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

2,835 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!


May 22, 2023

In fact i am very much glad for this because before taking this course, i know nothing about Indesign but i can now use it and more, Thank you for this financial aid opportunities, Blessings coursera

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51 - 75 of 635 Reviews for Introduction to Imagemaking

By Claveau

Feb 1, 2017

Very intersting

By Laura P

May 27, 2020

Amazing course


Apr 1, 2019

Very creative

By Wuidad B

Nov 30, 2016

Thank you !

By Amirah G

Jan 31, 2020


By Sadeq S A

Jul 5, 2020

Thank you

By Padcha

Dec 12, 2019


By Petra L M

Oct 30, 2017

thank you

By Vinoy V

Jun 22, 2020


By Erica S

May 19, 2016

loved it

By Arlen M

Nov 6, 2020

Overall the course was good, but if you are taking the entire specialization it can feel redundant at times. The heart of imagemaking in a classroom setting is critique, and through crit art students learn learn a great deal from one another. I have gone through formal art school and provided thoughtful comments in my peer reviews, but others did not always do the same. This class would be more successful if learners in the same cohort were broken up into smaller groups to critique one another's progress throughout the entire course. Those of us truly dedicated to the process would really benefit from meaningful access to our peers.

By Kara K

May 11, 2016

If you enjoyed the first course in this specialization, you'll enjoy this course, as it's much of the same. The class is more of an independent studio session rather than an instructional course. If you're looking to work with a single visual subject for a few weeks (but lack the discipline or knowledge to do so on your own), this course will benefit you. If you're looking to save money, perhaps stick to just the first class in the specialization (or take this one if you're only interested in image-making).

By Anton R

Jun 4, 2018

Nice course, would have liked to be able to work with different subject matter for various exercises to mix it up a little. i.e. Not just using the same idea.

By Amy B K

Aug 25, 2019

Overall the course was wonderful. I wish I personally would have had more access to art supplies or experience with computer programs ahead of time-doing so would have made this course more rewarding and engaging for me.

By Kenzie B

Nov 29, 2016

If you've completed the first course in this specialization, then this is a repeat of a lot of the same information. I didn't find the teaching style very effective either, though it may work better for others.

By Amin R

Jun 29, 2016

Good course if you are driven and can teach yourself. I like the instructor's approach. I'm giving 3 stars only because I was looking for something more about techniques..

By Lisiane P P

Aug 7, 2019

I didn't like the rythm, the way that the tasks were passed. Many times it was a bit confusing.

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 Savanna B

May 3, 2023

This course was tough to get through. I felt that the assignments retreaded information that was covered during the first course in the specialization. Most of the assignments were too interpretive and didn't offer enough concrete instruction to make me feel like I was learning something useful. I was hoping to dive deeper into design elements to improve my compositions, but this course was more focused on making art, regardless if it was "good." If this wasn't included in the specialization, I would have skipped it.

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 Meg L

Dec 3, 2021

Very repetitive information (assignments and material were almost identical to other courses in the same specialization), and at times painfully slow.

By Matthew

Jun 20, 2016

I was quite disappointed with this class. The videos and instructions are very short and the information is lacking. When reviewing other classmates material it was quite clear that people were confused with the assignments because I saw such a huge range of submissions that were very different from each other.

I found the material to be very similar to the first course in this specialization; both asked very similar things but this class didn't add much to the process.

By John A

Jul 22, 2020

Excellent course for jump=starting creative expression regardless of skill or experience. The exercises really get you creating images someplace other than inside your head. Steep learning curve if you are not already familiar with the basics of Adobe creative software, but none of the exercises are too complex or required more advanced tools in the system. The primary focus is on creating a compelling layout that is visually interesting using the principles of Design. For more experienced image makers there is still tremendous value, especially helpful for removing any creative blocks. I used the course to noodle ideas that had not yet been translated to image. Came away with new skills as well as a multitude of ideas where to go next with painting on canvas, using InDesign like a sketchbook.

By Laura S

Mar 4, 2024

This class was a fun surprise. I am a professional photographer working toward the Graphic Design specialization, and I was least excited about this class out of the 5. I love photography, but dislike painting and drawing/etc, however, this class ended up being valuable and interesting. The final project was a lot of fun, and each week's assignments were slowly working toward that end goal. My only complaint is that the final grade depends 100% on peer reviews. All of my other classes have been a mix of peer reviews and quizzes, and I liked that better because my grade wasn't solely dependent on other students. Sometimes other learners rush through grading, or there is a language barrier, or just a grumpy learner, and it drops your grade.

By Christin S

Jun 8, 2022

This is a hands-on course and therefore more time intensive than perhaps others in this specialization. But I had a lot of fun making images by hand, out of various materials and also on the computer. The course was well structured and provided a well guided journey for me to create the final assignmnet. The final assignment was to create a short book, a need challenge. I reviewed more peers' books than needed because I came accross so many incredibly diverse, inspiring works of art, full of surprises and exciting ideas that I reviewed as many as possible. I learned so much by reviewing others. I very much enjoyed this course.