11 Artist Videos to Whet Your Appetite Plus 1 Bonus

Your photos aren’t reaching as far as they used to on Facebook.

A number of marketing experts have recently pointed out that photos are the least likely to reach their audience on Facebook. Even links and plain status updates (sans links/photos) get more organic reach than photos.

What is working? Video! On average, videos are seen by 135% more people than photos.


And it’s not just on Facebook. Engaging videos can be a boon for your marketing regardless of where you post them.

So let’s look at some artists who have done a pretty good job with their videos. Some of these are self-produced and others are more professional, but you should be able to pick up a few tips from all of them.

Dionne Swift: Establishing a Rhythm

This professionally-produced video shows Dionne drawing inspiration from a beautiful landscape. In the studio, she paints with oil sticks and her sewing machine. Love the peek at her baskets of threads. The photography, lighting, and audio are of excellent quality.

Lorraine Loots: 365 Paintings for Ants

This professionally-produced video is gorgeous from beginning to end, with lovely entry and exit camera pans. The music and sound were just right, and I enjoyed listening to her and seeing her while she was painting her miniature pieces.

Patrick Gracewood: To Grandmother’s House

A look at a public sculpture commission with a nice blend of Patrick, his work, and his inspiration, including historical photographs. A microphone would greatly improve the sound quality, but it’s still nice to watch.

Kirsty Smith: My Life in a Box

I giggle every time I watch this. Kirsty’s gallerist requested that each artist make a related video to accompany his or her piece in a group show. (Brilliant idea! Never heard of this before.) Stick with it, and you’ll see From a Box, Kirsty’s collage/assemblage that served as the inspiration for the video.

Cynthia Morris: Capture The Wow

I absolutely adore this video from my pal, author and artist Cynthia Morris. It’s super low-tech and highly creative. The use of cards instead of slides or fancy graphics makes it engaging. You wonder what the scene is for the next card to pop into. We don’t hear Cynthia’s voice, but I enjoy the music. The length is just right at just over 1 minute.

Alyson Champ – Collage Artist

Another professionally-produced video that shows Alyson’s life on the farm and in the studio. She does a great job speaking to the camera and the background music isn’t intrusive at any point. She had me the moment she inserted the cat on top of her materials, but be sure to stick around for the sheep and chickens.

Linda Billet: How to Make Oprah Cola

This is a video about Linda’s process for making one piece of art. At almost 4 minutes, it is a little long, but still engaging. I appreciate how it slows down and speeds up in places. Stick with it until the end. Linda’s on-screen appearance is too fun to miss.

Ana Elisa Benavent

This video – the way it was shot and edited – reflects the energy and expressionism of her artwork. I’m a huge fan of Spanish and Latin guitar music, so I loved the track right away. However, I think it might have benefited from lowering the volume in places and shortening the length. I also wished I could have seen some finished paintings.

Vladimir Volegov: Emerald Bay

The artist writes: “This video was made in the mode 1 shot in 5 sec, total time of creating of painting is 15 hours 30 min.” At almost 10 minutes, it tests my focus limits, but it is amazing enough to have garnered over 300,000 views in less than two years. I found that the music got old very quickly, and that I preferred watching it in silence.

Brooke Harker: Urban Landscape Artist

Brooke was inspired by my audio program with videographer R. Daniel Foster to make a video, and she found a quality team to help her do it. What I love most about this video is Brooke’s smile and positive energy. It’s clear she infuses her canvases with love.

Painting Wild Horses from Life with Karen McLain

Karen also got inspiration from listening to Daniel. I love how this video opens from the trunk of her car, and we can hear the sounds of nature. She gathers her supplies and sits on a small seat, where she carefully unpacks her tools. Then she pulls out a laptop! What in the world is she going to do with a laptop? Just watch. The sound quality is off, but her more recent videos have improved sound.

Bonus Video

Brian Rutenberg has a regular video show that he fashions after cooking shows – or so he says in this video. I share it here as a bonus because I couldn't decide which of his videos to feature. This is his most recent. At around 12-15 minutes, his videos are longer than most, but they are instructional and engaging.

Got a favorite video of an artist? Please share a link to it in a comment and tell us what you like most about it.

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32 thoughts on “11 Artist Videos to Whet Your Appetite Plus 1 Bonus”

  1. This was very informative! Good to know that the artist’s traditional sharing of photos no longer works on FB. Makes me more than a little bit miffed to learn that!
    What recommendations do you have for making videos on a budget. Obviously we would love to hire a videographer for every one, but if social media require more and different content, then we need the ability to do frequent and inexpensive videos. Do you have more tips, beyond Cynthia Morris :), for iPhone videos and such?

  2. As I love to see artists at work, I found this post very inspiring! I have been thinking about this for years and asking around to find someone, but I guess it just hasn’t been the right time yet, but now I am going to put in the effort to pursue it a bit more!!Thanks Alyson for the comments and critics on each video, helps me fine tune my ideas about what makes an intriguing video!

  3. Thankyou so much for this Alyson. I enjoyed watching them all so much!
    I too would love some tips on making videos. Ive been thinking about trying to make one for a long time but not sure where to start. Is it possible to make a good one without hiring a professional?

  4. This post is so timely for me! I have been wracking my brain for YEARS on how to make this happen or how I could do it myself. Luckily for me, my eldest son is an animator, film maker and has his own youtube channel. I recently asked him for help with getting started, so I guess this post is yet another reminder that I need to get the ball rolling! Thanks Alyson! 🙂

  5. Ironically/Coincidentally/Providentially,

    not sure which word to use,

    I just committed to making a DVD movie for a

    luxury bus ride to wine country here

    (Prince Edward County),

    for 40 women,

    to honour my mum’s big birthday

    (I may have to say she is turning 25 if I know what is good for me)…

    I am going to make a cup of something warm & sit down & watch this wonderful grouping of films…

    Thank you so much for being in the right place at the right time again…

    I have made short films before, but this one had better be good!

    Deciding right now whether to use only still photography with screencasts with text quotes from her friends & family, or do live video & crop it together…

    It’s just that logistically getting live video from people is going to be interesting, plus I don’t want it to be longwinded…

    Still photography in a slideshow can be powerful for personal type events…Faster change of pace for the easily bored…

    The troupers will watch the DVD on the bus, then we arrive, go to a wine tasting at a winery there, then on to a gallery show (Oeno Gallery )…

    The men arrive later for a dinner & some of us will sleep over at the hotel there…

    My mum wanted me to put a piece in the gallery too…Lord! I guess I will have to contact them & maybe do something with them too…

    I was offered money for all this help…I guess it will be my birthday present…

    if anyone has done a mom tribute film for a bus ride please tell me how you decided on the format for the content…

    I was also thinking of doing a “just mom” series of video clips, strung together, with some snappy music & her telling the jokes that she is so famous for…(none can be repeated unfortunately usually do to my mum’s salty language at times…lol)

    What does anyone think? Feel free to help…

    1. Never done one for a bus ride but have experienced the pressure to be true to the person and engage everyone in going down memory lane and honour an important person in their lives. It is indeed a labour of love.

      I have a few suggestions to consider. I hope it’s helpful.

      Just getting audio quotes from her friends might work. It’s easier to schedule since just a good mike, digital audio recorder and quiet location instead of a camera, lighting, microphone, etc. It’s less cumbersome in the editing process. It can be used over any visuals of your Mom since their comments are about her. Audio is the one aspect of video that escapes the screen and enters the room with the viewer. Their voices can convey the warmth of their friendship with her.

      Wish you the best. Happy birthday to your Mom

    2. LOL I hadn’t read all the way down to see you had already completed the whole event. Sounds like it was a great experience for everyone.

  6. Awe thank you Alyson for sharing!!!:)I suggest everyone gets that audio with Daniel Foster. Another tip that helped me came from my friend who is a story producer in television. It is called the rule of threes..when talking about something…show atleast 3 examples that illustrate what is being described…this doesn’t have to be for everything, but is a guideline to use for what is important. I also just got a tripod for my phone! I had shot some footage of me painting recently that turned out great…

  7. Sari- a friends daughter recently organised a 60th birthday party for her mother. She asked myself and other friends to send her a video of us describing her mother in one woed with the reasons why.Once she had all thw clips she put them together and surprised her mother on the night. It was very emotional and worked very well!

  8. Awesome Jane Cooper! I just sent a proposal about that one word idea with back-up to my mother…Let’s see if she bites…(Has to be vetted not a surprise or I could screw up…Mum is a finicky cat)!

  9. Alison – thank you so much for including me in this list: all credit goes to R&A Collaborations who are a wonderful team to work with. They made me feel at ease, so I could be myself and talk naturally. True professionals
    All the best
    Dionne Swift
    Contemporary Textile Artist and Tutor

  10. Wow, Alyson, thanks for including me in this post! I clicked through to get inspiration and didn’t expect to see my video in there.

    I can’t wait to watch all of these. I’m ramping up to do more video, so this comes at the right time. Thank you!

  11. I’m a longtime, professional videographer, but recently started to sell my artwork…my real passion. So, I’ve made several timelapsed videos of me creating my artwork. I’ve posted them on FB and Twitter and have had good results. Those posts get the most hits, plus I see direct hits from YouTube to my website. You don’t have to be fancy or have high end gear to make videos. I suggest putting hotlinks as the first thing in your description on Youtube so people can go directly to your website with one click. Also try out different titles. I’ve changed the titles on mine to include more key words and saw a jump in hits. YouTube has great statistics on who is watching your video and where they are from, which is helpful, or at least, interesting. My videos are short, about 1-2 minutes in length. Here’s one of my videos: http://youtu.be/CPGxPfckqKU

  12. I have been wanting to make a video for a while, I even have a nice video camera! I don’t know how to use it yet though, or edit. But I have a friend who is making her own videos about her chicken, and I’m telling you, they are GREAT. Each one is very short, this one is about 2 mins, I would say my friend, Corrin is an artist of life and she captures this in her videos, Fresh P. She edits her own too. They are all entertaining, short, and she somehow makes you curious enough to want more. I study her videos to try to get a direction for my own. I’m sharing it with you.


  13. This is absolutely terrific! Thank you Alyson! Video presentations of artists and their work is not only inspirational and educational, but they also allow us a peek into lives that make ours that much richer and more valid. How wonderful this is. I’d like to share it with all my artist friends.

  14. Finally made it to the email and watched most of the videos… it was really interesting to see other artists that work full-time at their art. I have just begun to focus on it. Video is so much more interesting than stills, and seeing the actual finished works makes a big difference. I am taking away a lot of good ideas for when I make my own art and videos.

  15. Great ideas, great examples!
    My favorite is Cynthia Morris’ video. I want to do low budget but eye-catching videos like that to promote my “Tiny Art – Building Your Artistic Confidence” class.
    Can anyone recommend some easy-to-learn inexpensive (or free) video editing software?

  16. Thanks Alyson! Good to find other examples of well done artist videos for inspiration. Here’s one of my all time favorites. Pamela Wilson is one of my favorite artists and this is a profile video done by her gallery, Evoke Contemporary.

    [vimeo 64203678 w=500 h=216] Pamela Wilson / Artist profile film series from EVOKE Contemporary on Vimeo.

  17. Hi Alyson,

    I have been making videos of my practice for a few years now. It started out as a suggestion of a way to capture my large scale installations, since I was having trouble capturing them in individual photographs. In a panning shot, I could take in the whole thing. Early on my camera was low quality, but I now have a camera that records in HD, so I am improving the quality over time. I’m also learning great stuff about the best way to edit things together, finding royalty-free music, etc. It’s been a fun process.

    More than those practicalities, I have found it has pushed me further in my practice too. My work is so physical because of its sheer size (painting at large scale directly onto wall floor and ceiling), being able to see myself moving has given way to more ideas.

    I have always enjoyed the ART21 format for videos, their pacing and the way they’re edited. But I’ve never been quite confident enough to record myself waxing lyrical about my art. I think I am moving toward that though, it could be fun!

    Last year I had a show where I was given the security footage of me installing by the gallery. I have only just now had the time and the computer power to do something with it, and I made a Time Lapse – https://vimeo.com/132092193

    Also, because of the nature of my work, when I deinstall a show, I have to quite literally rip the work from the walls and floor. The sound is WONDERFUL! 🙂
    Here’s the video of the deinstall – https://vimeo.com/132297556

  18. Following up:So the film I made ended up being shown on the bus trip to prince Edward County where the 45 ladies were going to celebrate my Mum’s 75th birthday…I paid for a pro account in Animoto, so I had access to some fabulous songs…My brother, my mother, & my aunt, gave me what digital jpegs they had, & then using my Mum’s iPad & a “scan” app, I was able to make paper photos into digital ones…
    It became a slideshow with text captions in between pictures…It worked very well…Each photo had its own moment, & funny comment slide after…I can’t post a link here because I don’t have permission from everyone to show their pictures publicly, I am sorry…
    But it was a huge hit, I got tons of applause after, & my Mum kissed & hugged me & said she loved me…
    Thanks Alyson & everyone else here for making my Mum’s 75th birthday(don’t ever tell anyone she is that age btw) awesome!
    Phew! Thank God it’s over! (it felt like it was about a 3 month job)…

    1. Since I didn’t post a link to the video, instead I’ll offer takeaways…

      Ok, so people rent buses & they have like 6 flatscreens all over the bus with excellent sound systems that make your music soundtrack sound awesome…

      When people are on a bus they are a captive audience, literally…They are paying attention & laugh at the appropriate moments & clap when it ends…Make it good…You will be rewarded…

      An entrepreneurial artist could put together a video with soundtrack that the bus could play WHILE driving people through an art gallery village area…We had my aunt, a soprano opera singer, narrate live with a microphone the bus company provided…About all the artistic sites we were seeing & going to see, at our destination town…

      My film was 10 minutes long…Exactly right for the bus…I have done enough videos to be able to gauge attention span for a venue…Bus attention seemed right on for 10 minutes…Could have been longer even…They get bored just looking out the window…

      NTSC…When you burn the movie to DVD disc, Not CD-ROM disc or you will be really disappointed when it won’t play on a DVD player, make sure the specs are the same as the DVD player it is going to be played on…Check with the venue…(or bus company)

      Aspect Ratio & Text…Depending on the aspect ratio of the flat screen tv or monitor your DVD will be played on, text slides can get cut off at the edges…If you want to play it safe just make your text slides really short…If not, check…

      When we replayed the DVD on the DVD player at the bed & breakfast for some new partygoers who had arrived for the cocktail portion of the day, the aspect ratio was different & wow oops the DVD played in Black & white instead of in colour…Lesson here is if you can possibly play the movie on the new player Before playing for the first time to an audience…I mean it’s a no brainer, but it was hard for me because we were 2 hours away from home, & only there for 24 hours…10 extra minutes before the guests arrived for cocktails would have saved me…Instead I took a power nap…

      Humans like to see humans…I was amazed at the response…When I show art videos, the response gaze is not as attentive…People seem to really like looking at pictures of other people…Possibly another no brainer, but if you do purely art videos, maybe stick some humans in…

      Music:Great music can save so so visuals…The Animoto music library has original songs you can pay to use…legally…Do it right…Pay for your music…Don’t “borrow” & don’t use mediocre tunes…It really makes a big difference…

      These private party buses are a whole new thing…Get into it…You’re welcome! 🙂

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

You’ll also receive my regular news for your art business.

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