I thought over thirteen hundred was a lot of views. My wife's cousin was over the other day. This thirty-something woman is very into hanging out with her buds and doing some Youtubing. She showed me an artist she likes on YouTube. He does videos of his act of painting. This guy is no slacker. The first YouTube of his she showed me had over a million hits! I checked out his site. He sells giclees, that is, fancy prints, and also posters and cheaper prints of his images.
As soon as I can, I will be videoing myself making some paintings. But...you can't just do anything. You have to have a plan, obviously. You must entertain. Can you produce entertainment in your video of you at work on your art?
This guy - philinthehole is the name he goes by - has a shtick: He creates art that won't last. Kind of the opposite of what I do, as far as my sculpture goes. I produce metal sculpture made out of copper and brass and stainless steel. The sculpture is designed to stick around. But this guy... Jimmy Hendricks out of matchsticks, which he lights after he creates the image. Probably took him many, many hours - to create it. It took seconds to light the thing and have it burn, obviously.
He got a million hits! Actually I don't remember if he got a million hits off the Jimmy Hendricks one. Maybe only three hundred thousand. Only...
A YouTube that receives that much attention should make money. The guy's gotten on the news. My wife's cousin told me he got on the news for his portrait of Bush; he created the portrait using images of dead soldiers in Iraq. Now, regardless of your views, politically, you have to admit, this fellow is clever.
He uses rock music created by fairly unknowns. (Not the name of a band, although that would be a good name for a band.) This is progressive, smart, and energetic marketing. If you are an artist, you should be doing video and uploading it. But don't just do anything. Of course, give some thought to what you do.
Now, the process itself can be powerful, the process of how you make your art. That in itself is interesting. As I say, without any marketing of my video, I've had over thirteen hundred hits on a video just of me working on my sculpture. Most of the time I'm holding a welding torch. I'm not saying anything. There's no music in the background. Admittedly, I do have the video on my site. So I guess I am doing a bit of marketing the video around. Still... thirteen hundred hits and the video is not really that entertaining. Just imagine what you could achieve if you created something fun to watch, or if I did.
If you did that once, that would be wonderful. But if you do it once, you can probably replicate what you did with new ideas for videos.
I would advise against making the video too long. Someone sitting at the computer has 3, 4, 5 minutes for amusement. Remember, the net is a lot about speed and the sound bite. Commercials have had to come around to becoming more sound bite forms of entertainment. You're not going to watch, otherwise. So what you do has got to be entertaining as well as a commercial for you and your work. This can be done. Start with the activity of making your art and go from there.
I have a deck of creativity cards called "The Whack Pack". It's supposed to "give you a whack on the side of your head" metaphorically. Roger von Oech wrote this. I'll give him a plug and get no affiliate dollars for it, so you know for sure it's good stuff. There's a card that says "Do something to it" and explains that the artist Jasper Johns would say that's how he makes his art. He starts with something and does something to it. So start with your process of making art and do something to it.
That it that you do doesn't have to be much. Maybe background music and a good, bright enough, clear, in focus image would be enough. Or maybe you need a gimmick. Be playful. Try stuff. This is YouTube, remember? Not surgery and not a gravestone, or anything else written in stone. You could always delete the video. You have that capability. But why would you if it starts getting hits? And it will. Believe me, if it is any good, it will.