Making art process video tutorials?

  • Hi, everyone.
    I have been thinking about opening a shop for about 2 years now. But I was put off everytime I realized how complicated the logistic would be (especially that I do not live in the center of the world, and postage for shipping is really high to almost anywhere from my country). Recently, I am revisiting the idea, and thinking maybe I could make products that are digital, rather than physical.

    My basic idea is to start building a video library for my painting process. Then I do a speedup version on youtube, so people get a sort of preview of the content, and then if they like to see the video real-time, they can purchase it for a small fee. I can probably set up a simple system with Gumroad.

    Is it a silly idea (now that you can find "almost" everything on youtube?).

    Anyone has purchased art video tutorials recently? if yes, what kind of video?

  • I think that is a great idea. I have purchased process pdfs and videos from Gumroad before.

    If you're looking for other ways to open a shop there is also a market on etsy for digital art. I believe @NessIllustration mentioned doing this in one of her videos.

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    @xin-li @skillydan I'm not sure about video products on Etsy, more research is necessary ๐Ÿ™‚ I've seen a lot of artists sell little courses on their websites, though I'm not sure how real-time process videos do. It's important to do research and see what works first! If you can't find any instances of anyone out there selling time-lapse videos, then people won't be looking for them (because they assume it doesn't exist).

    Selling a completely new kind of product isn't impossible, but it's much more difficult because you can't rely on people finding you organically through search. You have to be proactive to show up even if they aren't looking for your, which means a really big ads budget. In that sense, it's easier to sell a competitive product than it is to sell a product no one's heard about.

    With some research I'm sure you can find a niche that matches your vision ๐Ÿ™‚ Digital products are so great to make because you do the work once, then you have an asset that can keep making you money for years. It's great!

  • @skillydan thanks for the feedback. I watched @NessIllustrationยดs video and it is great. I always think my art is not very compatible with "wall art". I tired to make some greeting cards illustration as the agency reps me now also have licencing part. But I never get very far with greeting card idea. My stuff is bit too narrative, great for book illustrations. Not so much art prints, journal clipart. I should try a bit more to see if I can find something that works for me.

    @NessIllustration I think video tutorials are not really new products. I have purchased some in the past on Gumroad as well. It is probably not something you find in Esty though. You are the one made me start to thinking about digital projects. :-). For sure, more research needed :-). I started to follow a few fine art painters who makes a living with vlog, Patreon. They do a lot of painting process videos ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @xin-li the idea reminds me of Jason Brubaker, Marco Bucci, and Parka Blogs. Would love a female voice on Gumroad.

    Lioba Bruckner does great on Patreon. A few others I followed were Chris Hong and Jared Cullum -- they use Patreon more as tip jars though haha.

    Who have you bought/ patreon-ized may I ask ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • @donnamakesart hehe.. for some reasons, I am following landscape, and nature painters at this moment. Karen Margulis, Sarah Burns, and Julia Bausenhardt. Personally, I am not very into nature painting, I want to learn paint traditionally. Right now, watching nature painting tutorials is my new hobby. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also all 3 of these artists made a full time living by teaching, vlog, and Patreon. It is interesting to follow them to see how they run their business.

    I am still looking around for more fine-art painters to follow. I especially interested in impressionist painting style, and something very raw such as Victoria Semykina, and Laura Carlin (would be cool to see process videos from these 2 artists, but very little info online, except little snippets in their instagram feeds occasionally).

  • I have bought process videos in Cubebrush.
    You can find Jeff Parker's process on Patreon. Marco Bucci sells How to Digitally Paint and how to Paint with WC. Jake and Marco have a lot of free YouTube video content.

  • @xin-li I heard it is very difficult to make a living out of Patreon. A friend tried and it was as costly to maintain (giving rewards) as profitable. Unless you are already very big on social media and attract a crowd with your name!

    What works best for him is the digital brushes he sells. His marketing is only through IG (a link in his profile) as he has gained thousands of followers over the past years and many of them are now buying his brushes.

    I do watch videos of painting process from time to time (mainly oil painting and pastels) but rarely more than a few by artists on youtube. It is inequally interesting (depending on the artist, topic, technic, etc) and mostly time-consuming. It requires time to invest. Therefore I think it is a good avenue to explore to bring additional revenue but I don't think it will be substential enough unless you already have a large fan base.
    That said, I encourage you to try! I might be totally wrong ๐Ÿ™ƒ

    A niche that is currently little (or not at all?) explored is a series of different processes : ex : concept, character design, choosing colors, etc. until the final real-time painting.
    I would be quite interested to buy a whole pack from the same artist showing how to build an image from scratch to the final painting and painting process itself.

    Good luck!

  • @Julia thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I think maybe the most realistic way to start this journey is to start a youtube channel to document my process and see if there is any traction. I am considering doing something with traditional media, getting myself outside of my comfort zone - it would be more of a documentation of my learning process rather than a tutorial in the beginning before I figure out how to paint traditionally myself :-).

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    @xin-li Skillshare is also a good option

  • @xin-li I think that's a super interesting idea! I have had a lot of success growing my instagram by doing tutorials, and a friend of mine who does watercolor started posting process videos on Instagram of his water colors and grew to over 100k in a year. I would recommend also promoting your youtube on your instagram as you can encourage your followers there to check out your channel as well.

    Personally, I don't think I would sell the tutorial videos by themselves, I don't think I've ever bought one, but I would buy a class or a course from someone. I've also had people suggest "udemy" as a place to do that.

    I also just started a youtube channel with tutorials, and my plan was to put the full process videos on my patreon, but gumroad is an interesting idea. I think ideally though if you could sell them yourself on shopify or something so that you could also get their emails and grow an email list, that is probably the ultimate ideal solution.

  • @carlianne Great input. Thank you so much. your suggestions give me a lot to think about ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I wonder if any small groups of illustrators have done something like a printshop collective? I think digital products are a great way to go of course, but wonder at the real cost of selling prints and whether that would be easier to share.

  • @xin-li Hi, I think this is a great idea! And, there is an audience for every artist. Your voice is important! There are multiple to ways to monetize this - a YouTube channel will make money with enough subscribers. You don't always have to sell the "art object." Good luck on your exciting journey!

  • @carolinebautista I think it is a really good idea. But I think it might be much easier to organise such things with your local artists in the same city. At least the accountant and tax side of the thing would be a bit easier to grasp with a collective business :-).

    I used to rent studio from a collective. The owner of the collective run an online shop which sell everyone's prints. Customers can also come to the collective to pick up prints themselves. But that was the time before covid, now I am working from home like most of the artists I knew of.

  • @RioSim1 thanks for the encouragement.

  • @xin-li so far the idea had only been interesting to me as a version of a publisher business model that would deal with international artists, not sure why except as a sort of publisher of standalone images, something that is never the focus of picture book makers. ๐Ÿ™‚ But the idea of a local collective sounds really fun the way you describe it. If this pandemic would ever end...

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