From the start, Morgan Harper Nichols’ art has been inspired by the stories, people, and places around her. What started as a way to respond to other’s experiences, her instantly relatable illustrations transformed into so much more. Now with over 2 million followers across her social platforms, partnerships with brands like Target and Hallmark, and four published books, Morgan’s work continues to welcome and warm the hearts of her community.
In this 75-minute class for artists and newcomers alike, Mindful Digital Art: 5 Creative Prompts to Reflect and Meditate, Skillshare set out to help users by guiding them through five of Morgan’s favorite exercises to ground, reflect, and flourish through mindful illustration, helping students develop a mindful practice for both their wellbeing and as a springboard to create art. Our goal through this class was to help every student realize they are an artist and be kind to themself.
This class was created with a lens of accessibility for anyone to take at any level as long as they’re ready to slow down, be kind to themself, and breathe. The class sets out to take the pressure off full-time artists while helping first-time artists discover practical ideas and tips for how to bring mindful craft into everyday life. At the end of the class students will have one-of-a-kind art pieces to share with the world and tools to make every day a little bit more centered and creative.
Skillshare collaborated with Morgan Harper Nichols to develop a Mindful Digital Art: 5 Creative Prompts to Reflect and Meditate with seven unique exercises to help students ground, reflect, listen and create. Through the partnership, Skillshare Producers worked closely with Morgan to create a unique class that would be both grounding for students while also helping them develop a creative spark. Together we created a class that eloquently tells Morgan’s story and develops a narrative arc, while also helping students develop new skills in real-time.
From the first call Morgan was the embodiment and reminder of what we hope to find in Skillshare teachers. She was generous with her knowledge and humble when guiding us through her path, which allowed us to create a class that would be both.
In development we realized it was necessary to create some surprise elements along the way to keep students interested and help reinforce the class message of creativity and self love which we wanted to stay with them upon completion. One way we brought surprise into the execution was in lesson 5 when students are asked to write a letter of gratitude to someone close to them, when in fact they are writing a letter of gratitude to themselves. This moment within the class provides the space for students to realize that they (and everyone) are artists and to really be kind to themselves.
The class also includes four key elements:
Making room for yourself in your creative practice
Playing with color, texture, and pattern
Infusing meaning, emotion, and story into your work
Finding inspiration and motivation as an artist
This all comes to life through Skillshare’s belief in learning by doing. Every Skillshare class requires teachers to bring that pedagogy to life by crafting classes that allow users to participate and engage directly with hands-on projects and personalized feedback. In this class Morgan walks students through step by step how to create their own piece of art and upload it to Skillshare’s platform for both peer and teacher feedback.
The class also features Morgan, who has built a sizable following and business, sharing her tips for growing a community online. Students are also provided with an exclusive download with prompts to continue learning and creating after class.
To date, Mindful Digital Art: 5 Creative Prompts to Reflect and Meditate has been taken by more than 1000 students and shown high engagement across Skillshare’s platform, including a number of projects submitted for feedback and engaged with by other students.
Students have also given rave reviews about the class including 100% Exceeded My Expectation in all submitted reviews. Some students have also left written reviews including “This is by far the best online class I've taken so far. Thank you Morgan!” and “If looking for some more creativity, calm and stillness in your life (and let's face it, aren't we all?), this class is just for you. Morgan is a fantastic teacher, engaging and clear, in offering explanations and exercises to help you gain peace, curiosity and a greater sense of self.”