For the past year, I’ve been building a mindful drawing community through Mimochai Studio. I recently finished our signature Drawing Foundations course, opened a new membership tier, and feel like we are officially entering our next chapter.
My goal with the studio is to offer a safe space with gentle guidance to help anyone who wants to be more creative learn to draw, overcome blocks, and build an artistic practice.
Here’s a little about my background and how Mimochai Studio came to be.
My Teaching Path
In addition to my work as an illustrator, I’ve been a Top Teacher on Skillshare for over six years now. I really have to thank Skillshare for helping me discover my love for teaching. My classes have reached over 85,000 students from all over the world. That feels surreal to me.
The issue was that, for a long time, teaching had always felt secondary and somewhat separate from my work for Mimochai. I’d often feel like I was running two different creative lives, with less synergy between the two than one would hope. Creating classes was also very time-consuming, and I’d often go the whole time without pushing my illustration skills forward.
So I decided to make an intentional effort to bring the two closer together through my mission to encourage creativity & mindfulness through my work. I wasn't sure exactly how that would look when I started. The beautiful thing about building the studio & community is that it helped me figure it out as I went along.
Building a Platform
I originally just wanted to have a way to make my best classes available on my own platform, organized in a way that helps support people in starting and then following through on their creative journey. I wanted to also ideally be able to host events and resource articles all in one place.
I couldn’t fully plan it out without knowing which platform it could live on and what functionalities it could have. So picking the right platform was a big step in this process.
After exploring all the different platforms out there that can host courses (Might Networks, Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, etc.), I settled on Mighty Networks for three main reasons: (1) it had almost all of the features I was looking for, (2) it was designed with the community function as a priority rather than an after-thought, and (3) it is also mobile-native with a seamless desktop-to-app experience.
My only gripe is that I can’t really customize its appearance enough to look more Mimochai. That said, it’s incredible that we as individuals can build something like this now. Having previously worked at a design agency helping to build websites, I know how much work it is, and how impossible it would have been for an individual to do even just a few years ago.
Nurturing a Community
What started as a place to host my classes, livestreams, and resources all in one place has grown into so much more. What I love most is the community of kind, sweet members that have gathered from all over the world. I always wanted to be in a community like this, but I couldn't find one that was quite right for me. I really wanted to bring my mindfulness practice and creative practice together, and that's really hard to find.
Now, as I hear from and more more members, it really reaffirms for me that it's something many of us are looking for. Here are just some of the amazing things our current studio members have said:
“I really appreciate your open heart and creative spirit infused in all these lessons and this community. I also love how you incorporate mindfulness. I loved when you referenced Thich Nhat Hanh, Thay, and he would be so happy to see this community and art you have created to help people be more mindful and in touch with their creative self. It is so lovely! Thank you!” - Phyllis L.
“Your work, style, and approach is a true inspiration and I’m so happy I’ve found the studio and it feels so good to dive into all of your content! Everything is so clear, organized, professional and it makes me both calm and excited to grow in my art journey so thank you!” - Morit S.
"I used to draw a lot, but in these last couple of years, I almost completely lost interest in drawing. I started to feel a bit overwhelmed with my illustration projects because I was being driven by my fears and frustrations. But I’m really glad that I found this community!! This mindful approach is really helping me to observe my thoughts and face my fears and frustrations. “Start your creative journey” class really helped me to restart with more confidence!” - Radhika G.
The studio has grown into something that really makes me so happy. I really feel my work as an illustrator and teacher is finally aligned, with Mimochai and Mimochai Studio running in tandem. It’s been a labor of love, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow in 2023.
If you’ve been looking for a safe space to grow your own creativity and mindfulness, I welcome you to join us. Find all the info here on the Mimochai Studio page.
Take care and keep creating 💛 -M