It has been a lot of fun over the last few months, showing my artwork in as many venues as I can, both physically in person and online. I’ve been blogging off and on for more than 10 years so I’m quite comfortable with putting myself out there on the interwebs. Blogging is just a tiny part of showing you my paintings and my life as an artist and many of you don’t have the time or inclination to sit down and read entire articles, especially since I tend to write copiously!
Lately though, I’ve become crazy for a couple of additional places to show you my art, and each is very different from the other with regard to purpose and experience. Instagram and YouTube.
I’m absolutely enthralled, curious and obsessed with Instagram over the last few months. It started with my first yoga teacher who would snap a photo of his class staging a certain pose and he’d upload it to his Instagram account.
“Hmmm, you’re on Instagram?” I’d ask. “I should set up an account and follow you, too.”
So I did that very day and found all kinds of cool people to follow. And then I started contributing my own content.
If you’re reading this, you must be either interested in an artist’s life or an artist yourself. You are interested in what an artist does in his or her day to create those beautiful works of art you so admire. Instagram is a way for me to post process shots and finished pieces, and connect with others who like the same thing through the means of hashtagging (using the # sign). I won’t go into how to use Instagram here, there’s lots of information online about it if you’re curious to learn more. I also like posting other aspects of my life that make me who I am, like appreciating the beauty of mushrooms or that daffodil you see in the main photo. It is so much FUN!
I used to post all my process shots to my FaceBook Art Page, but my photo would only be seen by my followers. And FaceBook’s changed their algorithm to where most of my fans would not even get to see my process pics, nor would hardly anyone new come by. As a matter of fact, my FaceBook account has remained stagnant, no new fans, in months, whereas I used to get a few new likes every month. I still post interesting content and a few process shots there, so it is still worth it to like my FaceBook Art Page, but most of my activity is over on Instagram now.
This one is sort of a like/dislike relationship. I understand the power of video and how it is fast becoming the number one way to engage your attention in this vastly over-communicated world we live in today. Capturing your attention is hard! And yet, getting in front of a camera makes me nervous and self-conscious. That, however, can be eliminated through practice and a simple attitude adjustment!
I had an idea awhile ago about what it is like to be a person who would like to buy a piece of art online, but wants to make sure it is the right one for them before they go for it and invest hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars.
As a potential buyer, I’d want to see the painting up close and from different angles. I want to know exactly how big it is. And often times, though not always, the story behind the piece is interesting. (Many times a piece of art speaks to you because of your own life’s story, not for the reasons the artist created it.)
So I thought I’d film some “painting tours”. Short videos explaining what the painting is all about and showing you some close up detail of the painting as I narrate.
My husband is my partner in this endeavor and he does all the lighting, video filming and editing. I just get up there and show my artwork. And it is a bit humbling because video shows you with all your flaws and shortcomings too. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to see yourself on film as you get older, and I’ve certainly not had the beauty treatments that celebrities get for themselves! I need lots of practice, and I still get rather nervous in front of the camera, but I’ve learned some tips and tricks to try out for the next round of painting tours.
Here are the first ones I’ve done with the YouTube video embedded, then I’ve included a link to the product page where these paintings are located, so you can see how these videos look on the store pages. I think they turned out great!
My first one: The Story of Solace
Solace: A Japanese Garden Painting
Next: Namaste Anahata. I feel like I’m a little more warmed up now. A tiny bit more comfortable with the camera.
Namaste Hands Painting: Anahata
Lastly, sometimes I want to just show my artwork in different lighting. It’s not really a painting tour, just a demo.
This one is only 35 seconds and I show you how the gold flakes in one of my Buddha paintings changes in the light.
Seeing: A Small Buddha Painting
I have a couple more videos out there and more to come. Please go to my YouTube channel and subscribe so you will get to see all of my painting tours and demonstrations as they come out.
So what do you think? Do you use Instagram? What would you like to see more of on YouTube with regard to artists and their work? Let me know in the comments below.