Sketchbook Skool was co-founded by Danny Gregory, author of several internationally best-selling books on art and creativity, and whose illustrations have appeared in the New York Times and many other publications and books. It’s a video-based online art school designed to inspire creative storytelling through illustrated journaling. Taught by the world’s best illustrators, artists and educators, Sketchbook Skool encourages its global community of over 8,000 students to draw and keep a sketchbook regardless of skill level.
In 2015, Sketchbook Skool approached us for guidance in moving off of a limited and proprietary “learning management system” (LMS) provided by Ruzuku. SBS wanted to own and manage their own platform, to better and more directly serve their tight-knit and loyal community of students. The fundamental challenge was building essentially a sort of paid social network – with all of the user-friendliness and convenience that people have come to expect from the likes of MySpace and Facebook – without a Facebook-sized budget.
We were able to successfully execute an ambitious solution powered by a number of open-source platforms, all working in concert. The “Skoolhouse” side of SBS was moved from Ruzuku over to an enterprise-class WPEngine environment, and re-developed with WordPress, WooCommerce, Sensei LMS, BuddyPress, and Taxamo, to meet all of SBS’ needs for modern and mobile/tablet-friendly social interaction, users’ artwork uploading and sharing, and international eCommerce.
We continue to guide SBS’ team and maintain the Skoolhouse as the company grows to new heights, leading all backend and frontend development, and participating regularly in escalated tech support, direct with students of all ages and backgrounds.