6 Smartphone Video Ideas For Artists
by Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD.
Been putting off making an art marketing video?
Problem is, almost all of us read less and view more video when we go online.
And millennials and Gen X, Y and Z’ers?
Sorry, but they would rather endure a bad bikini wax than read our long artists’ statements.
“People buy from artists they know and like,” said Emmy award-winning producer and artist Gina Rubinstein.
“If my friend (who knows exactly what I like) sends me a video of your art, and I actually see you making it and hear your voice, I feel like I know you.
I would quickly begin to like and trust you and want to take a piece of you home with me.”
You’re adorable and probably a great artist — so why not give everyone a pain-free way to get to know you?
‘Well,’ you say.
‘I just don’t happen to have a dream team of video scriptwriters tied up in my basement.’
That’s ok, Gina Rubinstein does — at least metaphorically. They’re in her head.
Here are Gina’s 6 creative ways to get your digital feet wet using your smartphone.
Art Marketing Video Idea 1: Bite-Size Story Video
The idea here is to tell one tiny story that lies behind a single piece of art you post.
Use this option to inject life into your social media.
“Videos, where you talk about a single piece of art, are easy to do.
They are like shooting a selfie!” said Rubinstein. “They should be under 30 seconds long.”
Tell a specific story.
What inspired this piece or a detail in the piece?
“Tell us how hard the work was to finish because you changed it 300 times and it still looked like junk and you really just wanted a cocktail but then you figured out how to get that damn bird right,” said Rubinstein.
Art Marketing Video Idea 2: Behind the Scenes Studio Tour
Non-artists would love to peek inside your studio, probably as it is this moment.
Maybe just shove those dirty coffee mugs and bills off your work table, and you’ll have set the stage for magic.
Give a camera phone tour of your studio as if you were speaking to a close friend who has never seen it.
Say things you normally would to a friend like: ‘I’ve laid out all my blue paints here in a color-graded order; you know how neurotic I am.…Oh! Here is where I keep the found baby shoes, bongs and sand dollars for my assemblage pieces!’
(Read this Charmed Studio post on Frida Kahlo if you need support letting the real you shine out.)
“Maybe show a quick shot of what you are working on that day,” said Rubinstein.
“Record a lot of little things. Most will be boring as hell, chop them out after. But one or two of those details you recorded will be surprisingly powerful.”
Let’s Be Real Okay?
If editing will never be part of your skillset, make friends with your DELETE key.
Shoot a mini-video, delete it. Try it again. Delete it.
Eventually, you’ll make a cringe-free keeper.
(If you want to geek out and learn more about making and editing smartphone videos, listen to this specific Problogger podcast.)
Don’t share on camera from a tentative place.
Try not to speak as if you are trying to get approval or sell something.
Come from a place of sharing not selling and you’ll unintentionally sell more anyway.
Pretend you are talking to a specific person your BFF has told you is crazy for the same weird stuff you are.
Imagine that after the first sentence you say on camera they will shout out, ‘That’s so cool!’
Art Marketing Video Idea 3: Gallery Show Video
Gallery show videos don’t have to be glamorous or champagne-fueled to be effective.
They don’t even have to be shot at a busy opening.
Why not make a video of you speaking in front of your work while it’s up in a gallery, like artist Chris Maynard did?
If you do, you’ll see Maynard speaking to a small audience while standing in front of a wall of his work.
The goal of the gallery video is simple; show that a gallery and a few people in the real world, like your art.
You can do this with or without an audience.
In his video, Maynard opens the door to his work in this short talk with a small personal vignette.
His father was a surgeon and his mother an artist.
Maynard uses the very surgery tools his father used to carve silhouettes out of the feathers that inhabit his art (the profession he shares with his mother).
This story has at least two things going for it:
It’s brief and it tells us something meaningful about how Maynard creates his work.
Take eight minutes to watch Maynard’s Tedx video. It is simultaneously scientific, spiritual, philosophical, environmental, endearing, personal yet universal.
Time-lapse videos are great arrows to add to your marketing quiver.
Because they show rather than tell your audience just how much damn effort is underneath the surface of each canvas.
Time-lapse videos legitimize the number of zeros in your prices.
Go here to learn how to shoot great time-lapse videos on your smartphone.
Art Marketing Video Idea 5: Interactive Video
Want to get all kinds of people interested in your painting before it is even done?
Video your progress on the same piece daily and ask viewers to weigh in on it as you’re making it.
Art buyers under 40 (millennials and Gen Y & Z) tend to find this kind of interactive approach, especially engaging.
“Video is at its best, and is best for one thing— emotionally connecting people,” said Rubinstein.
Want to road-test Rubinstein’s theory?
Ask your social media followers questions like: What title should this piece have?
Should I put the copper leaf here or leave it out?
Do you think this angel should carry three or five anvils?
Art Marketing Video Idea 6: Your Brand Video
“Every artist could use an emotionally engaging story known as a brand video for their landing page.
“Simple is best here,” said Rubinstein.
“Please don’t try to tell people everything about you; don’t make a long, boring documentary!”
Your job is to leave people curious.
I suggest you choose one small story about something meaningful to you in your past that influenced why or how you make your art the way you do in the present.
(That is what Maynard did when he told the audience about his surgeon father and artist mother right.)
“All our attention spans are narrowing,” said Rubinstein, “so keep your brand video short…unless you are talking about The Pope coming, make it less than 60 seconds; people will love you so much more.”
Above is a one-minute video Rubinstein made to establish the brand of automobile artist Harold Cleworth. I bet you’ll smile at the last 10 seconds of it.
Final Video Tip for Smartphone Art Marketing
Yes, you could hire someone.
But many of the “expert branding specialists” or videographers you’ll shell out three grand to aren’t going to create something truly wonderful for you.
Don’t let perfectionism stop you from trying to convey the essence of your art in homemade videos.
You don’t have to come off smooth.
“I got news for you, people don’t buy from the intellect, they buy from emotion anyway,” said Rubinstein.
“Rough edges are good.”
“People truly just want to see you being you,” said Rubinstein, “talking about your struggles, being relatable, telling a story.”
You got this.
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Have you done a video yet to market your work?
If you haven’t yet, which one of these would you want to try?
Which would you never do?
Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.