Business considerations ... Q&A session
am currently looking into the feasibility of producing an
instructional video on my art. What do you think?
A: (from Bill Ritchie)
Instructional videos on any art, craft or design process could
achieve two good things, in theory. One, the tape could actually
teach a person how to begin to learn your art and craft (It might
also have the positive effect of showing them that it is really not
for them.) Secondly, it might bring your particular style and
distinguishing qualities to the attention of more people. It might
help your sales.
Both of these possibilities are probably
harmonious to your goals as an artist, craftsperson and designer. The
questions raised are mostly economic, and only you can decide whether
to pursue the videotape production.
Personally I am an advocate of instructional
videos, but I started a long time ago (1970) therefore much of what I
know is practically obsolete. Both the making and the viewing of
instructional videos is changed.
For example, digital video replaces videotape on
the production side, but videotape is still the favored medium on the
viewer's side. Therefore, the artist, crafts person or designer who
is considering making a videotape is advised to use digital systems
to produce it and then videotape to distribute your ideas.
In theory, this is better than the old method I
used in my tape-making. The creative person - who also may be a
creative teacher and marketer - will love the flexibility of digital
systems. Even though the added time it will take from your studio is
great, the rewards and potential for both education and marketing and
sales are worth it, I think. By "worth it" I mean an investment of
approximately $5000 of today's dollars and about 10 hours a
Here's an example: I distribute one videotape for
a 91-year old enamel artist. She made the tape over ten years ago for
less than $1000 with a lot of donated time and love from supporters.
Her goal was to preserve and disseminate information about her
passion - Limoges enameling. She didn't want to make a profit.
So, she did not make a profit. Privately and
inwardly, I complain about the lack of a profit motive. In keeping
her profit margin at zero she has found only one person (me) who can
afford to help her distribute and promote her tape. That wouldn't
matter, except as a long-term consequence few people know what
Limoges enamel is.
Art education teachers in general, in my humble
opinion, missed the boat thirty years ago by not alerting more
advocates of the arts to national television innovators who created
programs like Sesame Street and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Therefore,
the arts and humanities kind of lost ground.
Now it's up to individuals - perhaps the people
who take the time to learn marketing and sales - to fill the gap and
compete for viewers' time and support. Artists, crafts people and
designers will have to learn on their own how to use the digital
tools that are accessible for education and, potentially, marketing
A: (from ...)
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