Blake Mikol

Blake M.

Chicago, IL

Lesson Details

Adobe Illustrator

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I've been designing for over ten years dating back to Quark (yikes!). I look for eager students to understand what they're doing as oppose to just memorizing. I will listen to your goals and adjust the curriculum to your needs. Whether it's working with Illustrator for the first time to getting advice for a project you're currently working on, I can assist you with your needs. I have lots of energy and love students with a sense of humor! Let's start having fun!
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Blake teaches



Blake delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 12+

Teaching since:
March 2013

Greetings! My name is Blake and I can't wait to meet you! I have been practicing design in the corporate, fashion and entertainment industries for over ten years. I can assist you with your goals from learning a new design software to providing guidance one of your current projects. Whatever you want to achieve, I can assist you by finding the right path. I do not have a set curriculum because every student varies from age to experience. My only rule is to take fun seriously!


Lead Designer
Aug 2017 - Present

Lead Designer for The Hallstar Company. Responsibilities include designing flyers, brochures, trade show booths, office collateral, promo videos, corporate headshots and presentations.

By being a member of the Marketing Communications department, other priorities include: establishing a consistent brand across all mediums, building relationships with our partners and maintaining budgets for orders and supplies.

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Graphic Designer
May 2010 - Present
Various Chicago Theaters

Designed show themes for posters, logos, programs, social media, and websites. Theaters include: Second City, iO, Annoyance, The Chicago Improv Festival, Stage 773, and Improv Nerd.

Creative Designer
Apr 2015 - Aug 2017
Grant Thornton

Conceptualizing and executing internal and external communications in InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Designing new corporate icons for digital, print, and web banners. Internal corporate headshots for Grant Thornton’s website and advertising. Talking head and motion graphic videos in Premiere and After Effects.

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Multimedia Producer
Jan 2013 - Apr 2015
Entertainment Cruises

Designed holiday backgrounds for social media, calendars, and promotional pieces.

Photography of ships, events and mascot.

Shot and edited Seadog training videos for future new employees

Graphic Designer
Aug 2014 - Sep 2014

Photographed and formatted various product for men's high-end fashion company. Used Photoshop for product color correction, cropping and formatting. Used InDesign to create Spring/Summer lookbook for clients and shoppers. Also designed and formatted social media pieces for websites, Facebook, Pintrest, etc

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Multimedia Producder
Mar 2007 - May 2014
Millward Brown

As a member of Media Technologies, collaborated with Client Service, Project Management and Programming departments to create media for user test surveys. Designed storyboards, product photography shelf sets, animated gifs, video reels, internal presentations, and corporate headshots. Instructed team members with the use of After Effects and basic Flash development.

Key Achievements:
Created CFO video presentations for international board meetings
Worked with lead programmer to transition from Flash to HTML5 company-wide
Four time recipient of the Honor of Achievement Award for highest productivity

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Visual Communications and Technology
Aug 2002 - Aug 2006
Bowling Green State University


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Photoshop Certified
Oct 2014
Creative Circle


Kantar Operations Employee of the Month
Jan 2009
Kantar Operations

Photos & Videos

Video and Motion graphics for clients and personal creativity. All created in Adobe After Effects, Premiere and Photoshop
Product photography and layout - Photoshop and InDesign

Photo Touchups in Photoshop

High school speech team logo

Second City poster - Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

InDesign Layout for Grant Thornton

Booklet design in Photoshop and InDesign for Baker Demonstration School

Actor Headshot Photography

A collection of video and motion graphics while contracting with Grant Thornton. All created in Premier and After Effects

25 Reviews

Write a Review
Christine Mar 31, 2019
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Blake was awesome! Super helpful, easy communication, and insanely knowledgeable. Will definitely be taking more lessons to improve my skills.

Avery L. Oct 22, 2018
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Amazing !

Dana W. Sep 20, 2018
Photography · Online

Blake is great. I plan on continuing lessons with him. Very laid back, knowledgeable and easy to learn from. I highly recommend him.

Anthony Jun 2, 2018
Video Production · Online

Blake did an amazing job in helping me understand the basics of video editing and helped me to understand the specific parts of video editing i needed for work. I highly recommend Blake and will take classes from him again in the future!

Ramona May 24, 2018
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Very good lesson! Looking forward to the next!

Erin Keppel Feb 21, 2018
Adobe Photoshop · In home

I'm a total novice and Blake is very patient and doesn't mind explaining things more than once. After one lesson, I feel like I can start putting what I learned to use already.

Ellen S. Feb 2, 2018
Adobe Photoshop · Online

I have taken Both A Photography and an Adobe Photoshop Class from Blake.
Blake is Extensively Knowledgeable and Compassionate about what He Teaches I may go into the class with a misunderstanding of a particular Subject or Topic but close with a Reassurance and Confidence in both Myself and the Subject; That is because Blake will not stop until He is assured I know the Amswer. I would Highly Recommend Blake To Anyone Who is Looking to Further Their Knowledge And Education With Great Appeciation and Grattitude, Ellen S

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Abe K. Nov 9, 2017
Adobe Photoshop · In studio

He was awesome! I learned a ton in that hour. I️ highly recommend Blake.

Alison Sep 26, 2017
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Blake is the real deal - skilled, experienced, fully engaged, and great work with. Highly Recommend!

Ashlee E. Feb 16, 2017
Photography · Online

Blake is a great teacher. He made me so determined to learn more and to get better in my craft. I started to become excited and always looked forward till our next lesson because I knew I would come out knowing way more than I did before. If you are unsure and/or new to this, I would 100% recommend Blake!

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Bernadette LaGamba Jan 14, 2017
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Blake is kind and courteous and the lessons were individualized and geared to meet my needs. Blake met my expectations in teaching the functionality of a new program, and he gave me guidance designing. The lessons are easy to schedule and cancel if necessary.

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Ciara S. Nov 29, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Jay Nov 23, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Very helpful, informative and knowledgeable.
Easy to understand gives Blake an A+!

Philip Oct 5, 2016
Photography · In home

Blake was great. Patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share his expertise. Highly recommended.

Gina Kozar Sep 14, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · In home

Blake was a great teacher. He is very professional and knows everything about graphic design. He showed me his current work he does as a freelancer and it made me more excited to possibly get into the career of graphic design. He is always on time and very respectful. I definitely recommend him!

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Alina Sep 3, 2016
Photography · Online

Great first lesson. Friendly, addressed my daughters interest and right amount and type of material for first lesson

Jesse Jul 25, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Blake was awesome! I asked for a speedy run-down of photoshop and that's exactly what I got. Thank you so much!

Steven H. Jun 29, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Patient. Knowledgeable.

L. T. Jun 10, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Blake was very clear, thorough, and patient during the lesson. I had a lot of anxiety about my Illustrator class, but he made it look easy, and now it doesn't seem so bad after all. I look forward to learning more about graphics. Thanks Blake!

Sean Apr 21, 2016
Adobe Illustrator · Online

Did a great job teaching me the basics of Illustrator so I can start to explore on my own.

Allie P. Apr 6, 2016
Graphic Design · Online

I love working with Blake!! He has taught me so much in graphic design!! He has also taught me so much about the programs I use and the techniques and style!!! I wouldn't use any other teacher!! He is the best!!!

Samantha Apr 6, 2016
Adobe Photoshop · In home

Blake is very professional and extremely helpful. I am a Photoshop rookie and Blake was very patient with my quirky errs and explained the right way to approach and utilize all the necessary tools. The lesson was also a breeze thanks to Blake's outgoing personality and excellent sense of humor. I highly recommend.

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Shane B. Mar 6, 2016
Graphic Design · Online

Blake's a great guy. Very easy to get along with. He's funny and charming, and makes things easy to understand. Blake makes a great mentor and teacher.

Steven G. Nov 14, 2015
Adobe Photoshop · Online

Blake has worked with me on several occasion teaching me the basics of Photo Shop.
I enjoy his low pressure easy to understand way of teaching. He seems to do a bit of homework before he even meets with you for a lesson which I found very impressive. He truly tries to customize the lesson towards your needs and where your at. Rather than spit out a canned lesson. I am seeking his services for another project as we speak. Highly Recommended... not an easy thing to get me to do but he has my respect and admiration for doing things the right way for the right reasons!

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Tara Oct 9, 2015
Photography · In studio

Highly recommend Blake! He was nice, polite and very knowledgeable on photography. I needed a refresher in order to shoot the Northern Lights on an upcoming trip to Iceland and he gave me all the tools and tips needed to make my camera work for this type of shot. He explained everything in simple, easy to understand ways that I know I'll remember for this trip and beyond! Thanks, Blake!

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