Painting Crystals and Recording My First Process Videos

Among the resources I’ve been finding and using to try and grow Fairy Tree Studios, I bought Jenna Rainey‘s online course “Instagram for Creatives,” which teaches you how to use Instagram as a marketing tool to grow an audience and convert them to “brand evangelists.” One of the big takeaways (without giving too much away, since the course is copyrighted) is the importance of varying your post types and content. Another specialist I consulted with commented on how most of my feed was just flat-lay pictures of my art. So, yeah, I needed some variety. I decided to try taking some process videos with my phone, of me painting, since they’re one of the things I enjoy seeing (and have learned a fair bit from) when other artists share.

The initial line drawings from my sketchbook

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a series of watercolor crystals, after searching and not finding what I wanted from other artists (particularly in sticker form). I sketched out a bunch of styles then transferred them to a sheet of watercolor paper; from there I painted a couple of them to figure out my process. Then I propped my phone up on a pile of notepads/tape rolls/random stuff to get it to stand up at the right angle and hit “record.” I set up off to one side of my paper, since I didn’t want to try and hold it while I painted, and I taped the page to my art table with a small piece of drafting tape to remind myself not to move it (or my hand, in front of the camera). I recorded for about 15 minutes, which is about how long it took to paint one 3″ x 3″ sketch, then created a time lapse video through a free app from Google Play which sped it up to about 3.5 minutes (Instagram limits previews/stories to one minute now, but you can still upload longer videos to IGTV, which is what I did).

Here’s the full set painted in the first batch. I’m really happy with them!

It’s been one of my most popular posts recently, and people seem to like these crystals in general, which is exciting. I ordered stickers of my favorite designs last week; I’m building up inventory for an art festival coming up at the beginning of April (more on that soon!). I’ll probably wait until after that to list the stickers on Etsy, but I’m sure they’ll be on there within the next month.

I took a second video of myself painting the purple and blue crystal, but apparently I moved the camera or the paper at some point, because it was way up at the top of the frame, sigh. So I deleted that and tried again with the green crystals; that one worked out a lot better and is now on my Instagram too.

If you record lessons or process videos, what is your set-up? Do you have special equipment, or do you just use your phone like I do? Video is definitely not my forte — nor have I ever really had any interest in it — but it seems like it might be unavoidable as a marketing tool, at least with the audience I’m trying to reach.

Here it is: my first (time-lapsed) process video!

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