Fine Artist Ruth Soller on the Future Value of Video to Visual Artists
Editor's Note: I have longed believed visual artists are in a sweet spot when it comes to using videos to promote and gain awareness for themselves, and for their work.
Now that YouTube has become the second largest search to its parent Google.com, including video has become that much more valuable as an education and marketing tool. Thanks Ruth Soller for sharing her experiences and insights.
In financial terms future value means that a dollar in hand today is worth more than a dollar to be received next year, because if you had it now, you could invest it, earn interest, and end up with more than one dollar next year. I believe that artists who are creating video today will reap the benefits of being early adopters in their future careers.
- Video is the wave of the future. By reading several artists’ and personal coaching blogs as well as observing the rapid growth of Facebook, YouTube, and other social media, I am convinced that video sets you apart from the masses. Steve Washer is an expert on the technical aspects of equipment and production of your own videos; and he offers training at www.BrainyVideo.com. I recently learned that only one in 1000 YouTube users uploads video to YouTube and only one in 2000 Facebook users uploads video. People enjoy watching video and react ten times as much to video as to just text and photos. This means that you can be in the top 0.1 % just by using video.
- How I met and partnered with a video producer. Last summer my husband and I visited wineries in the Palisades region of the western slope of Colorado. At Garfield Estates tasting room I learned that they had another tasting room in Denver, where they offered exhibitions to artists. After scheduling my solo exhibition for December 2011-January 2012, I began to plan for the reception and publicity for the show. In November I attended the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce Bling Event, a networking event for women in business. I participated in their speed-networking, where I met Paula Zimmerman who has a local video production and editing business called www.LiquidVioletStudiois.net. Paula agreed to work with me to create a video about my show and the reception.
- Planning the video. I received from Alyson Stanfield of www.ArtBizBlog.com a link to an artist’s video which her gallery had produced from her opening reception and continued to use to promote her. (http://www.artbizblog.com/2011/11/compelling-video.html) The gallery had done this for each of their artists as they presented solo exhibitions. This video became a model for Paula in designing my video. I wanted the video to highlight my work, and also to validate my experience through my viewers’ opinions.
- Filming and editing. Paula was entirely responsible for the filming and editing of my video. We scheduled two different times to film, the day that I hung the show and the afternoon of the reception. First she filmed each painting with close-ups and zooming out to show the complete work. On the day of the reception, Paula arrived early to set up her equipment. During the reception she filmed various groups interacting as well as conducting impromptu interviews with willing participants. After visitors had left the show, Paula filmed me talking about the show and the individual paintings. During a very time consuming editing process, Paula worked her magic to produce a lovely and upbeat video which adds great value to my exhibition.
- Where to post the video. First, I plan to embed the video on my Fine Art Studio Online (FASO) website front page and upload the video to my channel on YouTube and to my business page on Facebook. For information about how to do this, Steve Washer has made a simple tutorial video and YouTube has tutorials as well. I plan to check out Vimeo to see whether I want to start an account there to upload video. There are local registries or directories in which it may be possible to post video, such as www.Chamber.com , www.CityDirect.com, www.DexKnows.com, www.GooglePlaces.com , and www.YourHub.com.
- Distribute the video. Second I plan to burn the video to CD’s along with other important information such as images of my best works, artist statement, biography, and resume. These CD’s will be used in promotional packages along with personal cover letters to send to galleries and local and regional museums which are on my radar. When I prepare press releases or submissions for magazines, I can include the CD in the packet.
- Track results. Paula and I have planned the video in such a way that it should not expire in relevance; because it is a record of a particular solo exhibition including two series of paintings which will be ongoing. The video provides documentation which helps to increase my professionalism and validate my career in the viewers’ eyes. My website and my ETSY shop are set up with Google Analytics which tracks visitors and pages viewed. Other results to track include signups for my e-newsletter, subscribers to my FASO blog, followers on my Facebook business page, Twitter followers, and YouTube viewers. I hope that this article motivates you to try video and to discover for yourself the difference it makes in your career.
Ruth Soller is a Denver oil painter of western landscapes, architecture and portraits. She paints the western landscape in a magical, mystical, surreal style. She perceives intensified hues, symbolic motifs and dramatic value contrasts in her compositions. She has exhibited from New York City to Los Angeles, Montana to Alabama, and in Florence, Italy. She is represented by Gallery East in Loveland, Colorado.