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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Imagemaking by California Institute of the Arts

2,681 ratings

About the Course

This course for serious makers, and for students new to imagemaking. Imagemaking is a fluid and exciting area of graphic design that comes out of practice and process: experimenting fearlessly, showing and sharing ideas, and giving and receiving knowledgeable and constructive input. For the sake of this online platform, we have applied some structure to our investigations, but for the most part imagemaking is loose and unstructured. If we must adopt a rule in this course it is only this: you will not become a graphic designer by watching videos alone. Or, don't just make stuff just in your head. So here, the focus here is on making, and you are expected to devote serious time and intellectual energy to that activity in this course. Specifically, you will: - experiment with a range of materials and techniques to make images for graphic design - expand your visual vocabulary both in terms of making and talking about work, in order to discuss your work and work of others - learn how to make, manipulate and arrange images to create compositions, eventually culminating in the design and production of an-image-based book. The first half of the course is an opportunity to experiment and explore imagemaking in order to expand your visual vocabulary. You will create pieces that are expressive, meditative, or 'design-y' to instigate, evoke, experiment, record, explain, or try out a media. In the second two weeks, we’ll invite the images to deliberately and intentionally carry meaning and communication through relational moves like juxtaposition, composition, and context. We’ll look at developing and expanding the range of approaches for putting things together by composing page spreads with your images. Since nothing exists without context, we look at how to intentionally drive the image’s connotations, meanings, and associations generated through elements of composition and “visual contrasts.” Ultimately, we will take the images that you create and make a book from them. The results of your assignments (and experiments) may generate something completely unknowable now or in the future—and that's the goal....

Top reviews


Oct 8, 2017

I'm so happy i did this course. Gail, you're amazing and you made my imagination go wild with just your words. I can see you love your craft and that's very inspiring. Enjoyed this course all the way!


Aug 18, 2018

This is more challenging that it seems. It forces you to think creatively and critically with a seemingly simple subject. I recommend this course for anyone who wants to work with their hands a bit

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551 - 575 of 592 Reviews for Introduction to Imagemaking

By 朱思超

Aug 14, 2017

kinda too basic for me....but it would be a good course for beginners

By Sayed K N

Dec 18, 2018

good course but need a lil more resource. thank you

By Georgia K

May 5, 2016

Very poor instructions and not enough theory.

By Vivian F

Jan 12, 2018


By Gary D G

Jun 7, 2020

To many videos and reading

By Ignacio R G

Mar 22, 2018

It is a very basic course.

By Sofía I D

May 11, 2020

The new information provided is really very little, almost everything was already said in the first course. The task instructions are unclear and never indicate that what you do will be used in the future. This is very important, it is not the same to do an exercise to practice than to do it for the final project (when you have the first task they do not tell you that you must use those same components throughout the course). Also, being so abstract and confusing when correcting, many people did not understand what the brief was and they correct it wrong. Finally, it took a long time to return my grades, in the other courses it took only a few hours, here I have been waiting for my grades for three days.

Finally, it took me a long time to return my grades, in the other courses it took only a few hours, here I have been waiting for my grades for three days.

Finally, it took me a long time to return my grades, in the other courses it took only a few hours, here I have been waiting for my grades for three days.

Finally, it took me a long time to return my grades, in the other courses it took only a few hours, here I have been waiting for my grades for three days.

By Benjamin H

Jul 19, 2021

This was a really confusing class to take. First, many imagemaking techniques were suggested for trying out without much guidance. Then, we suddenly had to choose just a few images for use in later assignments. The requirements for the assignments did not always seem to match the requirements of the review criteria or expectations as laid out by staff members in the assignment discussion boards. Many of the assignments I received did not follow the guidance or even used stock images throughout their works, in plain violation of the spirit of this class. I personally blame this on the weak instructions that feel like they turn this class into more of a certificate mill, as students don't know what they should or should not be doing. Also, most of the reviews of my submissions just said "good" or something similar which is not constructive criticism.

By Vlada S

Jul 27, 2020

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this course at all and waited for it to end.

Compering to the first two courses of Graphic Design Specialization that were well explained, clear and informative, this course was not clear. A large part of this course was just written and contained very few videos that clearly explain the subject. Most of the assignments are not clear and many times I had to go online to search for basic information that was supposed to be part of this course. I felt like I didn't learn much, and I think it would be nice if there were more videos to explain subjects better than those quickly written summaries. I believe that for people with some understanding and previous knowledge in graphic design would it can be ok, but for a person who just started to learn each term is new and more detailed explanations are required.

By Hanako M S

Apr 5, 2021

While I understand this is a valuable course to take towards the graphic design specialization, the peer-reviewing process for such artistic/creative/subjective assignments can be quite problematic. While I did my best to give substantial feedback, I received many underwhelming reviews. I think there needs to be more concrete feedback opportunities from an instructor. I felt my motivation to continue with this course decrease week by week due to the way the assignments were so taxing, and yet I receive no constructive criticism on them. Also, the technicalities of requiring an issuu link for the last week's assignment submission must be addressed more in the course curriculum.

By Minuette W

Jan 16, 2023

Unfortunately I thoroughly disliked this course. The concepts in it were taught better in the first course of the Graphic Design specialization, Fundamentals of Graphic Design, and the rest was about how to make a book, not how to create images. It´s good if all you want is the basics of layout and inspiration to make your own art projects, but its very very basic and too vague and to be honest pretentious for intermediate to advanced artists.

In short, you may find this course helpful if you don´t have much or any art or graphic design experience, but otherwise it is too vague to be of much help.


Dec 22, 2022

This was my least favourite course in this specialization. The theory was explained in a very unclear manner, the instructor starts a sentence then finishes with something entirely different. No clear explanations of terms. And the peer reviews are practically non-existent. People either give a few words of "review" or nothing at all. Can't believe I actually paid to get reviews saying "good" and "n/a". And in the forum the staff keeps saying they will work on this, looking back they have been saying this for over a year without any change. You're better off spending your money elsewhere.

By Claudia L T

May 26, 2020

This course was the least informative in the specialization so far. There were little to no new concepts taught. I felt like I even got a better idea of imagemaking with the first course. The classes were boring, there was not enough new concepts, and I did not feel like I improved in imagemaking despite actually doing all the assignments and getting good reviews. I could have just drawn whatever I wanted myself and gotten the same experience because I only got to practice what I already knew.

By Veena V

May 9, 2016

I found the course videos quite dull and uninteresting. The topics covered could have been taught a lot better. I finished this course only because I wanted to get through the specialization course. I found that the course 'Fundamentals of Graphic Design' did an exponentially better job of explaining image making techniques and composition. The assignments in this course are reasonably good but the instruction videos can definitely benefit from some additional in-depth material.

By Rui A M d S

May 20, 2020

I was a bit disappointed with this part of the course I felt I didn't improve my skills. Maybe works better for people that are looking for a really basic introduction to image-making. The information available was very rudimental and in a very storytelling book. It was kind of boring, I wish it would have been more modern and more graphic.

By valerie

Sep 2, 2020

This is the weakest of all the graphic design courses offered in this specialization. The assignments can be done in 10min or less and require very little effort or creativity. The content is basic with videos explaining what a book is and how to rotate or resize objects. If possible I would recommend skipping this module.

By Yuliya S

Oct 14, 2019

It's a very abstract course. Peer review is absolutely useless here. I made some images but I didn't learn something new or interesting. Teacher's information is very unclear and sketchy. Very strong contrast with the previous two courses from the specification in a bad way for this course.

By Ana B

Feb 3, 2021

It is my third course in Coursera and it has been the worst of all them. The videos are very short and I could learn nothing. The videos contain very obvious information that contributes little to learn something. The best videos are in the last week but you can ignore the previous ones.

By Tim V

Aug 29, 2020

While a number of broad subjects are covered, the video sections are scant and light on helpful details. An absolutely absurd amount of time was spent looking over old art books. I could have gotten more information from watching YouTube videos than I did from going through this course.

By Alim B

Jan 10, 2021

I like the concepts mentioned. But they aren't explained well. It would have been great if they were explained in detail. Also the assignment instructions are confusing. I saw many peers confused as their submissions seemed uninformed or they lacked enough clarity on concepts.

By Julija S

Oct 26, 2020

I have waited much more from the imagemaking course, but at the end it was quite difficult for me to push myself to make exercises, as I found them boring and senseless. Many topics were repeated during the course. I have learned almost nothing new.

By Fahed N

May 29, 2022

For some reason I don't think this course added to my knowledge of graphic design, there were some interesting exercises for sure, but the whole approach was a little metaphysical and about finding a meaning out of abstract designs.

By mahnoor a

Nov 27, 2020

The level of difficulty on this course was much higher than previous ones and due to the leap in difficulty levels, I could not keep up. Instructions on this course also did not prove to be sufficient for timely completion.

By Patrick C

Jun 26, 2018

The worst course of the Graphic Design Specialisation so far.Unclear instructions for each assignment and too much asked for so that the focus becomes on getting them done rather than producing pieces of quality.

By Leticia C R

May 11, 2016

I understand it was a more practical course but still more information would have been great. Same assignments but more information would have been great. Other courses had more videos.