Illustrator and Typographic Student Work!

In Illustrator 101, Kara Kooistra created two versions of this poster, mixing different typefaces, color combinations, and basic graphics – we loved how both of them turned out!  She also is the mind behind the pretty coral and blue flower illustrations. We’re always impressed by how well our students do after so little time!

Student Work

Student Work

Sharonel Salvacion Pedronan is also in our Illustrator 101 class, and for her assignment she chose this popular Jane Austen quote and turned it into a very well-designed poster. We love the multiple fonts she used for every line, and the detailed embellishments she added really made it pop.  Good work, Sharonel!

Student Work

If you’ve followed the Nicole’s Classes blog for a while, then you’ve seen several versions of the following invitations.  But Kristin Savko did such a good job with this particular homework that we had to add her to the ranks!  We love that she chose a skinnier design for the birthday invitation and the bold color choice on the ‘8’ and the date of the event.  The elegance and simplicity of the wedding invite also caught our attention – we love it, Kristin!

Student Work


Student Work

A Contest Update!

If you haven’t entered our Back to School Contest yet, make sure you stop by our Facebook page and submit your best photo or illustration!  And if you aren’t feeling up to entering, come on by and like your favorite entry.  Every vote counts!  As of this morning, here’s a complete preview, in no particular order, of the contestants so far.  And remember, you can still enter until this Friday at midnight!


Emily Manning

Jennifer Hildenbrand DeFlitch

Stephanie Richards Prince

Crystal Goodwin Wilkerson

Hollyanne Fricke

Jennifer Hildenbrand DeFlitch

 Stephanie Richards Prince

Back to School Contest

Back to School

The back to school season has been upon us for a few weeks now, and we thought we’d celebrate the return to textbooks and teachers with a contest hosted on the  Nicole’s Classes Facebook page. Read below for rules and prizes!


Like us on Facebook, and then upload a photo, design or illustration to our wall! The subject is “Back to School” and your work can be any interpretation of that theme. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got!

There will be three winners:

1) The best photo

2) The best design/illustration

3) The image that receives the most “likes” on Facebook.

You do not have to be a student to enter this contest. The contest ends Friday, September 28th, at midnight PST. The winners will all be announced next Monday.


Each winner will receive a free class of their choosing, PLUS a gift card redeemable for an additional free class (you can use it for yourself, or give it to someone who you really love!)

Additionally, the winners for Best Photo and Best Design/Illustration will receive a Nicole’s Classes care package! Included in the package you will find:

Two Pieces of Student Work

Today we wanted to highlight two pieces of student work from this week. Although they’re very different in subject, style, and composition, we were impressed with the final results achieved by both students.

Allison Jabaay created this pastel baby announcement. We love her typography choices and the different baby outfits she designed. The mixed colors on the baby’s name are fun, too!

Baby shower invitation

In Tabletop Photography, Robin Weir captured this image of an elephant toy. She fulfilled the assignment so well. We love the interesting subject she chose and how the lighting turned out.

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Subscribe to our Newsletter!

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Newsletters often include exclusive, deeper discounts than what is normally advertised via any of our other social media. Subscribers are also the first to hear about major news and announcements. And, every month or so, we include a summary of what’s been happening over here on the blog, so you have easy access to any posts that interest you. Subscribe below

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Student Work!

This morning we have four pieces of student work to share with all of you.  We love the creativity of these designs and hope that you do, too!

Natalie Zempter impressed us again with the intricate pattern of this snowflake design. Make sure to check out more of Natalie’s talent on her blog.

Jesette Vichot made this crab illustration and we love the summery subject she chose, the uniform color palette, and how each pair of the crab’s legs are different.  From Babies, Toddlers & Kids, Alison Cooney captured this tender moment of a napping toddler.  We loved her choice of soft lighting and how interesting the composition is.

Valerie Abenroth took a picture of  this sleepy baby for an assignment in Babies, Toddlers & Kids.  We love the soft, up-close texture of the blanket in the background, the pop of color from the pink bow, and the overall serenity that this photo portrays.

Facebook Cover Photos

Since Facebook launched Timeline a few months ago, users have had the option to display cover photos at the top of their profile pages.  Today, we thought it would be fun to transform some of Nicole’s photos* into colorful banners for all of you who want to spruce up your Facebook page.  Click on your favorite image to enlarge it, save, upload, and enjoy! We love them all – which do you like best?

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Don’t forget to stop by the Nicole’s Classes Facebook and say hello!
*These images may be used for personal Facebook page cover photos only. Images may not be altered.

Student Spotlight: Helga Varadi

Here at Nicole’s Classes, we’re fortunate to meet a lot of amazing students from all over the world, each talented and fun to work with. Helga Varadi from Budapest is no exception. After getting to know her through a few of our classes, we wanted to share her insights and talents with all of you!

How did you hear about Nicole’s Classes?

I found an Illustrator video tutorial on Pinterest. I watched it then watched all the videos on the site. I didn’t know about Illustrator before, but it looked easy to use based on those 2 minute tutorials. So I decided to give it a try. I was also curious how an online course and its software would work in practice. It is very comfortable to follow the program from the other part of the world, even from my bedroom if I like.

What got you interested in design?

I’ve had a non-creative job for years and I realized that I needed a creative activity. Do you know the feeling after a nine-to-five workday when you start to use your imagination to create something? That feeling became my addiction. So I started to draw and paint and I’ve also got a passion about decorating and DIY-ing. Then two months ago I found Illustrator. I knew nothing about it, just signed up for Illustrator 101 and love happened. It’s a great program with wonderful teachers who are passionate about their work and their devotion encourages her students.

Which classes have you taken from Nicole’s Classes?

I’ve taken Illustrator 101 and other advanced design classes. I plan to take the rest of the Illustrator classes and Photoshop classes. I try to push my limits hoping that in a few years I will be one of those lucky ones who can live by their passion.

Have you done anything further with skills learned in Nicole’s Classes?

So far I have only designed and printed small gift cards for friends and a few practical things around the house (e.g.labels). Even such tiny DIY products make me and people around me happy. Some friends already asked me to work together and I might do that in the near future. There was talk about posters, menu cards, gift wrap. One of my dreams is to launch my own business sometime. I’m sure that it would include a lot of my own designs, too (brand logo, web design, flyers, packaging etc.). Before that I definitely have to learn a lot more, but it would be fun to turn these skills into products.

Where do you get inspiration for your work?

It would be hard to list all the sites I browse day to day to seek beauty and graphic happiness. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from a photo composition to color combination, from vintage cards to design chairs. I collect a lot of them on Pinterest. I also spend a lot of time on Dribbble, Behance, design-seeds and on other designer blogs. One of my favorite graphic artist is Nidhi Chanani. Her illustrations are full of happiness. And I could name a lot more artists and designers with all kinds of beauty in their works. These little pieces inspire me to look at things differently and I hope one day they help me to create design in my unique way.

Sample Work:

Without further ado, check out some of Helga’s work! We also have featured her work here, here, and here!

Set of four business card designs.

Here is a set of four business card designs. It was hard for us to choose a favorite. Which one do you think Helga should use for herself?

Ball poster, using geometric shapes.

Here Helga uses geometric shapes to illustrate grapes and leaves. Very clever!

"You are cordially invited to my bridal shower tea party." Invitation with feathers and words floating down.

In this simple invitation, Helga mimics the floating feathers in her text treatment.

Two illustrations of Audrey Hepburn, one in color. the other in grayscale, using geometric shapes.

We love Helga’s illustrations of Audrey Hepburn! Here she is experimenting with a color illustration and with a grayscale geometric representation of Audrey’s face. Clever work, Helga!

illustration of a dog wearing a tie

Helga illustrated this adorable dog wearing a tie! Very cute and lots of personality!

Illustration of the same woman, side by side, two different color combinations.

We are so thrilled that Helga has been able to discover Illustrator as an artistic medium, from not even knowing what Illustrator was a few months ago to being able to produce such amazing work now! We are confident that great things await Helga as she continues to develop her new skills!

End of August Student Work

As August came to a close, so did our latest round of Nicole’s Classes.  Our students did not disappoint last month!  Take a look at just a few of our favorites from the last few weeks:

Stacy Olson used the skills she picked up in Illustrator 101 to create graphics for her own blog, Freshly Handmade.  The bright colors and dainty details are beautiful, and we love the logo she designed.

Jonathan Zempter made this Apple products sign.  We love his creativity, simplicity, and sense of balance.  If you love this sample of work like we do, make sure you check out his blog over here!

Speaking of the Zempters, Jonathan’s wife also created a clever design this month!  Her bold color choices and use of simple, geometric shapes made an impact on us.  How about you?  Go read Natalie’s blog to learn more about her!

We’re always impressed by Annie Preece’s imagination in the works she creates for our classes.  We particularly like the way this design turned out!  All the hard work paid off in this cute canoe image.  Pay Annie a visit over on her blog!

Kristin Maynes made some really unique and great designs as well.  We especially loved these dandelions and how she turned something so common into something pretty and fun.  See more from Kristin at 9th and Mayne.


Tweet with Us!

After announcing we’re on Pinterest and Instagram, we wanted to make sure that all of you knew you could find us on Twitter, too!  Follow us for quick updates on what’s happening at Nicole’s Classes and to get answers to your questions quickly. Or just send a tweet our way to say hello!


Twitter Screenshot

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