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Creating Video Content For Your Art Practice
James Fowler
May 01, 2012


Paul Cézanne once said, "The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself." The public love to hear about the lives of artists and the adventures or misadventures that influence their work. Because of this, many galleries and artists now use video to share process and personality with a larger audience.

You can upload your videos to Youtube or Vimeo. The Vimeo site has a cleaner look and feel without so many ads and it has better video resolution, but Youtube is still getting more traffic. Think of it like a cheap hotel chain vs a boutique hotel. You can post it to both.

After you’ve posted it, you can use this content on your other social media sites. You can imbed it into a blog, post it on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. Remember that we all like to buy stuff, but don’t like to feel like we’re being sold on something so keep them brief and about the work. If you are working on something new, post it. If you are completing a series, post that too. If you want to keep a vlog, that’s good too, but have some interesting things to say in each vlog. Remember: quality over quantity. Sometimes less is more. 

There are a number of reasons to create video content, so consider the purpose of the video before you get started. Is it to show personality, explain process, or help someone better understand the work? In a future post, I'll break down production elements for creating artists videos, but for now, here are nine ideas for creating a video about your art practice.


1. In the Studio. This could be a short talk or regular vlog in your workplace. Talk about your themes, your materials, the formal qualities of your work, or your approach to it. This can also be very casual and give insight into who you are and what drives you.


2. Process video. It's fairly easy to do a montage or a time-lapse recording of you making art. This shows all the work that goes into creating without the wait. If you have a Mac and would like to create a time-lapse video, Gawker has  free software you can easily install.


3. Exhibition video. Create a video of your art exhibition with a walk-through where you talk about your work. If you are part of a fair, you can record that too.


4. Reviews and critiques. Ask others to talk about your work or your practice. This could be be a critic, an academic or a curator who has put together the exhibition. Intercut this with stills, studio footage, or gallery shots of your artwork.


5. Inspiration video. Create a video of things that inspire you and show how that inspiration comes out in your work.


6. Behind the scenes.

This could be anywhere. Take your audience on a tour of your studio, gallery, or other places of inspiration. Give them a better understanding of who you are, what your work is about, or what drives you. These videos could be regularly updated if you wanted to talk about something new in your practice. This is also a  good oportunitiy to show  what goes into making your work or putting together an exhibition. A time-lapse video of an exhibit being installed is good way to show how much time and effort goes into creating it.


7. Featured artist or exhibition. Artist collectives or galleries can create a series of "feature videos" spotlighting members of the collective, each artist on a gallery roster or an upcoming public gallery exhibition.


8. Experts. If your work or exhibition is on a certain topic or theme, making a video with an expert in that topic can work like an essay in a catalog. It helps to put your practice in context and add value to your work. If you don't have access to experts, you can look online for other content and include this in a blog as a primer about your work. For example, if your work is about global warming, find footage or clips that help explain it. If you are a landscape painter, find clips with experts talking about the history of landscape painting.


9. Professional engagements. If you are doing some public speaking, a special lecture, a presentation, an artist's talk or a panel discussion, get it on video and post it. These can be considerably longer than an interview or process video, depending on the length of the event.


Lastly, here are a few guidelines for creating a video:

  • Show your personality – Be yourself. Be authentic.
  • Q&A – Create some questions and begin your answers with the question as a statement.  
  • Timing & Style – Keep it simple and keep it short! Three to five minutes is good. You are not making a feature documentary.
  • Music – Add music that reflects the work. Getting permission is highly recommended.
  • Rhythm – Let your techniques, aesthetics, or themes dictate the editing.
  • Transitions – You don't need to go crazy with checkerboard wipes.



James Fowler worked in public relations with organizations in various industries to achieve their communications goals and streamline their media messaging, monitoring and metrics. James currently maintains a fulltime studio practice in Toronto and has taken a keen interest in social media and eMarketing. He joined Akimbo last spring as Social Media Director.


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Posted by shirin, on 2012-05-05 22:19:34
very helpful. thanks