Guest blogger: R. Daniel Foster
Are you visually literate?
Your immediate reaction to that question may be: Of course I’m visually literate, I’m an artist!
Granted, you’ve gained mastery in your medium. But becoming literate in how you visually market your work can be like learning a new language (but far less difficult).
Screens are everywhere today – on ATM machines, at the checkout counter, over the gas pump and of course right in your pocket.
Media has been wholly democratized. On the video front, cheap tools and free methods of distribution means anyone can own and operate their own TV broadcast channel.
That’s real power.
Video, in fact, is the most powerful storytelling medium available to spread news of your work.
The problem is, most user-created video is lousy.
I concede that more than a few YouTube videos with mega-million hits are poorly lit and look like someone indiscriminately waved their camera around.
But when it comes to presenting your art to the world – that’s a different beast – mostly because of these two factors: meaning and message.
Take a moment to view this one-minute, thirty-second video I created titled, I am Baghdad.
I believe the video is effective because the meaning of the art piece is baked into the message. What do I mean by that?
The message (the ways and means of communication) wholly conveys the intent, the significance – and really the essence of the work. It stays true to the work and its meaning.
When message matches meaning, you’ve got a great, marketable marriage.
Now let me be truthful. All video is a lie. Whenever one picks up a camera or hits an edit command, reality is fundamentally altered.
And yet there is a way to create video that is true to the subject, and moreover, honors and lightly frames the subject – all without interfering with the work.
The message must match the meaning.
Such video can easily be created. And you don’t need to employ the jazzy techniques I sometimes use.
The great news: Inexpensive or free video creation tools are at your disposal; free platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube await. No-cost instruction can be found everywhere on the web.
Some grow a bit nervous (okay, they freak out) when contemplating making their own videos: the camera, the lens, the lighting, the audio, the editing, the uploading, the downloading. And all those cords. I still hate the cords.
Of course there is a learning curve, but it’s not nearly as steep as you might think. The true reward of course, is your work artfully presented to a worldwide audience – one you may have thought was unreachable.
Oh, and that other reward. The exact same comment you’ll get from everyone who sees your videos:
You made that? Really?
R. Daniel Foster is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and documentary expert who creates video marketing materials for a variety of business clients. He is my guest on a special audio program and transcript Promote Your Art Through Video, which is now available to members of the Art Biz Incubator.