Best CreativeLive Courses 

by Charlie Saville

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CreativeLive is one of the fastest-growing and most popular e-learning sites out there. With over 10 million students and 2,000 courses covering different disciplines, it’s become the go-to place to learn any creative or artistic skill. 

But what are the best courses on CreativeLive? With over 2,000 courses to choose from, how can you be sure the CreativeLive course you’re taking is right for you? 

This article will answer these questions and more by sharing with you the very best CreativeLive courses. I’ll also be going over the best CreativeLive classes in each category, how to find great courses on CreativeLive, the cost and more. 

I’ve spent a long time researching and sampling what CreativeLive has to offer, and I’m here to share it all. 

So, let’s get started!

Best CreativeLive course overall

Here are the top five best CreativeLive courses: 

These are the best CreativeLive courses because not only are they the most popular, but they also have the best reviews (99-100% satisfaction!). This combination means an incredible amount of students walk away from the courses with their expectations exceeded. 

As you might’ve noticed, these are all quite creative courses, which makes sense given CreativeLive’s name. However, the site also offers lessons in a range of other disciplines, such as money and finance, entrepreneurship and self-improvement. 

Best CreativeLive course by category

Top CreativeLive photography course

CreativeLive has an incredible range of courses. Here are the best in each of their main channels:

And here are the best CreativeLive courses from each of their most popular categories: 

Best CreativeLive course reviews

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best CreativeLive courses…

1. Wired for story: How to become a complete story genius

Best Money and Life CreativeLive course

Category: Money and Life, Instructor: Lisa Cron, Length: 5 hours and 6 minutes, Number of reviews: 65

Creative writing is an outlet for millions of people across the world, and this course is the ideal place to get started with the skill. 

With over 5 hours content you have the chance to really dig into all the different elements that make up a good story. 

The course is led by Lisa Cron, a professional story coach and the author of several books. It’s her experience, the depth of the content and the course's popularity and high ratings that places it at the number one spot. 

It has an incredible 100% approval rating, with 44,000+ students enrolled. 

You will learn: 

  • The biggest writing myth holding you back 
  • What is a story 
  • Why all stories begin in medias res 
  • The ‘what if’
  • The ‘who’ 
  • The ‘why’
  • The worldview 
  • The turning points 
  • Plot problem 
  • The opening scene 
  • “Aha” moments 
  • Story editing as you write forward 

2. Fundamentals of photography 

CreativeLive top photography course

Category: Photo and Video, Instructor: John Greengo, Length: 24 hours, Number of reviews: 481 

Photography is one of the most popular categories on CreativeLive, and the reason why many people sign up for a subscription. And this is the best CreativeLive course in photography. It rates highly in our best online photography course review.

With around 24 hours of content, this class allows for a genuine insight into the very foundations of photography, equipping you with new skills rapidly. The course has 137,000+ people enrolled and a satisfaction rating of 99%. 

You will learn: 

  • Viewing system, lens system, shutters system
  • Overview of camera settings 
  • Focal length 
  • Angle of view 
  • Histograms 
  • Dynamic range 
  • Exposure modes, bracketing and values 
  • Focusing 
  • Camera accessories 
  • Natural light 
  • Editing images 
  • Visual balance 

3. Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide 

Adobe Photoshop CreativeLive course

Category: Photo and Video & Art and Design, Instructor: Ben Willmore, Length: 25 hours 10 minutes, Number of reviews: 262

Photoshop is becoming an increasingly common tool, even among non-artists. This makes the temptation to learn it very high. And CreativeLive seems to be the place to do just that. 

I’ve placed this course highly because it shares information on increasingly used software in an incredibly clear and straightforward manner. It’s also led by an experienced instructor who has shot in 8 different countries. 

This class has a satisfaction rating of 99% and over 140,000 students enrolled. 

You will learn: 

  • How to use Camera Raw 
  • Making selections in Adobe Photoshop 
  • Using layers and layers masks 
  • Tools panel in Adobe Photoshop 
  • Adjustment layers in Adobe Photoshop 
  • Using filters 
  • Photography for photoshop 
  • Warp, bend and liquify 
  • Photoshop tips and tricks 

4. Writing your story

CreativeLive writing class

Category: Money and Life, Instructor: Joyce Maynard, Length: 5 hours and 19 minutes, Number of reviews: 117

The second writing option to appear on this list, this course is led by Joyce Maynard, an acclaimed novelist and writer who has been in the public eye since her first short story was published in the New York Times in 1972. 

Joyce’s credentials alone make this course stand out, however, it is also full to the brim with direct tricks and tips for translating your abstract idea into a fully-fledged story, which, as any writer knows, is very difficult to do. 

Writing your story has a 100% rating from 117 reviews, with 44,000+ students enrolled. 

You will learn: 

  • How to identify and stick to the story 
  • Identifying your journey 
  • The landing place 
  • The honesty question 
  • Descriptive vs. interpretive language 
  • Dialogue and rhythm 
  • Six common mistakes writers make 
  • The paragraph 
  • Building the arc 
  • Containers and what they do 
  • The writing life 
  • Creating a writing practice 
  • Identifying what’s getting in your way 
  • Criticism and rejection 

5. Design surface patterns from scratch 

CreativeLive design class

Category: Craft and Maker/Art and Design, Instructor: Bonnie Christine, Length: 14 hours and 10 minutes, Number of reviews: 104

Ever noticed a particularly appealing pattern on something like wallpaper or a fabric print? Or felt that  you had a great idea of what would look good on a similar surface? Then this course might be for you. 

Here, you learn all about translating your designs to real surfaces and creating digital versions of your artwork with Adobe Illustrator. The course is led by a professional pattern designer and includes a range of additional materials. 

With 39,000 students and a 100% approval rating, this is one of the most popular and acclaimed art and design courses on CreativeLive.  

You will learn: 

  • The basic tools of Adobe illustrator 
  • Essential tools for pattern making 
  • Creating objects from scanned sketches 
  • Tracing and coloring sketches 
  • Working from a photograph with live trace 
  • Adding textures to illustrations 
  • Designing repeated patterns 
  • Complex cluster patterns 
  • How to get noticed

6. The photography starter kit for beginners

CreativeLive photography starter kit

Category: Photo and Video, Instructor: John Greengo, Length: 3 hours and 50 minutes, Number of reviews: 312

This is a course that does exactly what it says on the tin. It is all about offering you a strong foundation for you to get started in the world of photography. 

CreativeLive has a massive range of photography courses, in fact, it’s one of the site’s most popular disciplines. So for this course to be so popular, with over 29,000 students and a 100% approval rating, is a real testament to its quality.

Whilst it is very similar to the second place on the list, you can think of this class as a brief, introductory series of lessons. Besides, CreativeLive is a subscription site, so by subscribing you have access to both classes. 

You will learn: 

  • An introduction to the camera 
  • Shutter speed
  • The sensor 
  • ISO 
  • The lens
  • Depth of Field 
  • Focusing 
  • Metering 
  • Exposure modes 
  • Exposure values 
  • Camera settings 
  • Workflow 
  • Light 
  • Flash 
  • Composition 
  • Elements of design 

7. Personal branding for creative professionals

CreativeLive personal branding course

Category: Money and Life, Instructor: Dorie Clark, Length: 10 hours and 38 minutes, Number of reviews: 18

One of the great things about CreativeLive is that it doesn’t just focus on teaching practical skills and disciplines. They can also offer insight into the day-to-day life of a creative and how to stand out in a very competitive industry. 

That’s what this course is all about. Here, you’ll learn the top tricks of the trade for building an online and offline presence that showcases you to the world. 

The class is led by a teacher who was a former Presidential campaign spokeswoman and now collaborates with the likes of Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. 

Personal branding for creative professionals has just 32,000+ students and has a 100% approval rating. 

You will learn: 

  • 4 tips for connecting with powerful people 
  • Why personal branding is not what you think 
  • How to understand your brand 
  • Discovering your personal narrative 
  • Branding through leadership 
  • Being a hub for your network 
  • How to develop your online presence 
  • Using social media
  • Mastering media interviews 
  • Networking the right way 
  • Networking with powerful people 
  • Your campaign plan 

8. How to break the habit of self-doubt and build real self-confidence 

CreativeLive Confidence course

Category: Money and Life, Instructor: Mel Robbins, Length: 5 hours and 8 minutes, Number of reviews (if available): 261

Alongside more general courses on making it in the creative industries, CreativeLive also has courses aimed at a much more general audience. For example, this option is all about developing confidence, a skill we all need, whether you’re a businessperson or a bongo player. It features #2 in our best online confidence course review.

The reason why this class has made the list is because of the instructor. Mel Robbins is described on the course webpage as the most booked female speaker in the world and is one of the most popular TEDx speakers of all time. 

This is one of CreativeLive’s most popular courses in the Money and Life section. There are around 164,000 students and the class has a rating of 100%.

You will learn: 

  • How to overcome imposter syndrome 
  • Myths and truth about being confident 
  • How to develop self-confidence 
  • What is self-doubt 
  • Self-doubt symptoms 
  • What causes hesitation 
  • Avoidance coping 
  • Hypercritical personalities 
  • Overcoming learned helplessness 
  • The connection between anxiety and self-doubt 

9. Fine art photography: The complete guide 

creativelive fineart photography course

Category: Photo and Video, Instructor: Brooke Shaden, Length: 25 hours and 50 minutes, Number of reviews: 74

Yet another photography course to add to the list, this time we are going more niche and specific. Rather than just using the camera to catch a specific moment, fine art photography is all about using photography as a medium of art. So it fits in nicely with the mission statement of CreativeLive. 

It is also one of the most comprehensive courses on this list, covering everything you might need to know about fine art photography. 

Led by a professional photographer and artist, this class has over 72,000 students and a 99% recommendation score. 

You will learn: 

  • Strategies for getting started 
  • How to analyze an image 
  • How to create and grow an audience 
  • Choosing your gear 
  • Set design 
  • Fine art compositing 
  • Editing workflow
  • Location scouting 
  • Shooting specific images
  • Editing multiple images 
  • Selling and pricing strategies 
  • Working with galleries  

10. Designing your life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life 

Designing your life course CreativeLive

Category: Money and Life, Instructor: Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Length: 4 hours and 38 minutes, Number of reviews: 73

Here we have another one of CreativeLive’s top lifestyles classes. Although some might be skeptical of these types of courses, each lesson here offers practical tips and strategies for improving your lifestyle. 

What makes this course unique is that it takes principles from design, used by the likes of Apple, and applies them to life decisions. The lessons are led by lecturers in the design program at Stanford University.  

Designing your life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life has a 92% recommendation score and 88,000+ students. 

You will learn:

  • Design thinking overview 
  • Finding balance 
  • Defining your workview 
  • Life/workview integration 
  • Gravity problems and reframe 
  • Prototyping 
  • Unicorn hunting 
  • Networking exercise
  • Decision models 
  • Energy assessment 

11. The complete wedding photographer experience 

wedding photography course creativelive

Category: Photo and Video, Instructor: Jasmine Star, Length: 30 hours and 26 minutes, Number of reviews: 133 

Weddings are some of the biggest events in people's lives across many, many cultures. And wedding photography has become a huge part of the wedding experience. 

This option is ideal for existing photographers, both beginners and advanced, who want to break into the wedding photography world, one of the most lucrative in the photography market. 

With over 30 hours of content, this class truly lives up to its name. It has above 81,000 students and a 96% approval rating. 

You will learn: 

  • How to define your photography style 
  • Shooting with intent 
  • How to market yourself and conduct a consultation 
  • Ceremony and reception photography 
  • Bride and groom photos 
  • Post wedding workflow 
  • Wedding albums
  • Shooting and posing tips and tricks 

12. Get into your creative flow 

creative flow creativelive course

Category: Money and Life, Instructor: Steve Kotler, Length: 4 hours and 39 minutes, Number of reviews: 27

As you might be able to tell, I have tried to balance this list in order to show you the range of courses on offer at CreativeLive. There are both courses on how to develop practical creative skills, like design and photography, as well as broader classes on working and living as a creative.

This class firmly belongs to the latter. What makes it appealing is that it can be of use to anybody, musicians, photographers, actors, and even professionals not in creative industries. 

And don’t forget, with a CreativeLive subscription, you can access this course alongside classes in your specific discipline. 

This class has a 100% recommendation score. Although with just over 24,000 students, it’s one of the less popular courses on this list, it is also designated as a ‘staff favorite.’

You will learn:

  • Mapping the creative process
  • The creative personality
  • Fulfilling your potential
  • Reframing
  • Flow overview 
  • The science of flow
  • Hacking the grind 
  • What to do when it goes wrong 
  • The release phase 
  • The recovery phase 

13. Mixing Masterclass

mixing masterclass creativelive

Category: Music and Audio, Instructor: Joey Sturgis, Length: 10 hours and 34 minutes, Number of reviews: 60 

Despite being the penultimate course on this list, this is the first entry on the list from CreativeLive’s Music and Audio category. This might be because CreativeLive tends to focus more on visual creativity (photography, cinematography, visual art) rather than music. 

Nevertheless, Mixing Masterclass is led by an award-winning record producer/engineer and has 10 hours + of content that takes a really deep dive into mixing, which is rare from any music-based e-learning site, let alone a broader one like CreativeLive. 

With over 23,000 students and a rating of 93%, this is one of CreativeLive’s best-rated and most popular music courses. 

You will learn:

  • Mixing fundamentals 
  • EQ 
  • Saturation
  • Dynamics basics 
  • Limiters 
  • Spatial balance 
  • Delay, echo and reverb 
  • Replacement mixing 
  • Creative mixing 
  • Productive mixing 

14. Adobe Lightroom CC: The Complete Guide

Adobe lightroom creativelive course

Category: Art and Design/Photo and Video, Instructor: Ben Willmore, Length: 23 hours and 49 minutes, Number of reviews: 52

The final course on our list of best CreativeLive classes goes back to what seems to be the speciality of the site in terms of their most popular and well-received courses; photo and video. 

Adobe Lightroom is image organization and manipulation developed by Adobe for photographers to import, view, edit, organize and share large numbers of digital images. 

This is one of many courses in photography on this list and one of many Adobe courses offered with CreativeLive. Don’t forget, with a subscription you can access all of this content, giving you access to a comprehensive photography learning experience that transcends the camera. 

You will learn: 

  • Importing images and customizing Lightroom 
  • Catalogs and management 
  • Baseline raw image adjustments 
  • Creating finalized files and printing 
  • Organizing images and managing projects 
  • Fixing isolated problems 
  • Image adjustment techniques 
  • Fine tuning your image 
  • Facial recognition and map viewing 
  • Finding any image quickly 
  • Showcasing your works 

How to find the best courses on CreativeLive

Finding classes Creativelive

Although it might seem overwhelming with so much content on offer, there are a few ways of finding great courses on CreativeLive. 

One way is browsing by category. CreativeLive has five main channels to choose from: 

  • Money and Life 
  • Photo and Video 
  • Music and Audio 
  • Art and Design 
  • Craft and Maker 

Typically, students will have a rough idea of the area they would like to focus on. So, if you’re looking for a music course or photography class, this is a great way to search for options. 

If you’re unsure about what you want to learn or just open about what you’d like to learn, CreativeLive has a page called All Classes. Clicking this will take you to a page that displays their entire catalog. 

filter classes CreativeLive

You can apply various filters to find the best course for you, including: 

  • Streaming now 
  • Featured 
  • Best-sellers 
  • Top rated 
  • New classes  

CreativeLive also has a few collections of courses that aren’t video lessons such as:

  • Bundles 
  • Conferences 
  • Interviews 
  • Learning paths 
  • Fast class  

Finally, if you’re looking for a specific course, CreativeLive also has a search bar at the top of the home page. 

How much does CreativeLive cost?

CreativeLive cost

There are a few options when it comes to paying for CreativeLive. 

You can pay an annual fee upfront of $149. This works out as $12.42 per month and is the best offer. 

You can also choose an annual subscription which you pay for monthly, costing $15 per month. Finally, there is the monthly subscription, which costs $39 per month

Each of these provides you with access to every course on CreativeLive, including all of the classes listed here. 

You can also purchase some CreativeLive courses individually. Prices here will vary depending on the course. 

How to get the best value from CreativeLive?

creativelive teachers
  • Take as many courses as possible, from a diverse range of topics 
  • Put some time into researching instructors and the course itself 
  • Spread your learning across as much time as you want so it accommodates your schedule 
  • Access on your phone and laptop, so it’s available whenever 
  • Decide what you’re interested in learning in advance and whether you’d rather pay for a subscription or a singular class
  • Return to courses if you feel like you need a refresher, as you have lifetime access 

Our methodology

I’ve spent a lot of time researching CreativeLive in order to compile this list. 

This included looking at courses from all of their categories and channels. I paid specific attention to the most popular courses, as this can often be an indicator of quality for a variety of reasons. 

I also looked at the credentials of instructors, student experiences and reviews of the course as well as looking at reviews that Learnopoly has already done on the site. 

As a result, this article is the go-to guide for learning about CreativeLive’s best classes. 


There are a wide range of excellent courses on CreativeLive. The best one is really up to you and what you’re looking for. 

CreativeLive has five main channels, each covering more specific topics like photography, public speaking, creative writing and much more. So you really are spoilt for choice. 

For me, the best pick is Wired for story: How to become a complete story genius, because of the way it systematically teaches a skill many want to learn but struggle to get into. 

It’s led by an experienced instructor and has hours and hours of content for students to get into. 

If you’re looking for something that’s as creative, but a little more ‘hands-on’, CreativeLive has you covered. 

Why not try courses from their Photo, Music and Design categories, such as Fundamentals of photography, Design surface patterns from scratch and Mixing Masterclass. 

Finally, CreativeLive also has great courses when it comes to lifestyle advice, especially in a creative setting. I recommend Workflow, time management and productivity for creatives and How to break the habit of self-doubt and build real self-confidence

Ultimately, I hope this list has shown you the best CreativeLive has to offer and helped you to pick out the best course to start your learning journey with.  

Best CreativeLive Course FAQ

What is the best Photo and Video course on CreativeLive?

Fundamentals of photography

What is the best Craft and Maker course on CreativeLive?

Design surface patterns from scratch

What is the best Art and Design course on CreativeLive?

Workflow, time management and productivity for creatives

What is the best Music and Audio course on CreativeLive? 

Mixing Masterclass

What is the best Money and Life course on CreativeLive?

Wired for story: How to become a complete story genius

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