Putting $21.5 Million To Work for a More Creative World

chase jarvis early creative live days

BTS selfie at one of the first creativeLIVE workshops with Vincent Laforet

Wanted to take a break for a hot second this morning — away from studios and airplanes and shooting photos in far away places — to make a special announcement and say a huge, ginormous thank you.

If you’ve been a part of this community for some time, then you already know that a few years back, myself and my good pal Craig Swanson, scratched out some ideas on a whiteboard, rallied a bunch of friends, and kicked off a dream to unleash the creative potential of millions of people worldwide — the creative potential that we all have inside us– by delivering the world’s highest quality creative education to a global community for free. That project was called creativeLIVE.

Now more than 3 years into that journey…that scrappy little company born from a gritty warehouse in South Seattle and based on the fundamental principle that we should ALL have access to world-class creative education regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status or experience level — has hit a handful of super-exciting milestones. We have now delivered more than 1 BILLION minutes of free creative education to more that 2 MILLION people in 200 COUNTRIES worldwide. We have 85 employees, more than 500 online courses and are producing more live educational content than anyone in the world.

And let’s be clear – these milestones and others we will continue to share in the near future are based entirely on YOUR belief, YOUR support and the support of our entire amazing, collective community. THANK YOU. Seriously. Getting teary-eyed thinking of how much you have helped my wildest dreams come true. It’s because of you that Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times Best Selling Authors, Emmy nominated directors, cutting edge artists and the world’s top entrepreneurs have decided to hang their hat on creativeLIVE’s platform to share their knowledge. They have discovered through YOUR participation in cL that this community more than any other in online education wants to learn and grow together, have meaningful on and offline relationships and work to transform passions, careers, and lives….to make knowledge accessible, to enable skill-based learning, and -dare I say it- help make big and small dreams alike come true.

It’s with all this in stride that I’m proud to share with you today that creativeLIVE have raised $21.5 million dollars in a new round of venture capital financing from The Social+Capital partnership + Greylock Partners. Whoa! Holy crap that is a lot of money. What does this mean? What will cL do with this money? Put simply, we raised this money to better serve you, our community, to help us reach a new set of goals, and to take this platform to an entirely new level.

More specifically…. We have listened to you and have heard that you want more access to top experts in creative fields beyond photography. As a result, we have over the past year expanded into video production, art & design, audio & music, and business / entrepreneurship to help you pursue the skills and passions that you want to learn. We will continue to deliver this – and grow it Among other things, this expansion requires capital — money to bring in more of the world’s best instructors in these channels, money for new studios, new infrastructure, new technology and salaries for a kickass staff who wants to change the world. We want to build a category defining, long-standing company that serves its community in a way that no other education company ever has or will.

Here is the announcement in TechCrunch, AllThingsD, GeekWire, etc

In the last 15 months we have opened up new studios in Seattle and San Francisco and have hired world class people like Mika Salmi, Brent Ayrey and Rick Silvestrini. Mika was the frickin President of Viacom where he ran all 35 TV channels there including MTV and Comedy Central and other division including Universal Pictures! Brent came from Netflix where he built from scratch their game-changing streaming service that today makes up 20% of all internet traffic on any given day. In turn, we landed Rick from YouTube where he ran the curation and business around the YT homepage – which is one of the hottest pages on the entire internet. These are people who have “made it” elsewhere in life and have now turned their lives and careers toward creativeLIVE to be a part of a movement focused on growing a community and a product that democratizes creative education. We know that creativity is the new literacy. These people and others like them are the kinds of people that are building this company WITH YOU and FOR YOU.

What does this mean for me personally? Not much is different – other than an even more intense desire to pursue creativity for myself and others, to deliver value to you, to push boundaries and challenge less effective “old” ways of thinking, doing, and making. I will continue shooting photos like mad, directing films & shows & commercials all over the damn place, shooting chasejarvisLIVE and sharing all that stuff here on my blog and within my social feeds and wherever else is I can find a way.

I will also be going deeper into creativeLIVE, looking for new ways to synergize my life as an artist with helping drive the kind of innovation that you want to see…ensuring cL is built by creatives for creatives. I feel like I’ve learned enough for 100 lifetimes throughout this process already — getting to find out what makes me tick as well as rubbing elbows with all kinds of characters, from dirtbags (like me) to brilliant bad-asses to legendary billionaires and everything in between. And I have this distinct feeling that it’s just getting rolling. As I continue to learn, and stumble and succeed and fail, I’ll continue to share.

If you have questions or comments – please do share them below. I’ll respond below or wherever possible.

Huge thank you for making all of this possible. For deeming that yours truly and/or the creativeLIVE movement are worthy of your support. #gratitude

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Lee Love says:

Chase I have been with you guys from day 1 and I am proud of what you, Craig and the entire team has accomplished. For me one of the things that makes this work is you do not offer the same basic “intro” info that I learned many years ago. You push my knowledge and I encourage you shoot over our heads not just bring the newbies along.

Have you considered opening an East Coast studio ? NY or DC would be fantastic.

Chase you are an inspiration that if you put your mind to something you can make it come true.



chase jarvis says:

thx for the support lee!!

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encounters a term, name, or any other little bit of information that’s

Jan Nichols says:

I LOVE Creative Live and own multiple courses. The only thing I would like to see is MORE,MORE,MORE along with Closed Caption. You may have Closed Caption but I have not located it. If you have it would you please, please direct me to it so I can pass it on to my sister who also loves Creative Live but being hard of hearing some of the instructors are very hard for her to follow.
Keep up the good work, but don’t make too many changes if any. Never outgrow this concept.many times companies over design a great concept to render it useless and that would a loss for all.

Kindest Regards,

Jedna Chwila says:

great job! congrats!

Nic says:

I agree with Tara! Time to open up a shop in NC :)

Tara Lynn says:

I say it’s time to open up shop on the East Coast! Come to Raleigh, NC!

Claudia says:

Awesome. My life has changed through serious illness last year. First I bought a decent camera and than started learning about photography with videos and books ( and by taking pictures :)). CreativeLife has given me back a sense of “you can make it – there is whole new world out there waiting to be explored” …. thank you so much for inspiration, sharing and your talent not only for pictures, but also for people. Merry Christmas and very happy New Year to you, your loved ones and the whole team of CreativeLife!

Hey Chase, I remember back in the days when this cL was just kicking off and I’ve loved it ever since. Unfortunately, haven’t had a lot of opportunity to really watch a lot of cL over the last few months, but I’m trying to change that. I’m working on devoting more time to photography/cinematography and of course cL and cjLive. And God it feels good to spend more time once again.

Will stay tuned. Thanks for all the inspiration, lessons and motivation that I’ve distilled from all your work over the years! I’m looking forward to see where this cL thing is going :)


Ray Urner says:

Thanks for all you do with CL, dude. Love it!

Pin ArunKumar says:

Chase – Following you for couple of years, I feel happy and energized as if I have won the first step of my dream. That’s the power of ChasejarvisLive. Keep unleashing the creative potentials across the galaxy :-)

First thanks Chase for your willingness to give. To live with the a attitude of abundance not scarcity. To have the guts to step out and take on something so much bigger than you. Once again thank you for giving much more than you’ve ever taken.

JC Ruiz says:

This is awesome news! I’ve learned so much over the years from Creative Live and I look forward to many more!

This is awesome!

I have never witnessed the growth of something like this from it’s start to now, usually I see it after the fact.

But I remember the day you announced Creative Live, and watched it grow since – fantastic :)


chase jarvis says:

thank you for purchasing carolyn. your paying for a course you want to watch over and over is offsetting costs for so many other people who couldn’t get this stuff if we didn’t have the model we do. #thank you

I’ve been watching since the very early days and then purchased to support this amazing resource you’ve built for all of the world to experience. Thank You seems trivial because I tell each of my students to drop in and see the amazing content cL has. I also tell them we as creatives need to share knowledge for all to succeed and Chase you have been my go to guy for this principle for years.Many, many Thanks!

Nidhi Narula says:

Congratulations Chase and the team at creative Live. We definitely want you and the team to come to London and host an event here please

chase jarvis says:

we love london. i’m banking we will broadcast from there sometime in the future!! I’ll expect to see you there

Danté Bell says:

Congrats! I’ve found CL to be invaluable to my career!

shana says:

a big fat congratulations chase! incredibly inspiring and i love your awesome platform

cheers from shana

Congratulations. Hard work pays off – Creative Live was an amazing idea and so well executed.

Trace says:

That is wonderful news for a great organization and the best creatives on the web! I do hope cL will implement some form of closed captioning for the live/rebroadcast courses. I know a number of hearing-impaired creatives who would love to follow creativeLive, but don’t have that option. I’d be so cool to see the platform opened to even more folks! If a closed-captioning feature could also be included in the course downloads, that would ice the cake!

More power to all the creativeLive family!

chase jarvis says:

Thans for your note Trace. We are in the middle of rebuilding a bunch of our product – I will ask about your suggestion!

Jef Gibbons says:

So much appreciation to you guys and what you do! I’ve learned so much, and grown so much since being a participant on Vincent’s last visit to cL. You guys continue to give me the inspiration and kick I need to keep pressing on. So honoured to be a part of the cL fam!

chase jarvis says:

once CL always CL jef ;)

Staj says:

I can’t express enough gratitude to the Amazing Minds that established CreativeLive.

I only started learning about Photography in January after years of procrastination and wow CL has helped with vast knowledge, confidence and an Insight into the goings-on in the Industry, that I couldn’t have got anywhere else on the Internet in just 2 months.

Amazing Instructors and Presenters…it’s all been an amazing experience and I’m fortunate to be able to watch the “CreativeLive family” daily even while at work. A day without CreativeLive is truly incomplete, and i’m not even kidding.

p.s. Chase we still want you to share you vast knowledge with us by doing a few courses (pleaseee), but understandably, helping to make a more Creative World must be more than enough work on your very big plate.

Shoutout to the entire CreativeLIve Crew.

Staj, Toronto

chase jarvis says:

thanks staj. yeah – i’m playing a different role in this one ;)

Sam says:

Congrats! I have been a fan of CL since the day it was announced! It has helped me grow in so many ways, so thanks very much to you and your team for having the vision and know-how to put this bad boy out there! Now that we’ve recently moved to Seattle, I actually walk my dog past the studios every day. It’s great know that there are some great people in there putting together some amazing stuff! Thanks!

chase jarvis says:

thanks for tuning in Sam. if you walk by the studios you should inquire about sitting in the physical studios for a class or two. i know someone that could make it happen for you ;)

Elisa says:

creativelive really changed my life. I live in a country where high level workshops don’t exist. so thank you very much CL, for let me know beautiful and ispiring people like Sue Bryce and let me watch some of my favorite photographer like Joey L.

chase jarvis says:

thanks Elisa. Sue and JoeyL are amazing photographers and humans!

Great news! … Chase, thank you for your vision, passion and the hard work, I know this is a team project but the vision you had has givin me the opportunity to learn and educate my creativity and to see how the best at the industries work, something ithat s not possible in my country (Honduras), I try to work with the same passion at my studio everyday as you and apply all the things I have learn in cL.

Thank you for the work, vision and effort that cL team put to every broadcast you make… Thank so much and keep going with this amazing work!

chase jarvis says:

huge thank you thank you! it’s a massive team effort. creativity is the new literacy!

faisal says:

Congrats and wish you the best.

Jon Brooke says:

Making this stuff available for free for those of us with limited budgets is a truly creative business model – I’ve watched a couple of shows and learned a lot – thanks.

Please just make sure you keep riding your fixie to work from time to time and take your turn to make the coffee so you can carry on relating to us regular guys.

chase jarvis says:

the business model is all Craig’s idea. it was a dear connection point at the real heart of creativeLIVE. it was a must that there was always free access and then if you did want to pay to own that it would be a great deal considering the content and quality.

Carlo says:

Well done!
Truly deserved!!!!!

EddieBaba says:

It seems to me, that a little bit of Bill G has rubbed off on you, being from Seattle. Your driven desire and hard work mirrors that of Mr. Gates! Your future is very bright. Rock On Brother!

chase jarvis says:

thanks for the kind words – i’ll take it w gratitude ;)

Tina Rothe says:

That is really awesome news Chase. I love Creative Live and have learned so much from so many of the instructors. Can’t say there have been many on there I don’t like, in the area of photography that is. I mainly focus on the photography courses, and have purchased so many courses over the past two years, more than I care to admit. I don’t even have time to watch them due to watching new courses. I am a Creative Live junkie for sure. I am having to learn to step away somewhat and not let it control my life so much. When there is a course I am taking, I watch live and the rewatch. That is a long time sitting at the computer without hardly moving ! Anxious to see where the future takes Creative Live.

chase jarvis says:

love hearing that! my mom just told me a few days ago that she watches some bits of almost every broadcast! #grateful ;)


This is amazing news. Creative Live changed everything about the way I do business, the way I learn photography, the way I challenge myself to be a better photographer, and about a million other things. CL introduced me to amazing people like Sal CIncotta, and let me get inside the head of my favorite photographers Zack Arias. I owe a lot to CL and I thank each and everyone of you for taking a kid that couldn’t afford photography school to a man that lives his dream everyday. Congratulations, the future looks bright


chase jarvis says:

that means a lot to hear that michael anthony. thank you.

Jay Scott says:

What you began was revolutionary, Chase. You have made quality education free and available to so much wider an audience. Broken down barriers and leveled playing fields. I hope cL’s success begins the change much of the world needs in education. Affordable, engaging and available.

I wonder, though I believe a creative’s work should be their credentials, is there any way cL content could lead to transferable credit?

chase jarvis says:

I can say it enough that this whole thing is a massive team effort. Ideas and execution come from everyhere – just honored to be a part of a good thing w smart people doing work tthat we think is important.

Lori says:

Fantastic news, congratulations! You guys have done amazing things for the photography community, can’t wait to see what the future brings :)

Chase says:

This post is directed at you Nuno. Thanks so much for your support

Nuno says:

I think we all have Thank you guys. I am a creativeLive fan from day one, The first live show and it is amazing how it is growing. :)

awesome stuff Chase, stoked your dreams are coming true for you!

Chase says:

one day at a time… ;)

Craig Mitchell says:

Great work Chase! Let me know if you ever need to webstream from out of the studio locations. We use portable IP satellites and do webcasting from remote places where there are no ground based internet connections.

Chase says:

sounds interesting. we currently use the IP sat backpack via our partners at UStream for middle-of-nowhere remotes. If you’ve got something equally or more cool. Send me a note about it!.

Vincent says:

Very nice, I’m very excited about the future. Until now it was extremely awesome!

Chase says:

Thanks Vincent. I hope you mean it will continue to get even better ;)

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