a week, it looked close enough to my interests that I went through the entire course.

This course is also in Spanish, but to test out the experience for non-Spanish speakers (I live in Spain and speak Spanish), I took the entire course with no audio and subtitles only.

The good news is that I was able to fully understand and follow the content of the course. This is extra impressive since it was so theory-heavy compared to other courses I’ve taken.

The bad news is that the course itself was a bit too shallow for my interest. It might be useful for someone who has no social media savvy and is starting a new business brand, but that just isn’t for me. But hey, I didn’t pay for it so I can’t complain too much.

Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink

Domestika course review: Architectural sketching

This is the first Domestika course review about an English-language course, and it’s one of my favorites. Alex Hillkurtz is an excellent teacher, and explains everything beginners and intermediate sketch artists need to know.

The course teaches composition, perspective (2 point and 1 point), sketching, and basic watercolor techniques. It won’t give you a deep understanding of every technique, but it’s more than enough to start sketching architecture in your city or town.

Read also: Best watercolor sets: Beginner, professional, and traveler sets

Alex’s background in storyboarding and film also give a unique perspective that even experienced artists might overlook. He’s picked up a lot of tricks in his extensive career, and he shares them willingly.

Another neat thing about this course in particular is that the teacher uploaded additional videos after the course was finished to answer student questions about perspective and introduce new techniques. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop

Domestika course review: Introduction to Photoshop

This is one of Domestika’s many “Domestika Basics” courses, which are more in-depth and focused than the rest of the options on the platform. It has nearly 7 hours of video content (plus exercises and additional reading) to teach you all the basics of Adobe Photoshop.

I haven’t completely finished the course, but so far it’s been excellent. I don’t plan on professionally retouching photos or creating digital artwork, but it’s nice to have a working knowledge to support other creative tasks.

This course is in Spanish, but Domestika also has two English-language courses called Adobe Photoshop: Beginner’s Guide for Photographers and Adobe Photoshop for Beginners. They’re both Domestika Basics courses, so expect the same deep-dive format.

More Domestika course reviews

If you’re looking for more Domestika course reviews, there are usually some on each course page itself. Students can get 20% off their next purchase by leaving a review (positive or negative), so there’s always some feedback to check.

You’ll find that most courses have more than 90% positive ratings, which might seem suspicious but it’s for good reason.

Domestika puts a lot of effort into producing good courses. First of all, it’s selective with who gets to create a course. Only experienced professionals in their field with a clear idea for a course are accepted.

Once published, if a course doesn’t get enough positive feedback it’s often revisited with new content. These two factors alone eliminate the low-effort classes that you have to wade through on most other platforms.

Pricing and costs

Although online classes have been around for a long time now, a dominant pricing structure still hasn’t solidified. Some, like Skillshare, use monthly subscription models, and others, like Udemy, allow you to purchase courses outright and keep them forever.

Domestika falls into this second category. Courses retail for $40-45, which is reasonable compared to some of the prices on Udemy.

Even better, there are always sales on hundreds of courses, bringing those prices down to about $10 per course. This is incredible value for what you get, especially for Domestika Basics courses that can have 10 hours or more of content.

There’s also a constantly changing list of course bundles that reduce the price of entry even further. They allow you to choose a few related courses and get a further discount, so you can pickup two courses for just $16.

Personally I prefer this payment method to the subscription model. I like that I can revisit courses whenever I want without worrying about a time limit or canceling a subscription. The constant sales and low prices are just the icing on the cake.

Domestika Pro discounts and free courses

Domestika Pro review

In addition to purchasing individual courses à la carte, there’s also a subscription service called Domestika Pro. Unlike Skillshare, it doesn’t unlock a large catalog of courses, but instead offers a 20% discount on courses and limited access to one course for free each week.

The good news is that it’s aggressively priced. The standard pricing is $60 a year, but like most courses it’s currently discounted down to $30 per year.

Check out the full list of Domestika Pro benefits below.

  • 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 3-5 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.

As I’m writing this Domestika review I’ve been a Domestika Pro member for about ten months, and I would recommend it for frequent learners. The 20% discount on courses is fantastic, and I’ve participated in many Domestika Pro courses that I otherwise wouldn’t have purchased.

Learn more: Domestika Pro review: Is it worth it after 10 months?

That said, free courses are only available for a week. If you’re someone who likes to take online courses at your own pace, Domestika Pro might not be for you.

Alternatives

Domestika alternatives

Before we get to my Domestika review verdict, it’s worth talking about some of the other options to have for creative courses online.

One of the biggest and most popular is Skillshare, which has nearly 30,000 courses available for $19 a month (or $99 a year). This is ideal for people who like to take a lot of different types of courses, but the quality and consistency isn’t nearly as good as Domestika. Check out the full comparison below.

Learn more: Skillshare vs Domestika: Which is better for creative courses?

Udemy is another popular option, and like Domestika you can buy courses for one fee. Course quality is also generally good, and it has the advantage of having far more English-language courses.

It boasts over 130,000 courses, but they’re user-uploaded so don’t expect the same consistently great production values as Domestika. Check out the Udemy catalog here.

For creative courses, there are a few smaller options like CreativeLive, Craftsy, or Creativebug. These each have their own niches, but don’t necessarily offer more than Domestika.

Domestika review: Verdict

Domestika review featured
Photo via: Domestika

Domestika has quickly become one of my favorite online learning platforms, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for creative courses.

Courses are all taught by qualified professionals and feature a high level of polish that’s beyond what other platforms can offer.

However, most of these courses will be in Spanish with English subtitles. There is a growing list of English-language courses, but if subtitles are a dealbreaker you might want to look elsewhere.

Create your free account and check out the platform below!


That’s it for this Domestika review. Let me know if you have any additional questions about the platform and I’ll do my best to answer them! I’d also love to hear about your experience with Domestika, as well!

1 Comment

  1. You have given some comparative notes with other sites, but would like to hear a bit more ( or maybe even more) of a deeper critique of Domestika vs other sites. Maybe in relation to qualitative skills / info one can possibly gain or achieve from a course/s. My questioning and maybe ambivalent feelings in regard to courses relates to how polished their promos are and also how brief the classes last.

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