It’s been a lot of work building the foundations of the Academy and there’s still much to do but it’s long past time you all have at least a monthly update for the Academy and related content from now on. I have mega A.D.D. and when I write, I always jump around from topic to topic up and down the page as new thoughts come to mind. So I’m basically a walking typo factory and I ask you forgive any errors in these blogs which I’ll be trying to efficiently write off the cuff.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us by purchasing our leather armor patterns up until now. I’m happy to report the Academy is thriving and I’m looking at bringing help to start scaling the operation a bit at a time. For my part I just need to stay busy making content. The sooner I can do that the faster the academy will grow in both patterns and students.
Introducing Premium Lessons!
The next step in our content offerings is Premium Lessons. These are stand alone video tutorials that teach a specific skill or technique. The first two tutorials will teach how to make your own leather stamp tools and how to securely attach exotic horns to leather helmets. These lessons are filmed and will be ready soon and are available for pre-order now at a discount.
Pricing will vary, some will cost more, some will cost less. Depends on the uniqueness of the skill and general value. I know I have purchased many DVDs for $100 to $300 in my early days for various crafts and most lessons I’ll offer won’t even cost a fraction of that, and will be several times better and information dense to boot.
Unlike patterns where you can watch the tutorial first and know exactly what you’re getting into, lessons and courses are a little different and it may be hard to imagine their value, so I think I will just go ahead offer a satisfaction guarantee 30 day refund for any paid tutorial content.
At the time of this writing, the Imperial Knight series is in progress now. The leg armor video is up next, then the arms, then the gauntlets and bracer after that. Then we’ll have something special for you to see for the Female Breastplate.
There are a few bonus videos in the IK series I’ll be working on too but once the armor parts are done I’ll be jumping into the Warrior and Elven Knight series. More on that when we get there though. I expect to add bonus content like accessory patterns and other unannounced content as the opportunity permits over the coming months.
First off, the home page has been revamped. I’ve updated it visually and added some new sections and trimmed down others. This is a constant work in progress and there’s a long way to go. I’ll finish fleshing out all the content to a semi-final form and then start optimizing the page size from there. More graphical updates are coming site-wide too soon. I don’t see any point in documenting every little change but I try to work on the site a little bit at least once a week and keep fleshing out content and tweaking verbiage and fixing issues. In the future, I hope to add more reasons for visitors to come back to the website regularly to check for new tips, lessons, patterns, and other content, such as this blog.
The Partners and Sponsors Page has been updated recently. I’ve added a list of all current and past sponsors of Academy content and you’ll notice some new brands. This is a nice teaser of some future content too as we expand the scope of content with the help of some relevant companies.
The course area is finally fixed visually. It should be much easier to browse the currently available free courses, and it will be the home of upcoming paid lessons too.
There is a new Support Ticket area on the site where you can submit inquiries. I was getting buried in emails and am still trying to catch up. I have hired a part time dev to help me troubleshoot and fix any technical issues with the site and to help customers with common problems. But please remember that most issues can be answered by the FAQ and by watching the tutorial related to your project.
There is another new section on the site regarding the pipeline of future content. This is a rough WIP so I won’t link it now but soon I hope to have a fully constructed outline of our roadmap and at a glance status updates and progress bars for pre-order and early access content.
Help wanted: I have another section planned but I’m in need of some help from students knowledgeable with our content to help me make an index of free leathercraft knowledge from my past and future videos. I give a lot of tips away in the videos but most people are never going to watch all the possible videos so having those tips broken into categories and clipped out or even timestamped would be beneficial. I can offer some paid work for anyone who knows what to look for that could review the tutorials and pick out the good bits for the index.
Updates Regarding Commercial Use
As a reminder, to use our patterns commercially, you must read and understand our terms and conditions, and agree to these terms before purchasing.
It appears that some users are, perhaps unknowingly, abusing these policies, Before I take any efforts to crack down on this, I mainly just want to bring awareness for now. I would like to remind everyone that commercial use is not a given and with enough abuse, I may disallow any commercial use entirely, other than specific negotiated contracts.
That’s not what I want though. I want to help artists of all sizes to be successful and help them monetize their creations. And to help some follow the same path I tread to enjoy a livelihood as an artisan.
To that end, I’m building up a licensing system for commercial use and a business area with related content to help facilitate artisans who wish to vend using our patterns and to learn how to make money as a leather or armor artist, and to provide discounts for multiple licensing purchases, as well as cash back rewards to be used as store credit. I also want to provide an ‘approved vendors list’ and certificate of authenticity to anyone wanting to integrate. I’m going to build a bunch of ‘carrots’ before I bother with any stick measures.
Till Next Time!
Thanks for checking out this blog and getting up to speed. I’ll be checking back in at the end of December. There was a lot to catch up on in this one so I expect future ones to be a little less packed. Happy crafting everyone!