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 been using Domestika for nearly five years now, and it’s quickly become my favorite online course platform.
For the uninitiated, I put together this extensive Domestika review and guide below. You can also check out a few of my favorite courses in the article below for a quick taste of what’s in store.
Ready to see what it’s all about? Click the button below to create a free account today!
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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 in Spain, but has since moved its headquarters to San Francisco.
What makes the platform 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 is the exceptionally high course quality. While the quality of courses on other platforms can vary wildly, all of the courses on Domestika are extremely well-produced.
Each course is taught by a professional in their industry, and the filming and production are handled by in-house professionals. The fantastic camerawork, auxiliary materials, and bustling forum community make it a great experience.
Without a doubt, Domestika courses are the closest you can get to hands-on classes from the comfort of your home.
That said, most courses on the platform are in Spanish, with auto-generated subtitles in English, Portuguese, and German. Other language options such as French, Italian, Polish, and Dutch have been included more recently.
While this can be a disadvantage for some, Domestika courses are all about showing rather than telling, so you’ll 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 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 creative 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 job board. Employers from around the world can list positions for creatives on the platform to check out.
Granted, most of these positions are based in Spain, but there are quite a few remote jobs, 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. It briefly played with dubbing these courses in English, but more recently it started publishing more courses featuring English-speaking instructors.
Unfortunately, currently there isn’t 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 quick picks below. You can also see my top picks for the best courses in English here.
Best English Domestika courses: Quick picks
- Taught by lettering artist James Lewis
- Learn how to create unique letter art and share it on social media
- 17 lessons (2h 28m)
- Taught by professional artist Alex Hillkurtz
- Learn how to create buildings that leap off the page
- 20 lessons (3h 31m)
- Taught by illustrator Mattias Adolfsson
- Learn how to start sketching and develop your own unique style
- 16 lessons (2h 31m)
- Taught by digital artist Harrison Kuykendall
- Learn how to retouch and edit photos to create unique images and artwork
- 46 lessons (6h 19m)
- Taught by social media expert Dot Lung
- Learn how to grow your personal or business Instagram followers
- 20 lessons (1h 16m)
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.
To make matters even better, Domestika now includes signed course completion certificates with every course purchase. Once you’ve completed the final project, you can either print these out or share them with prospective clients via a link or QR code.
You can access these courses on the web or on the Android and iOS apps. Lessons can be downloaded on mobile platforms for offline viewing, but this feature isn’t available on desktop platforms.
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.
Read also: How often does Domestika have sales? Latest discounts and more
There is 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.
Plus, of course, a class completion certificate signed by the instructor when you finish. This is included with every course purchase.
Up until recently, Domestika offered a single subscription plan, Domestika Pro. However, Domestika Pro is no longer available and has been replaced with a new subscription option — Domestika Plus.
Domestika Plus offers monthly and yearly payment options and a new set of perks (but more on this shortly).
If that’s not enough, you can also use a discount code to reduce prices. Grab an exclusive 10% discount code by subscribing to the Tiny Workshops newsletter below!
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 most 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 from $40 down to about $10.
How do Domestika Course Bundles work?
Domestika Course Bundles 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.
From time to time Domestika also offers six-course bundles, which are an absolutely incredible value. Don’t hesitate to snap these up when you can!
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 and have it approved. If it goes through, the company covers the full cost of production, and teachers (obviously) get a cut of sales.
I haven’t personally taught a Domestika course, but from what I understand Domestika pays teachers an advance, then a cut of sales once their commissions surpass it.
It works a lot like a traditional book deal. For creatives who aren’t experts in course/content creation, it’s a great option.
Want to teach your own class on Domestika? Click the button below to apply.
What is Domestika Plus? How much does it cost?
Besides individual course purchases, Domestika offered a yearly membership option for learners by the name of Domestika Pro. However, the platform has updated its subscription options and has replaced its former membership plan with Domestika Plus.
Domestika Plus gives you the option of selecting between paying your subscription monthly or yearly as well as a new set of perks:
- 20% extra savings on courses/bundles: An additional 20% discount will be automatically applied whenever purchasing a course or bundle (this does not apply to classes bought on the app).
- One free Domestika Plus credit per month: Every month, you will get a Plus credit that you can use in exchange for any class of your choice (no matter the cost).
- Open courses: You will have access to a growing catalog of “free” courses.
- Exclusive content and access to resources: You will receive exclusive newsletters solely curated for Plus members with updates, new course information, and additional materials.
- Option to buy extra credits: Besides your monthly Domestika Plus credit, you will also have the benefit of purchasing additional credits to exchange for courses at a lower price.
Domestika Plus costs $83.88 (82.80€) if paid yearly, which works out to $6.99 (6.90€) a month. If you subscribe on a monthly payment, this comes up to $9.99 (9.90€) a month.
Either way, it’s a really great deal.
If looking to take multiple courses, buy class bundles, and want to be a member of the Domestika Plus community, opting for the yearly payment is probably your best bet. By paying once a year, you’ll be getting a discount equivalent to three monthly payments.
Although it’s more expensive, the monthly plan still has considerable savings. At $9.99, it’s cheaper than buying a course (which costs $10-40), and it includes a course token to pick whichever course you want and keep it forever. If you want to take advantage of a special course bundle, the 20% discount is just icing on the case.
Again, courses claimed through Domestika Plus tokens feature unlimited access — even after canceling your subscription. This is something other learning platforms with similar membership plans such as Skillshare and Udemy don’t offer.
Also, the Open Course catalog has some really great courses. You won’t get to keep them, but there are literally hundreds of them so it’s a great way to test the waters for new hobbies.
Click the button below to learn more.
How to try Domestika courses for free
One way to get a taste of its courses for free is by watching Domestika Live on Facebook. These are hour-long tutorials and Q&A sessions 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 no 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 part of the #StayAtHome movement, so they may not last forever!
Domestika review: Is it worth it?
So at this point, everything looks great, but you might be wondering: Is Domestika worth it?
I’ve been using the platform for years now, so here is a quick list of pros and cons based on my experience.
The TL:DR is that it’s my favorite platform for creative courses, and I highly recommend it, with a few minor caveats.
Pro: Consistently high-quality content
I’ve checked out countless courses on the platform in both English and Spanish, and what really stands out is the high production value of 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.
If you’re tired of poor video quality and meandering course content, the difference is immediately noticeable.
Con: Not so user-friendly app
When I first wrote this Domestika review, there were some serious problems with the app on Android, but I’m happy to report that it’s now (mostly) in working order.
However, I do have a few complaints.
First of all, it’s awesome that you can download courses to watch offline, but you have to download each individual video separately. There can be upwards of 20 videos to download, which is a minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.
Another minor thing: There’s no dark mode. The background is all white, so I feel like I’m blinding myself when watching courses in bed at night.
Also, the app is quite aggressive with push notifications, so I turned them off immediately. I don’t mind the notification tab on the website, but my phone notification bar is sacred.
That said, the experience of watching and participating in courses was good in the app. I still prefer taking courses on the web, but it’s nice to have portability.
Pro: 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.
Note: this aspect is only available for courses you bought. Not Open Courses accessed via Domestika Plus.
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 an easy-to-find job board in the platform’s main menu (situated at the top of the page). Mind you that you have to be logged in to view this feature. However, the vast majority of the jobs listed (as well as comments and reviews on the site) are in Spanish.
Con: Language barriers
My biggest problem with Domestika currently is the relative 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.
If the course has a software component, all of the menus will be in Spanish, which can make it difficult to follow along. For software courses, I highly recommend taking classes in your native language.
Things have gotten much better since I first wrote this review, with English-language courses in just about every category. Still, it’s a small fraction of the overall catalog.
Verdict: Is Domestika worth it?
Domestika is absolutely worth trying out for creatives looking to learn a skill. The platform has a killer catalog of well-produced courses that are worth taking — 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 a wide variety of courses available, so 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 courses are broken down into one of nine categories:
- Marketing & Business
- Photography & Video
- 3D & Animation
- Architecture & Spaces
- Calligraphy & 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!
If you have no idea where to start, check out some of the most popular courses at the link below, or continue to the next section.
Best Domestika courses
As I said before, there’s a huge variety of courses on Domestika, and all of them have qualified instructors and high production quality.
The best courses for you will obviously depend on your interests. That said, there are some super niche options that might unexpectedly catch your fancy!
Here’s a brief list of some of the best and most popular Domestika courses 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)
- Taught by designer and illustrator Stef Maden
- Use a mix of gouache and digital techniques to create a unique map
- 19 Lessons (3h 19m)
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’s and master’s degrees for certain programs.
Unlike Domestika, it’s focused on more academic 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 completion certificate. These can get 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 for creative courses. It’s also focused on creative topics and endeavors, with the major differences being in their business models and course creation.
Learn more: Skillshare vs Domestika
Skillshare has two main types of courses: Originals and teacher-uploaded content. 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 $157 ($13 a month). Currently, there is only an annual membership plan available.
Right now you can get a full month of Skillshare Premium for free with this promotional link, which is more than 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 aren’t always high. That said, many teachers do a fantastic job, and quality can match or exceed Domestika in some cases.
Learn more: Udemy vs Domestika
Topics are primarily focused on practical skills like programming and business skills, but there are a few arts and crafts lessons available, too.
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.
However, Udemy has also included subscription options similar to Domestika Plus recently. 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 90% 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 100 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 course purchases or a Domestika Plus subscription. 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. New English-language courses are added every week. 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.
How can I become a teacher?
It’s not as difficult as you might imagine! You do, however, 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 a gift card. You can even gift course bundles. Currently, Domestika Plus (formerly Domestika Pro) does not offer this option. Learn more about gifting options here.
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.
Is Domestika a safe website?
Yes! Domestika is a legitimate company, and you can feel confident purchasing courses there. If you are worried about privacy, you can add as much or as little to your profile as you’d like.
Are Domestika courses good?
Domestika courses are almost always excellent. The platform maintains a very high standard for its courses, and if a class starts getting negative reviews it’s sometimes revisited with new or updated content.
Is Domestika only in Spanish?
No! There are also courses in German, Portuguese, French, and English, although the majority are still in Spanish.
Does Domestika offer certificates?
Domestika isn’t accredited, but it does offer signed certificates of completion for courses. However, you will need to be a Domestika Plus member to access them.
How do you get a discount on Domestika?
Discount codes are applied at checkout, and there are a few ways to get them. The first is to review a course you’ve previously purchased. You can also get an exclusive discount code by signing up for our newsletter below!
That’s it for this Domestika review and guide! How has your experience been with the platform? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments below!
Domestika is the best courses I had taste for sure, far all other platforms.
Domestika has appalling translations, a lot of “courses” are 1 hour long and there are overcharges to anyone outside the US. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Oh really? That hasn’t been my experience. Sometimes the translations are a bit off (you can report the errors), but even the shorter courses have been worthwhile. Sometimes length isn’t everything!
Which courses did you dislike? I can mention them in the article so people know to avoid them.
I love Domestica for adding skills to my design, drafting and illustration repertoire. I am also looking forward to some of the small business management courses when am done expanding my portfolio.
I also love Domestica for its inclusion of Architectural oriented courses – something I could not find on Skill Share. I dont find the subtitles a problem at all, infact, the Spanish spoken presenters are a nice change from having to hear an American twang and the word “super” every two minutes ! Highly recommended 🙂
I’ve been very impressed with the courses I’ve purchased so far with Domestika. What I like about this learning platform is that it leans very heavily toward the artistic/illustrative courses, which I have found to be a bit spotty or hit and miss on other sites. I was delighted to find that some of the instructors were illustrators and artists I had already heard of and been following on Instagram. The filming is professionally done, and seems to be of a higher calibre than some of the courses I’ve taken on sites like Creative Live & Skillshare.
Many of the instructors are from countries such as Spain, Mexico and parts of South America – It can be a real spark to your creativity to be exposed to art and design from other parts of the world. Their visual style is often quite different from what you might see day to day in North America, and I find this stimulating. I’ve also noticed more and more English speaking instructors being added all the time.
Because I’m primarily interested in fine art courses that involve drawing and painting, the subtitles have not been an issue for me. I would imagine this would be more challenging for the more technical courses, as the subtitles are sometimes a bit garbled. I’d highly recommend this platform to the really artsy types who are curious – start with one or two courses (the options are endless) and see how you like it!
Thanks for the comment Shannon!
I feel exactly the same way. I’ve been trying out a few smaller creative course platforms (and will put out reviews/guides soon), but so far nothing holds a candle to Domestika.
I DO love Domestika. I’ve bought about 23 courses, and am still lusting after a number of them. Some of the translations however, are atrocious–I just couldn’t go through a course on narrative styles (which, in hindsight was a bad buying decision considering it’s a subject where language is as important as the visuals), because I spent more time trying to figure what Google Translate was saying, than paying attention to the subject at hand.
You’ve mentioned buying from the desktop rather than the app because you can’t apply discounts to the app, which makes it costlier. That might not be entirely true–at least for us here in India. My iOS app price (including the dollar exchange fee that my bank charges + taxes), is lower than the 20% course-review discounted price on the website.
Oh, and some of the older courses now have English language voice-overs (Ana Victoria Calderon’s for one).
Thanks for the comment, Rashmi! I hadn’t thought about exchange rates, but I’ll add a comment in the next update for this case!
I also wasn’t aware that Ana Victoria Calderon’s courses have been dubbed. I asked Domestika a while back if they were still pursuing dubs and the response was lukewarm, but I guess they’re still doing it! It is a bit strange in that case since Ana speaks English herself and the voice they chose is very different. Still, great news for people who don’t like subtitles!
I have bought 38 Domestika courses to date, as they come up at a good price. I have done quite a few of them now and will get to the others as time allows, because I have then forever. I am doing courses with teachers who are experts in their fields, learning how to do things I have admired for years and have the class as a resource to go back to if an neecessary. The courses themselves cover an awesome range that I have not found anywhere else. I am in Australia and I find the cost of the courses is better than I can find anywhere else. The ONLY downer is that they are mostly in Spanish, but that has not meant I could not absorb the teaching and learn easily. I am a HUGE fan of Domestika.
Thanks for the comment, Sue! You’ve purchased even more Domestika courses than I have, hahaha.
I agree 100%. In my experience all of the courses I’ve taken have been excellent quality, and an even better value! The English catalog is still small, but 10+ new English courses are added every month, plus a few new English dubs for older courses.
I do wish Domestika made it easier to find them, though. There’s still no option to search by language.
Thanks for the extensive overview of Domestika. I have one query that doesn’t appear to have been answered: Are the digital design courses only done using Spanish versions of software so that the menus are in Spanish as opposed to English? If so, I can see this being a big barrier to learning if you cannot read the menus easily.
I’d like to do one of the woodworking courses by Patricio Ortega (Maderística), but I am worried that the measurements will use ancient systems like inches and pounds etc. How can I be assured that they will be all in millimetres and grams/kilograms etc
Hi Sam. Thanks for your comment and sorry for the late reply. I’m fairly certain that course uses metric units. Likewise for most of the woodworking courses on Domestika, with the exception of maybe the kumiko course.
Most woodworking courses online come from the US or UK and use imperial measurements, so this was a welcome change for me too since I also work in metric. 🙂
At first glance, the domestika-courses seem interesting.
Unfortunately, all courses are NOT in English. So not internationally.
An automatic written translation will appear. But the settings of programs like Photoshop are not presented in english. You have to guess what the lecturer means. It’s really a money rip off.
Better watch the English courses on youtube. There you also have automatic translation and you can watch the courses for free.
It’s true that most courses are in Spanish, but in 2022 there are now hundreds of English-language courses, plus more in Portuguese, German, Italian, etc.
I totally agree about the on-screen menus for software courses. If you’re not already familiar with the software it’s better to find one in your native language.
And for anyone who isn’t sure, watch the trailer to get an idea! You can also refund it if you’re having trouble following the content.