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Personally, I like blogging—that’s just me. But you can learn a lot from other artists’ methods of marketing art, and after researching some of the artists on YouTube I realized there are at least four different ways that artists can use this extremely popular video-sharing site to get noticed online.
If one of the following methods appeals to you, then by all means try it out. If making videos or fiddling around with YouTube is completely out of your comfort zone or area of expertise, then just stick with what you’re already doing. . . and I should mention that you will need a video camera or a webcam, as well as some sort of video-editing software if you’re going to make this work.
So without further ado, here are four ways to promote your art via YouTube:
1. Use YouTube to show off your personality.
Extroverts, this one’s for you. If you’re a likeable, engaging, FUN individual, and you’re comfortable in front of a camera, then why not use that to your advantage as an artist?
With this technique, you’re simply marketing yourself. Really. You’re promoting YOU more than you’re promoting your art. The wonderful side effect is that (potentially) millions of people will like you and some of them will want to buy your art.
This method is not for everyone, but for fun, passionate artists, YouTube can help you make friends and fans very easily.
With over 110 YouTube videos to her name, 28,000+ subscribers, and nearly 1.2 million views of her YouTube channel, Val has a crowd of eager collectors every time she finishes a new painting.
Val obviously didn’t become famous overnight (she’s been on YouTube for nearly 2 years) but she proves that it can be done.
2. Use YouTube to teach art techniques
Teaching others how to paint, draw, sculpt, or take photographs (just to name a few artistic pursuits) can be a very effective way to build your reputation online. Are you already an art teacher? Do you hold occasional workshops for other artists? Then this would be a perfect fit for you!
Even if you’re not a teacher, normally, there’s no reason you can’t record yourself painting or drawing and then give an audio commentary on what techniques you’re using and why.
If you’re good at what you do, this will show in your video tutorials. . . and guess what? You’ll end up marketing your own art while helping others.
3. Use YouTube to show your unique art process
If your art is especially unique or more performance-based than traditional art, people will probably be very interested in seeing you make it.
Obviously, most artists won’t fit this niche, but for those that do, posting a YouTube video of how they make their art is a great way to “go viral” online.
Creating a viral video isn’t something you necessarily do on purpose, it’s just the nature of the internet. Whenever anything incredibly out of the ordinary is posted online, people are driven to tell their friends, co-workers, and family members all about it—that’s how a viral video is born.
And even if your video doesn’t sweep across the globe, you can still be relatively famous because of it.
At this point that video has had over 2.4 million views, and it’s not even his best work! You can see more of Phil’s creations on his YouTube channel if you’re interested.
4. Use YouTube to critique or review art
This last method is perhaps a bit simpler than the others—after all, everyone has an opinion on art, right? I know I do.
Well if you’re opinionated and well-spoken, YouTube could be a great platform to become known as an art expert. There aren’t a lot of art reviewers on there (that I could find) so this idea at least is wide open for a newcomer.
And really, you wouldn’t have to limit yourself to just reviews of art. Interviews, gallery openings, studio visits—any of that could work.
If you want to be successful on YouTube, you WILL have to put the effort in, and you WILL have to be good at what you do.
Just because you post one video doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly be a star—you’ll need to be consistent (post multiple videos over time to keep people coming back) and you’ll need to be well-spoken and interesting (or have very interesting art).
Ultimately, YouTube won’t be a simple or quick fix to promote your art, but it’s definitely a viable option for artists who are willing to work at it.