Patricia Caldeira Teaches People How to Draw to the Tune of 5-Figures/Year

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  • Who: Patricia Caldeira
  • Website:
  • Course Topic: Drawing
  • Interesting Stats: 40 to 100+ sales per month on each platform

Who are you and what course have you created?

I’m Patricia Caldeira, Co-Founder of Don Corgi (along with Miguel Silva). A website about learning to draw in a straightforward way. No need to learn muscle names or a lot of theory.

We focus on the fun part of learning to draw since that is what tends to motivate most artists.

I have created Drawing Courses on many platforms such as Gumroad, Udemy and Skillshare.

You can find a list of my drawing courses here and all my information, freebies, and drawing tutorials here.

What market does your online course serve?

My online courses serve for the most part, beginner artists wanting to learn Figure Drawing (how to draw people), Character Design, and drawing Chibi Characters.

If you’re an artist (or want to be) who feels overwhelmed with the whole process of drawing a person, or you’re just tired of memorizing muscle names, our courses are for you.

Short lessons for people who just want to have fun with art and learn it in a relaxed and friendly environment. Patricia Caldeira's site

What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?

The biggest benefit of taking our courses at Don Corgi is that you’ll have a step-by-step blueprint to guide you! No need to guess around and try different things.

Not only that, but you also get downloadable drawing templates and a “behind-the-scenes” look at how I create art.

All of this is included in the drawing courses we offer, which are a “buy-once, get lifetime updates,” kinda deal.

How did you get into the market?

This is an interesting (and somewhat strange!) story. I worked on a lot of art commissions when I started out drawing, and I also did the usual that most artists wanting to get an extra income do: put their work on T-Shirts, Mugs, Cards, etc.

This is a nice extra, and somewhat passive, income that helps pay the bills.

I had shops on Redbubble, Teepublic,  Society6, and then… I created a shop on Etsy! I decided to sell some printable cards with my designs that anyone could print at home and use. Get Well cards, Happy Birthday Cards, that kind of shop.

Well, it started pretty well, and we sold quite a few designs (we’re over 1.3k sales at the moment), and eventually… we got contacted by Skillshare!

They said they really enjoyed our Designs and asked us if we were interested in teaching people how to draw or any other topics related to art.

I was a bit skeptical at the start, this was back in 2016 when Skillshare wasn’t as big as it is today, and I didn’t have a lot of practice teaching other people.

But eventually, I said sure! Let’s give it a try.

We recorded an online class on Gesture Drawing, which was about 12 minutes long but took a long time to get together and edit. Miguel did the editing, and I did the recording with a very cheap microphone.

To be completely honest, the quality of the Class (mostly the sound) wasn’t really very good. But people really enjoyed it!

Students gave it amazing reviews and wanted to see more from us, so we did that. We kept going with more classes for beginner artists!

Nowadays we have over 20k students across different platforms and spread all around the globe.

Patricia Caldeira's site

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

It was by chance of getting an invite from Skillshare as I mentioned, but I also felt that there weren’t enough relaxed and beginner-friendly art courses at the time. Most drawing courses were many hours long and talked just SO much about drawing theory, and memorizing bone and muscle names.

There was barely any drawing! So we decided to go the opposite way and create short videos where you actually see me drawing and draw along with me. Making progress and improvement in real-time!

Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?

Yes, there were quite some doubts when I created my first courses. First I wasn’t sure how to put a course together in the first place. So we researched a lot online on how other people were building their courses and learned from that. “Okay, we need a short introduction/promotional video… 1 minute only? how do we talk about EVERYTHING in our Class in 1 minute? Oh-oh.”

So we went back and forth between different versions, cutting out the fluff, until we reached a  good enough video that we thought people would enjoy.

I also didn’t think people would particularly enjoy the course. We worked a LOT on it, but there are those little demons in our head constantly saying “No one is going to watch this, why do you even bother?” But we just powered through and released it into the wild.

A big reason to do it is that we needed an extra income. We were trying to go all-in on working remotely and this was a new way to see what worked.

What’s your online course like?

My online courses are recorded videos screencast while I go in real-time teaching how to draw a specific body part, how to learn an art style, and so on. We also include practical assignments that students can use to practice. As well as downloadable resources (such as templates) that they can use to help them improve!

Our first course was first recorded (video only) and then I did a narration on top, talking about each step to go through and how I did it. Nowadays we don’t do this anymore and we record almost everything in real-time. (it’s something that I feel I improved at quite a bit over the years)

How long did it take you to create your course?

Our courses take about 1 to 2 months to create. Here’s the basic process we go through:

  1. Research the topic for the course. See what other courses on the topic exist already, is there anything we can do better? Is there another way to approach the topic? Will our current students enjoy our new topic?
  2. Create a basic outline of the course. We try to figure out what needs to be covered on the course. What subtopics do we talk about? How can we split them up? This way we can start planning out each lesson based on the overall topics and subtopics of the course.
  3. “Script” each lesson. I mention “script” in quotations since we just want to have a general idea of what we’re going to talk about in each lesson. No need to script the entire thing, but it helps us understand what we’re including in each lesson so we don’t miss any particular points.
  4. Record the lessons. After some practice, start recording! I go to my laptop, make sure my mic is on, and hit record.
  5. Edit everything. Then we need to edit the lessons. Cut out all of the fluff and mistakes in the video, awkward pauses and make them a bit more exciting. This takes a while.
  6. Create cover images, downloadable templates and Upload! Finally, we create the cover images, bonus files that we want to include in the course and upload it on the platform!

That’s a rough insight into the process of how we create our courses.

Patricia Caldeira's site

Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).

When launching our drawing courses, we make sure everything is filled up correctly. Depending on the platform, there will be different requirements for Cover images, description text size and other features. So we double-check that everything looks good.

Then we send a promotional email to our students saying something like “Hey! Our newest course is now live. If you’d like to check it out and get the launch price, here’s a coupon for you.” We also tend to “hype up” the new course some time before the sale, letting our students know what we’re currently working on and how’s the upcoming course coming along.

When we first started, we didn’t have anything like this, of course. We just uploaded our course and asked a few people to check it out and let us know how it was! Thankfully it worked and kept growing. Nowadays we know a lot more about marketing so we can help our course grow quicker.

Do you have a lead magnet?

Yes! We have a Free E-Mail Course on Drawing Expressions here:

This has worked pretty well as a lead magnet and people have been enjoying the free course quite a bit. We also tried the general “Hey, want some drawing tips? Sign up here!” pop-up, but giving the course worked quite better.

What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?

The traffic strategy that worked better for us was focusing on SEO to get traffic to our Blog with helpful drawing tutorials and tips. We also tried paid advertising before (Instagram and Facebook/Meta Ads) and it worked pretty well! But it’s kind of a full-time job to keep up with all the changes, so we had to stop for a while. Maybe we’ll hire someone to do the paid advertising for us in the future.

SEO can be quite complicated as well, especially since you’re relying on Google Updates (which can make your traffic look like a rollercoaster sometimes) but in general it has worked quite well for us. We’re also focusing on other social media platforms nowadays and trying to grow them steadily. More specifically, Instagram and Pinterest.

What online course platform are you using?

We’re using Gumroad to host our courses. As well as hosting them in different marketplaces such as Skillshare and Udemy.

Do you like it?

Yes, in general, I quite like Gumroad.

Are there any features you wish it had?

I wish it had some better options for bundling our courses, as well as being able to give a subscription option to access all our courses at once.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

We wanted more control over our courses, as well as not being completely dependant on a course marketplace. And the fee on Gumroad was pretty cheap!

We also knew other artists who had products on Gumroad, so we decided to try it out.

What other tools do you use to run your online course business?

Quite a few! But the most important ones for us are our E-Mail service (Mailerlite), Google Docs and Google Sheets for planning and keeping track of everything, and WordPress with many essential plugins.

Oh and Davinci Resolve for video editing! We use the free version and it works really well.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

Some books that really helped us become more successful are:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib
  • Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! by Luke Sullivan (amazing for copywriting!)
  • Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon (lovely series for artists)

For training Programs, we’ve got a lot of value from:

  • Project24 by Income School
  • Affiliate Lab by Matt Diggity

I think anyone interested in SEO and Marketing will quite enjoy these.

Patricia Caldeira's site

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

One of the biggest “mistakes” would be creating courses that are not completely in line with what the students are interested in.

This is part of the testing period though, you never quite know if a specific topic or resource will resonate with your current students unless you try!

It happened to us where we would just upload a course and it would fall flat on its face. Barely any students.

Another big mistake was releasing a course without any previous marketing. It’s always a good idea to let current students know about the current process of the course creation so they’re aware of it (duh!) - Patricia Caldeira Click To Tweet

Please share some idea of revenue.

Depending on the time of the year, the sales vary wildly between 40 to 100+ sales per month on each platform. They also increase quite a bit when we launch a new course. Not only sales on the new course but on the older course as well! It feels like students are reminded about their instructor and are like “Ah! Wait a minute, there’s this other cool drawing course Patricia had!” and they go sign up haha.

Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.

The money I’ve earned from my online drawing courses has allowed me to be quite more independent and eventually make a down-payment for a house! This did take years to get here, but I’m happy I stumbled upon it and I’m now much more free to focus on my art and art teaching side.

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

For many months, students have been watching over 30,000 minutes of my Classes per Month. That’s over 1250 hours of hearing me talk and draw in a single month.

I found it very strange at the time, but the numbers just kept on growing! And I’m glad to give value to the students who want to learn how to draw.

What has creating your course done for you personally?

Creating these courses has certainly built some more confidence in my artistic skills, but most of all I feel that it made me improve at these skills myself!

When you want to teach someone something (it could be anything!) you tend to really go into detail about what’s the best way to teach them. - Patricia Caldeira Click To Tweet

And by doing this and repeating the process until you’ve perfect the way to teach, you really get better quickly!

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

I do get some reviews and feedback that makes me happy to read! (I read all feedback I get as well as reply to Assignments from students).

One specific one was “Every class is a masterpiece. Clear cut instructions and no garbage whatsoever. I strongly recommend her!”

I giggled a bit with the “no garbage whatsoever” part! I know it’s not the literal sense, but I just imagined a big pile of trash randomly inserted in one of my videos.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Here’s some advice for people starting out their course creation journey:

  1. Do a bunch of research but don’t get stuck on it!
  2. Don’t worry too much about the technical aspects and gear that you need. You don’t need the latest camera and microphone. Just grab your phone and hit record.
  3. Use free video editing software such as Davinci Resolve or iMovie and cut the pauses or mistakes.
  4. Keep your first course short! This way you can quickly get it out there and get some feedback.
  5. Iterate on that feedback loop.
  6. Repeat!

You’ve got this. Enjoy the whole process and keep breaking through.

Learn more about Patricia Caldeira of

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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