New Home Forums Progress Logs On miracles & making memories

23 replies, 8 voices Last updated by  Laura Koller 5 years, 10 months ago
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    Jessica Antonelli

    Hey adventure buddies,

    I gotta tell you I am floored. The past week has been a flurry of eCourse creation, and if you would have told me 2 weeks ago that by now I’d be finished filming I wouldn’t have believed it. But here I am! about to go through to tidy up all the footage and feeling suddenly confident in what an awesome class I have to offer.

    But let’s flash back to a couple of weeks ago. My eCourse is based on a drawing class I usually teach in-person, and I had filmed some bits and pieces of lessons when I traveled to Italy last October. I was feeling extra lost until I jumped on this mountain and was mega inspired on this, greatest of eCourse adventures.
    Still, I didn’t know quite what my next step was. I had a list of what generally needed to be re-shot (my first filming experience was unscripted and mildly disastrous) but I was resisting script-writing and generally procrastinating and feeling crummy about myself. When I finally got sick of this and knew I had to do SOMETHING, I hustled on over to ask my uncle, a former photographer, if he had a tripod or anything I could use to film overhead shots for filming drawing.

    I have to preface this by saying my uncle is quite eccentric, and often crotchety, and obsessed with film and old movies. He’s a retired widower, and I suppose I only didn’t think to ask him for help earlier because I thought he’d rather not be bothered.
    Instead, my simple question about a tripod turned into him asking all about the eCourse (forcing me to get very clear in a hurry about just what shots I needed). He suddenly went from the grumpy uncle John I knew to a consummate professional! He transformed his living room into an amazing studio with all of the equipment leftover from his photography days. Only we used my cameras because it turned out that our smartphones now have better resolution and whatnot than the one he used to use in the 90s.

    It was a miracle! I had given myself a long and stretched out timeline and was so stuck in my head about where to start, but working with Uncle John gave me the pro help I needed so much. He lit a fire under my butt and gave me a sense of urgency (mainly grumbling about not being able to use his living room! and saying we had a week or bust!) Actually, I have realized how important it is for me to be working with others, and I’m prioritizing making a team as I go forward with the course and my business! And I have a whole new appreciate and connection to John, now that I have seen him at his best, in action behind the camera. He gave me tips after takes and we’d sip on beer and talk about movies after our long filming days. I’m seriously grateful I got to know him better through this experience, he’s such a generous and soft hearted guy deep down <3

    Soooo, now that I have all this juicy awesome footage, I’ll be happily editing for awhile and doing some of the big picture list-building and hinting about this course that will ensure it has a good audience when it is born. Thank goodness that when I was procrastinating on the filming I was still studying the big-picture steps this is going to take and getting all of the software I’d need to edit (going with Screenflow). I have my domain name purchased and I want to start with a lead page–going to do some research on Thrive, which our fearless guides recommended.

    I’m so super grateful for this breakthrough, and that now inertia is going in a forward motion for me! Cheers to movin’ right along and making memories on this path 😀


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Oh my gosh, what a cool story @jescantonelli. I am so pumped to hear. What a gift Uncle John was for you!!! I’m thrilled that you’ve got the videos shot. Now the rest is much much easier to get through because your excitement to see the course come to life will lead you through the resistance of learning the new technologies.

    Just curious if you’ve used LeadPages before? I was not a fan at all. Thrive is way better and if you are able to hold on another week, you’ll have your very own UCSE 5000 😉

    @andyfreist and I are happy to answer any questions you might have about that next phase!

    Way to go and thanks for sharing.


    Andy Freist
    Mountain Guide

    Holy WOW! So stoked you were blessed with that epic experience! Can’t wait to see your creation!!!!


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Gave ya a big shoutout on the Coaching Campfire yesterday. Celebrating this victory with you @jescantonelli


    Jessica Antonelli

    I guess you could say I took a tumble down the mountain today…what really happened is my external hard drive with all of my videos-in-progress took a tumble, and I about cried when I realized the poor lil drive has got brain damage and my files are in jeopardy.

    Of course this happens when it’s a Saturday and I leave the country on Tuesday…

    Thank all that is holy, I had backed up all the video files on anther external drive, so I’ve still got all the raw footage from italy, and the photoshoot with uncle John.

    I’m going to be SOOO bummed if I lose all of my screen flow files and all the hours of editing that have gone into them, but I have an appt tomorrow with the apple people to help me try to rescue everything.

    One thing that helps me through this kinda thing is imagining the worst case scenario, which in this case is pretty straightforward: the computer nerds won’t be able to save the files and I’ll have to re-edit all 10 of the videos I was working on.

    That would suck, but at least I haven’t lost the original video files. I’m not going to fret lost hours that I am not totally sure have been lost yet, and I’m sure as hell not going to quit.

    So ok, learned some lessons here, I’m not the happiest camper this minute, but I’m going to finish my UCSE5k today dangit if it’s the last thing I do…

    Hope everyone is backing up everything in triplicate. May all your tech flow smoothly.


    Lisa R

    Oh Jessica, I really hope the files are ok! I can imagine it’d be tough to lose them but I can also hear your determination to plough ahead and dig deep even if that’s the case. So glad the raw files are safe. Have you thought about cloud storage?

    Let us know what the Apple team are able to do!



    Jessica Antonelli

    Thanks @Lisa.russell, I so appreciate your encouragement 🙂

    The good news is that I just discovered that a file I forgot about with a bunch of the videos I need for editing today…better than nothing!

    I do have cloud storage, but hadn’t backed up this particular drive…you bet I am never going to let this happen again!

    Thanks for being my virtual shoulder to cry on, in the meantime I am listening to this to cheer me up, just swap the word ‘sun’ in the opening lyrics “whoever thought the sun would crashing down,” with “my external hard drive,” and well, it’s close enough to the situation. Everything’s gonna be all right!


    Jessica Antonelli

    Hola adventurers!

    Well I’m past due for a progress check in! The non-online classes I teach took over for a minute, but now I am getting ready for some serious court creation magic.

    My first eCourse, 10 Steps to Drawing Anything, was very well received! I got great feedback on what to improve, I’ve got tons of ideas of what to add, and I’ve got testimonials lines up, woohoo! (and consider this a big long testimonial to the Great eCourse Adventure! This mountain has changed my life)

    Now I am in the beginning stages of planning the next eCourse and re-launching the original.

    …to relaunch the original I want to truncate the class A LOT. 10 weeks is way too long. Now I’m debating on making it a 4 week program, or separating it into 3 mini-courses that are each 1-2 weeks…

    Then the next eCourse on the bucket list is a sketchbook watercolor course, and we want to make it the most awesome eCourse you could have on your laptop before taking that epic vacation that you want to capture in color in your sketchbook.

    I’d love some theme feedback, I’m collaborating with a watercolorist on this one and we’re just getting started with themes! We already have a super solid syllabus. I love working with other people! Things are moving along faster this second round of eCourse-ing, I eel much more confident about it all.

    Here are the three themes I’ve been playing around with so far:

    1) indiana-jones style adventure to solve a mystery
    2) savvy traveler’s guide to travel watercolors
    3) Magical Mexico art adventure guide

    I’d love to hear your first impressions on those! Thanks 🙂

    Keep powerin’ up the mountain my peoples!



    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Deep bows for the hard work you’ve put into your creation Jessica. I am thrilled to hear that you’ve received such great feedback from your students.

    Curious what some of the revisions are going to be to your course?

    For this past one, you sent out a new module ever 1-week or 2?
    Do you think all that time in between lessons was necessary for students, now that the content is already created?

    (I’d personally recommend a minor tweak and a minimum of one more launch, with the full course, before breaking it down into individuals)

    Super stoked you’re diving into your next course already. This is awesome!

    The Indiana Jones one is super fun, but I reckon you may run into some copyright infringements on good ol’ George Lucas. but if you can come up with a catchy title that sounds like that (Cindy Hanna Jones?  LOL) then you’d be okay.

    “Savvy Travelers Guide to Travel Water colours” has travel twice, so I’d frown upon that.

    “Magical Mexico art adventure guide” is super fun AND it would basically niche you to people going to Mexico.

    So what is the transformation? The transformation is learning to paint with watercolours while traveling, right?

    What will the exercises be like? Will they paint things you give them or will they paint things they find in their travels (like a scavenger hunt)?

    These make a big difference.

    Let’s keep the conversation and ideas flowing. You’re onto it!


    Andy Freist
    Mountain Guide

    Awesome, I’m so stoked things are taking off for you!

    As for your current course, I think making it a shorter time frame is good, but I wouldn’t divvy it up into multiple courses (yet).

    As for the watercolors course, my gut feeling is to err on the side of simplicity for the theme. I would stay away from specific travel destinations (ie: Mexico), and keep it broad.

    I like the generalized “travelers guide to watercolors” theme, and you could weave a simple narrative or story within that, and illustrate the story via watercolors (ie: the story being of someone traveling around documenting everything with watercolors)

    Excited to dive further into this on our coaching call this week!


    Jessica Antonelli

    Howdy all,

    So good to be getting back in mountain mode, it’s been awhile but I’m excited to get climbing again!

    Since I last checked in, the watercolor eCourse (my first collaborative attempt) went to the wayside when my partner moved and asked that we leave it to lie. I learned a ton and celebrate the experience, even if the month or two of effort never blossomed into a course.

    Honestly I felt a bit burned out/overwhelmed at the prospect of eCoursing for awhile, and my in-person art classes and a kid’s summer camp kept me busy enough for awhile that I felt excused putting it on the back burner.

    Today though, I am ready to dive back in! It’s been long enough that my memories of tech headaches have faded and my new mantra is “Action cures fear!” For me this is really about focusing on one step at a time and not letting myself over-analyze. (Just read this funny post by Matthew Kimberly this morning on that subject:  )

    So, here’s my game-plan:

    I will kick off with a free 1 week mini-course, Bad Artist Bootcamp.
    I’m excited about this freebie as something to pump me up and get me out of my bad artistic habits, to be able to do that with a group of creative people who are willing to challenge themselves, and also to get me in the zone for (re) launching my main course, 10 Steps to Drawing, by Oct 7.

    I’m looking forward to being around the campfire more often as this new adventure unfolds, and I’ll post soon with more on my freebie idea 🙂




    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Hot diggity dog @jescantonelli, it’s great to see you back on the mountain. So much has happened since you were last here  LOL 

    Can’t wait to climb to Launch Summit a second time and to share what we’ve learned so you can apply it to your previous course.

    Thanks for popping by and sharing an update with us all.



    Jessica Antonelli

    Goodness gracious it’s good to be back on the mountain 🙂

    Last I posted I was just ABOUT to begin creating my ‘BAD Artist Bootcamp’ free mini-course. And I made it!

    I created it using Thrive Apprentice, which is way easier to use, if not as flexible, as the hodge-lodge platform I’m using for my big ole’ course. Check it out!

    (here’s the landing page for it to capture emails and send reminders to students:)

    BAD Bootcamp Get Started


    I enjoyed putting together the freebie because I really had fun being goofy with the content and encapsulating the key mind set shifts artists need to be successful. It was just as useful for me to remember as to share with my students! And I’ve gotten some IRL students to my San Miguel de Allende MX classes because of it.

    So, I just started a teenie tiny FB promotion of my freebie because I’m just about to re-launch 10 Steps to Drawing, my signature course!

    This will technically be the third time that I’m launching this baby, although this time there are some big changes.

    -THEME is now a bit toned down and more manageable. Instead of an “around-the-world” art adventure, I’m creating a class that will feel like the person is coming to San Miguel for an art intensive class, just like the people who are in my real life class. Basically, I want the online version of the course to mirror the experience of coming to Mexico to enjoy taking classes here with me

    -Students will be able to post their work on the course website to get feedback straight form me, just like a real course, and unlike most eCourses on how to draw. Using Social Portfolio theme and BuddyPress to create my own little social network

    -New videos! After over a year, the videos I filmed waaaaay back when just don’t cut it for me anymore. My teaching style on these lessons has shifted and I know I can make the lessons more concise and the videos prettier.

    -more consistency in the lesson formats and in the lesson distribution. Last launch I felt like I had too many videos in the beginning of the course and not enough toward the end.

    -New graphics! I hired a badass graphic designer and she was extra affordable b’c we did some trade and she lives here in Mexico also…good stuff.


    -I’ve been having a REAL tough time getting started this round. I was supposed to start filming and working on this last month, but didn’t. It’s all to easy for me as my own boss to move the due date back and back…
    Solution–for this block, I’m putting some real stakes out there. I am going to announce the start date today to my mailing list, and let this be a soft re-launch, as opposed to focusing more on the marketing this round. I know I have people who are ready to buy the minute it’s out, so even a few sales this launch would be good enough to get me going. I am planning to just film-as-I-go, and make sure I have the 1st 2 weeks of classes (of a 4 week program) ready to go before the first day of class starts. Then, once I feel good about the new videos for the course, I can focus on list-building and general biz growth before I launch the next live version of the course in fall.

    -filming/editing. I have realized this is one of my LEAST favorite parts, despite my background as an actress. I can ham it up while I’m teaching and have a great time, but to watch myself over and over during the editing process…ugh
    Solution– I’m outsourcing my promotional video, which is the one I am the most particular about in general. There’s a guy here in town who does beautiful work and has sexy drone footage of the amazing main church in town, so I’m looking forward to having a stellar sales video to wow people with the beauty of San Miguel de Allende (SMA) and then have a more day-in-the-life video series with the lessons here in my studio.

    Time management– This is why I want to light a fire under my butt by announcing the eCourse release date now. I’ve got the next 2 weeks with almost no interruptions to focus 100% on the eCourse. I’ve done the filming set up before and all the platform is already set up, so I just need to focus on the instructional videos, and making some sexy pdf’s for the lesson hand-outs…all super do-able.
    Solution- Announcing to my list today that the course will be live July 1st! Boom. I’m still so nervous that I had to come here and write all this out first, but it’s helping! I have all the time I need and WORST case scenario, I could totally teach all the classes live if there is some huge and utter breakdown of the tech side of things.

    Ok, well I’m off to get things rolling! So helpful to have this space to share, mark progress and see my growth over time.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    So bummed to see that my long response that I posted a bunch of days ago is not here  LOL

    The shorter version: I am thrilled to see you back on the mountain. Your first course was awesome and I can’t wait to see what you create with all that you’ve learned since. You’re so good at doing what you do, so just keep doing it.

    Thanks for coming back and climbing once again! Stoked to help and support in all the ways you need.


    Jessica Antonelli


    So, I really pumped up the freebie I told y’all about before, so now I have to say it is a solid teeny tiny drawing class in itself.

    I added 11 videos to the original 7 I filmed last year, and this time I hired a dude to help me shoot it all in a day.

    I am so glad I invested in pro help, because I was able to see that I could shift my filming process to be more efficient after working with my videographer.

    I had been filming things so literally before, as in, very single shot in order, first and intro, then the overhead drawing shots, and it would take forever switching between the 2 set-ups.

    But, BATCHING, duuuuuh.

    Working with pros helped me be better about making a storyboard and understanding all the shots I’d need, so now I’m shooting all the intros at once, then all the outdoors scenes in the city, then finally all of the drawing shots later.
    This has been essential since I only have 1 more week to film on location in this magical city in Mexico, where the course takes place.

    Have I mentioned I also hired an awesome graphic designer to make me a super cool map of San Miguel de Allende just for my course, and then we follow around the map to draw from that location? I think it will be cool because people can just use the map online or could print it in person and follow the map for real if/when they come to SMA!

    This course is just at a whole ‘nother level from when it first began. I’ve learned so much since I launched the course 2 years ago (whaaaa) and It’s so beautiful to see all my teaching knowledge neatly packaged outside of my brain for people to enjoy. And I know it will keep getting better! It’s a ton of work but worth it.

    I also am excited about my plan for down sell options this launch, I’m going to offer a cheaper version of the course that only includes the lessons on drawing the portrait, and maybe another on just drawing depth and perspective. I think it’ll be a great way to take this ENORMOUS course (over 40 videos!!) into more bite-sized chunks for my peoples.

    I know in the future I will be doing smaller courses too, this one is like a full semester’s worth of stuff in 5 weeks.

    I’m still filming and editing and promoting all at once, but it’s been way easier now that I have my groundwork laid out this year. Last time I launched I was so focused on creating the eCourse as an awesome product that I barely did any marketing.

    I know my marketing skills have got a long way to go, but I think I’m on the right track and now I’ve got a better sense of how all this evolves.

    Making this eCourse has really called on me to be my best self too, to be more focused and better at managing time and balance work and fun and rest, and for that I’m so grateful.

    Check out the free mini-course at:

    And the big ol’ course itself at:
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    I have NO idea how sales will be, hoping that the end of my early bird sale will get some attention! It ends tomorrow, $100 bucks off.
    Wish me luck, and I hope you’ve got lots coming your way too! Hoping to report crazy big sales to y’all by Sept 1!
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